Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 27-09-2022
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Phasmophobia was just upgraded with Apocalypse update, which is... a good news. But at the same time made the biggest problems of the game even more visible.
About month ago, I have written an article entitled Surprising (?) demise of Phasmophobia, which concluded that while Phasmophobia is obviously still alive, the stagnation in development of that title is clearly visible and might soon kill this once popular and innovative game.
I would like to say that developer of Phasmophobia took my advice and just introduced an update to the game, but of course it would be a big, fat lie. No, the lie is he took my advice, not the fact that he actually have introduced an update called Apocalypse. According to his Twitter account it took most of this year to prepare this update, which will introduce preferences that will allow players to adjust the difficulty level (which was one of the problems signalled by community), introduced some new maps and some minor changes to the gameplay.
On surface it is a very good news - a new content, new options, new maps, developer clearly listened to his community and addressed the most important problems. But, of course, I’m gonna mention the bad news now, at least in my opinion. It took about 8 months to prepare those changes, to prepare two maps (which to be fair sound similar to maps that were already in the game) and make some fixes, which means that clearly the team working on this game is still far too small. I mean in a game that is over 2 years old and average gameplay could be as short as few minutes, there are now only 10 maps, some of which are not that great taking under consideration that there is limit to 4 players per team.
The newest map, Sunny Meadows Mental Institution, is the largest so far, and big maps simply do not work well in Phasmophobia - it takes more time to search the area, more time to bring more equipment, find the haunted room, etc. The other new map is smaller version of campsite map that was already in the game and... let’s be blunt, wasn’t a good idea in a first place. And that is about it. Those are the biggest changes in the game content.
There are changes in preferences that will allow users to adapt difficulty level, which is nice, but would be much better 2 years ago or while additional elements were introduced in the past and increased the overall difficulty. Rest of the changes that I read in update notes are, well, not that important in overall outlook of the game, like different lobby, better main menu, better looking equipment. All of it is cute, but does not address the main problem - the lack of new content.
In October 2021 the developers have stated that introducing new maps is currently at the bottom of their priority list and one year later they still are fiddling with cosmetic changes while their game is in desperate need of new content. So far the updates and introduction of 25 ghosts instead of 9 did not improved the game, it just made it more complicated. Graphical upgrades are the least important changes when the gameplay becomes stale, but clearly the developers of Phasmophobia, Kinetic Games, have completely different idea.
And that, sadly, proves my point from previous article about Phasmophobia, that developers have no idea what made their game successful, have not enough manpower to build upon the initial success of the title, and have no clue how much competition they have gained in past 2 years. So, demise of Phasmophobia is unfortunately getting closer and closer.
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race against time to find Caroline
No, Phasmophobia still exists, it does have some pretty loyal fanbase, it has about 16,000 active users, so... where is the demise you ask? Well, it is just around the corner, but the symptoms are, sadly, already here.
Yes, about four weeks. Maybe it is much, maybe it isn’t, it’s not really for me to judge. What am I talking about? About the period of time that really recognizable games can keep their audience interested. Again: what am I talking about? Yes, it’s Phasmophobia again, and Cyberpunk 2077 again. For the last time I hope.
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