The Thursday letters page thinks Activision will be put to work on Halo, as one reader looks forward to the next fake Switch 2 leak.
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Value for money
With the Activision Blizzard takeover now looking like a certainty I can’t help but wonder whether it’s money well spent for Microsoft. The story on Wednesday, about Call Of Duty and Overwatch 2 both seeing a decline in players, is no surprise to me, as the buzz around both games seems to be nothing but resentment and disappointment.
Overwatch 2 is basically dead, as far as I’m concerned, and while Call Of Duty still has millions of players I think it’s only the lack of direct competition that’s stopping it from doing even worse. Fortnite and Apex Legends are a different audience, but if Sony were to try and create a new rival to it, I think it could easily do very well (just don’t try and revive SOCOM, nobody cares about that).
Call Of Duty has been going for 20 years and it’s starting to show. Most other paid-for first person shooters have faded away, including Halo, and Call Of Duty is really the last one hanging on. The Modern Warfare games are the only ones people have liked recently and it sounds like Modern Warfare 3 is going to be a hack job, so even that will probably be ruined soon too.
I’m sure the new Zelda game this year is the Wii U remasters but I’d really like to see Nintendo do more remakes of the top-down games. The Minish Cap was mentioned recently, which was a good one, but the holy grail is A Link To The Past.
A remake in the style of Link’s Awakening would be great, as far as I’m concerned. And would help keep the game in the public eye, as I’m sure many younger gamers have never heard of it and don’t know to look out for it on Nintendo Switch Online, which is now the only place to legally get it.
With Tears Of The Kingdom there’s no real reason for it this year, which is one of the reasons I don’t expect it, but I think it’d be a great release for next year. Although I guess maybe that will be when then DLC is coming?
OK for free
I’ve been playing Exoprimal on Game Pass and you’re right, it’s… okay. I don’t feel my time is being wasted playing it but I can tell I’m going to get tired of it pretty soon. I do like the way that random story elements can appear in what you think is going to be an ordinary match, and the Capcom style wackiness is quite fun, but at the end of the day it’s a pretty generic team-based shooter, in terms of the actual gameplay.
I’m not sure what Capcom ever really expected out of it, but maybe it was meant to be practice for other online shooters and live service games. Although considering the is only free on Game Pass I really think they’ve missed their pitch.
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I’ve just read your excellent EA Sports FC 24 preview and it does sound like EA are adding some decent new features.
However, I’m currently playing NHL 20 and some of the features are already included in their annual hockey game – and maybe even previous versions.
You can pin three different gameplay modes to the main menu with all the other options beneath. I use franchise (the career mode equivalent), Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT), and the Threes mode (you guessed it, a 3v3 game mode). So, pinning Career Mode, FUT, and Pro Club Seasons in FC24 would be useful.
Later on in the series in NHL 23, female players were added to HUT and they also have the evolving player cards you mentioned. I find the HUT mode a lot more user friendly than FUT was and so it is good to see EA finally taking inspiration from their other sports titles.
I am always amazed by the efforts people put into fakes but these new Switch 2 ones are incredible. They look highly professional and yet are so obviously fake it’s hard to understand why the person took so much time on it. They even made a box and manual for it but the fact that it has absolutely no new games is such a red flag it’s actually funny.
I can only assume that means the creator didn’t really want to trick anyone but were just having a bit of fun. Let’s see what happens with the next fake and whether that will actually trick people.
Bet on it
With the recent news about Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard all but certain to go through, I am left wondering how they will maximise the strategic value of their acquisition.
To me it seems the obvious solution would be to get them on Halo. Microsoft have already expressed the idea that Call Of Duty will be biannual in the future so what better way to utilise their talented teams than get them on Halo? The Call Of Duty campaigns are interesting in terms of gameplay diversity and action – mix in the Halo lore and it could be a winner.
Not to mention the obvious: how compelling the Call Of Duty PvP can be.
I’ll put a bet down now that we see a Halo game made by Activision by 2028. You heard it here first…!
PS: Any Xbox Diablo 4 players with an active chilled clan, please invite me – I can’t find any open clans! Nebutronical is my gamertag. Thanks!
GC: It’s not the craziest bet we’ve ever heard.
Wish this Activision Blizzard takeover would hurry up.
Been wanting to buy some of the early Call Of Duties on Xbox store for ages now – even at discounted prices – for nostalgia, but figured they’ll all be free on my Game Pass subscription the second the deal goes through.
Maybe I’ll spend £7 for Call Of Duty 2 and it’ll jinx the deal through.
Competition and Markets
So, the Activision saga is finally over, bar some final concessions in the UK to allow everyone to save face, thank god.
I must admit I’ve always been a bit on the fence over the deal but I do find it strange that the only people (including many gamers) that seem to have understood the deal is the CMA.
After the deal is finally signed Sony will still dominate the home console market, but Microsoft will certainly grab a fair bit of market share over the coming years from them, so ultimately there is nothing on that side to prevent the deal from going through and all Sony’s complaining was all about their dominance rather than Microsoft’s, which paints them badly. Especially with the reveals of the things we already knew, like paid exclusivity of Final Fantasy and banning titles from Game Pass.
Every reveal painted Microsoft in a bad light too, with them bending the truth so much it now looks like spaghetti. Interesting to see everything they say in private is just what gamers believed anyway, over all their gamer friendly PR of, ‘We hate exclusives.’
The worry of the CMA, and it is right to worry, is the large boost this deal will do to Microsoft’s presence in the streaming field. Although Microsoft are telling the truth when they say that it’s a very small and niche area of gaming, this doesn’t change them now having laid the foundation to be in a very dominant position when it does take off. Hopefully these final concessions won’t be so fixated on one game and put meaningful protections in place to allow this side of gaming a little more open.
My biggest surprise out of all of this is why Microsoft haven’t gone for a cake and eat it route and say Call Of Duty won’t be on Game Pass for the first six months, so everyone will just have to buy the disc/digital version day one, because those executives at Sony need to be kept happy. Surely this would generate income more in line with film, where there is always a double bite of the cherry and watch the money roll in.
irve77 (gamertag/PSN ID)
I love to see a Zelda game being the best-seller of the year. Makes me think people do have good taste after all, and I really wish it encouraged other developers to make their puzzles actually hard.
Five days of early access on Starfield for £100? That is pretty scammy if you ask me. So much for everyone just playing it on Game Pass.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Marbon, who asks what is your favourite type of role-playing game?
With Final Fantasy 16 just out, and Starfield set to be one of the biggest games of the year, the role-playing genre is as popular as ever, but few people enjoy all the many different types. It’s not just a case of Western and Japanese style role-players, with many other sub-genres, including action role-players, tactical role-players, and variants like dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, and massively multiplayer online games.
Which do you enjoy the most and which particular game do you think is the best example of its type? Which sub-genre do you wish was more prevalent and how would you like to see it evolve in the future?
Please note: Due to an error, the above Hot Topic description only ran on a limited number of days last week, so we’re re-running it this week. If you’ve already written in there’s no need to do so again, as we’ll use your letter this weekend.
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