Video Games

The Power Of The Lost: Why Xcom 2 Has Only Gotten Better

The Power Of The Lost: Why Xcom 2 Has Only Gotten Better

Sneaking in behind a glut of release, Xcom 2 quietly deployed its first expansion pack. War of The Chosen isn’t merely a fresh offering of a few new tricks, but a clear injection of ideas and mechanics that elevate the game to a whole new level. While the new menacing Chosen Advent enemies may grab the headlines, it’s the curious new enemy faction that truly changes things up.   Lost & Found  The initial eye rolling that accompanies The Lost’s debut is both to be expected and respected. They may not share the same name, but The Lost are essentially zombies. Those slow walking, rotting bags of flesh, that have bogged down popular media for nearly a decade now. We’ve seen them at pretty much every turn since the zombie revival burst open with 2004′s Dawn of the Dead. Video games thrive on the undead masses, constantly deploying them into post apocalyptic settings or making them the core focus of a so so experience. Xcom 2 falls victim to similar ideas, The Lost have all the traits of zombies all the way down their shambling movements. But there’s a catch. Instead of being a tired trope that offers little, The Lost add a whole new dimension to the core gameplay. More than just a gimmick, their presence creates more choices and outcomes. They force the player to adapt and manage unforeseen situations. At times, all you can do is endure. Alone, The Lost are merely cannon fodder. Low hit points and the inability to think tactically result in them becoming free kills, at least for a time. A series of clever mechanics around them create a set of unofficial rules of engagement. Aim for the head, keep your distance and never use explosives. For every echoing thunder of a grenade or a near by car exploding, a new horde is ushered. The Lost will pour into the battlefield, heading directly for the source of the sound. No longer a singular token enemy, but a wall of fleshy undead dread. Quantity over quality has never been so intimidating.   Aim For The Head   The once delicate balancing act of dealing with the Alien threat has officially been skewered. The Lost hold no allegiances beyond the need to kill. Be it Xcom or Advent, they’ll take a chunk out of either. Where most developers would leave this as it is, Firaxis Games have gone the extra mile. The Lost can be seen as both an enemy and an asset. Their blind devotion to the kill can be utilized by the plucky commander to the benefit of Xcom. Creating explosions in the heart of Advent squads draws The Lost’s attention. Before you know it, the once deadly incoming horde has not become a valuable tool. But what if it all goes wrong? Accumulation of failures has always been at the heart of Xcom. A few missed shots, a mistaken attempt to lure the enemy. A single slip up and spell the end for an Xcom operator, or even an entire squad. A single miss placed shot, even with the handy free action gained by killing a Lost, generates immense pressure. They move closer and closer with each turn, one after another. Smothering a single operator, refusing to let them escape. Battling between dice rolls and diminishing reloads, the tide of Lost become unstoppable. Overrun Those brief seconds of judgment between turns allow for the doubts to sink. Repeating murmurs of ‘what if’ plague each choice. Dealing with Advent is one thing, you can predict their need for self-preservation, The Lost is a different foe. Slamming round after round into their advance, struggling to keep your head above the tide. It’s truly exhilarating. These are the moments in which heroes are born. Pvt. Sammy Forgotten, Cpl.Pete Peterson, your backup squad you never cared very much. Suddenly they’re providing fire that’s taking out the incoming Lost War of Chosen does a fantastic job of making the best use of forgotten operatives. Be in the off-screen missions found in the Resistance Ring, or an Xcom member of any rank taking down Lost. Everyone and everything fit into the overall movement of the game. It’s a nice twist that an enemy called The Lost can truly make every member of your squad feel useful. A simple threat that creates an extra layer of depth that scales beyond something else to kill. Xcom 2′s The Lost truly is an improvement to a game that was already excelling....

