PlayStation Game Reviews
PlayStation Game Reviews
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Our detailed reviews of the latest PS games help you decide what to play next. We provide a thorough analysis of gameplay, graphics, story, and more.
Review in Progress: Earth Defense Force 6
Review in Progress: Earth Defense Force 6 I received my pre-release key for Earth Defense Force 6 on Monday of this week. Do you know how many missions these games typically have? We're talking around 40 hours, at least, and I'm lucky to be awake for that many hours in a week. The marketing materials even say that this is the biggest one yet in terms of mission count. I’d say that I believe it, but it’s really hard to tell. The narrative pacing is so choppy in these games that it’s hard to say what part of the arc (if there is one) you’re even at. Big bad baddies get introduced and then taken away until later. Super weapons are developed and then disappear. It’s hard to get a handle. That might sound like a complaint, but there’s a lot about Earth Defense Force that you just take as-is. They’re far from the most sophisticated games, and any attempt to push them more in that direction would threaten their charm and appeal. So you either accept all the rough bits and just enjoy blasting ants into orbit, or you don’t. Earth Defense Force 6 doesn’t change that one bit. Screenshot by Destructoid Earth Defense Force 6 ( PS4 , PS5 , PC [Reviewed]) Developer: Sandlot Games Publisher: D3Publisher Released: July 25, 2024 MSRP: $59.99 EDF 5 restarted the series’ continuity for, like, the fifth time if we include the games that weren’t developed by Sandlot. EDF 6 continues from there. It picks up a few years after the invasion depicted in the previous game, and things absolutely suck. The world is in ruins and humanity is completely failing in any effort to try and re-establish society. The setup is different, placing you in crumbling cities fighting off the remnants of the aliens who were left behind, but it will be excruciatingly familiar if you played any of the previous games. You start off with a tiny arsenal, fighting small groups of easy enemies, and things grow from there. If you’ve been playing since 2007’s Earth Defense Force 2017 like I have, the opening missions where you’re just taking out a few ants with a peashooter will have gotten really boring by now. Also, definitely skip the tutorial. It has a prologue where you and a scientist dressed like a banker get moved to a new military base. The commanding officer gives you this massively long and boring speech. Then you’re given a quick rundown of some extremely obvious controls. The only information that might be slightly necessary is that you play as the same protagonist as the previous game, and the man dressed as an accountant used to make weapons. https://youtu.be/HwtaYENREEY?feature=shared Once again, you have four classes. There’s the straightforward Ranger, the shapely Wing Diver, the supportive Air Raider, and the mechanized Fencer. Each one has a completely different playstyle, which is especially useful in multiplayer. However, the EDF games have never really had much strategy to them, so while each feel and play quite different, the difference isn't hugely impactful. You’re once again fighting ants, which eventually give way into weirder enemies. There are plenty of new foes to face off with, but it’s the same flow. The narrative is strangely compelling. Story is not something you typically play EDF games for, considering a lot of it is told through scratchy, one-sided radio conversations with fantastically over-acted voiceovers. It’s just as clumsy in Earth Defense Force 6 , and while it’s not exactly well told, it twists in ways that I didn’t expect. I’m almost on edge wondering what is going to happen next. Screenshot by Destructoid On the other hand, I can’t stress enough how much EDF 6 is like EDF 5 . The graphical upgrades are so minor that you might not even notice them. It still looks like a PS3 game with a 4K texture pack. In fact, if I had to name a single new feature that was added, I could only tell you that there’s a new sub-weapon slot. Of course, new weapons and monsters have been added, but that’s just what you’d expect from a continuation. If EDF 6 wasn’t such a massive game, I’d say it should have just been an expansion pack. I’ll get deeper into things when I’m ready to give you a full review, but that’s the warning I want to give if you’re eager to click the purchase button on Earth Defense Force 6 . If you didn’t finish EDF 5 , you aren’t missing much if you just go back and play that instead. If you did finish EDF 5 , and want more, then this is a safe purchase. Earth Defense Force 6 is assuredly more Earth Defense Force . [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] The post Review in Progress: Earth Defense Force 6 appeared first on Destructoid .
