Games Inbox: Do you trust CD Projekt with The Witcher 4?

The Thursday letters page thinks the Xbox Series X might now be permanently in stock, as one reader lauds Amiga games Turrican and Putty.

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Hero to zero
So CD Projket have officially announced a new Witcher game but I can’t help but notice a distinct lack of excitement online. I realise it was just one picture and no information, but a lot of announcements are like that and people have gone crazy over a lot less.

Obviously it’s because of Cyberpunk 2077 but I’m not sure CD Projekt realise just how much damage it has done to their reputation. Or maybe they do and that’s why they’re announcing the new Witcher so soon. They’re basically rock bottom right now and the extra scrutiny has only exposed that Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t a great game anyway.

I predict that there’ll also be revaluation of The Witcher 3 when the next gen versions come out. Obviously, it is a good game but it does have problems, especially around the combat, and I think these are going to be brought more heavily to light.

There’s no way out for them but to make sure that the new Witcher is just a really, really good game. It’s not going to be easy though as it can’t even rely heavily on nostalgia, since it seems Geralt won’t be in it or will at least be a much smaller role.
Onreik

Retail suicide
I am getting a real bad feeling about Suicide Squad. It seems absolutely ages since it was announced and yet we’ve seen almost nothing about it and all it does is gets delayed. I thought Rocksteady were going to be one of the great up-and-coming developers but they’ve really hit a wall here, it seems.

Only four characters, none of which has any superpowers, is super disappointing and the whole evil Superman (and the others) thing is so overdone at this point. Then there’s the fact that it was obviously originally meant to be some sort of loot box filled live service game and then they changed that when they saw what way the wind was blowing. Although what this latest delay is about I don’t know. To add Peacemaker to it?

If it turns out well I’ll be pleasantly surprised but this is beginning to look like a game that should have probably been cancelled a few years ago and it’s only the suck cost fallacy keeping it going.
Focus

Past saving
RE: Greatest Amiga 500 games. For me it’s the Turrican series and Putty. Put huge amount of hours into these games. if I remember right the games didn’t have any save points, so you had to do it with any extra lives you gathered along the way.

Also, Speedball 2. Remember playing 100 league game option on my Amiga 500. Worst experience was with Asteriods 5, which was across five floppy discs and was garbage.
Terry Jones

GC: What’s Asteriods 5?

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Better than remembered
I’m sure, like others being drawn back to Mario Kart 8, for the DLC I forgot just how truly great the game is. The basic gameplay and driving mechanics are just phenomenal, tight, fun, and responsive. Just a pure joy to play. The quality of the music took me aback too, with some wonderful tunes on tracks both old and new. I especially like Choco Mountain’s jaunty music, which sounds much richer than my memory of it on N64.

The first DLC courses are all great fun and mostly new to me, with my favourites being Paris Promenade and Ninja Hideaway. I must admit I was being a little snooty about the mobile tracks, thinking they would be dumbed down but they are surprisingly intricate with multiple, intertwined routes. (Surely they’d be a bit difficult to play on a phone’s touchscreen?) I especially like the changing routes across the laps for Tokyo Blur and Paris Promenade, I think this would be a great way to go for the eventual ninth entry.

I know some others have mentioned the change in art style but there isn’t a massive difference to my eyes; I thought it was going to be something much more drastic. I guess my main complaint is there aren’t any brand new courses but then I haven’t played any of number 7 or Tour’s courses, so they’re effectively all new to me anyway. I can’t believe there’s still another 40 courses to come. For just £17 (digital code from ShopTo) that really is an absolute bargain.
Ryan O’D

GC: The mobile game has auto-acceleration and relies more on items and the driver you’ve chosen than how good you are at driving. It’s awful.

Beating Elden Ring
Having just finished Horizon Forbidden West (which I absolutely loved), I was trying to decide what to play next.

I already have Elden Ring installed on my PlayStation 5, but I just found Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls too hard and didn’t feel in the mood for it. I did an hour on Cyberpunk 2077 and got bored after just under two hours.

By almost random chance looking on the PlayStation Store I hit upon ANNO: Mutationem.