Overwatch’s Christmas Content Is More Of What Makes Overwatch Great

Overwatch’s Christmas Content Is More Of What Makes Overwatch Great

It’s the Christmas season, Overwatch is in full festive cheer. The latest content drop is filled with Santa hats, elf ears and snowball fights. Aside from all the new skins, sprays and poses, the latest content provides a great example of why Overwatch works so well, and I’m not talking about the gameplay. Blizzard have masterfully built worlds for years now. Their ability to create new various universes, filling them with characters and lore, is arguably their greatest asset. Much like World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch is filled with little details that breathe life into the world.   At this point, we’ve all fallen in-love with the characters, even with their limited back story. Their traits and personalities allow them to become more than just a role within the game. Tracer could have just been ‘the fast one’, Reinhardt left as nothing but ‘the shield guy’, but they’re more than that. Each character doesn’t just feel unique, they act it. Their one liners when they take down a enemy, their remarks when someone gives them a heal. It’s a collection of little touches that give the game, as well as the heroes, some personality. Interactions between the characters is something Overwatch does wonderfully. Various bits of backstory and lore are exposed in these interactions, supplying some level of humanity to a game about heroes.   Blizzard could have messed it up, they really could. Forcing interactions and overdoing one liners is a problem a lot of games suffer from. Blizzard does it in such a organic way that it becomes second nature. Throughout the game, players can find little touches that link heroes together. The recent Christmas content provides a great example of this, focusing in on two characters. Roadhog and Junkrat are partners in crime, popping up throughout Overwatch’s lore. Those with a keen eye would have noticed Roadhog’s latest festive skin features a neat detail on his gun. Tucked away on the side of Roadhog’s scrap cannon is a short message reading ‘From Junkrat’. It’s a tiny touch that would normally go untouched, but its just another reason why Overwatch works so well. Everything feels connected, creating a sense of a genuine world with history and current events. The Christmas event is just another step in Overwatch’s growth, both as a game and a world. The quirks and mannerism of each character, mixed with the interlinking nature of the world, that’s what makes Overwatch flourish....

Super Powered Battle Friends Looks Like 2D Smash Goodness

Super Powered Battle Friends Looks Like 2D Smash Goodness

I remember back when I was just a wee lad and my friends and I would haul a television and an N64 console outside onto his front porch and play Super Smash Bros all night long while sipping on cokes and munching away on cheetos and chips. Ever since then I’ve been a huge fan of games like Super Smash Brothers and I’m constantly looking for new games that delve into that formula to scratch my constant Smash itch. So you can imagine my glee when two friends of mine in the development community started developing their own 2D smash-like game called Super Powered Battle Friends (originally titled Wolf Pack Battalion). Now, I’m writing up this little piece for a couple of reasons. The first being, I wanted to get this little game out there and garner some more attention its way. There’s nothing wrong with having more games like this on the market and the fact that it looks incredibly fun and is made by two guys I’ve really come to respect in the industry is the whole reason I’m supporting their game. I played it back in the Wolf Pack days when the game ran on the BYOND engine (a free to use game development tool) that has spawned some pretty great titles on Steam itself. Such titles include EPOCH, Nother and NEStalgia just to name a few. The thing about SPBF is that these guys took a step out of their comfort zone and completely redesigned the game in the Unreal 4 Engine, which isn’t an easy feat if you’ve become comfortable and accustomed to one development engine for going on ten years. For me, that stands out as being kind of impressive on its own. They’re trying to get the game through Steam Greenlight at the moment, and for some people it’s really a make or break stage in the development process. You can vote for the game here if it appeals to you, and it never hurts to see more games thrown onto Steam and especially something like this, we need more Smash-like games in the world and it wouldn’t hurt to have some of those grace the Steam marketplace, especially one that plans on taking Smash-likes and turning it into something balls to the wall nutty. It would be a nice change of pace from all of the indie-horror & survival simulation titles that have been cropping up on the service (not that I’m complaining). For people curious about the game, and for some reason can’t take a gander at the Steam page for the title, I’ve copy and pasted some of their FAQ about the game so you can get an understanding of what they’re going for. Linux or Mac support? Mickemoose: are using Unreal Engine 4, we do have the ability to build the game to run on Linux and Mac, and we hope for a smooth simultaneous release on all three! If you guys are taking on the party side of this genre, will the combat feel as good as things like Rivals of Aether and Smash? Mickemoose: Yes. While we do currently have some more tweaks to do and I’m sure we’ll find some more as we keep on play testing every day, I can assure you we plan to have the combat tight and fluid. How many players do you plan to support? Mickemoose: At the time of writing this, we currently support 4 players, but we are discussing on having more than the standard and will most likely end up supporting a larger amount in the long run Whats with the timer in the video? Mickemoose: The timer is currently set to 0 during the recording, after some discussion we’ve decided it should not be on the screen at all if it’s disabled. What will you do differently than other games of this genre? Mickemoose: That’s a great question, we think a lot of games try to focus on the competitive side of things a little too much leaving not much room for party game aspects of the genre. Sometimes people need something to cool down the salt with. We plan to take on game modes not typically seen in these games, things like Capture the Flag, Volleyball, King of the Hill. We have plans for a multiplayer reimagining of Smash Run, using split screen so you can have all your friends over to go throughout the map, dealing with events, grabbing powerups and then competing in an event at the end of the run. And yes we have split screen capabilities right now, we just need more time to finish the actual mode itself as we’d prefer a finished mode over an unfinished one. How many characters do you plan on having? Mickemoose: Our current plans are for a roster of 11. — So there you have it, and without further ado the gameplay trailer....