PS5 Archives – Destructoidmoments ago
Review: Flock Is a Delightful and Cozy Flight
Review: Flock Is a Delightful and Cozy Flight There aren’t many games out there like Flock . It’s a flight sim. It’s a creature collector. It’s a mystery game. It’s a puzzle game. All of these descriptions apply, but not exactly. Flock is a strange beast, which is appropriate when it’s a game all about finding strange beasts. You play as a bird rider heading to visit their zoology professor aunt Jane, who has a task for you. She wants you to document the creatures of the land around her home and lower the cloud level in the process. You achieve this through observation, documentation and a system of whistles. Gameplay in Flock is simple. You fly around a small open world, on the lookout for creatures hopping around the land. You fly close to them, observe them and use Jane’s notes to determine which creature you’re looking at, gradually filling up a creature book with details. In addition, you can find whistles for different types of creature, allowing you to charm them and get them to follow you around, which is the flock of the game’s title. That’s it. That’s the game. It’s the most basic of mechanics and yet Flock manages to be delightfully compelling. Flying around the world feels good, for a start. The lack of friction to the movement makes it feel playful. This is enhanced by ring structures that can be dashed through and chained together for a satisfying drift through the skies. You’ll be swooping, drifting and coasting around to your heart’s content and loving every minute of it. Screenshot by Siliconera Seeking out creatures is also a joy. Flock doesn’t openly point them out to you. Instead, you have to listen out for any noises they might be making while staying vigilant for movement in the grass or in the trees. A glow in the woods at night could be something, while careful examination of a lakebed might reveal a pair of eyes peering out of the sand. Flock wants you to stop and carefully examine your surroundings, leave no stone unturned and keep making new discoveries. This is the main draw of Flock , in fact. Because you have to make all these discoveries yourself, using only single line clues in the guide along with your own intuition, it’s extremely rewarding to find new creatures. You’ll see something wiggle in a rock formation and immediately work out out the correct distance to observe without spooking it. You’ll hear persistently loud chirping from tall grass and delight to find a weird duck in there. You’ll peer into a rock and be surprised to see something peering back. The vagueness of these clues may be maddening to more impatient completionists, however. Some creatures require some meticulous searching, while the hints can sometimes be too vague for their own good. It’s a huge appeal for someone like me, with my love of slowly figuring out puzzles, but it may not be to everyone’s taste. Screenshot by Siliconera The vibes are immaculate for this gentle kind of experience though. The visual style is all bold colors and pastel shades, which means every part of this game is gorgeous to look at. The character designs are charming too. The creatures are all bizarre little hybrids based on various fish and birds, all marked by big eyes and pronounced features. Some have goofy little beaks, some are tiny beans that are mostly all eye, and some are whale-like beasts with huge maws. One creature, the Gormless Skyfish, is a happily clueless, bug-eyed fish identified by it being “no thoughts head empty”, and I love it so much. These adorable designs even extend to the few human characters, including your own avatar. They remind me of Muppets, all big faces and noodly limbs. You can even get very silly with your characters, dressing them in a poncho and wading trousers, among other things. The silliness of these character designs is enhanced by the writing, which fills the dialogue with a ton of charm and humor. Your uncle Reg, for instance, is single-mindedly into sheep, where he’ll dismiss any earth-shattering natural discoveries you make simply because he can’t shear them for wool. Screenshot by Siliconera Sheep are also a mechanic in Flock , but they’re one of the parts that don’t feel fully realized. You can collect a flock of sheep in addition to the regular beasties, and their role is to graze on overgrown meadows. This reveals Burgling Bewls that have stolen the various whistles you need to charm creatures, as well as new clothes and space for more creatures. But they can’t be used for anything else and you can’t spread multiple sheep onto multiple meadows at once. They feel like they were added simply to have a collectible system on top of the standard creature collecting, and it doesn’t feel fully fleshed out as an idea. That said, this