Chris Thursten: Hello, goodbye
It's great that Hello Games are communicating again and that they're working on adding new features to No Man's Sky. What depresses me about the presentation and tone of today's announcement is the way it demonstrates the impact of months of online abuse. The post is short, muted and anonymous, more cautious than excited.
No Man's Sky was disappointing, yes, and it didn't live up to its marketing material or the promises made in interviews: but it is far from the only game to fail in this way, and Hello Games are far from the first developers to make mistakes like this. They paid for those mistakes with critical reviews and Steam refund requests.
Yet it seems inevitable that they're going to continue to be hounded whenever they break cover to speak about the game, and that they'll need to sustain this protective posture simply to operate within the gaming community. Even now, players are trying to figure out which ironic Steam Award to nominate the game for. That's embarrassing. This is a studio comprised of human beings—most of whom you know nothing about—and they don't deserve to be treated as a punching bag by keyboard warriors with nothing better to do.
Phil Savage: For there were no more episodes to review...
I woke up this morning, and set out to do what I've been doing for the majority of this last year: review Hitman again. The menu screen appears, and... What's this? There's no new update? No additional level to award a score, likely somewhere within the 70-89% range? And there won't be any more for the rest of this year at least?
You mean to say that was my last Hitman review—at least until some undefined point in the future when Season Two kicks off? That my life's work—at least the bit of it that is reviewing each episode of 2016's Hitman—is complete? I guess I should be happy, and take comfort in the fact that I no longer need to assign granular judgement to different large buildings, each full of people to kill. I should feel satisfied in having critically assessed a worthy successor to Blood Money.
And yet, I find myself unmoored, unsure of how to move on. Drained, empty and bereft—lost and unanchored on a sea of... Actually, no, I can't keep this act up. I really like the new Hitman, and, despite the challenges of reviewing something in such minute detail, have enjoyed watching the season progress and evolve over the months. But it's been an alright week for videogames, and so I'm attempting my patented tactic of trying to pass off a High as a Low. It hasn't worked, has it? Hopefully everybody else will be too wrapped up in Black Friday to notice.
Tom Marks: PC (Pokemon Computer)
It's time for Pokemon to get the Stardew Valley treatment. No matter how hardcore of a PC gamer you are, I stand by the fact that the Pokemon games are damn fun—and the newest ones are no exception to this. I have unfortunately come to terms with the fact that Nintendo's games will never come to PC, but maybe indie devs will save the day.
Stardew Valley was born out of the desire for a Harvest Moon-style game on PC, a great homage to the series with some unique twists of its own, and it ended being wildly successful as a result. If the uproar about Pokemon Uranium was any indication, there is definitely an audience out there for a Pokemon-style game on PC—one different enough that Nintendo can't shut it down. So it's about time someone does for Pokemon what Stardew Valley did for Harvest Moon. Please?
Samuel Roberts: Price-anfall
On one hand, getting post-release is great for anyone who hasn't already picked up Respawn's GOTY contender, but on the other it's a depressing sign that its initial release perhaps wasn't as successful as hoped for. I feel sorry for anyone who dropped £50/$60 on it two weeks ago, too, but at least this gives it a better chance of building a long-term online community.
For anyone just curious about the well-received campaign, too (read Chris's ), this gives people a cheap way to experience that without necessarily going online.
James Davenport: Tom Marks made this