Games Inbox: What will be the best game of 2022?

The Wednesday Inbox discusses the difficulties of buying a first edition PlayStation 3, as a reader congratulates Sir Ian Livingstone.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Three questions
Happy New Year! Thanks for your preview of 2022, it’s shaping up to be a massive year. Splatoon 3 and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 are the big ones for me, with Elden Ring a close third. I’ve got questions about all three though. Are Splatoon and Zelda really going to be on the Switch? I’m very suspicious Nintendo are going to make them launch titles for either the Switch 2 or some form of Switch Pro, meaning I’d need to buy a new console.

It seems a weird point in the console cycle to release two such massive titles, when they would both work perfectly as killer apps. I wouldn’t necessarily mind Nintendo releasing something new but it’d be nice to have some warning to plan financially and know whether buying a PlayStation 5 this year is feasible or not.

Which brings me to Elden Ring. The big question for that game is whether I can wait or not. It’s quite hard at the moment, discerning whether to buy a game on the PlayStation 4 or wait until I get a PlayStation 5. With Resident Evil Village, for example, I’m going to pick it up cheap on PlayStation 4 as it seems like I’m not missing too much doing so. But with Elden Ring I feel like I want the uncompromised version, giving Miyazaki’s vision the best showcase. It’s going to be very hard not to cave though when all the (surely) glowing reviews come in. Oh well, one way or another we’re going to have some fantastic games to play this year!
Ryan O’D

GC: It’s Nintendo, so anything is possible. But despite the rampant Switch Pro rumours last summer there haven’t been many recently.

BC edition
Wow, who knew sourcing a PlayStation 3 could be so difficult? Well, specifically a PlayStation 3 that still plays PlayStation 2 games. After a good family Christmas, reminiscing about Buzz! (Yes, I know it was never that great but it was always a laugh) and not being able to hook the PlayStation 2 up to a modern TV to give it a run out, I’ve decided to instead find what I expected to be a cheap PlayStation 3.

I never owned a PlayStation 3, as I skipped Sony for that generation for the Xbox 360. Firstly, I didn’t realise how many different models of PlayStation 3 even existed, and secondly that only the very original models had the ability to play PlayStation 2 games from disc – the key tell sign being four USB ports instead of two, apparently. That then leads to reliability concerns over the yellow light of death; surely most of the consoles in circulation have been well used, so could be on borrowed time anyway.

I’m either gonna give up the hunt and forget about it till this time next year or make do with a much cheaper non-backwards compatible console and opt for the PlayStation 3 Buzz games. I was looking forward to dusting off some of my actual good PlayStation 2 games too though.

GC: It’s funny to think how much attitudes to backwards compatibility have changed in a relatively short period of time. Sony canned the feature early on, because they were upset people were buying PlayStation 2 versions of games instead of the more expensive PlayStation 3 ones.

Force yourself
I was glad to read Michael from Crawley’s recent Inbox for seeing someone else who felt about games the way I currently do. I’ve been really struggling to get into games for a while now, I’ve lost count of the amount of them I’ve started and lost interest in within half an hour. I’d put it down to pushing 40 and most AAA games becoming far too similar third person time sinks, but was beginning to wonder if there was another reason I couldn’t put my finger on.

The only game I am really looking forward to is Elden Ring and even then I really had to force myself to actually play the network test (which I’m glad I did in the end). By the time that’s released though it’ll be well over a year since I’ve had a game really grip me.

Now after the other letter at least I know it’s a more common rather than a me thing. Cheers for the continuing great work and Happy New year GC!

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

PlayStation 5 out of 5
I got a PlayStation 5 in July last year from Argos. It was the last one they had in stock. I have not been able to stop playing it. Sure, there are some games that are not worth buying, some I got with it are F1 2021 and Astro’s Playroom. I upgraded some PlayStation 4 games to PlayStation 5 for free, they play much better now. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a much better game on PlayStation 5, as well as Cyberpunk 2077.

Keep in mind I also bought a M2 SSD card, which cost more than the PlayStation 5 did. I bought one from Amazon. I’d give the PlayStation 5 a 5 stars out of 5 rating. Anyone moaning about the new gen consoles needs to wait for better games to come out, which is happening 28th January with Uncharted: Legacy, 18th February with Horizon Forbidden West, March for Gran Turismo 7 and GTA 5, and later in the year for God Of War Ragnarök

Call Of Duty Vanguard is the best Call Of Duty I have ever played. I played every single one of them. Happy New Year to everyone at GameCentral keep safe let’s hope for better 2022.
Neil Hughes, Birkenhead

Free read
Happy New Year to GameCentral and all it’s readers. Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I signed up to the PocketMags app in 2020 during lockdown and even though I haven’t spent any money with them on
Christmas Day, and over the past year, I have got three free digital issues of my choice from their selection for free and I chose a couple of issues of Retro Gamer and one issue of Stuff technology magazine.