This game has had virtually no press, fanfare or promotion, but I think it is an absolute gem and it is a crying shame that it isn’t getting any hype.

The 16-bit graphic style is the most gorgeous since Hyper Light Drifter, and it presents a far more compelling world than the over hyped Cyberpunk 2077.

The gameplay is very reminiscent of the types of games I used to play on my Amiga 500, particularly from LucasArts, Delphine, and Sierra.

You haven’t reviewed it yet, but I certainly would recommend checking it out.
Séan Harry

On the cards
I’m absolutely loving Slay The Spire. It’s my first card-based video game and it’s really refreshing to play a brand new genre. The tactical aspects are extremely captivating, with the game making you think not just a move or two ahead but, when building your deck, the entire run ahead. Choosing new cards to add to your deck can entirely change your approach to a battle. The game has just the right element of luck too, to keep things interesting without becoming unfair.

I love how the characters each have a completely different set of cards to use. It reminds me of Into The Breach in this regard, with each character offering completely different gameplay. I finished my first run with The Silent last night. I usually find poison based attacks pretty useless in most games but hers were absolutely devastating when used correctly. Very satisfying! I’m looking forward to staring my first run with The Defect shortly and seeing what gameplay quirks they offer.

Are there any other card-based games I should try? Is the Slay The Spire the best one? I remember Inscryption reviewing well so I’ll probably give that a go at some point.
Ryan O’D

GC: There are lots, but Inscryption is definitely our favourite recent one.

Two good questions
I have two questions that I’m hoping GC or a reader can help with.

Thanks in advance.
Jonathan Foley

GC: The Switch deluxe edition seems to be out of stock everywhere, but it definitely exists. However, all it has is a physical minifigure and the DLC season pass for £2 cheaper than buying it separately. As for Nintendo 64 games, press the ‘-‘ button and then ‘X’ for the button layout. The actual manuals are on the Nintendo website.

In stock now
Seems to be some kind of consistent pattern emerging regarding the new stock of the Xbox Series X console just recently, GC. I mentioned only a couple of weeks ago in my local Smyths toy store, they had half a dozen to pick up to purchase then I noticed only a few days later they had another nine more consoles for sale. Andrew J. only mentioned them being readily available at Amazon a couple of days ago and they’re still in stock now, as I write this letter. (I’m so glad he eventually got sorted out with one for himself and hope he’s got his washer repaired?)

Also, my local Argos store has them ready to purchase and collect for this Saturday too. So the Xbox Series X now seems to becoming readily available in most official stockists without having to be In a lottery system to pre-order one. However, I bet Microsoft must be thinking, when one of the largest online shops in the world, Amazon, have their top of the range console back in stock and for well over 24 hours now, surprisingly they are not selling out?

Obviously, Amazon will have a lot more units/stock for sale than the retailers in your normal high street store. But if you’re genuinely after one of these consoles surely that’s one of the first places to check, right? And what happened to all this talk from the back end of last year saying ‘due to supply chain complications and a chip shortage, etc.’ production of the next generation consoles will continue to be sparse well into and during 2022? Well, as we’re only into March now, things are already starting to look a little bit brighter wouldn’t you say guys?
Peacemaker

GC: It’s still in stock as we type this. We keep thinking if we add a link it’ll jinx it though.

Inbox also-rans
Just thought I would let Xbox Series S and X owners know that the 2TB Seagate expansion card is available in the UK. I just treated myself to one from Amazon for £367.
Chaosphere616 (gamertag)

The free game on Epic Games Store on Thursday from 4pm is the excellent looking pinball game called Demon’s Tilt.
Andrew J.

To the guy saying Elden Ring is safe and predictable and we should all rush to Indie heaven. Take a look at how many indie clones there are and come back to us. From have come up with a concept that has taken a long time to become an overnight success.
Bobwallett

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader 84Colbat, who asks what’s the last game you played?

In order to make sure the answers are interesting, please also include the last game you played that wasn’t released this year – to ensure everyone doesn’t just say Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West.

What do you think of the game and is there any particular reason why you’re playing it right now? Have you played it before and if not why did you pick it? is the game part of a backlog and have you already decided what you’re going to play after it?

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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