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Games Inbox: Alan Wake 2 review scores, Spider-Man 2 gameplay per hour, and Baldur’s Gate 3 love

Games Inbox: Alan Wake 2 review scores, Spider-Man 2 gameplay per hour, and Baldur’s Gate 3 love
Alan Wake 2 – not everyone agrees on it (Picture: Remedy)

The Friday letters page wonders if there’s a secret war going on amongst PlayStation execs, as one reader asks what’s going on with Titanfall 2.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

You can’t please everyone Very interesting review of Alan Wake 2 , GC. I appreciate the detail you went into, although I’m still not sure, as someone that hasn’t played the original, where it’s actually a good game or not. Is it something I should look to get? I’m still not sure. I realise you can’t magically answer that, but while I usually agree with your reviews there’s never going to be 100% agreement and I wonder if this is one of those times.

To avoid turning this into another complaint about how expensive video games are – or otherwise I could just take a chance on it – I will say that I appreciate the fact that you use the entire 10 point scale for reviews and are not afraid to score things lower than 7, as most other websites are.

I could feel your pain in the Hellboy review and it sounded like it totally deserved 2/10, even though most others just gave it somewhere between 4 and 6. I do often feel that a lot of reviews are actually quite close in their opinions, to you and other traditionally low-scoring website, but then end up wimping out with the scores at the end.

In this case though it seems that you just didn’t like a game that others did, which is fair enough. I have a suspicion it’ll turn up in the Black Friday sales, so I’ll give it a go then. Marcus

Secret wars These rumours about Sony developers rebelling against the idea of live service games sounds worryingly believable. Being told to stop making single-player games, to switch to live service titles, would absolutely explain what’s been going on this year, but surely Sony wouldn’t do that to all studios? If they did that has to be the biggest self-own since Brexit.

It’s making me wonder whether Jim Ryan really left by his own choice or not because the timing on this is very suspicious. If he was the one pushing for live service games and Sony HQ decided he’d gone the wrong route, wouldn’t they want to get rid of him? I don’t know why this Connie Booth is being blamed for anything, but it sounds like there’s a powerplay going on at Sony and anyone involved in live service games is in the firing line.

I may try and write a Reader’s Feature about this, especially if there’s more info, as I feel like something massively important is happening at PlayStation right now behind, but only behind closed doors. Golem

Trailer theory In regard to Brontoburger’s letter yesterday, about Nintendo not wanting to cause any confusion between the current Switch and its successor, it has been noted that Nintendo has actually taken down its original Switch reveal trailer on the official YouTube channels across the world.

So perhaps this is telling on how similar they are likely to be, or at least one of the SKUs if they are to release variants?

Therefore, removing the original Switch reveal will also help to streamline any monitoring of interest or at least avoid confusion for those who aren’t savvy enough to recognise a video’s release date.

Also, this could prove some theories that Switch 2 will be backwards compatible and be revealed alongside Tears Of The Kingdom (possibly the rumoured updated version shown off recently behind closed doors even?) once again making the trailer of the OG Switch and its successor even more similar? Bad Edit

GC: We saw that but it’s probably just because the music licensing rights in the trailer expired. It was an enhanced version of Breath Of The Wild that was reportedly shown behind closed doors, although that would fit your theory even better.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Gameplay per hour I’ve found myself a little confused with the recent discussions on games as value for money. As a particular example, in the last few weeks we’ve had a few people discuss Spider-Man 2 as too expensive, whilst others hold Super Mario Bros. Wonder as good value.

Firstly, it’s clear that value for money is purely subjective. But this comparison is interesting as one of the most objective metrics we can use is cost per hour of gameplay. According to HowLongToBeat, Spider-Man 2 takes between 15-25.5 hours, whilst Mario Wonder takes 8.5-17. In both metrics, this means that Spider-Man is roughly 1.6 times longer than Mario.

Taking this and an RRP of £50 for Mario Wonder, then Spider-Man 2 would be ‘as good value’ as Mario Wonder if it cost roughly £80 and given it’s RRP is £70 it seems pretty bang on consistent between both. Replayability may tip the scales, but I don’t think we can assume that everyone will replay Mario more than Spider-Man: I can’t be the only person who finds the wonder of Mario games lost after one playthrough, can I?

This isn’t an attempt to suggest either of these games is better than the other. Far from it, they are wildly different. In fact, I think there is a strong argument to be made that this diversity in approach (story-driven open world realism of Spider-Man vs. thematic inventiveness and simplicity of gameplay mechanics in Mario) makes gaming hugely more interesting.

But it seems to me that an eagerness to focus purely on headline cost is overly negative, and at worst would only serve to limit this diversity if it created a pressure for games that are simpler to produce or less of a risk. After all, Miles Morales was only cheaper as a half-sequel because much of the work in developing the city and character had been done in the original Spider-Man. Especially so given recent lay-offs and financial pressure in the gaming industry.

I suspect the most likely reason is that whilst value for our money might vary between people, we can usually all agree that we don’t think we have enough of it. Kris

The joy of shopping When I bought my Xbox Series X there was serious stock shortages, so the only way I could get one was through the All Access programme, where I paid over 24 months and had to have Game Pass included for two years.

