Games Inbox: The Saints Row reboot disaster

The Tuesday letters page is dubious about Sega’s new cinematic plans, as one reader wishes Bungie would make Destiny 3.

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General consensus
I know I shouldn’t have been surprised given GC’s preview (the only one I read that actually prepared you for how bad the game would be) but I’m still shocked at how badly Saints Row has reviewed. It’s on 63 at the moment on Metacritic and I can’t remember the last time a major game got that bad a score from everyone. Usually I’d expect GC’s review to be an outlier but it wasn’t at all.

We’ve become accustomed to a base level of quality with budget releases and this proves that was kind of an illusion. I guess you could argue that maybe Saints Row isn’t that big budget, but I always think of it as a big franchise. It was when Saints Row 2 and 3 were around, anyway.

I get the feeling that’s going to change because I don’t ever see the game being a hit now, given both the reviews and the fact that fans weren’t keen on it in the first place. Maybe they should have used the delay to fix some things up or just made a sequel and not a reboot. Or at least sort out all the bugs. A bit of a disaster all round really, which is a shame as I could’ve seen a good quality GTA clone doing well at the moment.

Maybe if it’s free
Just seen reviews coming in for the new Saints Row and your own 4/10 review and, wow, from the company that brought us Saints Row 2, how could they get it so wrong?

Had it looked halfway promising I would have paid full price day one, however I was burnt once before by Agents Of Mayhem, which was one of the worst games I’ve ever played. I won’t make that mistake twice.

If it makes it onto the PS Plus library I might give it a quick go, but for now I am done with Saints Row.
Michael, Crawley

Waiting for the verdict
My name is Mohamed and I’ve been recently reading the article, well articles, about the lawsuit PlayStation seem to be in regarding the unfair competition practices.

I just have a quick question, I bought my PlayStation in Guildford, Surrey just as the PlayStation 4 dropped for retail back in 2013 and I have a PSN paid subscription, and in fact have purchased several games online from the UK in my almost 10 year ownership. I currently reside in Spain, however my account is English, I’m billed in pounds sterling, I’m just not living in the UK. Could I be eligible for anything at all?

GC: We’re not legal experts but we think you’d probably be able to claim. However, Sony will have to lose the case first and we have severe doubts that will ever happen.

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New world order
Like it or not, all major publishers will be hoovered up. It’s inevitable. Of the companies that could make these big moves, we’re talking Tencent, Google, Amazon, Apple (unlikely), or Microsoft… ask yourself, who would you rather it be if not Microsoft?

None of the above isn’t an option. These purchases, at this stage, are just a matter of time.

From a gaming perspective, Microsoft are as close to bastions we have, that can realistically make these purchases.

Sony’s future play here is a partnership. Sony, whether they like it or not, will be forced to go all-in on subscription services.

Only in Japan
To anyone playing Wave Race 64 on Nintendo Switch Online, it really is worth setting up a Japanese account to play the rumble supported version, it feels so much better having a bit of feedback when you’re bouncing through the waves.

There are also some different games on the SNES and NES apps, some are unplayable unless you can read Japanese but the fishing rod platform game for the SNES is excellent and the Konami table tennis game for the NES is worth a look.
John Atkinson

Not coming soon
I have severe doubts that any of these new video games are going to make it out. Who on earth is going to remember Comix Zone, let alone care about it? Space Channel 5 was popular for about five minutes 20 years ago and neither film premise sounds anything like the games. Remember, the success of Sonic and Uncharted was based on the fact that they were actually fairly realistic to the games. In fact, Sonic was headed towards being a flop before fans demanded that Ugly Sonic be dropped in favour of a more authentic look.

Then what else are Sega planning? Yakuza, Shinobi, Golden Axe, Streets Of Rage, Virtua Fighter, Crazy Taxi, Altered Beast, and The House Of The Dead? Yeah, that’s not happening. Ignoring the fact that there already is a Yakuza movie, who’s going to turn up to see a movie of Golden Axe? Sega hasn’t made a game of it in over decade but they think people are going to queue up to see what would presumably be some kind of a Conan The Barbarian knock-off?

Or what about Virtua Fighter? Classing fighting game but I’m not aware of it having any kind of story. Neither does Crazy Taxi for that matter and I don’t think Altered Beast’s is any more complex than ‘kill the wizard guy’.

Then we have Sony, who apparently don’t want to make a Days Gone sequel but they do want to make a movie. And how would that work? The characters were the worst part of the game, so that seems a bad idea before it’s starts too. I think Hollywood needs to relearn the lesson that games and movies have very little in common and trying to turn one into the other seldom works.

Force yourself
Stasis is currently free on GOG currently.

I saw Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake mentioned in the Inbox recently, you can get a physical edition of sequel Knights of the Old Republic 2 on pre-order from Limited Run Games for PC and Switch until October 2.
Andrew J.
Just completed: Far: Changing Tides (PS5)

The font of fantasy
If the Lord of the Rings rights are changing hands now I wonder what that means for future games? As I understand there’s the Gollum game on its way, plus the unannounced game from Take-Two, and some kind of mobile app from EA. I’m not very interested in the Gollum one just from the premise and I don’t think there’s any clue what the Take-Two one will be, but I’m going to assume some sort of third person open world game at least vaguely in the style of Shadow Of Mordor.

It’s the obvious format for a modern movie tie-in but I hope they try something more imaginative too. To my mind the most obvious genres for a Lord of the Rings game are role-players and strategy games. The only modern role-playing game was a low budget effort from EA around the time of the movies but considering that modern role-players, and Dungeons & Dragons, wouldn’t even exist without Tolkien surely we can make a better effort.

In terms of strategy, again EA did some okay-ish real-time strategy games. But I’m thinking of something a bit grander, on the scale of Total War. I don’t know if anyone remembers an old Amiga game called War In Middle-Earth. It wasn’t very good but it was kind of a mix of a grand strategy game and role-player, where you controlled everything from a map of the whole country.

I’d love to see something on that scale but with a much more modern approach. There’s so much you could do with the mother of all fantasy licences and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface so far.

Inbox also-rans
Does anyone else just wish Bungie would make Destiny 3? I know they’ve said they won’t but I’m not sure why. The reason I don’t play any more is it just became too much for me and I lost track of what was going. A refresh with a new sequel would solve all that.

I forgot Kang was the bad guy in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. That was a pretty good game for Lego, I played it a lot with my sister who would always insist on being Hulk.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what’s your favourite open world game?

Open world games have been popular for decades, but they’re not really a genre themselves and can encompass everything from role-players to racing games. So which is your favourite and why? How intrinsic is the open world design to your enjoyment and how much time did you spend exploring it instead of playing the main game?

What do you think of the current state of open world games and how would you like to see them evolve over the next generation, in terms of technology and design?

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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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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