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Games Inbox: What’s the main difference between PS5 and Xbox Series X?

The Monday Inbox wants Naughty Dog to go back to making platfomers, as one reader wonders if Uncharted is truly finished as a franchise.

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

Peas in a pod
After following the coverage of the next gen consoles, and slowly getting excited about what the future holds, it seems both machines will be similar in a lot of respects. Both seem to have free upgrades on certain games to the next gen versions, depending on publisher, both promise to all but remove load times, both seem to have graphical choices between frame rate or more detail, and both support backwards compatibility.

I skipped Xbox this generation, after the Red Ring of Death/Microsoft claiming money off my credit card for Xbox Live after I cancelled it and deleted the card (took months for them to give me the money back) and the disastrous launch campaign. Microsoft lost a lot of goodwill quickly. Despite that, the Xbox 360 was my favourite console that generation and I did not get a PlayStation 3 till very late in the cycle.

I want them to make it a tough choice for me this generation, but at the moment Halo Infinite seems to be the only game they are pushing as a reason. I loved the first Halo but Reach was the last one I played and the announcement that The Banished are the enemy means fighting the same enemies yet again, but better, looking does not excite me. I hope they wow me in July, but at the moment I am leaning towards PlayStation 5 because of the backwards compatibility, the investment in the saves, friends lists, etc., and more faith in the exclusive games. Fingers crossed Microsoft have something good up their sleeve

Keep up the excellent coverage.
Bob1972 (PSN ID)

Back to their roots
I know that Naughty Dog has already said that their next game will be The Last Of Us Part 2 or a new IP but I’m sure I’m not the only one that would be curious to see what they’d do if they went back to doing a platformer or a new Crash Bandicoot or Jak And Daxter game.

The obvious joke is that they’d try and turn it into some grimdark serious game (they basically did with Jak 3) but I’d love to see how they’d handle a family friendly game nowadays. Not just for the contrast but to see if they could make a game where the gameplay was the focus instead of the story.

I love The Last Of Us but there’s no pretending the gameplay is all that special. It’s good and everything but if the game was a walking sim or a Life Is Strange style game I’m pretty sure it’d be just as good, maybe even better. So I’d love to see them take the opposite approach with their next game.

Daily occurrence
I read your article about Infinity Ward cracking down on racist abuse on Call Of Duty, but let me tell you. I’m a person of colour, I play Call Of Duty most days, and every single day I am racially abused by another person, who is usually white, on Call Of Duty. And these people do so without any care in the world.

Why is this behaviour OK for people to get away with? They are not allowed to do it in public but they do it so freely online. This kind of behaviour needs to be stamped out and Call Of Duty, despite having a report function in the game, is not doing enough. I get called racial insults every single day, or multiple times a day, and I have seen many usernames with similarly insulting names.

I have thought about recording these players but there is no direct way of submitting this gameplay or instances of abuse to Infinity Ward or Activision.

I’m tired, upset and angry that I cannot enjoy a game without being racially abused every single day.

Please can you write an article to help stamp out racism in games. I’m sure the same happens in other games too, people think they can get away with racially abusing people online when it’s behind a gamertag.
Adeel Hussain

GC: Would that we could write an article that powerful. We’d be very interested to know if the situation improves at all following Infinity Ward’s promised changes, as they were certainly supposed to include making reporting incidents easier. We’d welcome a Reader’s Feature on the subject, if you felt up to it.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Out to pasture
I appreciate that gamers aren’t one large homogeneous group with the same thought processes and patterns, but we do seem to flit between demanding new and exciting IP and endless sequels to established franchises. Now, I’m being purposely mischievous there as I know these requests aren’t mutually exclusive, but it leads me to my query, which is much more whimsical.

Well, not so much a query, more of a thinking out loud; do established franchises ever get to die peacefully? Now there’s no agreed criteria for such a set of circumstances as it’s something I’ve just made up, so I’ll set some. When I say died peacefully I mean where there’s a sort of unwritten mutual understanding between the developer and gaming community (including media outlets) that a franchise has run its course, quality has peaked and there’s no more story to tell.

The franchise has been a critical and sales success and has been put out to pasture peacefully with everyone’s blessing, with no clamour for their return.

I’m sure there are a load of examples out there that more or less fulfil this criteria but the only one that immediately springs to mind is Unchartered, and potentially The Witcher series if there’s no more of those.
TheTruthSoul (PSN ID)

GC: Funnily enough Uncharted was the first one that came to mind for us as well. Although we’re willing to bet it comes back at some point, even if it’s not by Naughty Dog. The Witcher definitely seems to be getting ready for a new game, despite CD Projekt’s earlier comments.