minor use is a step-up from how limited the actual flock of the title feels. As you find creatures, you can use the various whistles to initiate a mini-game where you must blow the whistle at the appropriate distance to charm them into following you. As the game progresses, you become a full-fledged Pied Piper, with everything you’ve charmed following you in a big group. However, they do nothing. They don’t help search for more creatures, they can’t be sent into crevices to pull out other friends and they can’t help chase down the faster beasts. They just sit there behind your bird, looking pretty and making noises if you press the right button to squawk at them. I feel it would add so much to the game if different creatures had different uses that aided in your search for the final entries. Despite the game being named after it, this flock doesn’t do much of anything, and that’s disappointing. Screenshot by Siliconera This feeling of ideas not being fully realized adds to a general feeling of repetition that runs through the game. The gameplay loop is very much swooping around, marking creatures in your book and heading off to do the next one. As a low-stakes game for short chillout gameplay sessions, this is perfect, but it does make the game feel a little tedious if you play for too long in one sitting. However, most of these criticisms are nitpicks. If you’re willing to approach Flock on its own terms, most of this washes away. It lulls you into its atmosphere with ease. It's also designed to be played co-op, as you and your fellow bird riders can soar around together. I never got to experience this aspect of the game, but I imagine it adds a lot. Flock is a comfort blanket of a game. Its simplicity isn’t for everyone but it’s hard to deny its charm. If you’re looking for something cozy to kick back with at the end of a long day, Flock is exactly what you need. Flock is available now for the PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The post Review: Flock Is a Delightful and Cozy Flight appeared first on Siliconera .
PlayStation 4 Archives - SiliconeraJul 24
Death Noodle Delivery is set to bring its nihilism to consoles
Death Noodle Delivery is set to bring its nihilism to consoles Troglobytes games, Stupidi Pixel, and Tiny Pixel have revealed that Death Noodle Delivery , a severely nihilistic game about gig work, is coming to PS4, PS5, Switch, and Xbox Series X|S on July 31. Death Noodle Delivery on PC this past April. I reviewed it around launch and found it to be a hauntingly nihilistic and depressing game about the world’s decline in the face of endless crises and unchecked technological advancement. It takes the core premise of Paperboy and twists it to present its dark underbelly. It also ties in some thematically crude themes to hammer its points home. It’s distressingly effective. https://youtu.be/_N0DUhUsBcs?feature=shared You play as Jimmy, who is just trying to make ends meet in an uncaring world. He takes a job delivering noodles to people on the street, but each day brings more challenges as society quickly declines and his dignity as a human gets dragged across the pavement. The core gameplay in Death Noodle Delivery is a rather simplistic take on Paperboy , but most of the focus is on exploring Jimmy’s apartment block and talking to his neighbors. I mention this in my review, but if you just want to play Paperboy , then don’t bother. It is worth noting that one of my biggest complaints was the difficulty balancing, which has been addressed through multiple patches. If you’re up for an effective and pessimistic perspective on the world today, then definitely check it out. In fact, I hope that the console release means that more people will try it out. It’s something that should be experienced. Death Noodle Delivery is out now on PC. It releases for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch on July 31, 2024. The post Death Noodle Delivery is set to bring its nihilism to consoles appeared first on Destructoid .
PS5 Archives – DestructoidJul 23
F1 Manager 2024 Review
F1 Manager 2024 ReviewGreat new features like creating your own team deliver a more compelling management sim.
IGN ArticlesJul 22
GTA Publisher Admits Review Bombing Can Hurt Profits
GTA Publisher Admits Review Bombing Can Hurt ProfitsGTA publisher Take-Two Interactive has admitted that video game review bombing campaigns can hurt profits and harm reputation. The surprise admission came in a recent 10-K SEC filing, which summarizes Take-Two’s financial performance for stakeholders. Why Take-Two is worried about video game review bombing Player-driven review bombing campaigns — which often take place on Steam […] The post GTA Publisher Admits Review Bombing Can Hurt Profits appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle .
