Phil Savage: Battlefield's in bad company
"It's scary to go back and try to remake an old fan favorite when actually no-one can really put their finger on what it is people love,” said DICE boss Karl-Magnus Troedsson of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. That's a worry. Bad Company 2 remains one of my favourite Battlefield games, so it's disturbing to learn that DICE don't know why.
I'll try and help you out, okay guys? It was a shooter that—thanks to its locations—felt more open and destructive than anything you've done since. Defending a house from an incoming onslaught was thrilling. Walls were blown out, the cover was increasingly eroded, and sooner or later you'd hear the telltale creak, warning that the whole thing would soon come tumbling down. In Bad Company 2, that destruction meant something. It made you feel something. It was more impactful—more properly cinematic—than anything Battlefield 4's “Levolution” has ever achieved.
Samuel Roberts: For those about to Rock Simulator
Behold my LOL cannon, which I load with explosive LOLZ and fire into a crowd of seal-clapping people firing money back at me out of tiny pistols. Honestly, if I was making Dust Simulator 2015 (actual dust physics! Laugh for five minutes and never again!), that's a rough draft of my planned creative process. Oh, I say this because Rock Simulator is now a thing , crowdsourcing for production money and rising up the Greenlight rankings. I don't disagree with its right to exist, but I can honestly say reading about it was not a highlight of my week.
Tom Senior: Valiant Hearts' brave effort
I was sad to see that Valiant Hearts fell short this week . But I hope it does well in spite of its flaws. I'd love to see games exploring history from angles that don't involve shooty-man manshoots. Granted, the World Wars are hardly new territory for games, but Valiant Hearts uses its format to work in more information about the period than a high-octane shooter could.
Andy Kelly: Procedural promises
There are very few games I'm as excited about as No Man's Sky, but Hello Games' reluctance to confirm a PC release is a shame. They obviously have some exclusivity deal with PlayStation, and don't want to diminish the effect of that by saying it'll be playable elsewhere, but if ever a game belonged on PC, it's this. They are a small team, though, and making a game of this scope and scale is no mean feat. But c'mon, just tell me it'll be on PC. Please? I want to see multicoloured space dinosaurs on my monitor, not my TV.
Chris Thursten: Fair play for Fnatic
I was really disheartened to see this post on Fnatic's website last night. Short version: Fnatic's Dota 2 squad might be disqualified from The International because they've not been able to arrange a replacement for a player who is suffering from illness. Valve's position is that the five invited players are the ones that can play, and even though Fnatic have been playing successfully with a stand-in—Excalibur, who will be joining them for ESL One Frankfurt this weekend—it may be that they can't participate in the International at all.
That would be a huge shame. Fnatic are one of the best teams in the world at the moment in terms of entertainment value, and they're a relatively rare example of a stable roster in a sometimes-volatile scene. They've got one of the scene's standout personalities in N0tail. I'd be gutted if they didn't get to play: I want to be in that arena when they pick Meepo. I understand the need for tournament organisers to be diligent about roster changes, but this seems like an example where leniency is warranted. In future, a Dota squad should ideally factor in for replacements - teams should be able to include six or seven players in their roster, not five. Fingers crossed for Fnatic, and I hope Valve are listening…
Tim Clark: Pray for 40K
When Tom saw this trailer , he said: “I can't let myself hope this'll be good.” I feel exactly the same. The footage is fine, in so far as it's completely faithful to the 40K source material, but all CG anyway so who the hell knows. The game may well end up being brilliant, but as long suffering fans of the coolest unending, galaxy-spanning conflict ever, there's always a nagging sense that they won't quite get the vibe right. That the budget won't be there to match the fantasies I had as a teenager of being able to properly play a videogame as a Space Marine. Or that it just won't be dark enough.
Look, I get that we're a tough fan base to please. And that the subject matter is probably too niche to justify a Call Of Duty-sized budget. But that's what 40K merits for me. Maybe bigger. My dream would be a blend of Skyrim and Far Cry 3, playing as an Inquisitor hopscotching around the universe at the start of the Horus Heresy. Yeah, Kickstarter probably isn't going to fund this is it?