Games Inbox: Should Call Of Duty go back to a near future setting?

The Thursday Inbox wonders when God Of War 2 and other new PS5 games will be announced, as one reader asks what Solar Crown means.

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Realistic future
The most interesting thing to me about that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Zombies pic was the robots, not the zombies. At some point soon the games are going to be looking at what to do next and wonder how they’re going to tackle near future again, since it hasn’t been done for a while. Now, a lot of people got angry with the jetpacks and everything, which I could understand even though I enjoyed them, but the fact is that the near future, and even present, of warfare is drones and robots.

We’ve all seen those US army tests of the four-legged robot and the biped one they try to purposefully knock down and that stuff has been around for years, so who knows what is actually state of the art at the moment.

Maybe it wouldn’t be suitable for Call Of Duty but I’d actually like to see a game do a serious near future (as in 10 years ahead, max) war game that didn’t just hand wave science away as magic and tried to predict how things would be. Between robots and drones I don’t know how much hand to hand combat there’d even be in the future. When you can just remote pilot a flying syringe filled with poison what’s the point in having even special forces?
PS: Given it’s still not been announced what’s the latest a Call Of Duty could feasibly be released?

GC: First week of November used to be the norm, but it’s been October the last two years (initially because of Red Dead Redemption 2). They’ve never been as late as December before.

Everyday magic
Someone really seems to have it in for Ubisoft and all these leaks, eh? I can understand why they’d want to be taking them down but I find them pretty uninspiring and to be honest my interest in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has gone down quite a bit.

The latest leak with the Dark Souls style boss battle is particularly weird because there’s absolutely no attempt to make anything seem realistic. I realise it could all be a hallucination or something – she is coughing over some gas or something at the beginning but how many times is that excuse going to be used?

The problem with putting magic and the like in though, is not that many care (I would imagine) about realism but because we’ve all seen generic swords and sorcery games a hundred times before and Assassin’s Creed used to be something different. You could argue the old formula has run its course but for me the new one is just getting more and more generic.

Second wave
Some rumours go around (no evidence whatsoever, mind) that Sony are holding back some first party reveals for later, to spice up their other events/respond to Microsoft. I’m struggling to think what existing franchise they could be given how many sequels and reboots were in the first reveal.

There’s God Of War 2, which is obviously just a matter of time, but I hope the other ones are new IP. I thought the reveal was fine but the biggest problem for me was the lack of new ideas. New IP has been one of the best things about Sony this gen and I think we all could’ve lived without another LittleBigPlanet or even Ratchet & Clank.

Anything to break the Sony formula, as apart from anything I don’t think it’s going to be bettered after The Last Of Us Part 2. Here’s hoping soon have a quick response to Microsoft’s event this month.

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Silver lining
RE: Next gen console prices. I understand the frustration of not knowing, and the author made some very valid points, but I’m OK with it so far. I think given what’s been happening all over the world, and the state of the US right now, both will be pushing for the lowest price they can. And the longer they have to work out how much they can afford to lose is fine with me.

Whilst the ongoing situation in the world is terrible right now there are always benefits to economic downturns, cheaper consoles could be one.

Next gen innovation
RE: Rob and button mapping. The Switch and Xbox One both have system level button mapping options. On the Switch setting it’s in the Controllers and Sensors menu, on the Xbox One it’s in the Ease of Access menu.

This is not anywhere near as useful as it being in game yet, as neither console allows you to store game by game profiles unfortunately, but it can be done.

