Where next for Call of Duty? (Image: Activision)

Wednesday’s letters page sounds pessimistic about the new Tomb Raider, as another reader laments the death of Project Gotham Racing.

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War never changes
I’m very worried about the troubles of Call of Duty right now, and I say that as someone who, until Infinity War, bought it every year. I didn’t like the Modern Warfare reboot and I highly doubt the sequel this year, so I don’t know what they can do to win people back.

The problem is that there’s nowhere for the series, and I don’t think it’s the fault of developers Activision in particular, it’s just a whole first-person military shooter thing so there’s often nothing left. Warzone may have issues with bugs and cheats but it’s also a problem that battle royales are tired too.

You can see the same problem in Battlefield, where there’s nothing to do but find new game modes and hope everyone is satisfied with slightly better graphics. I don’t know what the answer is here, maybe setting the game further in the future is the answer or making the game more like a tactical squad game, but I don’t think old school Call of Duty has any more life to it.

Extended story
Excited to see what Mortal Kombat 12 will be like, as I thought the series ran out of fresh ideas years ago, and yet it keeps coming back and I’ve enjoyed everything recent. They really stepped up with the graphics with the last two, so if there’s a new next gen it should really be a sight to behold.

You’ve got this eternal problem that all fighting games are basically the same but if they focus more on the story, like they usually do, then I think there’s more reason to make a new one. Maybe even add some mini-games. People are always saying they should make a new Shaolin Monks but I’m sure they could be a simple side-scroller in a regular game, then see how popular it is and go from there. It is expected to be announced this year.

Let them fight
Just a minor thing but I would like to praise the artificial intelligence in Alden Ring. He’s not smart or anything, ‘I’m alive!’ But I am constantly impressed by how sensible things do things that I don’t expect. Enemies will chase you farther than I expected, they retreat and they change targets.
They also make mistakes. Like sometimes they’ll misjudge a task and technically it could be a bug or something, but it feels real and organic, like a mistake they made in real life.

I especially like when you can make them fight each other. Towards the end there is a particularly difficult dragon fight in the snowy area and I was getting nowhere, until I realized that there are two tentacle monsters nearby that you can maneuver to fight the dragon. I put my hand at the very end and watched the three of them go at it. Amazing game.

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keeping track
Just a few more days before we get the DLC course for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! Why is it taking so long?

Reminds me of the South Park episode of Cartman waiting for the Wii’s release, where he freezes into ice and thaws out on release day so he doesn’t have to wait anymore.

It feels like I’ve been waiting forever. I never get this feeling for Nintendo games. Well, Wolfenstein 2 made me feel the same way.

I’ve stopped thinking about the release of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2. Waiting for its release day after day will annoy me a lot!

I don’t want Hot Wheels DLC on Forza Horizon 5. How come you haven’t reviewed GC yet?
Nick the Greek

GC: We rarely review DLC and have no affinity for Hot Wheels. We will include new Mario Kart courses though.

Superior Racer
I’ve always been saddened by the way Microsoft handled the freaky and Project Gotham racing series. I remember watching Project Gotham Racing 3 on SDTV the day I got my Xbox 360 and was amazed at how good it looked.

Project Gotham Racing 2 was the game that got me into Xbox Live, with really creative multiplayer modes like cat and mouse. Project Gotham Racing 3 had a mode where you had a few hours to qualify to race against people on Xbox Live. I remember the joy of qualifying ahead of my partner, then the sadness of losing connection once the race started.

For some reason it seems that Microsoft has decided that it is no longer needed; Maybe because there’s Forza Horizon on the way. But racing in Horizon just doesn’t cut it for me. Project Gotham Racing requires you to learn racing lines, take risks near obstacles, things like that. In Horizon you just plow through stone walls or trees, with no consequences unless you randomly hit one of the indestructible ones.

Bring back the team and give us another Project Gotham racing style game.

