Games Inbox: Is online fandom getting out of control?
No Man’s Sky – are you dying to play it?

The morning Inbox considers the pros and cons of a female Link, as one reader considers trying Io-Interactive’s Kane Lynch.

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Serious business

Having noticed some weirdly aggressive comments in your story about the No Man’s Sky delay, which I assume were not from regular readers, I came across this bizarrely depressing piece from Kotaku. It turns out that the guy who broke the original, completely accurate, story received death threats against himself and his family simply for having the gall to report that the game was being delayed.

Not only that but so did Hello Games’ Sean Murray. Actual threats to murder him because the game was going to be three weeks late. I know this has become something of the online norm, as the article points out, but can we just take a step back and acknowledge how crazy this?

And before anyone chimes in about this only being ‘trolling’ or the assumption that nobody will go through with this can I suggest that that’s not much comfort to anyone that’s the victim of this kind of harassment. Not when you have people turning up with a boot full of guns to a Pokémon convention (seriously).

Quick lesson

RE: Being a female gamer. I just want to add my experiences. Gaming is so inclusive and men are so unthreatened by female gamers that I learned in less than a week not to play games online. Not only was I a second class citizen, abuse was directed at any guy who had the misfortune to be beaten by me.

It’s pathetic, but I want to relax and enjoy myself not fight for equality. I know it’s the wrong approach but I have enough problems without seeking more.

GC: We’d encourage you to write a Reader’s Feature about your experiences, if you’re willing.

Link or Linkle?

RE: GTA and female protagonists. I understand that people want more female leads in games but I can’t for the life of me understand why people want a gender choice in the new Zelda. Fair enough if the story is based on Link (or Linkle) actually being female and we are forced to be a female, but I literally have no idea why people are clamouring for a choice? What benefit would it serve when Link has always been male? A game where Zelda or another female is the lead sounds great though.

Incidentally, I am currently enjoying Fire Emblem Fates using a female lead character (I always make my character female if I have a choice, but, for the first time I would refuse to do so if given the option in Zelda!).
Mr foreign Warren

GC: If Hyrule Warriors is anything to go by Linkle is an entirely separate character (if you can call Link a character) with her own unique weapons and abilities.

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Accidental victory

I read that (perfectly timed!) Dark Souls Reader’s Feature and it’s 100% correct. Besides a couple of perversely unfair annoyances – curse halves your energy bar and is hard to cure without Googe; the horrendous Tomb of Giants, which I’m labouring through now – the initial difficulty hump does level off. This game really tested my patience but, as I’ve heard said, after I rang the first bell things improved.

If you’d allow me to have my cake and eat it, I think I’ve spoiled what I’ve heard is a legendary battle by making it too easy. My girlfriend was watching me play for the first time (considering I’ve devoted about 200 hours in the last month or so to the Souls series, she must’ve figured if she can’t beat them, join them). She doesn’t play games but enjoys watching and always shows an interest. After seeing me get destroyed by Ornstein and Smough on my first attempt, I was explaining the summon mechanic and she asked me to show her. I duly obliged and, not really thinking, bowed and entered the fight.

The guy I’d summoned was a total badass and basically wiped out both of them on his own. I was dodging Smough, terrified, and by the time I’d realised what was going on, he’d killed Ornstein. He then made short work of the second, super-Smough. I was left incredibly disappointed. One of the things that drew me to Dark Souls was the reverence people seem to have for these insanely difficult boss fight, then I was completely robbed of any satisfaction from what is reputed to be the hardest.

Some people are never happy.

Time limit

Been a long time reader since the Teletext days. Always enjoyed the honest reviews and the Inbox and finally decided it was time I joined in the fun!

After one failed earlier attempt (Dark Souls) I have taken the plunge with playing Dark Souls III. With a young son I’ve always been put off by the lack of being able to pause the game, but I’ve got to say what an excellent game it has been so far. Don’t get me wrong, the difficulty can be brutal and unforgiving at times. But bit-by-bit I am battling through the demons and the hellspawn.

I’ve just reached the Abyss Watchers and, as with every boss, after the first couple of attempts of defeating them, failing miserably and wondering if I can ever get past them everything is starting to fall into place and the determination to defeat them is rising. In all my years of gaming I don’t think I’ve ever found a game this rewarding to play.

Anyone who hasn’t tried a Dark Souls game really should give them a go. It’s certainly not the type of game I would usually play, but I’m glad I’ve took on the challenge. Now I’m just hoping that I can complete it before Dues Ex: Mankind Divided comes out. Are there any preview events planned as I’d love to hear how GC think it is shaping up?

Keep up the good work GC and thanks for all of the excellent recommendations over the years.

