Games Inbox: Will the next gen Xbox be the most powerful console?

The evening Inbox wonders if there’s any truth to Rocksteady’s Outlaws rumours, as one reader has already been put off Mortal Kombat 11.

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It’s a trap

So now that we have an idea of what the spec is for the PlayStation 5, giving Microsoft plenty of time to prepare their own, are we assuming that the Xbox Two will definitely be more powerful? It seems so obvious that Phil Spencer would’ve let the Xbox One be so underpowered and I’d be willing to bet a substantial amount of somebody else’s money that the new Xbox will be super powerful.

But if that’s obvious to me then it must be obvious to Sony as well, so I wonder what their logic is behind given Microsoft such a helping hand. I’d like to think they’re not simply so arrogant that think it doesn’t matter and they have no competition, but maybe they’re trying to tempt Microsoft into making a machine that’s too expensive. Although that seems like a bit of a long shot.

Maybe they’re actually lying about the specs, and are lulling Microsoft into a false sense of security, and will then one-up them once they’ve announced? I hope it’s something excitingly elaborate like because it gets boring watching companies make nothing but stupid mistakes. Whatever happens though I definitely think Microsoft should aim to have the most powerful console, always.


Last minute changes

Nice review of Mortal Kombat 11, GC. All the more so because the complaints you had are exactly what NetherRealm has announced they’re going to change. What exactly they’re going to do remains to be seen, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the whole thing with the Towers of Time was fudged to make you want to buy microtransactions.

Maybe Warner thought they could get away with it if the rest of the game was good but the fact that they’ve been so un-subtle about it has kind of given the game away and it sounds like they’re going to rebalance things and make it easier to beat them without any modifiers.

It’s already put me off the game though. I thought they’d learnt their lesson with Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War but I don’t want to play a game where everything has been designed to fleece me for small change. If nothing else, suddenly changing that at the last minute, when it’s such an important part of your game, does not inspire confidence that the thing has been well tested and balanced. Maybe they’ll learn to sort things out for Mortal Kombat 12.
Purple Ranger


Take your time

I am fine with Uncharted 5 for a long while. I’m already upset that Naughty Dog did The Last Of Us Part II and think it would be a terrible waste if they went from that to yet another unnecessary sequel. In the last 14 years they’ve only worked on two different franchises and that seems like a terrible waste to me.

Besides, I’d say it is obvious who the new protagonist should be and you’d have to wait at least another five years or so until that was viable. I’m totally fine with that. Come back when people are hungry for me, not while they’re wishing you’d go and do something else.

I’m curious to see what Uncharted would look like on the PlayStation 5 but I’m in now rush. Let the new tech mature and then make the best sequel possible. Nobody needs Uncharted to become a yearly franchise.


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Totally guessable

I was looking at that Outlaws stuff at the weekend too, the rumours about what Rocksteady are working on now. As you say, one of the main leaks was proven to be false but there’s another big one that hasn’t yet. The basic idea seems to be that you play as Batman, Green Arrow, and a bunch of other vigilante superheroes – street level guys instead of Superman or Wonder Woman.

It’s all very vague about the gameplay but it definitely is a game as a service title and it sounds like it’s trying to be a loot shooter, except without actual shooting. It sounds a pretty good idea for a game to me, to be honest, and I wonder whether the truth is actually still pretty close to it.

I have my doubts as to whether it’s a leak but the concept is something you could come up with knowing Rocksteady are working on a Destiny style game (as per previous rumours) and that it’s a DC game. Even the name Outlaws is guessable if you know your comic books. I’m going to guess it’s either true or the reality is very similar.


Currying favour

I wonder if BioWare would consider a remake of Dragon Age Origins as a way to get themselves back in the good graces of fans? There’s always been a lot of talk about Mass Effect remasters, but those games have been re-released a few times and yet I don’t think Origins ever has. The more strategic combat may have put EA off but it’d please fans to be reminded of it and maybe make it easier for the new game to have something similar.

I worry that BioWare are on the precipice here and their next game has to be a hit, either critically or commercially. A remake, to me, seems like the easiest and more reliable way to do that, then build out from there.

It’s a shame about Anthem but it was obvious that game was a dud from very early on and I think BioWare need to cut their loses and get onto something else ASAP.


The Marvel formula

I think it’s a good point about the lack of jokes in most video games. Plenty of games try to be funny but the number of actual decent jokes – the sort of thing you can repeat to friends and reminiscence about – are tiny.

When you see a good action movie, even a relatively serious one, the best bit is often accompanied by a one-liner or some kind of joke but I can’t think of that ever being pulled of successfully for games.

Avengers: Endgame is just about to earn a quadrillion dollars and apparently it’s filled with jokes too, despite starting from a very sombre story point. The Marvel movies have made a science out of having both action, drama, and jokes and it’s a lesson that games have never got close to understanding.

One of the few exceptions is Uncharted and there you can see what a difference it makes. If you take out Nate’s sense of humour (and the amazing graphics) you’re left with a pretty mediocre third person shooter with mostly on-the-rails platforming. But it’s dialogue and sense of humour elevate it to something else. Tomb Raider does everything the same or better but it seems like a slog in comparison precisely because it’s so dreary and humourless.
Ashton Marley


Think harder

What I don’t understand about the datamining for fighting game DLC, etc. is why, when they finally realise the need to use codenames, do they still give them names you can guess at? Instead of calling Joker ‘Jack’ why not just make his codename ‘Flitzenburger’ or some other nonsense. They obviously knew the problem but by trying to be clever still let the game away.

It’s always disappointing when news leaks out in such an underwhelming way and I wish publishers care a bit more about keeping their secrets.


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Horribly good idea

Wasn’t it just last week that a reader was asking for a Terminator game based on the original film? A playable character in Mortal Kombat isn’t exactly the same thing, but that is a hell of coincidence. Inbox magic sure is some powerful mojo.

That aside, I’m surprised that NetherRealm hasn’t tried to do a full-on horror game yet. They’ve had Freddy, Jason, Alien, Predator, and sound like Ash in Mortal Kombat already so you’re already halfway there to a sort of Super Smash Bros. for horror icons.

I’d imagine it still playing a lot like Mortal Kombat, so maybe it’d be too similar to be bothering with but I imagine all these cameos are both annoying Mortal Kombat fans that want more of their characters and putting off horror fans that don’t want to play Mortal Kombat. They could do the same with comic book characters too, given the inclusion of the Turtles, Hellboy, and now Spawn.

Although maybe if they didn’t want a Mortal Kombat clone they could do an update of the old Splatterhouse games. Those were sort of scrolling beat ‘em-ups featuring a lot of off-brand horror characters. Make it official and you could really have something new and interesting!


Inbox also-rans

Still can’t believe Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t have any proper tutorials. How does Mortal Kombat do accessibility better than a Nintendo game?

RE: Mega Drive Mini, surely Herzog Zwei should be included?
Sootie607 (PSN ID)


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what old game has aged the worst?

Going back to a much-loved video game can often be a traumatising experience, as something you remember as being amazing is revealed to have aged less than gracefully, but what’s your worst experience with an old title?

Was the problem the old-fashioned graphics, the controls, or gameplay that seems too simplistic or unfair nowadays? What still works about the game and is there a modern equivalent that does the same sort of things but better?

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