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Star Wars Day, Returnal Review Bombed, Valorant Voice Recording

Star Wars Day, Returnal Review Bombed, Valorant Voice Recording

Star Wars Day is here and plenty of great games are on sale. For Star Wars Day 2021 we will be looking at some of the Star Wars games that are on sale. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order was one of my favorite Star Wars games and we will be looking at some of the recent announcements about it for next-gen.

Returnal reviews are still coming in, but suddenly folks are deciding that Returnal should be review bombed. The Returnal gameplay is certainly challenging and tough for many players, but the review bombing is a bit strange. Returnal PS5 gameplay shows of the haptic controls and the strength of the console.

Valorant gameplay is being protected by Riot recording live chat. A recent rise in toxic chat behavior is causing Riot to take action. Many Valorant VODs uploaded by streamers have been highlighting some of the terrible public chat experiences, and Riot is recording live chat to enforce their TOS, but is this a privacy issue?

Star Wars Day Game Sales

Reported by… Popular “Star Wars” video game titles are up to 75 percent off, just in time for the annual May the Fourth celebration Tuesday (May 4).

“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” “Star Wars” Squadrons” and “Battlefront II Celebration Edition” are all between 50% and 70% off on Steam and Epic Games. We’ve rounded up the best deals below so you can practice using the Force and getting into the spirit of either the Dark Side or the Light Side, depending on your preference.

A whole host of other “Star Wars” titles are up to 75% off on Good Old Games (GOG) and Steam. GameStop has a host of “Star Wars” used and new games available under incredible deals. For kids, Electronic Arts has “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes” available for free on the App Store or Google Play, although you will face some in-app purchases

Returnal Review Bombs

Reported by GameRant… With regards to Returnal, it’s hard to say whether the issue is as significant as it has been for other games. As of this writing, Returnal has a 7.2 User Score on Metacritic based on 424 reviews; broken into 291 positive, 19 mixed, and 114 negative. Given it has only been available for one day, many short, vague reviews appear as though they could be bots making claims about the game being “anti-consumer” and “not worth the price.” It should further be noted that the window was open for long before these reviews began flowing in.

One notable example is Metacritic user GoodGames99, who has made four reviews total that were all posted May 1, 2021. Three are 10 ratings for Red Dead Redemption 2, Control, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla; with a 0 rating for Returnal that says one of their problems is, “Why is main character so ugly?”

That being said, there are a number of valid criticisms levied at Returnal, both by official critics and Metacritic users. Bugs in Returnal have resulted in progression gating and crashes, for example, and difficulty has been a hot-button issue given many feel its current save system leads to players needing more time for each run through the roguelike than can be given by working individuals especially.

The latter issue has drawn enough attention that Housemarque responded to fans on Twitter yesterday. Returnal’s developer hinted at a new save feature potentially being in development saying, “We hear the community and we love you all.” It did not have anything to announce at the time, but those who feel the game’s mechanics make it too difficult can likely expect something soon. In the meantime, it will be worth watching how reception to Returnal on aggregate sites like Metacritic shift as it moves away from launch.

Valorant Recording Voice Chat

Riot Games will begin recording Valorant voice chat in an effort to combat toxicity.

In the Q&A section of an update to its privacy policy, Riot confirms that it won’t actively listen in on Valorant games, and that it’ll only review voice chat recordings “when disruptive voice behavior is reported.” The only way to avoid potentially having your Valorant voice chats recorded is by turning off voice chat.

“We want all of our games to be safe and inclusive for everyone who chooses to play them,” Riot Games writes in an update to its privacy policy. “We know disruptive behavior using our voice chat is a concern for a lot of players, and we’re committed to addressing it more effectively. In order for us to take action against players who use voice comms to harass others, use hate speech, or otherwise disrupt your experience, we need to know what those players are saying. Which is why, moving forward we’ll need the ability to analyze voice data.”

Again, this doesn’t mean Riot devs will be listening to your conversations in Valorant; just that if a player submits an abuse report, the studio can get an audio log to judge for itself whether someone’s behavior warrants its intervention. Plus, recordings are only stored for a brief time while Riot reviews them, after which they’re deleted just like text-based chat reports. This is a meaningful, and notably atypical step toward creating a better multiplayer experience for everyone, but especially for marginalized groups, who are more often the targets of online harassment.

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