Games Inbox: What do you do when you’re in a gaming slump?

The evening Inbox wishes Sega would release a Total War game on consoles, as one reader recalls the horror of Crazy Frog Racer.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]


A change is as good as a rest

I have to admit that recently I’ve hit a bit of a gaming slump and find that I am picking up a controller or VR headset less and less – I’m not sure if it’s a lack of interesting games or to do with the imminent arrival of baby number two for my partner and I, but I really do seem to be stuck in a bit of a rut lately.

I’m not sure if it’s just coincidental, but I’ve been trying to play through Days Gone since it launched and while I don’t hate the game (I do admit that it certainly could have been a lot better though) I’m finding that my enthusiasm to play it seems to diminish on an almost daily basis. I think the problem is that I am finding it so repetitive, with very little actual pay off from investment in the story – I’ve literally been playing for hours waiting for something interesting to happen and any time that it does I’ve normally guessed what was going to happen long before!

I was looking forward to Rage 2 and hoping that it would re-ignite my passion for gaming, but I have been really put off by reports of a short story campaign so I will wait until what seems like an inevitable drop in price. I am also looking forward to Blood & Truth which I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned more in the Inbox – presumably you will be reviewing it?

I wonder if other readers have found themselves in a rut and what they have done/played to get back in to gaming – any advice/suggestions would be welcome!
Rickandrolla (PSN ID)

GC: We don’t think games as derivative and repetitive as Days Gone and Rage 2 are really the best choice in your situation. Our advice in these cases is always the same: try something different than what you’d normally play. So no more post-apocalyptic open world games for a while.


Console strategy

I enjoyed your review of the latest Total War game and it got me thinking, why has a console version never been released? It can’t be to do with consoles not being able to handle the graphics can it as they don’t seem state of art to me.

My favourite PlayStation 4 game is XCOM 2, a game many thought wouldn’t work on consoles but it did, so why no Total War games? Is it more to do with the fact that these type of deep strategy games don’t sell very well on console as gamers seem to prefer playing Assassin’s Creed 74 or Call Of Duty 91? How did XCOM 2 sell on console GC?I have never played any of the Total War games but it is a series I would love to try.

GC: The artificial intelligence takes a lot of computing power, and so does having tens of thousands of soldiers on-screen at once. But the biggest problem is simply the interface/controls and the fact that strategy titles never sell on consoles. XCOM 2 on consoles sold poorly but did well on PC.


Sega hardware

The relationship between Lego and video games could grow even further if this proposed new set receives enough votes by 4th June.

It features several classic Sega arcade machines along with legendary developer Yu Suzuki and, evoking the arcades in Shenmue, Ryo Hazuki. (Ryo was added in the updates section of the original project page, which Lego hasn’t copied across to the voting page.)

The set previously received the required support of 10,000 fans to be considered for production but was turned down. However, it has now been selected for a rare second chance, so those who want to see these names and machines immortalised in Lego should quickly register on the site and get voting!
Dynamite Headdy (@2Tweet2BeSour)


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


Welcome back

Having been away from console gaming after the original Xbox started with free DLC, and then started charging for it, and the privilege of Xbox Live, I left console gaming for the joys of PC gaming and the free DLC and no charges to play online. This continued till my PC died. I then became a casual gamer on Android, but quickly got disillusioned with microtransactions.

Now I come to the current generation late and I have to say the rare games I do buy new are never finished on release and in the case of Black Ops 4 a disgrace. The whole season pass thing with games nowadays is ridiculous. If you’ve paid full price for a game things like additional maps should be released to prolong the game and keep people interested. And as for having microtransactions on a AAA title it’s just robbing people for the sake of it.

Yes, games are prettier than they’ve ever been but to charge you for a skin or a weapon camo is disgraceful. These were the type of things you were rewarded with for completing challenges, etc.
The only real plus side I’ve seen since I’ve returned to console gaming is at least you actually get something back for your Xbox Live subscription with free downloadable games. And being able to subscribe to Game Pass for 3 months for £1. But the underhanded way that you cannot unsubscribe from your actual console settings reeks and is appalling!

As much fun as gaming is these companies are only out to do you over!