PlayStation LifeStyleJul 22
Review: SCHiM Gets Annoying
Review: SCHiM Gets Annoying There are times when the idea behind a game is good, but the nature of it can frustrate you due to constantly finding yourself chasing after someone or something. SCHiM has an interesting concept, as it’s a small creature moving in shadows, but the ease of play, only occasional use of unusual mechanics to get from shadow to shadow, and constant near misses with the person can be a bit annoying. A schim is a frog-like creature that lives in the shadows. People’s shadows. Animals’ shadows. Inanimate objects’ shadows. They’re always there. They can influence their owners as well, causing minor actions. SCHiM starts with a particular one being separated from their human after the person trips. As a result, the rest of the adventure involves chasing after to reunite with them. Image via Ewoud van der Werf and Nils Slijkerman Each level of SCHiM after the introduction involves sending the schim leaping from shadow to shadow after a person who is constantly out of reach. You need to keep an eye on shadows of animate and inanimate objects to find your way. In some cases, you’ll have to press a button to trigger an action and potentially create a new path. Environmental elements, like car headlights along a road at night or a thunderstorm with sudden flashes of light, can force you to think about brief windows of opportunities. So to can occasional shadows with additional elements, like a windsock that will send you on a gust to a location farther away or a clothesline that acts like a spring. Part of what gets annoying about SCHiM is that it feels like it’s designed to be a puzzle and platforming game, but isn’t always good at either. In the case of puzzles, there will be situations where a mechanic will come up once, but then rarely or never used again. (I see you, umbrella on the side of the road!) Which means you can sit there in frustration, as you don’t even know that’s an option to help you proceed.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG1VYCUB2Qk&ab_channel=NintendoofAmerica As for platforming, there’s rarely any challenge. Sometimes it is only “difficult” because you need to wait for moving objects to finally appear again to allow you to progress. That, or holding the trigger to show where the “goal” is suddenly suggests it is in a different place after you already progressed to a certain point. There were a few situations during which I almost got through the entire level just by happening to luck out and jump into the shadow of the right person or car, and I’m not quite sure it was supposed to be that easy. Not to mention that while some levels do have collectible items you can find by going off the beaten path, it feels like that opportunity doesn’t happen nearly often enough. However, SCHiM also annoyed me after a while because of its premise. It really hit me once I reached a point when the schim nearly reached their person in a supermarket. It was such a disappointment to see the near misses and know that even if my platforming was perfect , there were still more levels to come and I wouldn’t reunite the two. Since it is also a wordless story and we’re never really connecting with the person, I stopped feeling any sympathy for the schim’s partner due to the constant near-misses. How do you finish a whole pizza, on your own, that quickly? When has a bus ever departed immediately after one particular person got on it? Why didn’t the schim just enter the hotel their person was staying at, when they were definitely stationary and sleeping, and just wait outside their door? Image via Ewoud van der Werf and Nils Slijkerman At least SCHiM looks and plays well. The schim’s leaps cover a decent amount of distance. You also get a second, smaller hop if you don’t immediately leap to another shadow, giving you a “second chance” to reach your next point of interest. Rotating does help with seeing prospective paths. Also, the art direction is simplistic, but both clear and detailed. I like the concept behind SCHiM and the artistic direction, but certain elements of it frustrated me after I got about 30 levels into it. I found myself wishing for more of a challenge or a story that left me less annoyed at the person I was trying to track down. I imagine it’d be more entertaining if played in shorter bursts. But marathoning it might make you feel a bit depressed as you see yourself constantly just miss someone who just won’t sit still . SCHiM will be available on July 18, 2024 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.  The post Review: SCHiM Gets Annoying appeared first on Siliconera .