The Evil Within Still Haunts Me

The Evil Within Still Haunts Me

There’s one ‘horror’ game that tends to be called a great Halloween play. It’s from the creator of a hugely treasured franchise. It should have been an amazing horror experience that made use of the latest technology (at the time). What it ended up being was the perfect example of everything wrong with modern horror, both in games and cinema. Fuck the Evil Within. I’ve never played such a pandering game that tries to appease so many people, all while failing to do anything all that well. The whole game feels like a mish-mash of bad horror films, where the scares aren’t crafted, instead just bundled in. ‘Look at this, it’s disgusting right? All this blood yeah?!’ says the game, all while it tries really hard to scare you. In all honesty, there are some highlights. Initially, The Evil Within does a fairly decent job of setting up its tone. Players are left confused and disoriented, leaving a sense of the unknown to settle in. Tension and atmosphere slowly build, all while brooding undertones start to amass…and then the game just drops it for action and gore. Much like Eli Roth relied on gore and disgust in Cabin Fever and Hostel, The Evil Within relies purely on its gore. Blood splatters, disfigured faces and plenty of body horror. It misses the point entirely, leaving the horror to feel pretty damn cheap. Every 60 seconds the game tries to shock the player with imagery, even if that means hindering the pace of the game. I could never understand how people thought the game was scary or even well crafted. The only true terror I experienced was at how horrifically dated it tended to be. Forced in stealth and turret sections result in the game feeling like some bizarre tribute to late 90′s action games. There’s very little fear to be felt when the game is broken up with long periods of straight up fire fights. The Evil Within tried to redefine horror games, but instead ended up being part of the decline. Sequel baiting endings, padded out sections and launch day DLC were all part of deal. Marketed as the next big game in horror, designed including everything that made video games (in general, not within the genre) sell well, I truly hate The Evil Within. Obviously the game has its fans, but so does the Big Bang Theory.  ...

