The morning Inbox picks over the weekend’s Star Wars news and asks for the return of Kyle Katarn, as one reader talks up Oculus Quest.
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Force the future
I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels a bit of a fool at the moment, after getting drawn into the hype for Star Wars yet again – despite being stung far more times than I’ve bene rewarded. I was relatively impressed by the Episode IX trailer but still very wary after the last two, terrible movies.
I was actually more excited by the footage of The Mandalorian TV series, which you can easily find online if you search for it (I imagine GC aren’t allowed to link to it). It looks really good and centres on the criminal side of Star Wars which was always my favourite and after the failure of Solo something I worried they wouldn’t go back to.
On visuals alone it looks perfect for a game but I’m not sure it’ll get a direct tie-in as it’d be old news by the time one could come out. I know EA aren’t exactly rushing anyway but I think Fallen Order points the way to the majority of the games: not tie-ins to existing parts of Star Wars but stories in their own right. That makes sense to me as it means they don’t have to rush a deadline and they can make stuff up themselves just to suit the gameplay.
I’d have more confidence if it wasn’t anyone but EA but Respawn are a great developer, so here’s hoping it does well and encourages more games like that and less like Battlefront.
Kyle Katarn will not return?
Liked what I saw so far of the new Star Wars game. Respawn hasn’t made a bad game yet and they’re the people behind the best Call Of Duty games, so I think that’s a really good fit (much better than DICE) although I would’ve said more for the military side of the mythos rather than Jedi but I’ll take it.
Not much to really go on from the trailer, other than it does look and sound like a mix of The Force Unleashed and The Clone Wars. God Of War III seems a pretty good match for the gameplay too: not as complicated as Devil May Cry or Bayonetta but still pretty involved and enjoyable. I trust these guys.
The only thing I’d like to see though is brining back Kyle Katarn. They can’t just say he excited like he used to, because Rogue One has overwritten his story now but they can still bring back the character and give him a slightly different role. I’d love to see it, him and his ship were one of the coolest things about the old Star Wars game.
With all the Star Wars hype at the moment I wonder whether Nintendo will have a role in it all? They haven’t got any games lined up at the moment, which is perhaps not surprising given how badly they’ve always go on with EA. But they were very close to Lucasfilm during the N64 era and Star Wars always seemed a good fit for the Nintendo audience to me.
They got a Marvel game exclusive to Switch so maybe they’ll get a Star Wars game as well? Obviously not anything as epic as the big budget ones but maybe at least remasters of Pod Racer or Rogue Squadron? I’d love that and it seems like something feasible that wouldn’t require too much effort or any of EA’s internal studios.
Any effort often seems like too much for those guys though, so it probably still won’t happen. Just one more reason to wish EA didn’t have the Star Wars licence.
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Last hope racer
I really wish I was writing in to sing the praised of Dangerous Driving but I have to admit that it has been a bit of a disappointment. Thankfully my expectations were lessened by GC’s review but all my memories of Burnout 3 were sadly sullied by a game that the feels cheap, empty, and not even particularly fast. I mean, it’s fine, it’s not terrible but it’s so far from what I was hoping for I’m really quite upset.
Hopefully it’s successful anyway and they get more money to make the next one but I think the only real chance now is a new Ridge Racer. It’s the only remaining arcade racer with anything like a big name and there’s the PlayStation 5 coming up…
If Sony could convince Bandai Namco to make a new one for the launch, just like they used to, I’d be over the moon. I know there were rumours of a Switch reboot but that obvious never materialised and I’d rather have state-of-the-art graphics anyway. It could be our last hope!
So Mortal Kombat 11 is on course to be a huge hit, unlike pretty much every other fighting game sequel lately. Isn’t it odd that it’s the one that focuses the least on eSports and has the best story mode? I don’t mean odd in a bad way but odd in the fact that that’s what everyone focuses on and it doesn’t seem to do them any good.
Obvious the other half of the appeal is the gore, and I really don’t want to encourage some kind of gore one-upmanship in games trying to out-gross each other, but it’s telling what really sells when it comes to fighting games and what doesn’t.
When Capcom start thinking about Street Fighter VI maybe they should bear that in mind? I agree with the idea that they should revamp their fighting game line-up starting with Marvel Vs. Capcom 4 though. That seems like the only thing that could be as big as Mortal Kombat right now.
Peak video game
I’ve had many great VR experiences on my Oculus Rift over the past couple of years but my two favourites have to be Beat Saber and Robo Recall.
