Games Inbox: What is the best video game story?

The Last Of Us Remastered – one hell of a story (Photo: Sony)

Friday inbox is curious about Io Interactive James Bond, as a reader tries to understand Sony’s attitude towards Days Gone.

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The best of us
I have two thoughts on the remake of The Last Of Us. On the one hand, it seems like a waste of time for Naughty Dog. Even if they were just spinning their wheels, couldn’t they have made an indie game or something like that? Remember when Polyphony Digital created Omega Boost between two of the Gran Turismos? But I understand that Sony wants to show the game (and no doubt make a super expensive double box set) for the TV series.

What I want most from Naughty Dog is a brand new game, not a multiplayer spin-off, as I’ve never found Factions very interesting. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the best storytellers in the video game and the reason I’m not against the remake is because I think it’s their best work and the best story the game has ever told.

Part 2 comes right after, but for me the first game is more compact, better paced, and has more similar characters. It’s so good I don’t even know what even his closest rival would be. Red Dead Redemption 2 is even more bloated, The Walking Dead barely counts as a game, and Bioshock is just too old now. I’d say the only real comparisons are Naughty Dog and God Of War’s own Uncharted series.

Sony certainly has a lock on this type of storytelling, with God Of Tsushima being good as well, but for me The Last Of Us is still the best by far.

Signs of improvement
So how good do we expect Horizon Forbidden West to be? I think everyone would agree that it was a competent game with amazing graphics, but looking back on it I wouldn’t say it was a classic. The action was pretty shallow, and the characters were very boring (which was especially boring as the backstory was actually great).

So will the sequel be more the same or will Guerrilla be able to make a game that plays as well as it looks? I have no idea, obviously, but I find it interesting how much emphasis Sony has put on them lately – more than Naughty Dog and they made the head of Guerrilla the head of Worldwide Studios.

All of this despite the fact that I wouldn’t say they’ve made a top-notch game yet. I know some will disagree and say Horizon Zero Dawn, but I think it was more than amazing. My question is how much better the sequel will be, but with no real preview to judge, I guess we won’t know until it’s released.

Games of the year
I wasn’t able to play the Elden Ring Network Test, but from everything I’ve seen and read it seems to live up to Dark Souls’ reputation and more. It’s already the favorite to be the game of the year but what chance is there, I wonder, that it’s the game of the generation or of all time?

It sounds strange to say, but Dark Souls won the Golden Joysticks award for best game of all time, so why not Elden Ring? So far I haven’t heard any real negatives, so I really hope FromSoftware manages to pull this one out of the park.

What if Zelda: Breath Of The World 2 comes out this year? We could potentially have two top contenders in a row! I really hope 2022 delivers, whatever game turns out to be the best, as the latter have been patchy at best. I have a good feeling that will be the turn.

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No time for the formula
I saw No Time To Die at Christmas and most of all enjoyed it. The first half was good but it got very derivative in the end, to the point that they didn’t even bother to give the villain any real motivation or a real plan. Who exactly was he trying to kill in the end? If they ever said I missed it, everyone was watching it with me too.

What I mean is what Io Interactive is going to do exactly with their new Bond game. Movies are super stereotypical, so are they just going to try and copy that for games? This is the approach taken by EA games and while it worked well back then I’m not sure it would fly today.

And yet, if they try to make a more serious, stealthy game like Hitman, won’t that lose all of Bond’s tone and atmosphere? It’s a difficult thing to do properly and I’m curious to see what they come up with.

New management
I read that one of the Playground Games co-founders left recently and although he didn’t say why it seems like he only ever really worked on racing games, and with the studio now making Fable, it seems pretty obvious why it might want to quit now.

The obvious question to me is what’s happening to Forza Horizon now? It’s Microsoft’s most consistent franchise, but who’s going to get it right now? They didn’t say anything which I find a little strange because people are worried and it’s not like it’s any secret that there will be a Forza Horizon 6.

I would feel a lot happier to know that Playground was still involved because there aren’t many other racing developers around that I would trust.
Lord Crufts

Three bad letters
Happy New Year everyone.
One thing I have done this year is block NFT letters from my social media timelines. It’s incredible. Almost as if they didn’t exist. I would highly recommend everyone to do this and experience a world of peace and love – well maybe not, but at least I have nothing to hear about this misery.

As an added precaution, the GameCentral team may be able to include a disclaimer in any article that mentions them. I think I speak for the whole community when I say that people stupid enough to waste their money on them have fun and the rest of us exist in peaceful oblivion.

CG: This is not about “stupid” people, it is about encouraging the young and the most vulnerable to spend money on worthless and harmful DLC for the environment.

Variably bad
I’m really happy that on every occasion you mention how bad NFTs are for the environment, but think you should add some context to the amount of power they actually use for a single transaction.

The first few times I read your negative comments, I thought that the game in general is not particularly environmentally friendly. Having servers sitting there and consuming power just so someone can randomly play a nine-year-old multiplayer game with their friends at one point is awful, if you think about it. But it wasn’t until I took the trouble to research that I realized that by bad you meant that one transaction equals one month of average household electricity use or 100 000 Visa transactions!

It’s a whole new level and a whole different meaning for the term high energy consumption. Maybe in future articles you could reference what “high” really means and help raise awareness.

CG: We’ll be specific where we can, but the energy uses of countless different currencies and technologies vary widely, with the most recent claiming to have solved the problem entirely – although most independent sources dispute that.

I can’t help but be sorry for the developers of Days Gone. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the game, but it’s at least as good as God Of Tsushima, which is actually just Assassin’s Creed in Japan. At least Days Gone has some quirky ideas and isn’t just a direct copy of another game.

This seems to confirm that what interests Sony most with their exclusives is the prestige. It’s not so much the sales as the reputation they bring to their consoles and the PlayStation brand in general. This is something Nintendo has understood all along and Sony only really took care of it with the PlayStation 4 generation.

Microsoft practically abandoned proprietary games at the end of the Xbox 360 generation, and it is evident that only Sony’s success, and its failure, was a game-changer. But again, it wasn’t about sales. Microsoft clearly doesn’t care about the money with anything to do with Xbox, they want to be seen as a gamer and they’ve realized that has to include some quality exclusives.

From this point of view, one can understand the logic of Sony, even if it seems hard for the developers. Days Gone was a decent game, but it didn’t do anything for the prestige of the PlayStation, it never made it to the Game of the Year lists and the reviews were poor. In that sense, it was of no use to Sony and I understand.
And me

Inbox also works
So the three big cheerleaders of the NFT are Ubisoft, EA and Konami? Funny that this also coincides with the three hated / least creative publishers in the business… Weird, eh?

CG: To be fair, EA hasn’t announced an NFT yet – they just said they’re interested. Square Enix has done everything possible.

Am I the only one who doesn’t like Wordle? I hate that he doesn’t give any clues about the repeated letters. I missed two because of that and it puts me off.

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The small print
New inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic inboxes on weekends. Letters from the Readers are used on merit and are subject to change in terms of length and content.

You can also submit your own 500-600 word reading feature at any time, which, if used, will be posted in the next available weekend slot.

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