Mid-gen upgrade
RE: next gen Cyberpunk 2077. I don’t think you need to wait, you’ll obviously be getting the premier version of the game if you did but I still think we will get a solid experience across all platforms.

An example would be Red Dead Redemption 2, it undoubtedly looks and runs better on the Xbox One X, but I don’t think anyone who played it on the base Xbox felt too disappointed as it was still a very impressive game regardless.

Alternative opinion
Thank you for your Reader’s Feature on The Last Of Us Part 2. Refreshing to see a media site provide a platform for a reader’s perspective of the game.

Couldn’t have agreed with the review more, the game was not 1/10 but certainly had its major flaws, to not be 9 or 10/10. I will be using your site more for information in the future now due to your courage to provide honest reviews.

GC: Whose reviews are you suggesting weren’t honest, and why?

Perfect ending
I absolutely loved The Last Of Us Part 2 and feel it’s Naughty Dogs crowning achievement. I felt totally justified in killing as Ellie, as her character is made totally irredeemable from the get go. The ending was exceptional and showed how much of a character study this was rather than just a plain sequel. It’s a totally different beast than the first. I feel like that final shot was perfection and feel they should leave it be.

I wouldn’t want a third game as Part 2 acts as a perfect companion piece to the original. The hate it’s getting astonished me. Sure, I totally get not every one’s gonna love it but YouTube and social media is so toxic to the point of people threatening abuse on the voice actors. Disgusting behaviour.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

10 means 10
Well, I’ve just finished The Last Of Us Part 2 and, man, this game deserves the 10/10 scores it got in my opinion. I absolutely loved it for all of my 31-hour playthrough, which involved heavy exploration where I got the majority of collectibles but still missed a few in a number of chapters. Sure, I ran into some bugs towards the end. I got straight up stuck inside a box I tried to jump over during a late game boss fight. One area the frame rate hit rock bottom and there was some collision issues, but the amount of times any of this stuff happened I can count on one hand, or maybe I’d need one or two more fingers. This all happened during the last… six or seven hours.

But 10 doesn’t mean perfect, it means masterpiece and this game certainly is that and a worthy follow up to the original from the gameplay, with different human factions and good ole zombies with different enemy types including a few new ones. They all require different tactics to take out and fight differently, keeping the action fresh, and new enemy types are introduced throughout with a good amount of space between them so you can get comfortable fighting the ones you’ve seen and then, bam, it throws a new one into the mix that spices it back up. I found exploration fun and rewarding, with simple puzzles and fun collectibles that add to the environmental storytelling, much like the first game.

The ending I can’t even discuss, you really need to live through these characters and the game does an excellent job with each of their character arcs that, while you agree or disagree with how it all goes down, you can understand the motivations.

The graphics are phenomenal, while I would argue that Red Dead Redemption 2’s are better it’s pretty damn close. The different settings are all pretty awesome and feel like real lived-in places. Stellar audio design, from the sound effects to the soundtrack, which all adds to the immersion and cinematic feel of the title.

Anyone who loves the first game should definitely play it, but I cannot guarantee if you’ll love the game as much as I did or hate it for some of the direction they’ve chosen to take. If you tried the first game and it wasn’t for you this will not change that. This game really requires you play the original first to have the same emotional impact I had, so if you missed the first one for whatever reason and this game has piqued your interest I would highly recommend playing it first before strapping in for Part 2.

10/10 masterpiece.
Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)

GC: Were you playing on a standard PlayStation 4? Because we didn’t have anything like that problem with bugs on the PS4 Pro.

Inbox also-rans
Not a whole game I know, but I had to mention Call Of Duty 4 Mile High Club on veteran difficulty. Hundreds of attempts, two broken controllers, lots of very, very angry cursing and then finally the glorious feeling of beating it, but you have to ask yourself was it all worth it? Of course it was!
Mr B

Just received my Kickstarter copy of The Wonderful 101: Remastered with lenticular sleeve, which I got given because the physical versions would arrive later than the digital ones. I had to pay £15 custom charge unfortunately.
Andrew J.

This week’s Hot Topic
Since we’re now halfway through 2020 this weekend’s Inbox asks the question: what has been your favourite video game of the year so far?

To qualify, the game must be a new release from 2020, not just whatever older title you happen to have played this year. It’s obviously been a very strange six months, but how different has the year been in terms of how many new games you’ve bought and how many you’ve played?

What do you think of the quality of the games so far this year and do you think they make up for the lack of quantity? What are your expectations for the rest of the year and how many new games – and consoles – do you expect to buy in the next six months?

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.

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.

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