It was all set to be a fairly quiet week in the gaming world, but then further leaks about an enhanced version of the Nintendo Swich emerged. A larger, better quality screen (still at 720p) and support for 4K output are some of the headlines. An improved version of Nintendo’s all conquering handheld is undoubtedly good news as fans expect news of Breath of the Wild 2 to emerge at some point this year. Many key questions are outstanding though, namely how will devs support both flavours of the Switch moving forward, and will any older releases (especially the third-party ports) be updated to make use of the new console. More details are essential, but Nintendo will share news of this in their own way.
Back in Week 128 we touched on an excellent Eurogamer deep-dive into Xbox Game Pass. This week, Rob Fahey on GI.biz wrote a fine opinion piece which explores how Microsoft are continuing to establish Game Pass as the leading selling point of the Xbox family of consoles. It then highlight the many deficiencies of the PlayStation Plus offering, ranging from the limited number of games available and the foibles of having to download them each month to add them to your account. If you’re thinking about purchasing one of the new consoles at some point this year, it’s an article that might influence your buying decisions.
I’ve felt an urge in recent weeks to get back into the city builder genre. Rise of Industry recently featured in my thoughts, and the more I play Anno 1800 the more I enjoy a city builder with some tangible goals. My interest led me to downloading the 2013 version of Sim City once again. This was a game Nick rejected outright due its always online requirements, while I held back from actually delivering a proper Verdict myself all those years ago.
Dipping into the tutorial this time around to refresh myself with the mechanics, my concerns around always online requirements or bugs were far from my mind. I was more concerned with a game that seemed to be pushing an anti-environmentalist agenda by getting you to plop down a waste treatment facility at random in the tutorial town. No mention of how best to mange the pollution sensibly, just plop and go.
I was then left stunned by the links the tutorial tried to present between low-income residential areas, limited educational facilities and rising crime. In most city builders there is an element of employing a police force, but the stereotypical links Sim City displayed around the causes of crime were enough to put me off creating a city of my own. I think I’ll check out Paradox Interactive’s Cities Skylines instead.