Games Inbox: PS5 success prediction, Watch Dogs: Legion length, and Cyberpunk 2077 delay theories

Just how big will the PS5 be? (pic: Sony)

The Thursday Inbox tries to imagine the perfect look for next gen Pokémon, as readers offer some good advice on next gen racing wheels.

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Keeping momentum
So everything about the PlayStation 5 is sounding nicely positive so far, so good to hear the DualSense is a real game-changer and not just a gimmick. But seeing that story about how it’s already outpacing the PlayStation 4 I’ve got to wonder exactly how well it’s going to do.

I mean, remember that the PlayStation 4 had very little competition, especially at launch after the Xbox One managed to soil itself with its reveal. So given the Xbox Series X/S seems much more popular that is some achievement. But will it last? Because if the PlayStation 5 does that much better than its predecessor then you’re looking at beating the PlayStation 2 to become the best-selling console of all time and to me that seems impossible with strong competition.

Very curious to see how all this plays out. With their terrible launch line-up Microsoft’s entire pitch is about Game Pass’ value for money and I really don’t know if that’s enough. It’s certainly not enough for me, they’re offering nothing I’m interested in at the moment, but for many people getting so many new games on such a regular basis must be a huge draw. It’s going to be a very interesting generation…

No reason to delay
Thank you GC, for your nice balanced review of Watch Dogs: Legion yesterday. Based on your review (specifically the use of spiderbots and the cargo drone) I got the impression you were able to whizz through the game pretty quickly.

As someone who’s looking forward to it as a PlayStation 5 launch title can you offer any insight on if this is the case or its lifespan? Is it a 20 to 30 hour affair like its predecessors?

GC: It’s not so much that it’s short, it’s just very easy most of the time. But we’d imagine the average player would spend at least 15 to 20 hours beating the main story and a percentage of the side missions. You could easily spend 30+ on it if you wanted to though.

The real Pikachu
Following the recent DLC for Pokémon Sword/Shield, its once again drawn attention to the technical limitations of the graphics. What they’ve plumped for at the moment seem intentional but stuck somewhere between an evolution of the original sprites into realistic character models, and the anime style of the Pokémon cartoon series… but doing neither with enough conviction.

You’ve mentioned the graphics as a major criticism throughout this generation, but I just wondered what you felt they should be aiming for? Personally, I would prefer stylised (maybe cel-shaded?) graphics over hyper-realism because…well, it’s Pokémon. But anything that makes the game look less bland would be a step in the right direction.

On a semi-related note, I’m not majorly keen on the Bravely Default 2 graphics. It looks like an upscaled 3DS game. But good on the team for showing how they’ve incorporated user feedback into the final build. That’s a nice touch.
@craigherman (Twitter)

GC: Your suggestion is probably the right one but we can’t help wishing for a more realistic look, inline with the original artwork for the very first game – or just anything that shows fur and scales properly. The current designs are fine at times but, as you imply, they look like plastic toys more than they do the anime.

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Adaptive format
Good to hear the DualSense controller impresses. Hopefully it doesn’t go the same way as the Xbox One impulse triggers. Playing some first party games at the start of the current gen, like Forza, the experience was a step above the PlayStation 4’s basic DualShock vibration. Having extra vibration motors in the triggers and more instantaneous feedback let you practically feel the track.

Now, by the end of the gen, it’s a feature I almost forgot existed as it’s never really used in third party games and obviously we don’t have many first party Xbox games to show it off. So hopefully Astro’s Playroom isn’t the best example we get of the feature and third party developers are encouraged to use it.

I always feel features like vibration are underrated. They help with immersion so much, from the speakers on the Wii and PlayStation 4 controllers to the almost spooky HD Rumble of the Joy-Cons it’s an aspect I always relish.

GC: We agree. A lot will depend on whether the PlayStation 5 becomes the lead format for most multiformat games next gen. The PlayStation 4 being the lead this gen is what would’ve put companies off from taking advantage of the impulse triggers.

PlayStation 3 tech
I’ve just completed Vader Immortal Episode 1, 2 and, 3 on PlayStation VR and although I did enjoy the episodes, the third episode was ruined a little bit by the PlayStation Move controllers. I think from reading your reviews I would have had a much better experience with that game on the Oculus Quest 1 or 2. I have used the Move controllers in other PlayStation VR games and they have not been too bad or quite good but in Vader not so much.

