Digitalk: Winter games – where are they

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles
© CD Projekt Red

Lets face it. With all the restrictions from COVID-19 keeping us home a lot more than usual, we have all ended up getting a little tired of the gaming content we already have.

Do you really want to do a 12th playthrough of Assassin’s Creed Origins? Do you really want to play another round of Warzone? You’ve already put enough hours in to consider going pro.

With the imminent arrival of the new consoles on 10th and 12th November, you’d think that would mean we’re getting a plethora of new titles to go along with the launch of them… Well… where are they?

Instead, we’re left with a barren launch line-up with titles coming out having been developed for the current generation, the main selling point of the new consoles currently being that they play the current generation of games much better.

Most of the titles coming out around the time of the new consoles are the tarted up versions of the games we already have, to make use of the new hardware’s capabilities.

This is a shame, but on the other hand I can see why they’ve done this. With this year having been very trying financially for most people with work being hard to keep, maintain or find, having to buy a new console, plus new games at the same time will be out of reach for a lot of people who could have previously done so. And both the new consoles boast backwards compatibility, so you’ll be able to play any games released for the previous consoles on the new console. In fact, with the new Xbox, you’ll be able to play old games all the way back to the original Xbox.

But the specs for the new consoles are promising, the performance increase across both consoles is considerable and brings a whole new level of possibilities for gaming companies to develop whole new mechanics in gaming to get us out of the stale plateau we seem to be stuck in at the moment.

But this still brings me back to the fact that even though we haven’t really got any next-gen launch titles, we don’t really have any new titles for the current generation either.

We’ve got Call of Duty No.32098324b coming out with Cold War, yet another Need for Speed and a hundred other sequels of this that and the other. Although, I’m not going to lie, I am kind of interested in Assassins Creed Valhalla. Because – Vikings. Enough said.

One of the only exceptions however is Cyberpunk 2077 – a very long awaited game that has been in development for seven years.
It is probably one of the most hyped and anticipated games in the last couple of years with recent publicity being figure-headed by A-list actor and pretty much internet deity Keanu Reeves helping to skyrocket the interest in the game.

Set in a dystopian future, you play as a mercenary/outlaw trying to go after a body mod (cybernetics and mechanical body parts being the new normal) that holds the key to immortality.

You thought it was difficult choosing how to customise your characters before? The level of detail you can go into customising your character is mind boggling, because not only do you control all aspects of your appearance from race, gender, build etc, you also have to chose your body mods, which you can continually add to throughout the game as you find more options. The story is adaptive. Your choices influence what happens next to shape the story around you. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands
on this game.

Normally I’d advise caution against jumping on the hype train because in recent years, the developers have fallen into a habit of releasing broken games, games missing core promoted content or just generally incomplete games that either get updated weeks after launch or the remaining parts of the game sold as DLC to stick their hands deeper into your wallet. EA is especially guilty of all of the above, plus including in-game micro-transactions.

But on this occasion I’m allowing myself a tentative feeling of excitement, purely because of the studio that is making Cyberpunk. Polish based, CD Projekt Red, the game studio making Cyberpunk, have yet to release a bad game. They had a hand in making some of the parts of the Saints Row games, another franchise that I adore. But they are the creators of the Witcher games series, the same Witcher recently adapted for Netflix from the Polish novels by Andrzej Sapkowski.

Undeniably one of the gems of gaming to rival the greats; I’m currently playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and can’t get enough.

But most importantly, all their games have been released complete with phenomenal story telling. Working. No micro-transactions. Just good-to-go and amazing. So they have earned my trust and that of the community.

Since time of publishing in print, CD Projekt Red has unfortunately announced a 21 day delay in release for Cyberpunk. New planned release day is 10th December.

Maybe we’ll get some original content to play released for the new generation of consoles before Christmas. But if we don’t, I think we can look forward to some amazing content to come in the new year once the game developers have got their teeth into the new hardware properly.

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