Games Inbox: Should Kratos die in God Of War Ragnarök?

God Of War Ragnarök – will it be Kratos’ last outing? (pic: Sony)

The Wednesday letters page considers the madness of video game release schedules, as one reader talks up the Sonic the Hedgehog movies.

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End of the story
God Of War Ragnarök is easily the biggest game this Christmas, even if it’s easy to forget it’s coming out, given how little Sony has talked about it. I love the first game and I’m sure this one will be just as good, but I have to admit I’m most interested to see what happens at the end and what it will mean for future games.

They’ve already said that this will be the last Norse game, so there’s two obvious eventualities at the end: either Kratos is alive and ready to go take on a new pantheon of gods or he dies and his story comes to an end, with his son or someone else taking over as the lead of the series.

Personally, I think Kratos is doomed. I hated him in the PlayStation 2 games but his rejuvenation in the reboot is some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in a video game, especially as his changing attitude took place in front of you, as you played, and yet it seemed very subtle and organic.

Without even getting into spoiler speculation, I just don’t see him going on to live happily after ever or becoming some kind of avenging superhero. Nope, I think this really is the twilight of the gods for Kratos and I’m fascinated to see how it plays out.

The Marvel formula
I think we’re all going to quickly regret egging Marvel on to make more video games, when they all turn out to be boring open world games with the combat from the Batman: Arkham games. I mean, what is Fantastic Four going to do differently that any other superhero game hasn’t done already? I could see it working as some kind of point ‘n’ click adventure, where they’re investigating things and doing science, but I think we can all assume that’s not what’s going to happen.

The only characters that would make for interesting games, as far as I can see, are Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, and there’s no hint of them getting their own games at all. That’s not saying that I don’t enjoy characters like Iron Man or Black Panther or whatever but as video game characters they’re not very interesting or unique. There’s never going to be a Thor game as good as God Of War and Captain Marvel is basically Superman without kryptonite, so even harder to make work as a game.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t do more games at all, but I have very little confidence that they’re not all going to turn out worryingly similar to each other.

Free electricity
My apologies, my figures were wrong, it’s soon to be 50p for a five hour gaming session on a PlayStation 5, excluding the TV and router energy. But give it a few months more, that could get worse.

Also realised I can charge my laptop at work and then use that at home too.

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Bob Hoskins burn
I guess I can’t discuss the leak about the Sonic 3 movie here because it’s a spoiler, but wow if I was going to pick any character to join the movie that would not be it. Assuming it’s true I’d say that they probably chose them specifically because they were lame and they thought it’d be fun to try and make them cool and interesting.

Perhaps I’m giving the movie makers too much credit but I’ll actually go quite a way to defend the films. Considering they weren’t even originally intended to be Sonic movies and they were going to use that Ugly Sonic design I think the first one turned out surprisingly well and second is a genuinely fun family movie that’s actually a pretty good adaptation of the games.

Considering the games have very little plot and aren’t trying to be realistic the movies do a really good job. Sega certainly did a much better job than Nintendo did with Mario. Which is the only context you can ever use that sentence in.

Fresh concerns
As much as I’m looking forward to Splatoon 3, I have a niggling feeling the doubters on the internet that say not enough has changed may be right. Splatoon 2 introduced the superb Salmon Run as its big new feature, but it doesn’t feel like there’s any equivalent big new mode for the third entry. The Tricolour Turf Wars do look interesting and will make Splatfests feel more unique, but I’m not convinced they’re a game changer.

The single-player didn’t look like a significant upgrade either, from the short glimpse we were given. Even the competitive modes, or anarchy battles as they’re now known, are identical to before. I know I’ll enjoy the game regardless and it’s true to say that other shooters barely change instalment to instalment but both Nintendo and Splatoon itself have set high standards for innovation. It’d be a shame if the series lost its freshness.
Ryan O’D

Thought crime
Hard to fathom some people. Why are you wishing for new consoles when this recent generation has sputtered along for the last two years of its life. And me saying two years isn’t exactly accurate as many have only been able to access their preferred platform in the last lot of months due to shortages and (mostly) scalpers.