PlayStation 4 Archives - SiliconeraJul 20
Review: Raising Pets in Hamster Playground Gets to Be a Grind
Review: Raising Pets in Hamster Playground Gets to Be a Grind When you have a free-to-play game, you also have to figure there are systems to get you to keep playing and perhaps spend real money on it. That definitely happens in Hamster Playground , a game about raising and caring for pet hamsters, but the bonus here is that it really only feels like you have to spend about $12 to get the most out of it. Like most animal or pet raising games, Hamster Playground starts by adopting a hamster. You can only have one at the start, but leveling up by completing missions allows the option to bring more home. Speaking of which, the home is a dilapidated mess to start. You also start out with no additional minigame modes and no clothing for them. So your goal is to eventually send them to the work space or complete missions to earn currency, complete missions that can be tied to tasks or purchases to upgrade and improve the home, and go through minigames (if you buy them). As hamsters grow stronger in areas, they’ll be better at certain minigame tasks. Also, you’ll get enough spending money for costumes (though some you need to buy with real cash before buying with in-game currency) and other customization options. Screenshot by Siliconera The thing about Hamster Playground is that for much of it, it’s a wait and watch game. You’ll need things like screws to repair necessary resource centers for hamsters after a while. Those are, say, your bed, shower, toilet, trampoline, water dispenser, and food dispenser. For the environment, you will use things like blue stars. Coins can go toward the clothing. Plus you’ll need sunflower seeds for bolstering things like dexterity and intelligence. Which means you’ll likely be sending the hamster to the workspace location to have your pet “work” to earn them, while stepping away from the game until the critter needs to eat, drink, wash, use the potty, play, or sleep. At which point you may be sending them back over again.  Which means if you don’t pay the about $12, Hamster Playground can feel like a repetitive grind. You’ll be going through the same routine to buy the items you want or need. When you aren’t doing that shopping or decorating, you’ll be tending to the basic needs of your hamster in the game or having them work so you can do those things. The animations are fun and lean into the silliness of the situation, rather than more serious or realistic ones. Likewise, the hamsters themselves have more human-like expressions. (I’m actually not a fan of that. I think they look a little creepy!) The details going into it are good, and it looks and runs well on the Switch.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8DP3cf7FFQ If you do pay the additional about $12 for Hamster Playground , then you get more “game” for the pet-raising sim. This is because brief Beward the Cat, Eating Contest, Skateboard, and Vehicle Pull minigames you can play alone against the CPU or against other players are locked behind DLC. The only minigame in the free version is a Maze. That involves going through timed QTEs at certain points to help the hamster get through it faster, with the sunflower-seed-based training sections improving stats for those. The other minigames, though having different elements like racing down a track on a skateboard, eating food, pulling a toy vehicle, or playing red-light-green-light with a Squid Games like cat toy, also feature the same sort of QTEs to proceed. None last more than a minute or two.  These are means of getting currency and interacting with the hamsters more. They’re fine for what they are, but I feel like you don’t really have to spend $12 for each $2.99 minigame unless you really want all gameplay elements. The Maze itself is fine, and I feel like the Beware the Cat and Eating Contest ones were the only two that felt distinct or special enough for an extra purpose. Though I’d say the Skateboard minigame is a close third. Unless you really are into dressing up hamsters and feel like paying for the other cosmetics, those are really the only paid purchases I feel like you’d have to make.  Screenshot by Siliconera Hamster Playground is a pet raising game where it can feel like you’re there to complete missions and earn enough currency for the cosmetics you want. It looks fine and has a silliness to it that I appreciate. I also like that the only essential purchases connected to it involve some affordable minigames, and like you could even just go for the one or two you like instead of all four. It’s pleasant enough, even though I can see it getting tedious as you grind to complete your personal or game-mandated objectives. Considering the base game is free though, the design quality is higher than I expected and it is an entertaining diversion. Hamster Playground is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.  The post Review: Raising Pets in Hamster Playground Gets to Be a Grind appeared first on Siliconera .
PlayStation 4 Archives - SiliconeraJul 20
EA Sports College Football 25 Review (PS5) – Giving It The Old College Try
EA Sports College Football 25 Review (PS5) – Giving It The Old College TryCollege football finally comes back to home consoles with EA Sports College Football 25, see how its return fares in our review. The post EA Sports College Football 25 Review (PS5) – Giving It The Old College Try appeared first on PlayStation Universe .
Reviews – PlayStation UniverseJul 19
Nobody Wants To Die Review (PS5) – A Fantastic Narrative Experience In The Most Terrifying World
Nobody Wants To Die Review (PS5) – A Fantastic Narrative Experience In The Most Terrifying WorldNobody Wants To Die is one of the best narrative experience of 2024. Find out why that is in our review of Nobody Wants To Die on PS5. The post Nobody Wants To Die Review (PS5) – A Fantastic Narrative Experience In The Most Terrifying World appeared first on PlayStation Universe .