Dark Side Of The Moon: Routine Release Date

Dark Side Of The Moon: Routine Release Date

If you’re anything like me and love indie-horror games, then Routine would have been on your radar back when it revealed in 2012. It was revealed to be a first-person survival horror game in the same vein as titles such as Outlast, Amnesia and so many others. The only difference is that it’s set on a lunar base on the Moon, and seems to be set in an alternate reality with a 1970′s take on the future. I’ll admit, for the longest time we wouldn’t hear anything regarding the game, but low and behold on Halloween, Aaron Foster tweeted out a very beautiful and special trailer for those of us who have been eagerly awaiting to get our paws on Routine. That’s right kids, March 2017 is the projected release window for Routine. The most intriguing thing about Routine is the fact there’s a permadeath system in place. Make one mistake and you’re gonna have to start over from scratch. I don’t know about anyone else reading this, but I’m ready for March so I can get my hands on the game and explore the moon base. So, get a hold of your moon boots and your freeze-dried astronaut food, it’s time to go into space and survive the dark side of the moon....

Battlefield 1′s Four Most Annoying Traits

Battlefield 1′s Four Most Annoying Traits

Battlefield 1 is currently storming the charts, as well as earning high praise from consumer and critics alike. With amazing visuals, intense multiplayer action, and a campaign that’s not too shabby. There’s plenty to enjoy, but it’s not perfect. Frustrations and annoyances float around very aspects of the game, not all of them are exactly DICE’s fault however. These are three worst things about Battlefield 1 -     Scaled Back Destruction - For a game set during a time where the power of explosives and artillery was stunning the masses, not much can really be blown up. A number of walls will remain standing unless hit by certain weapons or vehicles. Dynamite will have little affect on some structures, resulting a look of confusion on the player’s face. Bombs and tanks rip through the map, but field guns not so much. It’s not a major problem, but does take away some aspects of realism and strategy. Past Battlefield games would allow players to blow up would be sniper potions, Battlefield 1 is a little less accommodating. In general, it would have been nice to see more of the map rip and tear under the pressures of war. But hey, at least the Zeppelins look amazing as they crash to earth.     Team Work Makes The Dream Work - Players who join the game in a party will automatically form a squad in-game, awesome. The catch comes in the shape of those squads being set to private by default. It results in most games being filled with random two-three man private squads, making the game feel less of a team experience. Unfortunately it also has an influence on a team’s performance. Squad spawns can change the tide of a match. Effective squads can flank enemies, allowing team mates and push onto objectives. The bigger the squad, the more effective squad spawns are.   Working as a team is not only hugely helpful, but it’s a core principle of Battlefield on the whole. Spot enemies, supply allies, hold positions. It all makes for a successful team. It’s just a shame that so many people stay in their small private squads. Just set them to open by default, please DICE.   Tanks, Snipers And The Pains Of Life - Everyone single Battlefield game ever has had issues with snipers. Those players who will sit at the back of the map, refusing to do anything but snipe. Battlefield 1 is jam packed with these people. Each of the sniper rifles are pretty simple to use, almost to simple. Bullet drop and damage reduction isn’t all that harsh, allowing even the most novice sharpshooter to succeed. You could easily argue that sniping within the game is too easy. The design of the maps allows for players to hide away with relative ease, rarely fearing attack. Counter-sniping is a option, but that only leads to more snipers. It’s not rare to see a game devolve to snipers on top of snipers with even more snipers. Tanks provide their own issues. In short, it’s far too easy to repair them and remain safe. Open maps like the Sinai Desert are often dominated by one or two armoured units. The only real counter to tanks is the fairly short ranged anti-tank grenade, dynamite and mines. They all require the player to get up close however, which is near impossible on maps lacking cover. Projectile anti-tank weapons do very little, forcing players to use the before mentioned tools.   Not Another Pistol - You finally get a Battle Pack and it’s another pistol....

This Is The Police Adds Free Language Support And Additional Content

This Is The Police Adds Free Language Support And Additional Content

This Is The Police has been gifted a free update. Gangsters have taken the city by storm, along with some new language support patches. Players in Frace, China, Spain and Portugal will be happy to know their home tongue is now fully support within the game.   As a way of saying thanks, developer Weappy Studio have added gangs from their respected homelands to the game. French players will tackles the ”Uterus Magna” while Brazilian-Portuguese players have to deal with ”Circo Mambembe”. Each gang promises three investigations, beefing up the game’s core content in the process.   ”Wheels of Empire”, a new investigation offered to all owners of the game, will also be added.   Weappy have already confirmed work on sandbox-mode is continuing, which will also be added via a free update. This is The Police is one of this year’s sleeper hits. The mix of micromanagement and story telling has resulted in a hugely enjoyable experience. See the review for This Is The Police here.  ...