In Vader Immortal I would have a lightsaber in my hand and then also a Move controller overlayed over it in-game at some points as it was glitching. Also, I knew something was wrong with the controllers as when I started Episode 1 my hands/gloves were bent at unnatural angles in-game!

One thing that puts me off Oculus Quest 2 is the mandatory Facebook account, as I don’t have a Facebook account and don’t want to get one unfortunately.
Andrew J.
PS: Blair Witch and Ghostbusters Remaster Edition is free on Epic Games Store at 4pm today.

GC: They’re just incredibly old technology being used for a purpose they were never designed for; we really hope Sony announce replacements soon. But yes, Vader Immortal is much better on Oculus Quest.

Brick Quest
I have to admit, I’m a little bemused by your response to Angry Kurt regarding not being able to use a £300 headset if you delete your account.

If I deleted my PlayStation 4, Xbox, Nintendo, Apple, etc., etc. accounts then I’d immediately lose access to that hardware too. But, the hardware cost is rarely the main cost, I have over digital 100 games on my Switch and the investment there is an order of magnitude more than the hardware costs.

If I was to delete my account not only would I lose access to the hardware, which I could regain by creating another account, but I’d also lose my games library, permanently.

So I guess my question is, what am I missing? Why is it acceptable for the entirety of the industry but not Facebook?
Antony White

GC: You have a strange definition of losing access to the hardware. If you don’t have a Facebook account for Oculus Quest 2 you can’t even get past turning on the power button, there’s no comparison at all with consoles.

Unofficial repairs
I too was having Joy-Con drift issues and it was honestly a system breaker for me. Haven’t touched my Switch for months as it was basically unplayable, and I didn’t have it in me to contact Nintendo after hearing how shockingly bad they’ve handled it.

So, took matters into my own hands. I bought this kit for £11 from Amazon and fixed it myself. It came with all the tools I needed and took about 10 minutes to do. Works like a dream now! Can highly recommend to anyone with a controller blighted by this terrible affliction.
Daniel Savage

GC: You didn’t even try to contact Nintendo? From what we understand the real problem is how inconsistent their help is, sometimes they fix everything for free and sometimes they do the opposite.

Very unpopular
My two unpopular gaming opinions are:

Homefront: The Revolution is one of the best first person shooter games of this gen (patched version). It has satisfying and tense gunplay, upgrade system, and an excellent use of risk and reward when it comes to foraging for scrap or doing missions. Plus, a very enjoyable, dense environment to explore.

Now this opinion I imagine will be incredibly unpopular:

Most of the NES/SNES era Mario games are awful. They have repetitive level design with samey looking backgrounds, horribly imprecise, and slippery controls (which is extra bad seeing as the Game Boy Mario game about the 6 Golden Coins has great controls) cheap and unfair enemy placement, cheap deaths, and awkward and annoying swimming controls. Plus, Mario himself is a visually unappealing character.

GC: Those certainly are opinions.

Late development
Is it fair to assume that the cause of the new Cyberpunk 2077 delay is that the base Xbox One just can’t run the game properly? It was suggested that the Xbox One was the cause of the previous delay back in January, and the Xbox One is the most underpowered of all the nine formats they’re releasing it on, so it kind of makes sense.

I know it’s not the console’s fault, and it’s unfair to blame a box of plastic and silicon, but I can’t help but feel a little bit cross. I’m not angry, just disappointed. It also makes a mockery of Microsoft’s plan to release all next gen games on all its consoles. Oh well!
The Tillo

GC: Supposedly they’re having trouble with the PlayStation 4 version as well. Which is a hell of a problem to be having at this stage.

Wheel consensus
RE: drlowdon. Unfortunately racing wheels don’t run cheap. I have the Logitech G29, which is a quality piece of kit and is a game changer in VR. It’s totally immersive. RRP is over your budget but if you can find a deal or get a good used one from eBay then it’s a great option. I think I got mine within your price range. You might see some offers around Black Friday. You’ll also need to budget for a frame, you can get some pretty cheap ones that can fold away that do the job nicely.

A word of caution though. I was burned in the transition from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 when none of the wheels were compatible with PlayStation 4. Had to get rid of my old wheel to buy the G29. It has been confirmed that the G29 will work with PlayStation 5 but that Logitech are awaiting final approval. So I’d still be a little twitchy laying money down until it’s been tested when the PlayStation 5 is out in the wild.
thewearehere (PSN ID)

In answer to drlowdown’s question on getting a wheel, I would say the absolute minimum wheel to get is the Logitech G29… but this is £265 with a shifter or £215 without (without a shifter you are always using sequential shift with the paddles, like an F1 car). Personally I’m fine with this, but others prefer the option of a proper gear stick.