Reviews – PlayStation UniverseJul 19
Genshin Impact Natlan Controversy Highlights HoYoVerse’s Colorism
Genshin Impact Natlan Controversy Highlights HoYoVerse’s Colorism If you've been online since HoYoVerse released its "Ignition" trailer for Genshin Impact , then you might have seen the discussion around the multi-million dollar company's issues of colorism and racism. People who were willing to give HoYoVerse the benefit of the doubt in Sumeru (myself included) were hoping that Natlan would be better. At least two characters with dark skin in a region that draws heavily from Mesoamerica and West Africa? Come on. But HoYoVerse managed to shock us all by doing exactly what it's been doing for years at this point. Before we begin, I’d like to get something out of the way. "Orientalism" and "cultural" appropriation are among some of the accusations I see people hurl at HoYoVerse. This dilutes the conversation we want to have. We can say HoYoVerse has a colorist and racist approach to characters. But when we conflate that to Orientalism and cultural appropriation, that’s where you’ll lose a lot of people. I do not tend to read through any post criticizing HoYoVerse when those words show up. Image via HoYoVerse Cultural appropriation is “ the unacknowledged and inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society .” Native American headgear with eagle feathers and beads used for fashion by non-native people is cultural appropriation . HoYoVerse has always been open about its inspirations. Does it adhere to them or portray them accurately? No, but that’s not the point. It has never once claimed culture-specific items or designs as its own, meaning “cultural appropriation” is not the right term for what it’s doing. Orientalism is, in the purest meaning of the word, “ a Western portrayal of the East as exotic, mysterious, and inherently different from the West .” The “West” is the key point here, as well as the way Orientalism tends to appear in media. In terms of the lore and culture, it’s not as if Sumeru is particularly different from Liyue or Inazuma in its portrayal. They don’t oversimplify anything (like the way some people tend to do the whole “thing but Japan” shtick), nor do they portray Sumeru as this inscrutable enigma. If you want to accuse characters like Dori of having a stereotypical design, then do it. But to call HoYoVerse an Orientalist company is very bizarre to me considering it's from a country that was itself a target of Orientalism. I do get why people jump to those phrases. HoYoVerse clearly put in a lot of effort when it came to researching real cultural references and backgrounds for characters like Nilou. Showing its work through her animations and her clothing is great and all—for fantasy games that only draw inspiration from the real world, some creative liberties in fashion is fine, in my opinion—but then why can’t that same amount of research appear in character design beyond her outfit? I’ve seen some people argue that they know very pale Persian people. But you’re telling me that in a cast of thirteen playable characters (native to Sumeru), none of them are even capable of using a medium-toned foundation? Image via HoYoVerse When discussing HoYoVerse’s problems with racial diversity in its characters, we can’t just focus on Genshin Impact . Yeah, it’s the easiest target due to Teyvat's obvious real-world influences and its popularity. But we could see it happening even in past games. Carole Pepper in Honkai Impact 3rd is very pale. But in lore, she's biracial with a dark-skinned mom and she's very sensitive about how she perceives herself. She states in-game that she’s always been insecure because of her skin tone and claims that she is “as dark as dark can be." She says this despite looking like a white girl with some bronzer on her face. Even looking at Genshin Impact , it’s very clear to anyone with eyes and color vision that there is a serious lack of melanin in the characters. It's not that HoYoVerse can't design dark-skinned characters either. They exist in the game, but as enemies or NPCs. Darker-skinned characters who are playable—Candace, Cyno, Dehya, Xinyan—are all, frankly, horrible units. Kaeya is the only one who's relatively good due to the fact he's the main crutch for F2P beginners. Cyno and Dehya received a sort of revival, due to strong support characters like Furina, but it still never made them popular outside of their specific niche. Hopefully putting it in this light can help people better understand the colorism accusations people lob at Genshin Impact . Image via HoYoVerse This issue persists in more recent HoYoVerse titles as well. Arlan is the only playable character in Honkai: Star Rail with darker skin. He’s frankly terrible as a unit. His Talents having names like Shackle Breaker, Frenzied Punishment, and Swift Harvest is also so strange. It’s one thing, I think, if these concepts were just part of his lore. Like, maybe