Games Inbox: Call Of Duty 2020 schedule, Uncharted 5 on PlayStation 5, and Dreams release date

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 2 – only nine months till the next game (pic: Activision)

The Tuesday Inbox asks what was the hardest video game to review, as one reader imagines Platinum taking on EA and Activision.

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Yearly cycle
With all these leaks about Call Of Duty Season 2 and obvious continued interest in Modern Warfare does no-one else think it strange that Activision keeps making them annual? The money they make from Call Of Duty as a game as a service is obviously huge, but they’re constantly cutting the legs from under each one by announcing another game only six months or so after the last one came out.

Nothing lasts forever, but Fortnite is still going strong three years later and I see no reason why a good Call Of Duty couldn’t last that long. There seems something very old-fashioned about yearly sequels now and it’s really only Call Of Duty and FIFA that does it.

The common connection is that they’re the most casual of mainstream games, but you’d think even people that only play those two, and games like them, would’ve worked out how digital downloads and DLC works by now. We don’t need a new FIFA every year either. Probably not any more than once or twice a generation, as long as they keep the teams updated. If nothing else, it would seem a lot more fair when they make most of their money through microtransactions anyway.


Uncharted forever
Uncharted 4 always gets mentioned in list of the best games on PlayStation 4 and I can’t argue with that. The fourth one was probably my least favourite, after The Lost Legacy, but I still really enjoyed it and would definitely be interested in a new one. But what do people think are the chances of that? Considering how 4 ended the set-up was obviously meant to imply a new lead, but in several years’ time.

It’s been four years now and with the next gen coming up (hopefully!) it’s obvious there isn’t going to be another one on PlayStation 4. So what do we think about the chances of another one on PlayStation 5? I’m in two minds on this, even as a fan, as although I’d like to see more I don’t really want Naughty Dog to do it.

I didn’t particularly want them to do The Last Of Us Part 2 and think it’s a shame they’ve only worked in two franchises in the last two generations, but who else could do the same work to as good quality? Probably Insomniac but they’re going to be too busy with Spider-Man 2 and I don’t think would want to do it anyway. But what about Crystal Dynamics? They’re off Tomb Raider at the moment and I think they could do a really good job with something a little less serious but basically quite similar.

Or will Naughty Dog insist nobody else works on the games? I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement in a few years.


Hard verdict
What is the most difficult game you’ve ever had to review/score? Resident Evil 5 has always been a difficult game to rate overall for me as I found the main campaign a 7/10 affair but if the Mercenaries mode had hypothetically been released as a standalone £30 game (the price reflecting the limited amount of content) then I’d definitely award it a 10/10.

I still play this extra content regularly 12 years after its original release.

GC: Death Stranding was probably the most difficult recent one, as even though it was more than the sum of its parts it still wasn’t something we could completely recommend. Flawed games that are still strangely compelling are always the hardest to critique.


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Change of heart
Does anyone else get the feeling that Phil Spencer is just saying the first thing that comes into his mind at the moment with all these random interviews? First he starts going on about 60fps as if he’s always been a fan, despite saying the opposite to GC no less, and now he’s talking up VR despite saying only a few months ago that it wasn’t worth bothering with. I mean, I’m glad he’s changed his mind on these two things, but at this rate he could change them back again at any minute.

And, just as another reader predicted, he’s started going on about Japan, just like Microsoft always do at the start of a generation – and always don’t six months later when they realise they don’t have a chance.

I don’t mean to be down but I’m beginning to see why Sony has been keeping quiet all this time. What’s that old saying? Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt. Not that I think Phil Spencer is a fool but there’s a certain desperation creeping into Microsoft’s rhetoric at the moment and they haven’t even really started yet.


Nay three bad
Sad to hear the news that System Shock 3 may not get made. I enjoyed System Shock 2 a lot and I never played System Shock 1 but I did back the Kickstarter for System Shock 1 remaster (or is it a remake?) by the developer Nightdive.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Her Story (PC)
PS: Some good news The Wonderful 101 has almost reached £1.2 million at time of writing this email.