Beat Saber was the game that persuaded my better half to let me move the PC into the living room. The base game was good, sweaty fun but the addition of mods that allowed people to upload custom tracks with their own beat maps made the game truly great. Gangnam Style quickly became a party favourite. I also love the fact that Oculus and Valve had to update the firmware for their VR as some expert players were flicking their wrists faster than what had been thought humanly possible.
Robo Recall came bundled with my Touch controllers and I’ve not really played anything since that can top it with regards to making you feel like a total badass (whilst no doubt simultaneously making you look like a total prat). Physically ripping a head off one robot and using it to fend off another before slo-mo plucking a rocket out of mid-air and throwing it back at your assailant all whilst firing a shotgun with your other hand is about as awesome as gaming gets at the moment.
I do find it a shame that these experiences aren’t better publicised but I guess it’s hard to get across what an experience VR can be in a TV advert and there are only a limited number of people it will appeal to due to its cost and perceived geekiness. Hopefully the cost of accessing VR will continue to fall in the near future.
TheMilkybarKid(UK) (Steam ID)
Bound to silence
Bound has got to be my favourite VR game. Think it might have been close to one of the first ones I’ve played but even now it blows my mind. It’s gorgeous and the art style is beautiful (special mention to the stunning photo mode).
Love VR in third person, as I get severe motion sickness from first person games – even ones not in VR. I’ve still not been able to escape the village in Skyrim VR yet due to it. Bound never seems to get mentioned much on these pages when talking about VR. It also doesn’t seem to be advertised all that much that it has a VR option!
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
No, I’m not late to the party, however after a great weekend Hot Topic regarding VR gaming I would just like to put my twopenn’orth into the subject. You see, it was only this time last year I mentioned about the Oculus Go right here on GC it was probably ground-breaking for it was the only headset that didn’t need to have any wires or PC/laptop connectivity to work it. All working independently on its own.
OK, so it was very limited and it didn’t have the 6DoF capabilities (six degrees of freedom) were you can move forward or backwards and pick things up, etc. Yet for just under £200 for the basic model you couldn’t really complain. Now fast forward a year to 2019 and this very spring Oculus have done it again with a brand new all-in-one VR headset with no wire constraints called the Oculus Quest, but this time it does include the full capability of 6DoF and a pair of handheld controllers to boot!
Yes, the Quest is twice the price of the Oculus Go, with a RRP of £399, and looking at the recent reviews this new headset is receiving it all sounds very good so far graphically and sensor-wise. However, what really concerns me personally is the battery life of the thing. Yes, the Oculus Go would maybe give you a couple of hours of usage after a full charge, before you need to plug it back in to use it again, but don’t forget the Go is only a basic standalone VR headset with no 6DoF features.
So I’m worried about this new Oculus Quest having the 6DoF features and yet every review I have seen lately most of the reviewers are still asking the question of how long does the battery last before needing to be recharged? Surely having a standalone VR headset is only as good as it’s battery life as you don’t want to be spending more time charging it than actually playing?
Unfortunately, I definitely have my doubts about the Quest even though I’m hoping I’m proven wrong, but if the battery life was really that good surely Oculus would be giving the full specs out instead of still hiding/not telling anybody how long the batteries will actually last.
It doesn’t matter how good the graphics are or how good the controllers sensors react after all, at the end of the day you don’t want to be plugged into the mains to keep the headset recharging whilst playing. Otherwise you’ll be back to square one and it won’t be a standalone headset as advertised in the first place!
For the name of the next Xbox, Microsoft could take a leaf out of Hollywood’s sequel book: simply ‘The Xbox’, definite article and all.
FoximusPrime81 (gamertag/NN ID/Twitter)
GC: That is actually a very good guess, we can see them going with that.
I’ve just discovered that the voice behind Solaire in Dark Souls is the real-life brother of Game of Thrones’ Bronn. Who’d win in a fight?
GC: Depends if they had jolly co-operation or not.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Carnie, who asks what’s your dream licensed video game?
Games based on movies, TV shows, comics, and other existing properties have seen something of a resurgence in recent months, particularly with Star Wars and Marvel, but what video game would you most want to see made based on something that already exists? Whether it’s James Bond or Hellboy let us know what kind of game it’d be and if you have a dream developer you’d like to see work on it.
Please remember it’s the Easter bank holiday this week, so we need as many emails in as soon as possible and by Thursday afternoon at the latest.
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The small print
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