Games Inbox: Elden Ring DLC theories

Elden Ring artwork

Elden Ring – will we see more Ranni? (pic: Bandai Namco)

The Monday letters page thinks it’s time for another big name FPS franchise to challenge the old guard, as one reader discusses the best Power Rangers games.

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Bewitching expansion
So… Elden Ring is over six months old now and we still haven’t heard a word about DLC. Not even a denial that it’s coming or any explanation of why they haven’t talked about it yet. It’s usually possible to make an educated guess as to why publishers do something, even if you don’t agree with it, but in this case I really can’t work it out at all.

I can only assume that the game’s unexpected success changed the plans but if it did then what were they going to do before, that needed to be changed? From don’t strike me as the sort of developer to suddenly pivot to doing a crash gab, so even that theory has issues.

As many have pointed out, there’s a lot of empty space on the map and since the world is made up of separate chunks of floating islands it’d be easy to drop some more in (I assume, knowing nothing of how games are made).

But what will be the theme? There’d be some big backstory behind it, so what makes most sense? Personally, I’d like to see it focus on Ranni and what happens after her quest ends. For me she was the most interesting of the characters, as it’s never entirely clear how good or evil she is or whether she has other people’s interests in mind with her plans.

I like to think she has, and I’d like to see this expanded on, and perhaps see some conflict between her and the Outer Gods. If you saw her ending in the game, it’s since turned out that there were some translation errors and she may have been more altruistic than anyone realised. An expansion of that would be great for… an expansion.

Complete set
I don’t have an Xbox so the news about Halo Infinite ditching local co-op doesn’t bother me, but I can absolutely understand why people like the one behind the Reader’s Feature would be upset about it. I also agree that it shows money can’t buy you everything, and that Microsoft has a lot of work ahead of it getting a grip on these studios.

The other thing I thought of though is that is means all three of last year’s big first person shooters were a wash. Halo Infinite might have reviewed better than Battlefield 2042 and Call Of Duty: Vanguard at first but its reputation has been sinking ever since.

It’s kind of just a coincidence but I can’t see this doing much for the genre’s popularity going forward or publishers’ willingness to make more. Or perhaps it’s a sign that a new franchise could come in and shake things up. I’d like to see that. Sony never did make their Halo killer so maybe now’s the time, considering it seems to have killed itself.

One and done
RE: YouTube walkthrough Reader’s Feature. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but I like to read a walkthrough of the level I just completed before moving on to the next level or area of the map. This is to see if there are any cool items or miss-able side quests that I could go back and get, check if the strategy I used was the same as the one suggested by the walkthrough, or see where other branching narratives can lead.

One example is in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, where after I find all the shrines I can in an area, and then I check if there are more shrines to visit before going to the next tower.

I probably do this because I dislike revisiting a game to finish collectables or side quests. If it’s not done in one walkthrough then it is not done at all.

I also sometimes like to re-read reviews halfway through the game or after I finish it, to see if they line up with my thoughts. Strange I know.
Ali K

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Buy to play
The CMA report into Microsoft buying Activision makes interesting reading and certainly indicates it might be a challenge. However, I think it also shows why it will ultimately go through.

Admittedly, it’s only a first phase review, that just decides if an in-depth review should be carried out, but it has some quite large flaws that I’m sure Microsoft would easily challenge. The report constantly alternates between talking about the console and gaming markets. The only competitors listed are from the console space; they state the main way games are bought is with the traditional buy-to-play model which is only really true for consoles and PC. But then they list two of Activision Blizzard’s biggest games as being Candy Crush and World Of Warcraft, which aren’t on consoles.

In the blog Phil Spencer recently did, Microsoft now appears to be downplaying consoles as being the reason to buy Activision Blizzard and it all being about mobile and PC, which luckily for them fits with the billions of players statement they’ve been saying for years.

So, unless the next report is better and starts including the mobile market, it’s easy to see a legal challenge would discredit its findings and just point to Minecraft as evidence Call Of Duty can stay multi-platform.

GC: Although you make some interesting points one of the main concerns of the report is Microsoft gaining an unassailable advantage in terms of streaming and subscription services, which are issues largely unconnected with consoles.

Not cool
It was when I first played the Jet Set Radio games that I first suspected it. I was not ‘sick’ or ‘phat’. I never needed to be told to turn the radio down. I was a good boy. Free love was more than sufficient for me, thank you for offering.