Sub-full price

Just wanted to add to the recent love for Subnautica here, as I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a game so much (Divinity II, my last obsession, is incredible but the distant perspective meant I never felt as involved).

The graphics, sound effects, music, the freedom afforded the player, the intriguing story and the overall atmosphere contribute to a really original experience, something I would have quite happily paid £50 for on the day of release.

In fact, I think the worst thing about the game is the fact that it’s £25, as potential punters may instinctively assume it’s not worth full price and therefore must be substandard, when (admittedly a few glitches aside) the opposite is true.

Anyway I can’t recommend it highly enough, and my thanks to GC for putting a game I’d never heard of on my radar.
Andrew Wright

GC: Shouldn’t that be sonar?


Familiar names

Just read another one of Galvanized Gamer’s emails on last week’s Inbox; it was a great read, as always. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate the regular contributors putting their messages together.

Galvanized Gamer always uses big words with lots of praise for whichever game he’s most enjoying. Simundo Jones often has a slight technical slant to his emails. Andrew J has a constant string of offers to inform us all about. Gaz Be Rotten never fails to conjure up requests for the most random and obscure games to be remade or re-released. DMR always has a good pun, or at least ends his messages with a joke of some description. It’s always good to see Gill C chime in too.

Thanks, guys! I appreciate you all. And thanks to GC for making it all possible.


Super bomb, bad

I thought I would write in, after seeing you were short on letters. With all the talk about what Rockstar will do next. How about Max Payne 4? I always liked the third one, even if the controls were a bit wonky.

Also, did Super Bombad Racing ever get released, as I don’t remember it? Or did it bomb on release? See what I did there.

GC: It definitely came out; a reader was reminiscing about it recently.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Dishonored world

I think it was last week one of the other Inboxers was appealing for more diversity in game settings. I think they were particularly keen on seeing open world style games in something other than a post-apocalyptic environment. I know I’m late to it, and it’s very much not an open world game, but over the weekend I finally managed to finish a first run through of Dishonored 2.

Overall, I have to say I’ve always found the Kaldwin Empire a bit of a treat as a setting. Sure, things about the place tend to take a downward turn due to the plots of the various games, but it’s hardly Fallout or Rage levels of civilisation breakdown.

In video game terms I suppose its levels are just reasonably well crafted but confined shoe boxes, size wise, but the architecture, atmosphere and general world building always seems a cut above. The sheer amount of lore involved in the series is crazy. I even like the bizarre juxtaposition of different accents and racial characteristics scattered throughout the streets and locations. It all blends together to forge a world that’s always seemed to me to be a pretty impressive blend of the earthily believable and the downright fantastical.

I think I might find the universe the series is set in more enjoyable than the actual games… However, I’m always wondering what it would be like to visit Tyvia, journey inland to see the landscape of Gristol, or even to actually voyage out onto the seas of the Empire and see the great whales swimming about the place, rather than just strung up, harpooned to death, and being butchered at the docks. It all feels like the world Arkane have crafted has so much more to give in terms of potential story and even gameplay.

I know the series is probably a long way off coming back for a third full chapter (Death Of The Outsider has now been started: I quite like talking to the rats…) if it ever comes out of being ‘rested’. I can’t help thinking that instead of inappropriate nonsense like a live action Sonic The Hedgehog movie someone, somewhere could be turning the world from Dishonored into a great film or writing some cracking books. I know I’d be interested…


Inbox also-rans

A question for GC and anyone else who cares. If Capcom were to remake Dino Crisis would you rather they remake it in the style of the Resident Evil 2 remake or switch it up and do it in the style of Resident Evil 7?

GC: If it’s a remake we’d say third person, but perhaps they might think of doing both?

The phrase ‘PS2 era Mario Kart clone’ brings back some horrific memories.
The Light Knight


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks who is your favourite non-playable video games character?

Whether they’re story-based or not most games are filled with NPCs (non-player characters), so we want to know who your favourite is and why? Do they have a big role in the game and are they a serious, dramatic character or more of a comic relief?

Is it their dialogue or appearance that you like, or perhaps their function within the game? What makes a memorable NPC and are there any that have elevated an otherwise mediocre game, or one so annoying it’s almost ruined a good one?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. 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.

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