I never bought a PlayStation 5 but that’s mostly due to God Of War being on PlayStation 4 too and the fact the console is huge and ugly.

I’ve been thinking of an Xbox Series X just so I can consolidate my Xboxes and just use one instead of three and that might happen in the next few months.

But people need to be realistic. How could any of these companies justify announcing new consoles so soon into a fairly below average start to the new gen?

As for the streaming aspect. I can’t get a non-interactive Netflix to stream at a consistent quality for some of the week so until we are all on a high quality, high speed network I can’t see the streaming option working anytime soon, especially as prices are rising everywhere for everything.

I just hope Microsoft and Sony knuckle down and start producing quality content for the next several years and worry about a new console when: 1. There are components that aren’t sourced by destroying the planet/people, 2. They can sort out one console per household at launch, 3. Are energy efficient, and 4. Can be used as a flying machine.

Let’s be honest. None of that will happen but one can hope.

Just enjoy gaming and stop wishing years away, can we just do that?

GC: They didn’t seem to be wishing for new consoles, just pondering when they might arrive. Their prediction was 2028. It seemed an interesting thought experiment to us.

Wave of excitement
Oh my go, never had any real interest in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack but as soon as I heard that music and saw the trailer for Wave Race 64 this morning I signed up immediately in preparation for Friday.

Quite simply my favourite game of all time and proof that no one can quite do games like Nintendo does. Roll on Friday!
Saints Stickman

Doomed since 1889
Really enjoyed Anon’s Reader’s Feature regarding the death of consoles. However, I feel it might be a bit premature. The point raised about Nintendo being on ‘borrowed time’ is one I’d like to hone in on. For a while now I’ve been wondering who the next Sega will be; what company will stop making consoles and focus purely on games. Obviously the answer could be everyone if in one or two generations time everything will be cloud based, but I do wonder if Nintendo will stop making consoles first.

Not because they want to focus on games alone, but because they have to. For the last few decades, Nintendo have been going through a weird cycle of making consoles that, while beloved, don’t do that great in terms of sales. But this hasn’t mattered as their handhelds have more than made up for this – the Game Boy and its Color variation offset N64 sales, same with Game Boy Advance and GameCube, and 3DS and Wii U. The Switch made the genius move of combing handheld and console gaming, but what do Nintendo do next?

I find it likely they’ll do another handheld console hybrid, but if that flops they’ve got nothing to offset it unless they rush another console to market without having games ready for it, like the Sega Saturn, and we all know how that turned out. So if Nintendo do release a console that flops and go the Sega route of only making video games, I wonder if they’ll try to remain independent or accept being bought by the highest bidder. Playing Nintendo games on a PlayStation or Xbox seems like it should be a deadly sin, but I fear it could be a reality sooner than you’d think.

GC: The Switch was rushed to market, after the failure of the Wii U. It’s in with a chance of being the most successful console in history.

Inbox also-rans
Am I the only one that doesn’t think much of Until Dawn and similar games? I’m surprised there’s so many of them and they only seem to be making more. Are they popular with non-gamers or something?

Is there a plan to extend your games release schedule beyond 2022? We know the dates of some releases next year, e.g. Dead Space and Resident Evil 4. Will the schedule be updated to include such games?

GC: We do include games beyond 2022, although sometimes we forget to update them when an already announced game gets a specific date – so thanks for the reminder. In doing so though we’ve noticed that, despite months with hardly any major releases, Forspoken and Dead Space have managed to schedule themselves for the same week. Truly, publishers will never learn…

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks what’s the most invested you’ve ever been in a console war?

Which generation did you get the most passionate about and which side were you on, between Sega, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and others? Do you regret any of the things you said or did at the time and do you think you were ultimately right about the side you picked?

Have you ever regretted a choice of console, and did you reverse it that generation or at the start of the next one? Which part of the modern game industry would you have found the most surprising at the time of your console warring?

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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.

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