Games Inbox: Is Marvel’s Avengers game a flop?

The Tuesday Inbox wonders if ray-tracing is going to be a next gen white elephant, as one reader sticks up for Metro Exodus.

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Poisoning the well
I don’t know what constitutes a flop nowadays, since companies never tell us how much a game cost to make or how much it sells, but it seems pretty obvious now that Marvel’s Avengers has not been a major hit. It’s got the biggest licence in the world and it barely seems to have been talked about since it was out and is already nearly out of the top 10.

I played the beta and was not impressed and like everyone else couldn’t understand why it was being turned into a Destiny style game as a service. Reading GC’s review only cemented the idea that it probably would’ve been better off as a single-player game like Spider-Man, or at least a normal co-op game. I guess the original idea was probably to have more loot boxes and microtransactions?

I don’t want to pick on Avengers necessarily but as yet another failed games as a service title does this mean that the concept is starting to fall out of favour? I imagine a lot of other publishers will look at Avengers and rethink their ideas. I bet Warner and that Suicide Squad game definitely are.

The whole thing seems so predictable too. Companies see something is successful then immediately flood the market with copies that are never as good and poison the well for everyone. Can’t say I’m sad to see games as a service go away but I dread to think how many developers are going to loose their job over Square Enix banking so much on its success.

Extra shininess
I found it very interesting that Xbox’s Phil Spencer would admit that so far ray-tracing hasn’t amounted to anything yet and that 8K is kind of pointless. It does seem a bit of a 180 considering the kind of hype he was peddling around the time of the Xbox One X but then he’s a businessman so we really shouldn’t really expect him to say anything other than what makes his company the most money.

There’s zero chance I would’ve paid for a new 8K TV for the new consoles and it would’ve been a huge waste to use up all the extra processing power on just higher resolution. Ray-tracing though I’m not sure what to make of it. I’ve not seen anything that was mind-blowing using it but is that just because it doesn’t make much difference or because we haven’t seen the right game yet. Or maybe there’s just not enough power yet to really do it justice?

I’m all for better graphics but if it’s not a major improvement I’d rather see a boost to artificial intelligence or physics and destructible. Both of those seem more next gen to me, rather than just a little bit of extra shininess.

Public enemy no. 1
If Epic Games’ stupid Apple lawsuit ends up ruining how companies make money from consoles they are going to be such a figure of hate I can’t even tell you. I don’t understand what they’re even doing other than being stupidly greedy. Like they somehow weren’t making enough money from Fortnite?!

I do not want a separate shop for every damn company on my console and frankly I don’t think it is fair to do Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo out of their cut. It’s their console, they did the R&D and took the risk of money, they deserve fair recompense. If EA or Activision, or more to the point Epic, want their own in-game store and 100% of microtransaction many go make your own console.

The sheer destructive greed of some people and companies is staggering to me. They’d burn down the world just to make an extra penny profit. I can’t even stick to my PC to get away from it now, thanks to the stupid Epic Game Store!

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Like buses
Currently my top five most anticipated games are Demon’s Souls remake, Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, Hollow Knight: Silksong and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2.

I only realised yesterday that the first two both release on the same day, November 19. The way the industry seems to release notable games at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if the other all release on the same day next year. It’ll be the same day the next God Of War is out plus the next FIFA and Call Of Duty.

GC: It is madness, although in this case it was bad luck more than anything. Sony didn’t want to launch the PlayStation 5 any later, compared to the Xbox Series X, and Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed so many times CD Projekt couldn’t change again.

Dark Souls of skateboarding
While I wait to get the newest Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 1+2 for the price I want I thought I’d dig out one of the older games. Now I love the series but boy oh boy are these games frustration on a disc.

Having said that though, it was the time that made me turn it off. As angry as I got, I just kept coming back for more. It’s probably akin to Dark Souls for the sense of satisfaction and frustration mixing in a perfect blend.

We gamers are a weird bunch are we not?

Is the remake the same or have they been made a touch easier?

GC: It’s been modernised a little, it’s not a 1:1 remake of either.

No relation
I recently completed the excellent Metro Exodus and I truly think that the design of the world should be the way forward for a lot of open world games in the next gen. I love how the maps were big and varied yet never really felt empty. Pretty much every side quest served a purpose – whether it was for the story or for giving you a new piece of genuinely useful kit, I never felt like I was experiencing padding.

It was also awesome how diverse the maps were and how different they were from each other, from the swampy, cold surroundings of the first map to the Mad Max-esque environment of the second onto the forested area of the third (this one was especially surprising to me as I’d read that there were only two maps in the game, so wasn’t expecting it).

I’ve just completed Assassin’s Creed Origins and while I did actually really enjoy it, I really felt so bored running from mission to mission, often using fast travel or auto camel travel (a set of words I never thought I’d ever type) to each destination. Ubisoft have always been pretty bad for having meh open worlds outside of objectives but even the beautiful Red Dead Redemption 2 had the same issue, with myself and others using fast travel as soon as it became available.

I just think that a lot of games could benefit from having smaller, more focused maps which would surely take pressure off of developers who have to spend several hours filling the game world with utter pish for ‘reasons’.

incidentally, I love how you gave Metro Exodus a 9/10 great score for a great gam

GC: Metro Exodus was strangely underrated and we’re not sure why. The earlier games too, although they are starting to show their age now.

Be prepared
So my pre-order PlayStation 5 games, headset, and DualSense will be here on the 12th? What’s the point of that? Do they want me to have headset and DualSense in my hand and the game case stood up and think I’m playing Spider-Man?

They better bring release date for same time otherwise I’m going to look like a right plum like that. And GC, will you be giving your views on next gen consoles and if so will you get them a few days early?

GC: Yes, we should imagine so.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Perfect port
I’ve just downloaded Ori And The Will Of The Wisps on the Switch at the weekend and have to say it’s a stunningly beautiful looking game that runs at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second on Nintendo’s console. I keep looking at the game and can’t believe I’m playing the Switch version because it really is a thing of beauty.

I was happy that Marc had given it a mention in his Indie games list in the Inbox, as it truly deserves some praise.

I read GC’s review from March which was for the Xbox One and PC versions before I made the purchase and found that those versions are held in high regard, scoring a 9/10.

The worry is always that the Switch can get some sloppy ports and that it really isn’t powerful enough to handle the graphics from the PlayStation or Xbox so they lower the visuals and put in some muddy textures that look ugly or the game just becomes unplayable running at a slower frame rate. The less said about The Outer World’s port the better!

I can say that Moon Studios have heavily optimised the game for the Switch and it looks and plays amazing and recommend it to anyone has any interest in platform games or Metroidvania style games.

Is it the Switch’s best port? I’d like someone to tell me a better one.
Nick The Greek

GC: Even though it’s a far cry from the original we still think that award has to go to The Witcher 3. It just shouldn’t be possible.

Inbox also-rans
You’re right, I have never heard of Crucible before. Amazon’s approach to gaming seems even more half-assed than Google. I dread to think how many millions these companies are throwing at gaming based on business decisions any random gamer could’ve told them were doomed before they started.

I do always wonder about people that seem happy to lose their job just to take a photo of a box in a warehouse. I mean, even if it is a bad job where’s the upside for them?

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks you to imagine your dream video game mash-up.

If you could combine two or more games into one new title what would it be and how would it play? Would it be two already similar games or two completely different ones? And would the new game remain in the same genre or adapt to be something new?

Alternatively, what outside character would you like to see cameo in your favourite game, regardless of whether it would make sense or not? Do you like the idea of crossovers, and games like Smash Bros., and how else do you think they could work?

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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