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Games Inbox: What’s the best PS5 game for Christmas?

The Thursday Inbox cannot agree on how much difference 4K makes to video games, as one reader misses out on Shadow Of The Colossus’ ending.

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

Nothing for the list
Understandably there’s a lot of talk about buying PlayStation 5s at the moment, as well as what games to get, but in putting together my response for the weekend Hot Topic I realised that there really isn’t any must-have PlayStation 5 game to get excited about. Microsoft has two in Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 but thanks to delays there are no first party Sony games – they couldn’t even get that Uncharted 4 remaster out in time.

I don’t mean to turn this into a format wars thing but if I do get a PlayStation 5 this Christmas there doesn’t seem to be anything new to get along with it. I’ll get an upgrade on Battlefield 2042 and maybe Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition but that seems to be it, everything else will be games that already exist, like Demon’s Souls and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

I know the pandemic is nobody’s fault but in asking myself the question of what’s the best PlayStation 5 game this Christmas I find the answer is that there isn’t one, which is a bit off-putting. I just hope Battlefield 2042 isn’t a disappointment…
Korbie

Never tell me the odds
Metroid Dread is a damn fine game indeed. I’m loving how daunting and fraught with peril the E.M.M.I. encounters are. The formidable scouting robots’ acute auditory senses and terrifying agility make for a very interesting cat and mouse game dynamic that elevates these segments above the X parasite Samus pursuits in Metroid Fusion.

The Phantom Cloak stealth mechanics and stringent quick time event sequences are also great additions to the formula. But my lord is the window of opportunity to avert capture/certain doom by the menacing machines seemingly nanoscopic.

No wonder they called it Dread because that’s the emotion you’re most likely to feel after you’ve been chased and subsequently caught for the fifth consecutive time and panic-ally endeavour to wrestle out of their clutch!
Galvanized Gamer

GC: The game makes it clear it’s supposed to be near impossible, just an occasional unexpected reprieve.

Bad timing
I’m currently playing the remake of Shadow Of The Colossus, I am really enjoying it but because I remember how to defeat the colossi from when I completed the original PlayStation 2 game and I am whizzing through it. I saw the Bluepoint trailer to welcome them to Sony Studios and remembered that I had Shadow Of The Colossus un-started, so I thought I would start it as it looks amazing in the trailer and the actual game playing it.

Also, they had in the trailer Demon’s Souls and although that looked amazing I think I would find it too difficult and frustrating, so Shadow Of The Colossus is more my skill level. I really like the game but I do find the character is quite clumsy to control and thought they might have changed that for the remake, but I am happy to play it how it is.

I missed some of the ending when I played it originally as I had a knock at the door, and I don’t think on the PlayStation 2 version there was a pause option for cut scenes and if there was then I would have been worried about skipping the cut scene by accident by trying to pause it.

I will probably play Metal Gear Solid 3 next by Bluepoint, on the PlayStation 3, which I have never completed before and look forward to what they announce in future.
Andrew J.
PS. Aven Colony is free on Epic Games Store at 4pm on Thursday 4th November. It is a strategy game.

GC: Well, that sure was an inopportune knock on the door. Shadow Of The Colossus has one of the best game endings of all time.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Meta Quest
Awesome news about phasing out the need to tie the Oculus Quest to a Facebook account. I’ve been sorely tempted as, by all accounts, the Quest 2 seems to be a great bit of kit and with the ability to tether it to a computer to work as a reasonably good PC VR headset I would’ve jumped at the asking price at, or shortly after launch.

But I just couldn’t get over the Facebook requirement. What if I posted a message online about my enjoying a lovely cup of tea (I’m sure some people do) and a char hating coffee fanatic complained about my making an offensive post? Sure a moderator would probably exonerate me after a quick investigation but as I understand it, for a period at least, I’d lose access to my games. I think you still need to be connected to Facebook even if you are using the Quest as a PC VR headset.

Once this change has actually happened and enough users in the wild have reported their Quest Facebook liberation I think I will be ordering one lickety split. Naturally this will immediately cause the announcement of the Quest 3 but still….
Meestah Bull
PS: I do like coffee as well, please can everyone keep any discussions as to the best hot beverage nice and civil.

Small improvement
I bought a 4K TV last year, and then got an Xbox One X to get some content to use with it. I also got the top Netflix package, we normally watch it most nights. When Netflix hiked their prices I dropped our subscription down to the 1080p tier, and honestly I’ve not noticed a difference.