GC: Not that we disagree with the gist of your comments, but Forza Motorsport took Project Gotham Racing’s slot on Microsoft’s schedule. More arcade Horizons didn’t come until seven years later.

A bleak future
Loved seeing you talk about The Horus Heresy as part of the Warhammer love recently. I’ve been a collector for 20 years and got back into it a few years ago and really enjoy all the rich characters and story. I don’t actually play but collect and paint. It’s also great that the franchise is now more mainstream – the likes of Disney have published some comments, mainstream toylines, and Henry Cavill (Superman himself!) is a big fan.

However, I’m still scratching my head as to why there haven’t been any AAA games on the franchise in the last decade (except for the Total War games in fantasy that don’t have 30/40K settings). I loved Dawn of War back in the day, but why not so good since then? I know there are many (many) mobile games out there and I guess some are ok on console, but nothing stands out to me.

What I would love to see is a 2022 version of the Dark Crusade style campaign in Dawn of War. Either real-time strategy or I’d enjoy an XCOM style Killteam setting where you only have five squad members that you customize a lot. I know there are iterations on these ideas, but nothing really good unless I’m wrong (please correct me)?

For the Emperor, do it!

GC: If Dawn of War 3 had been a bigger hit, we’re sure you would have had more of them. There are always new games coming out from an amazing range of different companies. You’re right that most are low budget but both Warhammer 40,000: Darktide and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines 2 look promising and relatively expensive.

A good wave
I had a weird dream last night about Starfield and Elden Ring and I thought FromSoftware might pull the rug out from under Bethesda completely, making their next game a sci-fi game, you know like The Surge but not trashy.

A huge open world planets game, each planet had its own dungeons, doji areas, and even space witches called Rune Nodes.

GC: Their next game might be sci-fi, but a new armored core might not be what you’re looking for.

She has a butler
I wish I could muster some excitement over news about a possible new Tomb Raider game, but I can’t.

Too bad the news isn’t a sequel to the most recent film, which I thought was good in parts. Especially not the episodes that focus on Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) and her hammy father and equally hammy psychopathic nemesis. In short: Alicia Vikander was the best thing about it. Whether or not there is a future Tomb Raider movie without her, she needs to find an incredibly good actress to better portray her.

The new game, which may or may not be, already sounds terrifying in concept. The hint that it will have a female love interest for Lara is the cherry on the badass cake. It’s just a tired idea that may have titillated a predominantly male teenage gaming audience in the last century, but now making a character gay or bi has become little more than a cheesy, outdated marketing cliché. Not at all.

Just a suggestion: if the game goes ahead, the producers could do no better than offer the aforementioned Alicia Vikander a voice acting part. She may be Swedish but her English, with a hint of that heritage, along with a gentle mid-Atlantic accent, will be easy to understand for English-speaking gaming audiences around the world. At least more appropriate than superficial classroom/public school English they are apparently looking for. Her height is also appropriate.
Malcolm Lawn

GC: Not that we’re against Alicia Vikander in the role, but we don’t recall anyone complaining that they couldn’t understand the previous Laras. Being upper class is part of the character from the very beginning.

Inbox also ran
Speaking of games coming next year and we haven’t seen any of them yet, when is Star Wars Jedi: Survivor going to get its proper look? I’m excited to see more Star Wars after that new Andor trailer. What did the GC think of this?

GC: It looked great, and was a night and day difference compared to Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett, which now look cheaper and fancier in comparison.

Just hit Live A Live and loved it. Always wanted to play the game but didn’t want to use a hacked ROM. Never thought there would be a remake but this is awesome!

This week’s topic of discussion
This weekend’s Inbox topic was suggested by reader pete216state, who asks what are the best graphics you’ve seen on a particular console?

It doesn’t have to be the best graphics ever, just the best graphics in that format. So, for example, the best looking SNES game or Xbox 360 title. What effect did the graphics have on you at the time, and what games have since surpassed them?

Was your choice made primarily from a technical or artistic perspective, and if it was the former, how long did it stay on top?

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