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game. Ashes of Ariandel is the first DLC release for Dark Souls III and it takes place in the new area known as “The Painted World of Ariandel”. Immediately upon entering the new area of the game I was impressed by what I saw. We are presented with a beautiful snowy landscape filled with blowing snow and just an eerie sense of it all. You exit through a cave and find yourself smack dab in the middle of a small clearing with a hill off to the right, the sounds of enemies in the distance and the ever blowing snow concealing things from view. It should be known that Ashes of Ariandel is my first forray into a Souls related DLC since Artorias of the Abyss. I loved Dark Souls II but never really had a chance to sit down and play the game’s additional content (someday). In Ashes of Ariandel you’re transported to the new land of the Painted World of Ariandel after talking to a praying man at the Cleansing Chapel bonfire before he sucks you into a scrap of painting and you’re dropped into this cold, frigid world. As mentioned above one of my favourite take-aways with this expansion is the landscape and the overall tone and setting. It really sucked me in and made me want to continue to progress through this new area and see what it had in store for me. The enemies in Ashes of Ariandel are pretty cool, but they all seem like something we’ve seen before in the past. You’ve got wolves who act similar to dogs but they feel a little more lethal and their howling seems to attract the other wolves in some rather frustrating pack mentality and they ripped me apart on a few occasions. The main force of foes you’ll be taking on are Farron Followers who wield a variety of weapons and from my experience with the DLC, two of those weapons are acquirable. I don’t want to spoil much in the terms of weapons and armor sets but there’s some cool gems in here and I reckon we’ll be seeing people adapting these weapons into their PvP builds, as they seem incredibly useful and viable. Not to mention the addition of the frost based sorceries, the new pyromancy and miracles. These too all feel at home in the game and they really suit the expansion and setting. You’ll also notice that the pyromancy added was one we’ve seen in the core game and it’s finally nice to be able to use that pyromancy for ourselves. One the topic of enemies you have two new bosses added to the game in the form of the Gravetender’s Champion/Gravetender’s Greatwolf and Sister Friede. Both of these bosses are pretty cool additions to the game with the former being the more interesting of the two, in my opinion and the fight and arena itself may remind you of a certain boss fight in the first Dark Souls game. The only downside is that we do just get two bosses in this expansion, and it would have been cool if it could have been rounded out to three bosses but the fact that there’s only two new bosses to take on isn’t much of a downside considering each boss has two foes you’re pitted against at certain times. There’s a familiarity to Ashes of Ariandel and that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. However the real meat and take-away here in Ashes of Ariandel is the PvP arena that can be accessed through the Firelink Shrine bonfire after killing a certain boss in the DLC. The arena is a really cool idea and pits you against other players in a variety of modes. You can tackle it in teams or have free-for-all brawls of up to six players going at each other in a fun and solid PvP environment modeled after the Kiln of the First Flame where you fight the Soul of Cinder at the end of the core game. I played a few matches of this mode and it was quite the blast, and I actually seemed to be able to hold my own unlike in standard PvP where it involved player hosted fight clubs and the standard invasions. This area of PvP seems more open to everyone and the fact that Estus Flasks are restricted in various ways here is a nice touch, no more Estus chugging while taking on other players. For people turned off on the concept of massive group battles in this area, don’t fret as you can still do your typical one on one duels here as well and the match ends as soon as one person is killed. I really enjoyed my time spent in the arena and I can for sure guarantee that I’ll be tackling it again as soon as I publish this review. Will the arena take over the standard PvP practices Souls players are used to? Of course not, but they’re a welcome addition in my book and breathe a new life into the Dark Souls PvP scene. Ashes of Ariandel is a great start to the expansions set to release for Dark Souls III and will have a little something for every Souls player out there. Whether you’re more engrossed in the PvE side of things you’ll have a cool new area to explore with beautiful level design and tough enemies to tackle in your adventure, or whether you’re more a PvP kind of person you have something as well in the form of the Undead Arena which even at the moment has one level I assume we’ll see more in the future in the next expansion or even in free updates. It may feel a little lacking in some areas and be quick to complete in terms of PvE, there’s still a lot worth checking out in Ashes of Ariandel. This was one of my favourite areas to explore in the entirety of Dark Souls III and I wouldn’t complain if we got some more snow related content. In the end, Ashes is a solid first entry into the Dark Souls III expansions and hopefully things only go up from here.  ...