As for 4K games I’ve not really noticed much difference, but Doom 2016 did look really good in 4K compared to the standard PlayStation 4 version I had previously. The main upgrade that confuses me is HDR. Every game I play with it has that slider; you slide it one way it changes, you slide it back and it changes again, but not back to how it was before. And no matter how far I slide it back and forth the game doesn’t look any better or worse. What’s that all about?

Also, I wanted to ask, is it worth getting an Xbox Series S to replace the One X or not? Given that there are very few exclusives to the X/S.
EvilMoomin

GC: That’s more a question of how easily you can afford it. There will be more exclusives from next year onwards.

Or not?
Personally, the upgrade to 4K to me has been the best thing about owning a new TV and Xbox Series X.
My favourite game, Skyrim, looks utterly new and gorgeous, especially as it now plays at 60fps with the beauty of HDR lighting.

HDR really shines for Skyrim in 4K especially as there’s a lot of black and white contrasts, it really feels like a huge upgrade to the game I enjoy coming back to the most. Clouds, spells, reflective snow everything has a new lease of life.

As a huge Skyrim fan it’s been a gift to see a game I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in in so much more clarity to the eye, seeing everything in more detail.

I forget how detailed games are sometimes and 4K is an enlightener.

Add to this a few mods from the in-game browser, like open cities and improved lighting, foliage density, and the game is improved further without breaking it. It’s been incredibly enjoyable and fresh, and I definitely feel I can’t go back to 1080p (and lack of HDR).
Tundra_Boosh

GC: Are you sure resolution is what’s making the difference? It sounds like you’re reacting more to the HDR and changes made to the Special Edition.

Everything is relative
Just a quick one on your article about PlayStation 5 stock and you saying it will be relatively easy to get one this month.

I work for a major toy retailer in the UK and all stock we get is only to cover those lucky enough to get a pre-order. One batch of pre-orders goes live each month (November’s has been and the stock you talk about here will be just to cover those pre-orders) and the past two months they’ve gone within 30 minutes.
Anyway, my point is, the PlayStation 5 still won’t be easy to get hold of this side of Christmas.
Anon

Comic book magic
Firstly, let me counter the Daredevil recommendations by saying I found it to be perfectly fine, somewhere around an average TV show and I wouldn’t recommend watching it unless you’re bored. While I am on the subject of TV though, series three of What We Do In The Shadows started on BBC2 Tuesday night, what a late Halloween treat.

However, the real reason for writing was to say how much I am enjoying Guardians Of The Galaxy. I was immediately sold by the prologue, where Peter is sitting on his bed listening to some excellent 80s power metal. I love a bit of metal, so I immediately googled what band it was and read with delight how the senior audio director at Eidos had written a full-length hard rock album especially for the game, which has since been on repeat in my house.

I’m a few hours into the game and haven’t come across anything totally brilliant gameplay-wise, it’s a perfectly serviceable third person shooter/action adventure. But because the script is great (I have even laughed out loud more than once!), the love for the source material really shines out of the game, and the tone is nailed and perfectly set from minute one of the game; it elevates the experience to something more than the sum of its parts.

Perhaps that’s why Daredevil fans really enjoy that average TV show too, it’s only average to me because I am missing some of the magic having little interest in that particular superhero.
Henshin Agogo

Inbox also-rans
I was just wondering if or when you guys will be reviewing World War Z by Saber Interactive on the Nintendo Switch? It only officially came out on Tuesday yet I can’t find any reviews of this particular game anywhere?
JAH

GC: A Switch port of such a relatively minor game is not going to be a priority for any reviewer at this time of the year.

It turns out that on Amazon Prime Gaming not only is Rise Of The Tomb Raider free but also Control Ultimate Edition and Dragon Age Inquisition.
The Dude Abides

This week’s Hot Topic
Since it’s now November, and the Christmas rush is getting up to full speed, the question for this weekend’s Hot Topic is what 2021 game are you most looking forward to?

You can see the full release schedule here, but you can talk about any game released between October and the end of December this year. Why are you looking forward to it and what has shaped your opinion about the game?

How do you think the line-up compares to last year, as well as previous years when there wasn’t a pandemic? What game that was due out this year are you most upset has been delayed?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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