However, with Black Friday around the corner it may well go on sale.

You could also try a Thrustmaster T150 at £170 – it’s the entry level Thrustmaster wheel and Thrustmaster are well regarded in some racing circles.

But if it goes on sale I would suggest you look at the T150 Pro. Again, nearer £250 but in sim racing forums it always seems to be considered the best entry level wheel (bearing in mind these forums are full of people that have spent more on their sim rigs than I would spend on an actual car!).

Whatever you get, make sure it has force feedback – it’s not worth getting one of the cheap wheels without it.

Personally, with a £150 budget I would see what bites over Black Friday, if either the G29 or T150 Pro go on sale snap one up, otherwise I guess plump for the standard T150 to see how you get on with a wheel – some people really struggle with the transition from pad to wheel.

Another alternative is to find a used wheel on eBay.

If it helps, I’m still using a Logitech Driving Force GT from the PlayStation 3 era on PC, had it seven or eight years and it’s still going strong, so from my experience Logitech kit lasts.

Oh, and don’t expect to be flying through rally stages immediately, DiRT Rally will still chew you up and spit you out!

Have fun with it!
The Dude Abides

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Scholarly input
Thought you guys might enjoy this article from the Washington Post on aim assist in competitive shooters. There is nothing ground-breaking it is just a well written, balanced and thoughtful piece about an aspect of video games I had never really considered.

Who knew there were actual professors out there studying this stuff?! Keep up the good work.

Forewarned is forearmed
Just a quick reply to Forestt’s query concerning Demon’s Souls on the upcoming PlayStation 5.

I would say straight off the bat this game is without question a challenge.

Now, I played this some time ago on the PlayStation 3, so my memory might be a little vague, but things I remember would be:

All enemies in a level (the game is a series of levels) can be a handful and must be treated with respect, with end of level bosses being particularly difficult.

I also seem to remember no save points in levels, including the boss battles. Which means, if you die it’s straight back to the start of which ever level you’re on.

But that’s not all I’m afraid, because death is punishable in Demon’s Souls, with the effect that when you restart you have less health and all enemies become harder.

Oh and you also lose any accumulated souls, but all is not lost.

When you die in level you leave a blood stain/puddle and providing you reach said stain/puddle without dying you can retrieve all your lost souls.

But this is of course easier said than done.

Now, I consider myself a competent gamer and still had my pants pulled down on Demon’s Souls.

My advice would be to possibly wait until you can pick it up second-hand and save yourself some money should you end up buying and regretting.

Lastly, after playing and completing Demon’s Souls I never played any other Souls games, Dark or otherwise.
Johnny five stars

Inbox also-rans
GC, just wondering if you plan to review The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel 4? I have just started the first game in the series and loving it so far. Thanks to reader Liam for his recent Reader’s Feature on the game, it has been on my radar for a long time but this pushed me over the edge to pick up the game.
Eyetunes (PSN ID)

GC: We intend to, but as you can imagine our review schedule is a bit busy at the moment.

Where is the best place to buy second-hand games like Silent Hill 3? I don’t want to pay what CeX want for it.

GC: Your best bet is probably eBay in that case.

I don’t get why these people are sending death threats about the Cyberpunk 2077 delay. Surely the extra three weeks will allow them to go on all those dates and social engagements with friends that they definitely have lined up?

GC: Heh.

This week’s Hot Topic
Since it’s Halloween this week the topic for this weekend’s Inbox asks what is your favourite horror game of all time?

Although they’re not as common as they used to be horror games are still being made today, but which is your favourite and which do you think is the scariest – whether that’s the same game or not.

The next gen already has a number of horror games announced – including Resident Evil Village, The Medium, and Scorn – so what are you hoping for from them and the genre in general on the new consoles?

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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 Reader’s Feature 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 DualSense vs. DualShock, Game Pass vs. PS Now, and Demon’s Souls recommendations

MORE: Games Inbox: Demon’s Souls difficulty, Destruction AllStars for free, and the best Metroidvania

MORE: Games Inbox: Taking time off to play PS5, Genshin Impact love, and the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz

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