Games Inbox: Gamescom early impressions, Mafia III, and Gears 5

Today’s inbox delves into early impressions from Gamescom, as one reader regrets purchasing Mafia III.

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

PLEASE NOTE: The main GameCentral team are currently away at Gamescom in Germany, where we’ll be reporting back on all the week’s news and previews as they happen. That will mean there’ll only be one Inbox per day until we get back on Thursday, but please keep the emails coming (including the Hot Topic and Reader’s Features) and we’ll resume normal service as soon as possible.


Bored Stranding

I’m getting more convinced Death Stranding is going to be a waste of time with the passing of every new trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Hideo Kojima’s work but I’m starting to get tired of this endless game of trying to figure out what the whole thing is.

It was fun at the start, and the cast is still impressive, but without a firm idea of the gameplay it all feels a bit hollow now we’re mere months from its release. I might end up eating my words once November comes around, but showing off urinating Norman Reedus and the ability to rock a baby to sleep isn’t exactly selling me on a blockbuster title.

I’m just hoping this will be a spectacular bait-and-switch similar to Metal Gear Solid 2, but my hopes are slowly dwindling with each passing day.


SC: We’re not entirely convinced either. And with the likes of Doom Eternal and Pokemon releasing in the same month, we’re not sure peeing collectively to create mushrooms as Norman Reedus is going to pull us away.


Nintendo takeaway

My main takeaway from Gamescom so far is how Nintendo is schooling the other companies in delivering efficient, worthwhile presentations. We got Ori And The Blind Forest, Hotline Miami, and Superhot announcements for Switch in a brief 20 minute showing, whereas Microsoft took nearly two hours to drop a horde mode trailer for Gears 5.

The Opening Night Live presentation wasn’t much better, which felt padded out with minor releases and bizarre announcements which didn’t exactly warrant the big production. Geoff Keighley in Death Stranding felt like an ego stroke too.

If every game company could be as swift and to the point as Nintendo in their announcements, I feel there’d be a cut in gamer hatred on the internet by at least 23%.


SC: Going by our skeletal calculations, we reckon the number is closer to 17.7% when Nintendo fails to update their online service with each passing presentation. 


Mob regrets

GC I should have listened to you! I’m not a fan of the original Mafia but enjoyed Mafia II thoroughly. I did get it for free with another digital purchase, but enjoyed it so much I purchased the additional DLC content which I also enjoyed.

So with the third game I decided to take the plunge. My other half and daughter are away. So I moved the PC to the living room, hooked up the surround sound and at first was taken aback by how good the opening sequence was. On my PC maxed out at 1080p the graphics are decent and shifts along well.

However, the cracks appeared; I’ve had multiple deaths due to the cover system failing me. I’ve had bugs where I’ve had to reload checkpoints and even whole missions.

It’s a shame that games are released in this state. Part of me wants to say games are more complex than ever. However part of me just wants it working well.

I’m currently working my way through my backlog which includes Yakuza 0, Halo 5 and Sonic Mania.

Commodore Fan

P.S. I also bought The Order 1886 on sale; lasted an hour before uninstalling it. Forgive me!

SC: We were just about to file a motion to reintroduce capital punishment for anyone who fails to heed GC advice, but this apology/warning will make do instead.


Microsoft’s gain

Can I ask what people think Microsoft are getting out of their closer partnership with Nintendo?  I’m not complaining or anything but there is history of the Goldeneye remake never coming to Xbox because Nintendo wouldn’t play nice.

Now, Microsoft are going to have a number of games on Switch and are allowing their IP to appear in rival games, yet I am seeing nothing in kind from Nintendo.

Is this a case of Microsoft doing the sums and seeing they have more to gain in sales and rep than loss of USP on Xbox? Is this all a precursor to xCloud on Switch or do Microsoft just make business decisions by throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks?

Again, I’m not complaining, just find the one sided nature of this partnership odd.

DarKerR (gamertag) DarKerR-UK (PSN)


Has the internet ruined video games?

Just wanted to pass on my appreciation to Rorschach for his/her weekend Reader’s feature. A well written piece which addressed many of the concerns I’m sure we all share in the current world climate. While the internet can certainly be a force for good and an all encompassing source of knowledge, it is clearly also very easily misused to spread anger, hatred and dubious ideology. Fortunately not something we see with the GC community at least!

I also missed the weekend Hot Topic so I’ll throw in a few strategy titles I’ve enjoyed through the years. Way back when, I really enjoyed Populous and Mega-Lo-Mania on the Amiga. Since those days though, I’ve been console based so options have obviously been somewhat limited. Still, hearty recommendations must go out to Civilisation Revolution. I spent so many hours on that, that when I closed my eyes I could still see those little digitised armies marauding across the colourful landscapes. Great stuff.

Mr Brutus

Currently flitting between Forza Horizon 4, Metro Exodus and RDR2. Too many games, nowhere near enough time. Curse you Game Pass!



Hi I was wondering if you could tell me where you found out the date of ’18 October to 15 November’ for the Pokemon Centre in London opening as I can find no official dates anywhere, yes as with yourselves several news and media outlets are stating the same date.

I am hoping to be able to travel there for the opening (as I visited the Paris one slightly later and their entire stock had been sold out), and as you may know traveling to London can be rather expensive, especially when you don’t know a solid date.

So yes, I would be super appreciative if you could help me out at all here, though if not I understand.


SC: We believe the information was sent out in a press release alongside the images, so those dates should be locked in. We will keep you updated if there’s any changes though. 


Inbox also-rans

Just seen that Gears 5 on Xbox One is £38.65 currently on ShopTo, on Amazon it is £49.99.

Andrew J

Really enjoyed the Contra collection and Blazing Chrome, now looking for some more recommendations from GC or its readers (not Gunstar Heroes or Metal Slug). Can be for any console from this or last gen, except PlayStation 3 or Switch but including 3DS.

Cybernator on the virtual console caught my eye. I’ve not heard of it but it’s Konami and looks like it might have been the inspiration for the mech suit parts in Blazing Chrome. Also thinking of going for my Cuphead stripes.

Matt A


This week’s Hot Topic

With Gamescom taking place at the beginning of this week the subject for this weekend’s Inbox seems obvious: what future game are you most looking forward to at the moment?

It doesn’t have to be at Gamescom, but what game are you currently anticipating the most? As long as it’s been officially announced you can nominate any title, no matter when it’s due out, but we want to know why you’re excited about it and what first got you interested.

How much attention do you generally pay to previews and early trailers and at what point in a game’s lifecycle do you usually start to get interested? Have you already pre-ordered any games and if so how are you feeling about them now?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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