Games Inbox: GTA 6 leak disappointment

The Wednesday letters page has little sympathy for leakers that don’t check their sources, as one reader looks forward to Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

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First impressions
I’m just going to come out and say it: that GTA 6 leak made the game look terrible. I know it’s all early stuff, but the graphics aren’t what I’m talking about. If someone leaked 30 minutes of footage from GTA 6, including its source code, I’d expect a bigger revelation than ‘you can lay on the ground to shoot’ or ‘we copied and pasted some hunting stuff from Red Dead Redemption 2’.

There should be something, some hint at a new idea or direction, but I’m getting nothing. The whole thing could easily pass for GTA 5 and, again, I’m not talking in terms of the graphics but in terms of the things you do, which are apparently the same as always.

I know it’s GTA and this is just what GTA looks like but it all seems so unexciting. I’m sure it’ll still sell a billion copies anyway, because who doesn’t want GTA 5 but slightly better, but to me this was a very disappointing reveal/leak.

If I was Rockstar I’d release an official trailer as soon as possible and set out their stall at the moment, because at the moment it really doesn’t seem like they’re aiming very high at all.

Call of optimism
I’ll probably make me seem deeply uncool but I’m really looking forward to Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Everyone hated Vanguard but it seems to me that the new game is looking really good. It’s modern day, they’re giving Zombies a rest, and they’re not held back by Warzone because there’s a new one coming out.

The word from the beta seems to be mostly positive, so I’m officially stoked. Considering the mess that Battlefield is in at the moment, military shooters are getting quite rare nowadays. Everything’s just hero shooters and kids’ stuff at the moment and that’s not really my thing.

I’ll wait for the reviews, but I would be very surprised if Modern Warfare 2 wasn’t both a critical and a commerical success and the best in the series for at least a decade.

The long wait
I’m struggling to understand what benefit a detachable disc drive has for a console but I’m assuming it’s the only way that Sony could resize the PlayStation 5. It doesn’t sound like it’ll make much difference though and so the wait continues for the PlayStation 5 not to be the ugliest console ever made.

I get that the size of it is out of their control (although Microsoft seems to have coped much better with the Xbox Series X) but I wish they’d just admit that the thing is ugly beyond imagining and redesign it. It’s happened before with lots of other consoles, including PlayStation ones, but I get the feeling Sony are too proud to admit a mistake and we’re going to be stuck with that twisted monstrosity for ever.

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Take my money
A single-player Iron Man game by the people that made Star Wars: Squadrons and Guardians Of The Galaxy? Yep, I’m sold. Where do I pre-order?

But seriously, I already have very high hopes for this and I’m glad that EA has seen the light with single-player games. Especially given the same developer is also working on the Dead Space remake.

People will probably talk about the robot suits in Anthem, and they were obviously inspired by Iron Man, but the most important thing to get right is Tony Stark himself. You’d think Robert Downey Jr. was irreplaceable but I actually thought Josh Keaton in Iron Man VR did a really good job, better than Nolan North in the Avengers game.

Match that with a good script and you could easily have a game as good as Spider-Man. I just hope they have some of his weirder enemies in the game, like Big Wheel and Living Laser.

The secret to success
I think it’s hilarious EA thinking that the Activision Blizzard acquisition is good news for them. ‘If Call Of Duty magically disappears then everyone will want to play our game again!’ Nobody wants to play Battlefield! The reason 2042 was a flop wasn’t because people were busy playing Call Of Duty but because 2042 was sucked.

It’s amazing to me how so many publishers just don’t get it: make a good game, people will buy it. Names and franchises are important up to a degree but being a great game that you can play with your friends, that’s far more important to these sort of games.

I mean, why do you think Apex Legends was successful, for example? It sure wasn’t because it was a spin-off from Titanfall, it was because it was fun to play. That’s all the matters.

You know the bit
I’m not too surprised to find that Capcom are bringing the Winters storyline to a swift end in Resident Evil Village’s DLC. The new love for third person seemed very suspicious and I’m sure they probably are thinking that they want to follow-up the remakes rather than Village, which I think most people liked less.

I didn’t mind Village but for me it had three main problems: it wasn’t scary, it wasn’t funny, and it was too much of a straight action games. There was that bit that was frightening but that was really all, which was because of the fact that there was too much action and too much of the rest of it was kind of over familiar Resident Evil tropes.

The stuff that was new was generally good and I think that should be the lesson for Resident Evil 9. The problem of it not being funny is because the script is no longer the product of bad translations but just American writers trying to make it vaguely sound that way. It doesn’t work and seems fakey and try-hard, unlike the innocent absurdity of the old games.

I’m perfect fine with them bringing back Leon, Jill, and the others for the next game but I hope there’s an attempt to give them proper personalities. They’re still basically just costumes and names, and nothing more. One of the few failings of the remakes is that they didn’t address this and I assume that means Capcom don’t see it as an issue.

Hype deflation
I can see why Rockstar are so upset by that GTA 6 leak because it do not paint the game in a very good light at all. We all know that was nowhere near finished but it was all so underwhelming it’s got to significantly damage the hype for the game, especially for people that don’t really pay attention to games that much.

If Rockstar end up throwing the book at the hacker I won’t blame them. This leaker culture has got out of control and it’s ruining game reveals and all the hard work people put into them.
Frenzied Flame

Old-fashioned reveal
I really haven’t got much sympathy for this Jeff Grubb guy, apologising for getting the Zelda remaster rumour wrong. I mean, according to him the one thing he forgot to double-check was a Nintendo rumour? You know Nintendo – who absolutely no one ever gets right in predicting. That’s some grade-A incompetence for someone who’s bread and butter is leaking game news.

And then what does he do in the same breath? Immediately make a claim for another remaster that I have a great deal of trouble believing is true. I can’t think of a single time Nintendo announced a Christmas game this late in the year and, as GC pointed out, it makes no sense anyway, as the whole point of a remaster like that is to get people in the mood for the new game. And that’s not likely to happen for two years or so.

I feel that the whole factory of leaks and rumours has got out of control. Not in the sense that they’re inaccurate – most are on the money – but in that they’re sapping all the fun out of the reveal and making things harder for the developers.

If we did have E3 nowadays I don’t think it would work anyway, as we’d know about everything beforehand, via a drip feed of out of focus screenshots, 10 second videos, and second-hand descriptions. I much preferred it when publishers would take to the stage and roll a trailer but that seems almost quaint and old-fashioned compared to what we get today.

Inbox also-rans
With all these rumours and leaks at the moment why have we still not heard about XCOM 3? It’s literally the only one from the Nvidia leak that hasn’t been proven true yet and it’s the one I wanted the most!

Nice review of Roadwarden, I’m definitely going to pick that up given the price. Great to see such an old fashioned style of game make a comeback and yet still stay in touch with its roots.

This week’s Hot Topic
After last weekend’s Inbox about favourite fantasy video games this week’s asks the related question: what’s your favourite sci-fi game?

It can be a licensed game if you want but try to also include a game that started in video games. How big a fan of science fiction are you in general, and how much of a distinction do you make between relatively grounded settings and space fantasy?

Do you feel there are too many or too few sci-fi games at the moment and what kind of games would you like to see more of, including specific genres like space combat simulators and sci-fi horror?

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The small print
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