Mordheim: City of the Damned – Console Edition Review

Mordheim: City of the Damned – Console Edition Review

I seem to be in the Warhammer-themed mood, so of course I got my hands on Mordheim: City of the Damned. Mordheim is a tactical-rpg based on the tabletop game of the same name, where you control one of five factions (now with the DLC you can play as Witch Hunters) each of whom have their own abilities, classes and play-styles. The factions include the Sisters of Sigmar, Mercenaries from the Empire, Skaven, Cult of the Possessed and he Witch Hunters with the recently released DLC. Since the game is a tactical-rpg you’re in control of a small warband with a set amount of units who move about in a turn-based fashion.You’re given the opportunity to improve their warband’s strength by recruiting, leveling, improving and customizing a roster of combatants as well as their equipment. It plays very similar to games like the XCOM series with each of your units taking part in combat and if they fall in battle there’s chances it can lead to a permanent death and that unit can never come back, which emphasizes the player is careful with each of their engagements with the enemy. That being said the combat in Mordheim doesn’t feel that fluid and straight-forward and at times feels boring and I felt myself waiting to progress to the next mission. However, when you do get the hang of the combat the game does get a little more fun, and taking down enemy units feels super satisfying. I can see the combat turning some people off as there does seem to be some kind of steep learning curve here, but if you can stick it out for the first couple of missions you’ll be good to go. Another downside of the combat in the game is that for most of the time the enemies are incredibly stupid in the fact that they’ll just stand there and let you beat the crap out of them with your units which sort of enforces the boredom factor as you never feel like you’re being challenged during these encounters and the whole “units can stay dead forever” doesn’t really have much of an impact if the enemies you encounter aren’t much of a threat. The load-times in between missions is also incredibly slow and at times made me want to shut the game off and go to something else, and I even found myself listening to music and watching YouTube videos to pass the time. It’s kind of disheartening having to wait through these load-times only to be greeted by the boring combat and terrible AI. Enemies and your units alone seem to be able to take a lot of damage and your weapons and attacks never really feel like there’s weight to them. You could probably do more damage throwing spaghetti at your foes than with the weapons you’re given in the game. That being said there’s a lot of really cool things going in with the campaign and ways that your units can be affected throughout their journey in Mordheim. For example, I play as the Skaven and seeing my units get affected by their injuries permanently is a neat little addition that most of these kind of games don’t do. One of my units fell during battle was only knocked out and survived the events of the battle, but ended up with a permanent hearing problem that would affect him in certain ways with ambushes and what-not, that’s pretty friggin sweet. The saving grace here in terms of combat is diving into the multiplayer if you’re sick of unintelligent foes who offer no sense of dread. I hadn’t gotten the chance to spend much time on the online component due to not finding many matches but the matches I did find were the stand-outs of my experience with Mordheim and made me have more fun with the combat than I had in the solo part of the game. If you’re looking for something to go toe-to-toe with XCOM you probably won’t find that in Mordheim but that’s not to say it isn’t worth dipping your toes into. The game does have its positives with the whole unit customization and the lingering effects that can take hold of your units after each battle if you don’t play too smart, but sadly this isn’t much of a worry due to the incredibly stupid AI. It’s still a neat addition and thankfully there are modes for the online portion where these types of things can carry over to your units during offline play in the singleplayer campaigns. Customizing your units and giving them their own stories is one of my favorite parts of the game and is probably what’s going to keep me coming back as well as the new warbands they have the possibilities of introducing. In the end Mordheim isn’t an awful game, but it’s not great either. It falls somewhere in between and that’s okay. The combat feels meh most of the time (unless you’re playing online), the load times are atrocious, but the customization and vastness of the campaign makes the game worth checking out. Each unit develops into their own character and that’s really cool, and I’d like to see more games take that approach. If you’re into the tabletop version of Mordheim you’ll probably be somewhat into the video game and if you’re a diehard tactical-RPG fan than you may feel right at home here with the game, just don’t go in expecting something like XCOM and you should be fine. This game definitely has a particular group of people it’s going for and definitely won’t appeal to every gamer. Warhammer Tabletop and Tactical-RPG fans should feel right at home....