If they can both extend it to allow you to create profiles on a game by game basis, then I think that would be the ultimate solution, we just aren’t there yet.
Antony White

This year’s model
RE: Marcs73. I purchased the 2019 model LG 65SM9010PLA (SM90 series) In January this year and I can’t fault it to be fair, pal! I’m not sure if the LG model you mentioned is the newer version of the one I’ve bought? (The 2020 variant) Mine has the IPS panel with anα7 Gen2 processor. I think the 2020 version of my TV has the latest upgraded α7 Gen3 processor? Here is an extract I copied for you regarding gaming on my TV:

‘In cinema mode we measure a lag of 89.9 ms, as with all manufacturers this is quite high. In lag game mode the lag drops to 17.8 ms and that is a fantastic result. The SM90 supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). When ALLM is activated, the TV automatically switches to game mode when it receives an ALLM signal. You can then safely switch to a different image mode, while maintaining the low input lag. ALLM therefore remembers that you prefer that mode.’

Switch land
Assuming we get to hear about those new Super Mario remasters fairly soon – even if Nintendo talk about nothing else all year – it makes me realise that we’re never going to get what was my favourite Wii U game: Nintendo Land. I know a lot of people mocked it as a launch title but I wonder how many actually played it?

The games may have been shallow but they are easily the most popular party games I have ever played with non-gamers. Without fail they always get people involved and even if a session only lasts an hour tops it gets the job done. But without the GamePad there’s no way to make it work again. You could do it with two Switches but I don’t think Nintendo would sell a game that had that kind of hardware requirement.

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Enjoy the silence
Well thanks, Davos, for the accusation that some of us are basically blinkered fanboys for essentially trying to speculate about why Nintendo are being so silent. The point of my letter was, despite my frustration and everyone else’s, if they’re not in a position to sell more hardware because of severe stock shortages, that just might be a factor in their PR strategy.

Sony has indeed had success by letting us know about key games years in advance. So has Nintendo, and we currently know about Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. I do agree that’s not enough at this moment, plus they’ve shown nothing of those games since their announcements, and yet the Switch has continued to track roughly with the PlayStation 4’s history in terms of units shifted.

I’d very much like to have had confirmation about what’s lined up for 2020 a lot sooner than we will at this point, which is why I’m trying to understand, not justify, their rationale. There might not be a big explanation for why they were silent between, say October and March, but that doesn’t strike me as massively uncharacteristic. I’m pretty sure they did a similar thing the year before in fact, and maybe even the year before that.

If I had to guess I’d say they intended to announce the 2020 line-up in March or April (as usual), then for a couple of months COVID-19 suddenly made it uncertain whether their developers could deliver for the rest of the year, then the big stock issues hit and, along with strong Animal Crossing sales and Direct related production constraints, they didn’t feel they could fully capitalise on any big news until a bit later.

On the flip side of what Davos and Kirsch have said, is anything I’ve said really that much more of a stretch than ‘this unprecedented behaviour is nothing to do with unprecedented stock issues or unprecedented virus pandemics: Nintendo simply have absolutely nothing to show or say, whether in terms of 2020 or beyond, even though they’ve very recently said there are still unannounced games coming and they’re all tracking for their intended 2020 release windows’?

Are the suggestions offered really more far-fetched than the idea that they haven’t had important strategic meetings about what to do and they’ve simply spontaneously downed tools and switched off all the lights in the office for half a year, then lied about having unannounced games for the rest of the year in the hope that people will just eventually accept that there’s nothing?

Having so little activity around one of your most successful consoles ever when it’s meant to be at the peak of i’s activity is an interesting topic. Just because you’re interested in discussing why this is happening it doesn’t mean you’re trying to credit them with some ingenious plan or blindly defend questionable decisions.

GC: We don’t think it’s far-fetched to suggest that Nintendo doesn’t have anything ready for release in the next six months, beyond remasters. Although, as you imply, the more likely explanation is that they’re not sure what will be ready, or when, and are, as usual, being overly cautious. But even the worst days of the Wii U didn’t feel this dead (largely because they still had the 3DS as backup).

Inbox also-rans
The free games on Epic Games Store at 4pm today are Killing Floor 2, The Escapists 2, and Lifeless Planet.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Neo Cab (PC)

Does anyone know what the Solar Crown subtitle for the new Test Drive means? Is that a reference to a place or a car?

GC: We’d be interested to know this too.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?

No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?

How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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