Arlan used to be a prisoner or a criminal until Asta picked him up and gave him a job. Perhaps that is the case. But if that’s his past, we don’t know it because his lore and his appearances in the story thus far have never made any references to that sort of thing. I will note that Nekomata has darker skin in Zenless Zone Zero , and she’s fine. No one draws attention to it in game or anything. No one in real life seems to pay much attention to it either. But I suppose that Zenless Zone Zero ’s launch did become overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the Natlan characters and, as I predicted in my review for it, it’s not exactly a game that has the same general appeal as Genshin Impact does. You might notice that I consistently refer to these characters as having “darker” skin rather than “dark” skin. If we compare the darker-skinned characters in HoYoVerse games to similar characters in other properties like Dislyte , Reverse: 1999 , Fate/Grand Order , Goddess of Victory: Nikke , and Arknights , we can see that the darker characters in those games are significantly darker. They have the same skin tone that HoYoVerse would only ever give to NPCs or enemies. Image via Lasengle Image via Bluepoch One of the things I don’t think HoYoVerse is guilty of is lack of research. They know. To say they just “didn’t know” is very infantilizing. Lowkey, that feels Orientalist—to assume that people in East Asia are lack knowledge on societal issues or geography. Some Asians are also pointing out the lack of melanin in characters who, by all rights, should have it. But I also know there are a lot of East Asian players who don’t care and think that Westerners are being ridiculously over-the-top with their "political correctness," much like how there are Western players who think the same thing. There’s no nice way to say this, so I’ll just say it straight: they simply lack empathy. They don’t care because it doesn’t affect them, because they’re already on the “winning” side. Though not an equal comparison, if we take, say, Amaterasu and give her very dark skin for no real reason, I’m sure that would infuriate the same Japanese crowd who don't care about the Natlan controversy. I’ve seen Japanese users state that they’re used to these sorts of character design choices thanks to Fate/Grand Order . But when Fate/Grand Order does things like turn Ganesha into a pale half-Japanese girl (Jinako), there’s usually some in-game reason for it. Whether you agree with this creative decision or not, there is some justification for it in the story, at least. Because these users already want pale skin and don’t want to think about why blatantly basing a region off Mesoamerica, Latin America, and West Africa, and then having characters from said region all look like they're typical white Europeans might make some people angry, they’re obviously going to react with exasperation. It’s the Yasuke nonsense all over again. Look, sometimes, I’m also irritated with the way the fandom talks about character designs and how accurate it has to be to a real-world influence. But if your issue is simply the existence of darker-skinned people ("black people" is the term these people tend to employ, even though black people aren’t the only ones with dark skin) in your game, which you play to “escape” from them, maybe you need to spend some time self-reflecting. Image via HoYoVerse To return to my original point, HoYoVerse clearly does its research. Though limited to Liyue, it’s released videos in the past explaining the entire process of creating a character. Yun Jin, for example, had a video on Chinese opera and how the design team wanted to incorporate traditional costumes and movements into her looks and kit. Again, going back to Nilou, while I’m personally not familiar with Persian dancing, most of the comments I see specifically about her animations are very positive. Sumeru’s overall world and lore prove that HoYoVerse put in the time and work. So why does it always fail to deliver on a character design that makes people happy? On one hand, we can argue that this is just how they are. HoYoVerse has always had this problem, even back during Honkai Impact 3rd . But if they want to go global and hit its international market—which they clearly do, by the way—then they can’t just keep catering to East Asian players. Lots of people love to bring up Dislyte and Reverse: 1999 and such when it comes to darker-skinned characters, and from what I can tell, none of those games experienced a significant dip in popularity or revenue when one appeared in the banner. I'm talking about overall sales, including sales from the Asians. The problem isn’t necessarily the market; it’s HoYoVerse. And if you truly are so angry at and tired of the colorism in Genshin Impact or other HoYoVerse titles, there is no need for you to continue playing them. Honestly, I don’t think real-life beauty standards necessarily apply to fictional