God Of War Ragnarök – could it be game of the year? (pic: Sony)

The Tuesday letters page hears a strange story about Marvel’s Spider-Man, as one reader tries to stay optimistic about the Silent Hill rumours.

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Late rival
The year is starting to slip away from us and it’s pretty obvious that the best game so far is Elden Ring. You may not personally think that but if all the game awards were done right now, I would bet a considerable amount of money on the fact that it would win best game.

It isn’t even close really, with nothing else coming close, and there’s really only one contender this Christmas: God Of War Ragnarök. Now, I know nobody can actually know if it’ll be better, but Elden Ring got a lot of 10s for its scores and so did the last God Of War, so you’ve got to imagine it’ll be close.

I’m one of those that doesn’t actually think Elden Ring is From’s best game so it’s easy enough for me to imagine it being overthrown at the last minute. The two games aren’t really similar or anything (although they’re not polar opposites either) but I don’t know. Add in recency bias, given Elden Ring came out so long ago now, and I think God Of War could snatch a late win.
Binz

The Raiden effect
I have a theory why we have not been shown much gameplay of God Of War Ragnarök. Could we be in store for a Metal Gear Solid 2 style switcheroo? I wonder if Kratos is not the main playable character and in fact you play the game as Atreus or even Thor.

Perhaps Santa Monica have taken some archery tips from Guerrilla Games. This is based on nothing but a random thought that popped in my head, no NDA broken here.
ThePowerFeeling (PSN ID)
PS: Free DLC for the excellent Toem is available now and adds a whole new location.

GC: Anything is possible. We’d certainly be surprised if you didn’t end up controlling Atreus for at least a portion of the game.

Non-exclusive tactics
RE: David – large company in attempt to make money shocker.

Yes, Sony want to have exclusives for their consoles. Why? Because they want to make money. They have significantly less resource than Microsoft, so incredibly they cannot give games away like Microsoft. I suppose I’d find the outrage a little easier to take seriously if Microsoft weren’t currently in the middle of a buyout of one of the biggest games publishers in the world, so that they can, and you’ll like this, have their games exclusively.

As for the PS Store never offering a discount, I must have stumbled across some kind of glitch in the system because I have never once paid anything close to full price for a game.
James

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Asking for a friend
So a friend of mine (genuinely) who has been gaming for over 40 years got in touch with me a few days ago, to say he’s started Spider-Man but, surprisingly, he was struggling with its difficulty.

Now, this is a man with a wide range of gaming tastes and has enjoyed and finished the Soulsborne games. There aren’t many titles he doesn’t play, so to hear this from him for the first time ever when he starts playing Spider-Man, is hilarious to me.

A few days have passed and he has persisted with it, but he’s still ‘unable to control the swinging mechanics’ and he is ‘dying over and over again in open play’, in a game where a lot of people would die less than a dozen times in the whole game. I was wondering for Hot Topic’s purposes, has anyone else suffered from a similar disease? Being unable to do even the very basics in a standard generic title such as this? I’ve told him it’s never happened before… he reads GC so he’s looking for some support.
Razzledazzle

GC: He’s beaten multiple Soulsborne games but he’s having trouble with Spider-Man?! That does seem unlikely. We’ll try that Hot Topic but only as long as people promise to write in, as they tend not to when it involves admitting something negative.

Beyond hope
I almost – almost, mind – feel sorry for Konami when it comes to Silent Hill. This whole thing has been so built up, and they’re so terrible at keeping secrets, that there’s no way whatever it is isn’t going to be a disappointment. Especially if Bloober Team are the ones doing the Silent Hill 2 remake (yes, I played The Medium).

As a fan I don’t even know what to hope for anymore. Sure, a Silent Hill 2 remake would be nice but the original is still perfectly playable in every way that matters. After that, is it worth hoping for a new game? It’s been so long since we had a good one, and considering what happened to P.T. I just don’t know if I have any confidence left in Konami.

Or maybe it’s all an elaborate double bluff? They lower are expectations to rock bottom and then whatever they end up doing seems better than you though! Genius.
Leigh

A fun year
I’m on such a hot streak of brilliant video games at the moment. I’ve just finished Teardown, one of my very favourite games of the year. I had no idea a game like this even existed, it’s fantastic. I watched the trailer and after no more than 15 seconds I was rushing upstairs to buy it.