Now, in that two years I would occasionally look at what games were available but it felt like a chore. Yes, there were 100 games or whatever but not many I could say excited me.

I did try some games that I wouldn’t have otherwise but often it was a case of waiting for the game to download (my broadband’s OK but not the best), playing for 10 minutes, then deciding it wasn’t capturing my interest.

The cloud streaming games… I did like the feature a lot, as it was quick to jump in and try a game but overall I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why but Game Pass just didn’t appeal to me. Maybe if it had less games and was cheaper I’d have kept it but once my two years were up I didn’t renew my subscription.

Maybe it’s missing the dopamine hit of buying a game or maybe it’s just too much choice but not enough of interest to me. Mark Matthews

Baldurborne Baldur’s Gate 3 is doing something I thought would never happen. It’s getting perilously close to Bloodborne for my personal favourite ever game made. It dawned on me last night, when stumbling into a house in the Lower City. I came across a young Githyanki boy who proceeded to fill me in on what had taken place.

He was part of a (what I assumed) completed mission in Act 1 and I’d continued the game unaware that I’d see the results of my choice some 100 hours later. A revelation I could’ve quite easily missed if I’d have simply avoided entering the establishment. It’s left a lasting memory about the nature vs. nurture debate and was an outcome that I’d been directly involved in and indeed, responsible for. I’d been made to accept the consequences and it was one I couldn’t simply reverse.

Obviously, Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t the first ever game to try this but it works so well because the entire game around it is excellent with most characters, even the less salubrious ones, being such believable creations. Some demand choices of you whilst others want the opposite. You are fond of both and yet you’re having to decide both who to please and also what is morally in line with your playthrough.

Parts of Act 3 show signs of this breaking, evidenced with the admittedly funny incident starring Halsin, your love interest and the Drow twins, but overall it’s amazing how much choice you have and how much you think about those consequences.

Yet to see if it’ll fully topple the Bloodborne monolith but it’s getting mighty close. Wonk

The wrong secrets That GTA 6 document from the fans is actually really impressive. Kudos to everyone that sat down and took the time to write it out and everything.

I’m not sure how accurate it’s going to be though, simply because so much could’ve changes. Especially as Rockstar strike me as being the sort to change everything the moment it leaks. I don’t know why though, it’s not really plot details or anything that’s important in a GTA game but the world itself and all the little details.

The most important thing for me will be seeing the open world and how crazy the graphics are. That’s what matters to me, not who the main character’s cousin is. Tattler

More: Trending Alan Wake 2 review - go back to sleep Games Inbox: Will the Nintendo Switch 2 still have Joy-Cons? PlayStation exec was fired in civil war over live service games claims God Of War creator

Agree to disagree I’ve been reading your pages for a good while now and have seen quite a few games where you have given a lower score than other sites. I’ve never seen such a difference as the one with Alan Wake 2. You gave it a 6, on Metacritic it’s currently 88% with a fair few reviewers giving it 10/10, including GameSpot.

Were you in a bad mood when you played it? Had a row with the other half or just got out of bed the wrong side?

I jest but what I do like is your honesty, even if your opinion on this one is an outlier.

I’ll pick up the game when it’s cheaper. I do think it looks good (and I really liked the first one) but I’ve got into a saving habit that’s meaning I’m spending less on games. I now don’t buy as many when they are first released. Waiting a few months or more can mean big savings. Just picked up Dead island 2 on sale on Amazon for £25. Quite a saving on £60 or £70.

Anyway, it’ll be a while before I find out whether you are right about Alan Wake 2 or the rest of the critics.

Keep up the good work. Manic miner 100 (gamertag)

GC: Thanks. We tried to make it clear in our review that we were not part of the consensus on the first game, so it stands to reason we wouldn’t be on the sequel either. All we can do is offer our opinion and explain our reasoning.

Inbox also-rans Did I see Titanfall 2 in that top 10 best-selling games in September list? When did that game come out? Stephen

GC: Interest has been piqued by recent updates that point to some sort of seventh anniversary update tomorrow. Plus, it’s only £3.74 on Steam right now.

The problem with warning against acquisitions is that by the time it’s enough of a problem for it to be obvious everyone’s already all been bought up. As soon as EA and Ubisoft go – and I’m sure that’s only a matter of time – that’ll be it. Jrry

This week’s Hot Topic The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Hammeriron, who asks what is the scariest moment or enemy from a non-horror video game?

There’s plenty of survival horror games that are specifically designed to scare you but what’s the most frightening moment from a game that’s not primarily a horror title? Was the moment or enemy meant to to be scary and if not, why did you find it frightening?

What’s your earliest memory of finding something scary in a video game and was that intended by the developer?

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 via email or our Submit Stuff page , 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 .

MORE : Games Inbox: Nintendo Switch Joy-Con suggestions, Super Mario Bros. Wonder DLC, and Starfield for free

MORE : Games Inbox: Rating Xbox Game Pass as a failure, Elder Scrolls 6 evolution, and GTA 6 success

MORE : Games Inbox: Spider-Man 2 best video game opening ever, Switch 2 Donkey Kong, and Spider-Man 3 ideas

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here .

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