characters. Look at Amuro in Detective Conan and how popular he is with the East Asian fangirls. He single-handedly revived Tooru Furuya’s career before Furuya burned it all down to ground. While we can side-eye the anime for how Takagi's newer design turns him as pale as his girlfriend, crazy popular Amuro and Heiji remain dark-skinned in both the show and the manga. Characters like Kaeya and Cyno in Genshin Impact are also well-received. Frankly, in all of my years in fan spaces, I’ve never seen any normal person dislike or not want to pull/use a character specifically because of their dark skin. Gender, though, yes. Image via HoYoVerse Let’s go back to that Carole example from Honkai Impact 3rd again. Carole’s skin tone is, realistically, only a little dark. She looks like she’s tanned. Would Carole be better if she kept the same narrative and actually had dark skin? Yikes! Um, I don’t think so. But it would certainly be a bit more understandable and realistic. I used to work with a Filipino girl whose skin color was like a darker version of Dehya’s (dark enough by East Asian standards) and she was obsessed with whitening creams and lotions because she thought herself ugly. I’m not going to sit here and psychoanalyze my old co-worker. But Carole’s angst over her skin wouldn’t be as ridiculous if she actually had some melanin. The reason I keep going back to Honkai Impact 3rd is because that is one of the oldest games HoYoVerse has worked on, showing that this whole colorism thing has been around way before Genshin Impact . There are so many layers to a company it’s impossible to pinpoint where the problem may be. Maybe it’s a creative design thing. As much as I hated the leaks and how it’s affected the general conversation around designs, those pieces of unused concept art still showed a majority of pale-skinned characters. Maybe it’s someone in the marketing department. Perhaps they tell the creative team that they can’t design any characters with skin too dark or else they can't market them. In any case, whoever they are, they’ve obviously been around for a while that they’re a core member of the company. If you’ve been on Twitter (X) these past few days since the Ignition trailer for Genshin Impact , you might have seen a trending hashtag calling for a boycott of HoYoVerse. I’ve seen Tweets from people encouraging other users to do things like sign a petition, leave player feedback, and, amusingly, call their local representative. Surveys aren’t going to work, petitions are useless, and what in the world is calling your local representative going to do? Review bombing doesn’t actually work either. A boycott is really the only way. Image via HoYoVerse I agree with people who are so frustrated they want to do all that. HoYoVerse will only listen if there’s significant money loss, but how many of the people getting heated online are actually putting any money into the game? Like are they even paying for the battle pass? Genshin Impact ’s groundbreaking popularity stems from it having reached the casuals during quarantine. Unlike a forced subscription service like FFXIV , there’s no real reason for these people to use any money on Genshin Impact . The ones who are putting a significant amount of money into the game might stop, but would it be enough for HoYoVerse to care? Many times in the past, people called for a boycott. Some people wanted to boycott Star Rail due to Penacony. This was due to Penacony’s Jazz Age inspiration , yet it lacks any major or playable dark-skinned characters despite the African-American community pioneering that era. Aventurine was a lesser reason for this, as people were mad that the Avgin people draw inspiration from real-life Romani people (not Romanian; I saw users make this mistake a lot), yet he’s a pale, blonde boy. But the HoYoVerse fandom, due to its sheer size and general immaturity, cannot organize itself enough to make a difference. Maybe if enough voice actors or content creators come together to do something, though, they can. Voice actors like Zeno Robinson , Khoi Dao , Jenny Yokobori , and Valeria Rodriguez already made statements on social media about this. I haven't played Genshin Impact in a while now. However, I still want it to be better. It's disheartening to see it put so much effort into its depictions of Inazuma and Liyue, only to do a halfhearted job for regions like Sumeru and Natlan. But if players are serious about wanting change via boycott, they’re going to have to really put in the work. Instead of organizing things like petitions or clout-chasing via engagement bait Tweets and videos, people need to actually organize themselves in a way that will be effective and make their voices heard. Genshin Impact is readily available on the PS4, PS5, Windows PC, and mobile devices. The post Genshin Impact Natlan Controversy Highlights HoYoVerse’s Colorism appeared first on Siliconera .
PlayStation 4 Archives - SiliconeraJul 19