GC: It just so happens we attended a preview event for Mankind Divided last week, and will be able to put up a preview next week.

E3 justice

Saw the rumour about Injustice 2, which seems believable, but is it just me or is there just not that much rumours for this E3? It seems everything is concentrated on the upgrade consoles and hardly anything on the actual games. Surely there must be unannounced games to come but apart from the constant Red Dead Redemption 2 rumours do we have any real clues to go on?

It seems odd that the video games industry has finally learnt to keep a secret, so I hope that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new to announce. I’d certainly be very disappointed if Sony and Microsoft only talked about stuff we’d already heard of. But perhaps they have no choice as Microsoft in particular started talking about new games very early and stuff like Crackdown 3 and Scalebound still aren’t going to be out anytime soon.

I’m caught in that classic gamer trap: I want to be surprised but I also want to know everything as soon as possible. Although the only thing that would really disappoint me is if there was nothing to hide in the first place!

Hitman’s cousin

It’s a shame the new Hitman episode wasn’t released in time for the bank holiday weekend. After fluffing the second elusive target I got my Hitman fix by revisiting Absolution instead, a game I initially disliked so much I abandoned.

I still think the game is a misstep in the series, it feels more like Splinter Cell than Hitman, but I did progress a lot further this time and I discovered that Absolution has some very interesting levels.

The crowded train station is great, my wait for the train was quite anxious. I also enjoyed the redneck bar and the gun shop levels.

My main complaint about Absolution still stands though. Due to the game’s restrictive saving and the fact that everyone becomes suspicious of Mr 47 too quickly Absolution gives the player no chance to savour its scenery.

One interesting point, in the gun shop level I’m sure I spotted one of the characters from Kane Lynch. Have any GC readers played the Kane Lynch games? The series must have some fans, the first one sold enough to merit a sequel.

I know the games received mixed reviews, since Io-Interactive are one of my favourite developers I’m wondering if Kane Lynch 1 and 2 are worth playing.
msv858 (Twitter)

GC: Not in our opinion, although we’re sure they’re cheap enough now that you could afford to take a chance on them.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

First come, first served

I did not write into the Hot Topic about classic games of this generation for the simple reason I did not think this generation had created any. (Or at least none I had played.)

I can certainly understand the praise for Bloodborne, Mario Kart 8, and The Witcher 3 – to name a few games others voted for. Those three in particular are excellent games and so is Uncharted 4, which I was tempted to nominate myself. However, I would argue that all four of these games are merely iterative improvements of games that have gone before them and cannot be considered classics in their own rights. This is why I did not write into the Hot Topic.

As has been discussed previously in various Inboxes, features and even GC reviews a lot of AAA games are becoming increasingly similar to one another. Therefore, it is very rare for a game to be unique, which is something a classic game needs as well as simply being a great game. Super Mario 64 in particular was a revelation. I myself would argue that the Galaxy games are better but Mario 64’s status as the first 3D Mario will always mean that it is the classic title.

As someone else mentioned Destiny’s status as the first ‘shared world shooter’ could be argued as grounds for nomination in the uniqueness front but it is simply not a good enough game. And I say this as someone that has spent far, far too long playing it. (43 days and 15 hours).

Then there are a few games that I have not played that I can see arguments for; like Overwatch, which has reviewed really well and is a new twist on an existing concept. However, in my eyes the existence of Battleborn completely scuppers Overwatch’s claim on classic status.

And the other is Splatoon which reviewed exceptionally well and is unique. And therefore possibly the only classic game of this generation. Pity I have not actually played it.

GC: We wouldn’t have said uniqueness was any perquisite for classic status. And ignoring the fact that Overwatch and Battleborn don’t really have much substantial in common, would you genuinely deny the former classic status just because Battleborn happened to come out three weeks earlier?

Inbox also-rans

Just been having a browse of Nintendo’s eShop and they have Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends Of The Titan for £8.99. That’s an outrageous bargain for a top quality game. I paid full price for it and don’t regret it one bit.

GC: Truly outrageous, we highly recommend the game at that, or indeed any, price. Kudos to you for already being aware of its greatness.

GC, I’ve found this very cool Alien Easter egg in Halo 5: Guardians you and the readers might enjoy as fellow fans of the films. This is better than Colonial Marines!
Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader robbie.j, who asks what features would you add to your favourite game to make it even better?

No game is perfect, so what would you alter if you could? Would you make changes to the control system, new weapons or abilities, different characters, or add or remove levels – or perhaps change something about the open world environment?

Maybe you’d change the difficultly level or add in a whole new game mode, such as a story campaign or multiplayer? What’s the smallest change you can think of that would improve a game and why do you think it was never done originally?

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