Years later, Persona would come into my life. Persona 5 told me in no uncertain terms that I would never be as cool as these menu screens (Yes! Bloody menu screens of all things!) or this incredible soundtrack. But, maybe I was still somewhat cool? No?

And then came the free games on PS Plus for August, still available as I write. Among which is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. Now, as it was ‘free’, I am not paying towards Bobby’s yacht fund. At least, not directly, right? So, that’s cool. But going into the tutorial I become more and more horrified. I… don’t like. In fact, I may even hate it.

This is definitely my fault: I didn’t namedrop the Jet Set Radio series just to show how old I am. I was clearly expecting a platformer. Jet Set Radio, but with a skateboard. But I just found it all so needlessly awkward and fiddly. I didn’t like how Tony (or any other you may play as) constantly moves like in a free runner on a mobile. Or Robot Unicorn Attack. And that you had to hold a button down to make them stop.

It says to face forward so you don’t fall over when you land, but it’s not very lenient about what that means. And it felt like desperate struggle with the camera to get it to face the right way when I changed direction. Or ‘bailed’. Which was a lot. I think Atreyu had an easier time steering his horse through the Swamps of Sadness. Yeah! You’re damn right that’s a deep cut!

I didn’t like that you were required to press an action button in order to initiate a rail grind or wall ride. That irked me. Again, I expected a platformer. Never mind the gibberish lingo you’re forced to learn that skaters use. Damn, I feel old. That said, it’s only the tutorial, so I’ll give it another go. Perhaps there is an acclimatisation period. Maybe I will come to love it.

GC: Why would you think it’s a platformer? It’s a simulation of a sport that’s been around since at least the 1960s.

Making the cut
Being a huge Power Rangers fan, can I please invoke the Inbox Magic and hope for a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers collection in the same vein as the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection, including all the extra bits of media that was included.

All the games from the NES*, SNES, Mega Drive, Game Boy, and Game Gear on one Switch cartridge would be a dream come true.

Also, I would love it if the PlayStation 4/Xbox One Mega Battle game could be included, as I never got to play it, having never had either console. (Alternatively, it could be ported to Switch.)

After the Turtles retreated into the sewers, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers teleported in and became the next big thing with their 90s kids TV show and the various merchandise that came from that.

Battle For The Grid was a great game and I have all the DLC and all three versions of each (Switch) game.

There is money to be made as fans of Power Rangers love Mighty Morphin, regardless of the fans’ age and how long ago it was on TV so it is feasible.

So please Inbox magic, hear my plea and ‘let the power be with you’.
*I’m aware the NES game was based on the Japanese Sentai show and not the American Power Rangers one.

GC: Which games do you think are worthy of being in the collection? We haven’t played Battle For The Grid but it has a 62 on Metacritic.

Part of the job
Immortality sounds fascinating. It’s not often film editing gets any kind of representation in media! I just hope it doesn’t end up being somewhat of a busman’s holiday for me…

That said, I’ve never used a Moviola, so that will be interesting.
Sparky the Yak

GC: We’re interested in your professional opinion.

Returning the Call
Has anyone else had issues with playing Call Of Duty on the Xbox Series X/S?

This weekend I purchased Modern Warfare 2019 and it would not launch the campaign. It kept telling me to install this. Under my Manage Games screen everything was installed.

I ended up refunding this and today I purchased Cold War. The result is the same, it tells me to purchase it on launch, then says I already own it. I purchased the cross-gen bundle and am running the X/S version.

Had to request a refund on both. The first refunds I have ever had since buying digital from 2008!

At least Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown and Fighting Vipers are working perfectly.

Wonder if Call Of Duty has the same issues on PC? I might have to purchase them via Steam.
Commodore Fan

GC: Unfortunately, it’s been a long-running problem.

Inbox also-rans
Will we get to see All Ghillied Up again in Modern Warfare 2?

GC: That was in the original Modern Warfare 1?

Can’t argue with the mess 343 Industries has made with Halo Infinite. They should’ve been Microsoft’s best studio but they’re not even close.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Dennis, who asks what retro video game has aged the best?

Retro gaming is big business nowadays but so are remasters and remakes, that aim to make older games more palatable to modern audiences, but which game do you feel holds up the best and is still as playable now as it always was?

How well do the graphics hold up and why do you think they have lasted better than other contemporaries? Do you still play the game in its original form and if there was a remaster or remake what would you change?

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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.

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