Games Inbox: Does The Matrix Awakens have the best graphics ever?

The Monday Inbox is unimpressed with the pre-rendered trailers of The Game Awards, as one reader looks forward to Slitterhead.

PLEASE NOTE: As we get our own Christmas and New Year content ready for the end of the year, please consider sending in your own festive Reader’s Feature to run over the Christmas break. It can be on any subject but if there’s something you’ve been meaning to write in about, but never got around to, now would be a good time for it.

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Having no interest in The Matrix movies I almost didn’t download The Matrix Awakens for the PlayStation 5, but free is free so I gave it a go and… wow! Those are easily the best graphics I’ve ever seen in anything. I realise it’s not actually a game, so a real game couldn’t afford to spend quite so many resources on the graphics, but it is staggering how much better it is than anything from the last gen.

My only question is why wasn’t this released at the same time as the PlayStation 5 launch? I know they didn’t have any trouble selling it anyway, but this would’ve set the hype even further into the stratosphere. For that matter why hasn’t the Xbox Series X got any equivalent? I guess that Hellblade 2 demo at The Game Awards was supposed to be it, but it was pretty boring and if that was live gameplay then I’m CEO of Activision (I’m not, but I hear the position may be opening up soon).

This seriously is the best graphics I’ve ever seen, and it gets me very excited for what things will look like towards the end of this generation and especially starting the next one. Presumably by that point things like The Matrix Awakens will be easy and photorealism will be almost as standard.

Ultimate team-up
I wasn’t really impressed by the Hellblade 2 trailer or any of the other big AAA announcements at The Game Awards. Not because I’m a grump but more that heavily edited footage posing as gameplay doesn’t wow me. What did however was The Matrix Awakens free tech demo. Something finally toppled the T-Rex PS1 demo at last.

The frame rate does occasionally tank it but as a free insight to what potentially awaits us in the next few years I couldn’t be more excited. Now all I want is Miyazaki and FromSoft to team up with Housemarque for their next game using Unreal Engine 5 and possibly set it in some Bloodborne style Lovecraftian nightmare, but have it retain the roguelike nature and Housemarque’s mastery of bullet hell chaos.

It’s not too much to ask for.

Breath of the Sonic
There’s no denying: Sonic Frontiers really does look like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild but, err… why? I get the idea that he needs a lot of space to do all the high-speed platforming but it seems like a really weird mix to me. I think Zelda and the last thing I think of is superfast jumping and combat.

Ordinarily I’d say that presumably the developer knows what they’re doing but this is Sonic Team so… yeah, they probably haven’t got a clue.

I’ll keep watching the game, because at least it seems to show them trying to do something new an ambitious but I will need a whole lot of convincing to believe this is anything but another major disappointment. Not only that but one that doesn’t understand the series or how it work.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

VR spectacle
Been gaming on VR for a year now on PlayStation VR. Loving the immersion. I’m near sighted so I require visual corrections to see the world in HD. The thing is that I initially played with contact lenses. I was apprehensive to do so when I was approaching low supplies of the aforementioned. I played it eye naked. I thought that the short distance from lens to eye would not be a problem.

It actually was and even though I had essentially two different screens welded to my eyes, it was the same petroleum jelly on my eyes. Fascinating. Luckily the headset is accommodating for spectacles albeit a lot for care putting on the headset but it’s worth it. Is it just me?

One other thing GC: I’ve looked at your release schedules and there is no mention of Advance Wars for Switch. I’ve pre-ordered but when are we going to see it? Even in the old days, you would acknowledge the existence of a game even if there was no release date in your forecast. Thanks for your content and wishing you and all readers a lovely Christmas and good health.
D Dubya

GC: We’ve never listed games in the release schedule unless they have a specific release date, and sadly Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp does not – just sometime next spring.

Kids and weirdos
Great Reader’s Feature about cheating in cross-play games. I didn’t even know mandatory cross-play was a thing. I struggle understanding human behaviour at the best of times, but I really don’t get why someone would cheat in a multiplayer game.

I mean, the feeling of victory must be pretty hollow and unearned? And what about all the people they’re annoying with it? Or is that part of the ‘fun’? I assume it’s just kids and weirdos who don’t know any better.

More than a logo
It seems the verdict on this year’s The Game Award is a solid okay-ish from most people, which I’d go along with. My favourite reveals were not the big name ones but Slitterhead, from the maker of Silent Hill, and Nightingale. I thought these were much more interesting than yet another sequel or remake. Especially as they actually showed something of the games instead of just basically a logo.

I feel I’m kind of done with sequels and things like Alan Wake 2 and Hellblade 2 seems so unnecessary and redundant. The Hellblade 2 one doesn’t even make sense. I thought the whole gods and hell thing was just in her head? But now it’s real and they have to fight them like a boss battle? Or is she just dreaming all these allies that are apparently happy to sacrifice their lives fighting some crawling half-dead monster that is surely no threat to them?

I just don’t care, not compared to the idea of new games with new ideas. Even the Star Trek and Star Wars games looked more interesting than most to me, as they seemed to be doing something different with their IP/creating the sort of game that really should have always been there.

Who knows how these games will turn out but I know which ones have caught my eye straight off.

Award-winning multiplayer
Can I just say a massive well done to the It Takes Two team at Hazelight Studios.

Finished the game last night with my best mate and we both agreed, it was in the top 10 game experiences we have ever had. So innovative and although a simple story, really effective.

Thanks GameCentral and everyone involved for great honest reviews and info.

Not actual footage
So, The Game Awards was a bit disappointing, eh? There were a few good things but nothing worth hyping out and I’m very glad I didn’t stay up to see it. What gets me is how so many of the adverts – sorry, trailers – are just pre-rendered scenes that have no gameplay in them or basically just a logo. Why?

I can understand if work has only just started but Monolith Productions haven’t made a new game in four years, so are you seriously telling me they have done so little work on their Wonder Woman game that they’ve got nothing to show for it? Ditto Alan Wake 2, which Remedy has been talking about for over a decade, and Sonic Frontiers which has also been in development for many years.

If it’s a Covid thing I could understand it but it’s always like this with previews in general but The Game Awards in particular. E3 can be the same but it’s usually not as bad. Just about the only thing I would classify as an actual preview was Hellblade 2, which was unfortunately fairly dull.

That’s how I would prefer for these games to be show, because at least it’s something real that the developer has made rather than some pre-rendered animation by a completely different company that probably has no idea what the game is like.

Inbox also-rans
That Star Wars: Eclipse trailer looked great but a) it’s by Quantic Dream and b) it’s two or three years out? So how did they find to make that, obviously pre-rendered, trailer? If they’d skipped that they could’ve been six month ahead of schedule!

It might sound odd to make Master Chief not the focus of the Halo TV show but I can see why that was the original idea, given how little he ever says. Is he suddenly going to be super chatty in the new version of the show or are we just going to have lots of jabbering from Cortana that he gives one word answers to?

This week’s Hot Topic
With The Game Awards being the last major reveal event of the year, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks what new game you’re most looking forward to… and what unannounced title you’re still hoping for.

What confirmed game are you most anticipating, regardless of when it’s due to be released, and why are you excited about it? What new game are you most hoping will be announced in the future (especially if it’s already rumoured), whether it’s a sequel, remake, or new game from a developer that hasn’t released anything in a while?

How excited do you get about games that are still months or years away and do you prefer to know about a game as soon as possible or only when there’s a lot to show?

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.

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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