GC: The new System Shock 1 is a full remake, there’s already a remaster that features new textures and other assets.


Preformative grouches
I’m not sure why so many people were so aggressive with the writer of the Reader’s Feature at the weekend, about 2020 being a bad year. They all seemed desperate to characterise him as a ‘whining manbaby’ who considered new video game consoles more important than the death toll of the coronavirus. If you actually read the article he only mentioned it once and make a careful point to say that video games were a trivial concern in comparison.

This seems so typical of so much video game discussion online, or indeed any discussion, where comment writers try to compete to see who can appear the angriest and most extreme, while belittling the writer and basically implying that everyone in the world is an idiot but them… someone hanging around the comments section on a website at the weekend.

I’d just like to say that I enjoy the feature and share the same concerns about 2020 ending up as a dud. I appreciate the reader taking the time to write the article and indeed all the writers of the others too, whether I happen to agree or not. And I hope these performative grouches in the comments don’t put people off from doing it again.


Big player
Is it just me or is The Wonderful 101 one of Platinum’s worst games? It’s not bad but I don’t particularly like and don’t want to play it again. And yet its Kickstarter seems to be doing really well. It makes me think that if they did do a crowdfunder for Bayonetta then they’d make an absolute fortune.

Happy for them either way though as they’re definitely one of my favourite developers and I’d love to see them become a bigger player in the industry, publishing their own stuff. Imagine if instead of Activision and EA you had Platinum as an equal rival, in terms of pushing companies to do better that can only be a good thing.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Dream score
So, I have just ordered myself Dreams on the PlayStation 4 on for a very agreeable thirty of my English pounds. I’m looking forward to getting my creative juices going by trying to adapt my novel… somehow. I mean, I don’t think that RPG Maker thing is ever coming to consoles at this point!

The big question remains: what song are you going to reference for the review or day one discussion? Gabrielle is the obvious choice: ‘Dreams can come true.’ Or will it be Sheena Easton’s A Dream Worth Keeping? Although that’s just singular.

Or maybe some Blondie where we can all ‘Imagine something of your very own, something you can have and hold. I’d build a road in gold, just to have some dreaming.’ Although, dreaming is not free in this case.

Myself, I’m coming over all… T’Pau. ‘Don’t push too far, your dreams are china in your hand! And don’t wish too hard because they may true and you can’t help them. You don’t know what you might have set upon yoursaaaah-yah-yalf, cause they’re only dreams! And you shouldn’t push too hard! No, no!’

Sorry, I can never help mysaaah-yaah-yelf. Will be doing this a lot for the next several weeks.

GC: We’re not sure it’s something that can be reviewed in the traditional sense. Although we are going to go and speak to the developers on Thursday.


Inbox also-rans
I really hope Nintendo aren’t going to put microtransactions into a full price game with Animal Crossing: New Horizon. If they do that then they’re crossing a line and I hope they realise it.

Am I really the only one that had no idea an ocarina was a real instrument? I have literally never heard of it or seen it outside of the context of Zelda. Have I led a sheltered life?


This week’s Hot Topic
This weekend’s Inbox is devoted to the Readers’ Top 20 of 2019, where you get to vote on your favourite games of last year.

As usual, all you need to do is send us a list of your three favourite games and we’ll log your vote and present the results on Saturday. If you want to also describe why you made your choices then we’ll use that in the Hot Topic, where everyone can go into detail on their top picks.

Unlike our Top 20 the only limitations are that the game has to have been released new in the UK in 2019, so as long as that’s true you can vote for anything you like – including remakes, remasters, re-releases, etc. Feel free to also let us know what you thought of 2019 in general and how it compares to previous years.

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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.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 release date delay, The Wonderful 101 on Xbox One, and GTA 6 inevitability

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Bad video games in great franchises

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Bad video games in great franchises


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