No Man’s Sky Backlash Represents A Possible Consumer Turning Point

No Man’s Sky Backlash Represents A Possible Consumer Turning Point

No Man’s Sky may be Steam’s most poorly reviewed game, but that doesn’t reflect the game itself. If Hello Game’s product was merely disappointing, maybe even bad, no one would have been talking about the game this late after release. Reaction to the game speaks volumes about the state of the modern industry, at least from the consumers point of view. Some critics and publications may have went into overdrive trying to defend the game, but the consumers had no time for it. No Man’s Sky was sold on lies, not just a few white ones either. From features being promised then revoked only to be subsequently hidden under stickers on printed copies, there’s a lot to be infuriated about. Sean Murray had teased, promised and dazzled the masses with his showcasing of No Man’s Sky. Flashy buzz terms married with veiled answers to questions along with simple bright eyed charm, it was hard to resist the hype. His beguiling nature helped paper over the cracks in most of No Man’s Sky presence across various expos. When you market a game on hype and charm, people become invested. At the end of the day, your’re still asking for a full price entry fee from the customer. This forms a strong connection between the game and the player, which sounds good…assuming the game is what was promised. The sheer backlash towards No Man’s Sky is justified. Consumers didn’t feel underwhelmed with the game, they felt lied to. It’s not a nice feeling, sparking instant bitterness within the victim. Comparing what was promised, to what was delivered, leaves some truly mind blowing realisations. How could a game be sold on that many lies? A game worked on by the ‘indie’ scene we were told to love and cherish so much. Why did only a handful of well known critics try to ask the hard questions prior to release? Steam’s user review system is infamously brutal. The boiling pot of hobbyist reviewers, dank meme addicts and trolls, no game is safe from its taint. No Man’s Sky undoubtedly has a number of troll reviews on its store page, like any other game. The primary factor in this store page’s review is just how many reviews consist of concise critiques on the game, rather than blunt ‘F**K DIS GAME’. No Man’s Sky represents the very worst of modern video games. It’s not rare for games to be marketed and hyped on lies, just ask Bethseda’s Todd Howard or Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford. No Man’s Sky is the folk in the road, perhaps even the enlightenment the video game consumer has needed. In the age of social media and blogging, consumer reactions/impression carry much more weight. It’s why the days of sites like IGN and Gametrailers dictating popular opinion are over. Streamers, Youtubers and those with large social media followings are the new frontier. Those same people are often consumers who have happened to fallen into their own place of power. Could Sean Murray’s little bundle of lies turn out to be an important game for reasons he didn’t plan? Hello Games have since closed down the Reddit for No Man’s Sky, all while they rarely seem to comment on the game itself. Robotic statements that never answer anything, silence from Murray himself. It’s been a disaster for a game that was seen as the darling of the industry not that long ago. Consumers have expressed their displeasure with a product they bought in good faith. Could the industry learn from the follies Hello Games? You’d hope so....

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