Completely destructible environments like that I thought were years away, but here in the year of our Lord 2022 I am blowing everything to tiny little bits with all sorts of weapons and vehicles, it is the MOST fun.

On top of that, the campaign has you stealing all sorts of goods and adds a thrilling level of jeopardy as you race to escape within the time limit. I cannot recommend it enough to my fellow Inboxers.

Now I’m about halfway through Inscryption which is also absolutely gripping from the very start. It’s hard to talk about because it’s the sort of game it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible, but it’ll almost certainly be in my top five games of the year.

I know some Inboxers regard this as a fallow year, but I have to say I am loving 2022 so far. From smaller titles like Sifu, Neon White, and Teardown, to big AAAs like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7, I’ve been very, very happy with what I have played so far this year. God Of War Ragnarök to come too!
Henshin Agogo

Innocent comment
Also free on Epic Games Store until Thursday at 4pm is Ark: Survival Evolved, as well as Gloomhaven – as mentioned by another reader. Ark has been given away before by Epic Games.

A couple of my comments were rejected recently one was: ‘Sounds good! As someone who played the first two games on the Amiga and completed the first two for the first time on Xbox 360/One’ on the Return To Monkey Island review and on a Reader’s Feature my comment was rejected: ‘Thank you for an interesting article’.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Death’s Door (PS5)

GC: All we can do is report the issues, we have no control over that side of things.

For the executive board
I read the article and comments on people jumping from PlayStation to Xbox. And the various reasons. In reality, there’s only one reason…

Xbox has completely flipped its focus this generation. And genuinely made it about the gamers. Yes, of course they’ll make money. Piles of it. They are a business after all. They have to. Game Pass is an industry leader and Sony are struggling to come up with an answer to it. Yes, Sony has exclusives, that they literally cling to. But, as a Game Pass subscriber you have a world of games at your fingertips. Games you’d never think about trying, but they are available to you, so you do.

It’s an amazing way to discover games. Mud Runner for example, I would never have looked twice at it. Played it on Game Pass and discovered I love it! Then there’s the Activision buy out. Sonny’s huge knee jerk reaction says it all. It’s a situation that’d lead to great things for gamers, but Sony are doing all in their power to stop it. Phil Spencer has done an amazing job for Xbox because before he’s a businessman, he’s a gamer. He gets it.

Finally, I have to mention something that is rarely spoken about, but I find an amazing thing. Microsoft Rewards. Searching Bing, playing games, doing simple daily and weekly tasks earns you points. They build up fairly quickly and you can redeem these points for Game Pass membership, etc.

I redeem mine on £25 store credit for 29,500 points. Just last night I redeemed my points for 3 x £25 credit. And I pre-ordered FIFA 23. So essentially, for doing things I’d do anyway I got a brand new AAA title for free. Another system in place for the gamers.

So, Sony’s issue is simple. Instead of trying to drain every last penny they possibly can out of your consumer base maybe try doing something FOR them. In this climate, in this industry, there’s only ever going to be one winner when it comes to businessmen v. gamers.

Anyway, I’m off to look through my massive library of games on my Xbox… Forza Horizon 5? Halo Infinite? Wow, my Game Pass has paid for itself already.

Game on!
Mark Hutchison

GC: You’re romanticising this to an unhealthy degree. Microsoft started Game Pass because they know they can afford it and Sony can’t. It’s the same with Microsoft Rewards. They’re trying to outspend the competition and, because that’s a standard business tactic, it’s very likely to work – to at least some degree.

Inbox also-rans
I think FIFA being 30 years old may be the hardest hitting ‘You are old now!’ moment for me yet. I distinctly remember the first one (or close to it, I suppose, I don’t remember the year) on the Mega Drive. My older brother used to play it all the time.
Kepla

Speaking of Nintendo rumours that didn’t come true whatever happened to that Donkey Kong game? If it isn’t real then just what has the Super Mario Odyssey team been working on for the last five years?
Swiggly

GC: This is a very good question.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Jericho, who asks what do you want from a Switch 2?

Regardless of rumours, it’s inevitable that there will be a new Nintendo console in the next few years but what form do you want it to take, both physically and in terms of how powerful it is and how much it will cost.

Now that there are multiple portable consoles that look similar how do you think Nintendo should respond and what are the most important changes and improvements from the current Switch? Or would you want to see a new console that was completely different?

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The small print
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