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Chris Thursten

Contributor

Chris Thursten is a writer, podcaster and game developer from the UK. He is a regular contributor to PC Gamer and Edge and is one of the founders of The Crate & Crowbar, a podcast about PC games.

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It's hardly surprising that the Destiny community got so angry about Destiny 2's microtransaction system, and the new consumable cosmetics that comes with it. And it's hardly surprising that the fury spread beyond the bounds of the Destiny subreddit. Outrage over corporate greed is a games industry play that gets new actors every week.

Here's the thing: it is cool to slide along on your bum while firing a rifle. It is also cool to transition from bum-slide into accelerating leap, to draw a bow and arrow in mid air and to plunk a pointy laser-shaft right in the cranium of an unsuspecting spaceman. It's also cool to hit a spaceman with a space-staff, to set your space-dog or space-robot on him, to tear him apart with superpowers. All of these things are cool, and they constitute 90 per cent of the things you do in Warframe. Is it fair, therefore, to conclude that Warframe is cool?

After 20-something hours of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, my Steam recommendations are a wasteland. I've sunk a meaningful amount of time into a game with the words 'early access', 'survival', and 'shooter' in its tag cloud, and Valve's algorithm knows something about those. The earliest manifestations of that 'what if DayZ but dinosaurs' phenomena occupy three slots in a row in my 'you may also like' queue; an age gate indicates that we've arrived in 'what if DayZ but penises'. Zombies fill the gaps.

Does Heroes of the Storm need saving?

In defence of Blizzard's least impactful game.

I surprised myself, deep into the process of writing this article, with the realisation that Heroes of the Storm had become my favourite contemporary Blizzard game. I tested the theory: I worked through each menu item in Battle.net (sorry, 'Blizzard App') and spent a few hours with all of them. My best StarCraft years are behind me, and I'll probably never have time for World of Warcraft again. I've seen all that I'm likely to see in Diablo 3, Hearthstone's randomness frustrates, and Overwatch's longevity is bound up in having friends who play regularly - mine no longer do. And there at the bottom of the list was Heroes of the Storm, a game with the dubious distinction of being the only game on Blizzard App that did not redefine its genre.