Games Inbox: The best free video game, Apex Legends crisis, and BioShock 4 worries

Games Inbox: The best free video game, Apex Legends crisis, and BioShock 4 worries

Zenless Zone Zero – free to play (miHoYo)

The Wednesday letters page asks why there are so few big budget Metroidvanias, as one reader sticks with Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Free lunch
I see there’s two high profile free-to-play games out recently, with The First Descendant and Zenless Zone Zero. The First Descendant seems to have a fairly negative buzz, but the other one is another spin-off from Genshin Impact, I think, which I keep hearing is very good, but I’ve never got around to playing.

I’m just wondering what other readers would recommend as the best, in terms of the game itself and it not constantly trying to trick you into spending money. I’m sure I’m not the only one that could do with not spending a lot of money on new games at the moment, so I was on the lookout for something suitable.

The whole concept of being free is such a double-edge sword, it seems to me and it’s often just an excuse to spam people with microtransactions, as the publishers live off the money that the tiny percentage of ‘whales’ spend on the game.

Perhaps it’s impossible to make microtransactions seem fair but surely there’s at least one game that tries not to rip-off its players?
Scooter
PS: Will you review either of these games, GC?

GC: Our The First Descendent review should be live by the time you see this.

Double down
Once again, a good summer showcase has silenced some of the worries about Xbox’s position at the moment but the latest sales results from the US show just how bad things still are. Selling less than the Xbox One would’ve been inconceivable at the start of this generation, especially given how inactive Sony has been recently, but there we have it, even in its strongest country.

I really don’t see the Amazon Fire stick picking up the slack from falling console sales, especially as you can’t buy games for it, so really the only answer I see is that they will have to double down on being multiformat. Personally, I don’t understand why Indiana Jones and Avowed weren’t from the start.

They’re both potentially good games that aren’t attracting any hype and are probably going to flop being only on Xbox. They probably won’t do great on PlayStation either but at least Microsoft can claw some money back from them that way.
Focus

Speed-running the problem
Absolutely disgusting news about how EA is changing how battle passes work in Apex Legends. For those that don’t know, the game has been slowly bleeding players for months now and this was obviously an attempt to milk more money out of it while they can, even if it does just speed up the game’s eventual end.

It’s the games industry in a nutshell, as far as I understand it all, with companies giving up any sort of long-term plan in favour of short-term profits. They’ll ground Apex Legends into the ground, everyone will hate them, and then they’ll move onto something else. They’re just lucky that their sports games are basically bulletproof or you can bet this would happen to everything they publish.
Joffery

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Everybody’s gone to Rapture
I’m also against a BioShock remake, but for different reasons to the other reader. They desperately need to get the series away from Rapture. They almost did it with Infinite and then bottled out at the end and made everything about it. It’s worse than Tatooine keeping cropping up in Star Wars.

The problem with doing a remake is that I’d bet it’s so they can remind people of what Rapture is, when they shoehorn it into the new game. I think that would be awful, as I really liked the leak about it being inspired by The Time Machine, with a peaceful society above ground that relies on a violent one beneath.

Hopefully the new game will use that idea, because I think it has a lot of promise, but I’ll be playing the whole thing dreading the moment when I end up visiting Rapture for no good reason.
Sting

Stick with it
I hope now Game Pass is on Amazon Fire stick Xbox aren’t bringing out a new console, because there is no need for it now. If what they say is true, and all they’re bothered about is Game Pass, it’s either a Fire stick and a controller, which is £100 max unless you wait for Black Friday, or a £450 console.

I’m thinking of buying a Fire stick. There is a few Xbox games I wouldn’t mind trying. One of them is Jones, Indiana jones, that is. And with 8GB broadband in my area I’ve got a feeling broadband speed won’t be a problem anymore and soon as I’ve finished a game I can stop Game Pass till the next time one comes out.
David

GC: They confirmed they’re working on a next gen format several months ago.

Indie only
A reader mentioned the anniversary of Super Metroid the other day and it got me thinking about how popular Metroidvanias are in terms of indie games but there’s still hardly any when it comes to big budget games. Have we ever had any explanation for that?

I remember GC interviewing someone for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and they were falling over themselves trying not to call it a Metroidvania, which always seemed really weird to me. Are they not a popular as indie games? Are they considered to be box office poison or something?

Apart from actual Metroid games the only big budget ones I can think of are Batman: Arkham Asylum and Control, but that’s pretty much it. A lot of games, especially Soulslikes, have Metroidvania style parts but in terms of a publisher deciding to put millions into making the ultimate example of the concept… it’s just never happened.

I’m especially surprised Xbox has never tried it. You’d think they’d want to have their own action adventure to go up against Nintendo and PlayStation but all we’ve ever had is ReCore. I’m sure Metroid Prime 4 will be good but I want a state-of-the art Metroidvania on PlayStation 5 and I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
Housetipper

Out of control
I’m pretty sure I read, almost certainly on GameCentral, that Microsoft was releasing a brand new Xbox controller. My understanding was that it would incorporate adaptive triggers and all that good stuff, to bring it in line with the PlayStation controller.

Is this still the case?
Johnny five stars

GC: It was leaked during Microsoft’s court battle with the Federal Trade Commission. It’s possible they could’ve changed their mind or delayed it though, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Last man standing
I see the latest update for Suicide Squad has been delayed at the last minute, which is surely going to be upsetting news for the literally dozens of people still playing it. That means we don’t get to see Mrs. Freeze, the character that has to keep her body below zero and yet is, for some reason, wearing a parka.

Everything about this game is so fascinatingly bad I had to buy it (for less than a tenner) and it really is just awful. The thing I don’t get is why anyone thought a wacky Spider-Man-with-guns approach was a good match for Suicide Squad. This is absolutely nothing like what I’d expect of a game based on that group, it’s just a terrible idea from the very start.

The multiverse thing is just bad luck though. When they started that must’ve been a new concept, outside of comics at least, but nowadays it’s everywhere and everyone is sick of it. Although the alternative versions of these villain characters are still awful. The Joker is absolutely terrible and I can only assume Mrs. Freeze will be equally embarrassing.

I’ll still probably give her a go though. I’ve come this far, I want to see how bad it gets. I also secretly want to be the last person still playing it, although you have to suppose there are some people out there that genuinely like it. Not many though, I’d bet.
Gibbo

Inbox also-rans
I’d just like to thank Andrew J. for checking constantly for the Sora amiibo. Even when he said it was available I still couldn’t get my hands on it but at last it seems like it’s constantly available on the Nintendo store and I’ve finished my Smash Bros. collection.
Nick The Greek

Charlie T doesn’t mention what console he has regarding the GTA 4 letter, but it’s available on the Xbox Series X/S. I have the game currently installed with all the DLC and GTA 4 occasionally goes for around £6.
Chaosphere

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

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 via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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