I’ve not bought anything from them since setting up an account but I will do in the future. But there is no expectation from them for you to spend money.
Andrew J.
PS: Iratus Lord of the Dead is currently free on GOG.

Knight to remember
It’s great to hear the news that Ian Livingstone is receiving a knighthood for his hard work and contribution to gaming.

When you really think about it, he was always trying to push the envelope by any medium necessary to create an entertaining adventure for anyone who was keen enough to jump in feet first. Which by any standards in gaming, really has to be applauded and should be aspired to.

It was 1992; I was a spotty young teenager who loved his SNES and all the games on it but I did have a massive appetite for those Fighting Fantasy books. As the books where literally a tenth of the price of a new cartridge, I would always buy one while I was saving up for a new game.

I walked into WHSmith in Birmingham city centre (or as us Brummies like to call it ‘Town’) to pick up a new Fighting Fantasy book with my older sister. It was pretty quiet in there, although there did happen to be two guys sitting at a table not really doing anything. She said, ‘I’ve tried those books but I always seem to run out of stats and die’. I replied: ‘Cheat, no one’s going to know’.

Anyway, I was looking at the books deciding which one to buy, I glanced back over at the two guys sitting at the table and that’s when I realised it was Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, I recognised them because their pictures were always on the back of the books.

They were promoting number 50 in the series, which was Return to Firetop Mountain, hence I know the year. They must have heard me condoning cheating as I sure said it loud enough. Yet they never mentioned it and where thoroughly nice guys to meet and talk to.

I got them to sign number 50 for me and I thought what the heck and bought the first book too for them to sign, which was The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. I’ve still got those books with their signatures in. One of them reads ‘Zagors going to get you!’ Which I thought was really cool.

So there you have it, I once met a gaming legend albeit in a bit of a surreal random moment in my life. All in all though he was a lovely guy to meet and I’m really pleased for him on getting his knighthood.
freeway 77

Cost of buying
The only conclusion I can come to is either the reporting on NFT electricity usage is wrong or the whole industry will implode.

Some googling on how much electricity a single transaction costs results in various figures around 200kWh, which in the UK would cost about £38 (that’s probably gone up a bit in the last few months).

Now I understand that the likes of Ubisoft wouldn’t be paying for that (maybe), but a model where just the electricity to process a transaction costs £38 whenever someone buys a skin sounds like it has some serious issues.

Either way keep up the good work highlighting how bad they are for the environment.

GC: Newer versions of the technology claim to use less power, but this is disputed. Either way, your second assumption is probably, hopefully, correct.

Mild disappointment
My best gaming memory of 2021 is also associated with anguish. Returnal is the most memorable gaming experience of 2021. That game gave me pure dread and equal joy. I still loathe the nightmare Suicide Drones from biome 3. I would cower every time they appear. I appreciated the loops where they appeared less frequently but felt cursed when they were in nearly every room I entered.

Returnal stayed with me beyond finishing the game and it totally ruined Deathloop and made Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart seem so tame. The emotional ride the game takes you through can be overwhelming, it makes every action and decision you make matter, as there always can be a consequence.

Overall, 2020 was probably better than 2021. The Last Of Us 2, Ghost Of Tsushima, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake all released in 2020, within months of each other. I did replay the remasters and upgrades of those games, but 60fps games makes a huge difference and is one of my sought out features when looking at PlayStation 5 games.

To conclude, 2021 was a disappointing year but I wouldn’t say a bad year. When you look at 2022 with potential games such as God Of War Ragnarök, Horizon Forbidden West, Sifu, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2, Starfield, Elden Ring, Dying Light 2, and Gran Turismo 7. Some of these are big names with huge promise but they’ll be judged once they have been finished.

Inbox also-rans
Happy new year to everyone and here’s hoping 2022 will be a good one, in terms of both games and the wider world. I fear the inevitable flood of delays that are bound to be begin as soon as the news cycle restarts though.

Happy new year! Weird for Christmas for me though as I think my mum played more games over the break than I did, thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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 and content.

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