May 2017: Square Enix lets Hitman: Go, Thrawn & more…

What a terrible month this has been. There’s been nothing but bad news. Both in public and for me personally. The latter of which I won’t be getting into, because I’m still trying to process it all, and It’s a little too depressing. To sum it up though, moving forward my life won’t be the same anymore and I’m really not sure what the future looks like for me and my family.

Anyhow, onto some other topics, which aren’t any better.

I played Hitman: Go this month. It’s a great game. It’s so rewarding and pleasing to play and I really liked the gradual increase in difficulty as well as the creativity throughout it.

I’m not much of an achievement/trophy hunter. I don’t play games in an attempt to 100% them, or to show off how good I am at them. Hitman: Go is therefore my first ever platinum trophy. I achieved it by accident really, but I’m happy. I don’t think it’s changed my play style though. I doubt I’ll be getting many/any more in the future.

In other Hitman news, Square Enix, the publisher of the Hitman franchise has decided to part ways with IO Interactive, the developer of the Hitman franchise.  This is sad news for multiple reasons.

Firstly, a bunch of people have suddenly lost their jobs with presumably little warning. Unless another big name company decides to come in and purchase IO, then the rest might follow suit soon. It’s a shame to see a long running developer potentially coming to an end like this.

Secondly, the Hitman franchise is now up in the air. IO had planned on doing two more episodic seasons, but those plans have probably halted now. Plus, it’s unclear whether IO or Square Enix owns the rights to the franchise.

UPDATE: it looks as though Square Enix owns the rights and they’re willing to sell them to a developer in hopes of keeping the franchise alive. This is even worse news for IO, because it means that their biggest money earner is no longer their own. They’ve essentially been cast out to drift with no paddles or engines to get them moving again.

One of the reasons given for the abrupt separation is that Square Enix wants to focus on ‘key franchises.’ This is annoying because as far as I’m aware, Hitman has always been a key franchise. It’s always sold well and it’s always garnered great reviews. Plus, it’s a long running franchise as it’s almost twenty years old. Far older and more prestigious than some of Square Enix’s other properties e.g. Just Cause.

A long anticipated book came out called Star Wars: Thrawn. It’s a great book, not as good as Timothy Zahn’s previous Thrawn books, but still good. I really liked the characterisation of Thrawn and his new companion, Eli. I also liked the hints at other events and possibilities outside of the main Empire v Rebels story. Star Wars: Thrawn is currently one of my favourite of the new canonical Star Wars books.

I watched Independence Day: Resurgence this month. It’s bad, really bad. Characters are underdeveloped, jokes fall flat, editing is atrocious, the pacing is far too quick and there are far too many story elements that just don’t make sense. I really can’t think of anything good about the film.

Keeping with the science fiction theme, the Mass Effect franchise is now on hold. After the mediocre reception to Mass Effect: Andromeda, this isn’t much of a surprise. A reconfiguration and delay in future franchise development is probably for the best. However, these games take a long time to make. This one took 5 years. So, it’ll probably be a very long time before we see another Mass Effect, which is sad, because the original trilogy (despite its ending), is great.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has also been delayed from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018. This is of course disappointing news, but not surprising at all. It’s happened with previous Rockstar Games and it was always more of a hopeful release window than anything else. I’m sure every other game developer is taking an enormous sigh of relief. They no longer have to avoid releasing their games against what would undoubtedly be a gargantuan critical and commercial hit. It might also remove a big name from any game of the year lists, making voting and deciding a little easier. So, it’s not all bad, especially when you know the extra time should make the game better.

I watched Hacksaw Ridge this month and it’s great. I like how the first hour is dedicated to developing the characters and exploring the idea of a conscientious objector in the army. I liked how the film then turned into a gory, exciting action flick in the second half. The action scenes are great, the drama is great too. My only concern is that the action scenes seem to be glorified and exaggerated. It makes for enjoyable viewing, but it goes against the whole message of the film, which is an anti-war, anti-violence message. 

Now onto the terrible, sad news of the month. The Manchester bombing. I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said or thought of. All I’ll say is that the incident was heartbreaking to hear about and completely unnecessary, like every other terrorist attack ever committed. My thoughts go out to all those affected by the incident and hopefully, some day soon we can all live in peace, without fear.

Legendary actor Roger Moore passed away this month. He wasn’t my favourite Bond, but he did the most films and a couple of them are amongst my favourite Bond films. I often found myself watching them on ITV on weekends. Even his goofy, bad Bond films were entertaining. Of course, he did a lot more than just Bond films, but once you’re James Bond, you’re always James Bond. RIP.

That’s all I have to say this month. Here’s hoping June is a better, happier month. Fingers crossed. 


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