NBA 2K24 Is Already The Second-Worst Rated Game On Steam

Steam has proclaimed Blizzard’s Overwatch 2 and 2K Sports’ NBA 2K24 the first and second worst games of the year, respectively. As of September 12, 165,573 of Overwatch’s 183,780 total Steam reviews are negative, and 3,135 of 3,523 reviews for NBA 2K24 are also negative. Since 2K24 only released on September 8, it’s experienced a particularly swift downfall.

In total, Overwatch and 2K24 created 168,708 unhappy Steam buyers, roughly the same amount of people that live in Kansas City, Kansas.

Overwatch 2 earned its worst Steam game status for complicated reasons. The first-person shooter lived for years on Blizzard’s online store, which doesn’t allow gamers to leave feedback. When Overwatch arrived on Steam in August, then, the world was emboldened to finally let Blizzard know: we hate you and your microtransactions.

Still, despite reviewers’ protestations, the game is in Steam’s top 50 most-played list with just under 30,000 concurrent users. Though some fans say they can’t stand what Overwatch has become, they love playing it anyway.

Read More: Overwatch 2 Steam Reviews Are Predictably Brutal, Say Porn Is The Best Part
Buy NBA 2K24: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Basketball sim NBA 2K24’s downward spiral is more clear-cut. Not only is the game also filled with microtransactions, but it’s also ugly and uninteresting, buyers say. Though 2K24 has been out for less than a week, fans unfortunately knew what to expect—they’ve been disappointed with the past few NBA 2K24 titles.

2020’s NBA 2K21 was “a full-priced game with the beating heart of a mobile free-to-play scam,” Luke Plunkett wrote in a Kotaku review, and 2021 release NBA 2K22 was “one enormous shakedown.” NBA 2K23, which came out in 2022, likewise, was “a hustle.”

“The hustle is everywhere, from the moment you try to improve your player to big splash screens advertising card packs right down to every time I try to leave the game, where the next menu item down after “QUIT” is “BUY [in-game currency] VC,” Plunkett writes. “VC made its debut all the way back in NBA 2K13, so for a decade, 2K has been grabbing players by the shorts, flipping them upside down on the court and shaking them until all their lunch money falls out, and players just keep on coming back, year after year.”

2K24’s Steam reviews show that this continues to be accurate, though players aren’t happy about it.

“The gameplay and animations are the same as in the previous versions,” a popular negative review says.

“This game is essentially the same as the previous title with no new features or any improvement at all,” says another, “and 2k even dared to charge full price […]? Man…this is soo BAD…”

I don’t know, you guys, sounds like NBA 2K25 could really turn things around.


Mortal Kombat 1’s Switch Trailer Includes A Steam Pop Up

A screenshot of the Switch port of MK1 shows an ugly character model and above him, a Steam pop up.

Screenshot: WB Games / Kotaku

Mortal Kombat 1 on the Nintendo Switch isn’t the best version of the game. Players have shared numerous visual bugs, performance problems, long loading times and low res textures in social media posts and forums. And now, some of them are angry that an official launch trailer for the Switch version of MK1 seems to show footage from the PC version of the game, not the Switch port, based on a Steam notification pop up that briefly appears in it.

Out now on Xbox, PlayStation, PC and Switch—following a brief period of paid early accessMortal Kombat 1 is the latest entry in the long-running, super popular, and ultra-violent fighting game franchise. This time around, the entire universe has been rebooted following the events of Mortal Kombat 11, hence the “1” in the title. This new version of the universe features familiar faces in new roles, a kinda bad Megan Fox as Nitara performance, and rebooted origin stories for popular fighters. And while the PC, Xbox and PlayStation ports of MK1 have received mostly positive reviews, the same can’t be said for the game’s messy $70 Switch port.

Now, some Mortal Kombat 1 players are upset after spotting a Steam notification in its official Switch launch trailer. Many believe the visuals and performance in the trailer isn’t representative of the final version of the game running on actual Switch hardware, and the Steam pop up that appears at 1:52 confirms that at least some of the footage in this trailer wasn’t captured on a Switch or a Switch dev kit. It should be noted that the trailer mentions “Footage Not Final” at the start.

A screenshot of the trailer that shows the Steam pop up in the corner.

The Steam pop-up can be seen briefly in the bottom right corner of the video.
Screenshot: WB Games / Nintendo / Kotaku

Kotaku reached out to WB Games and NetherRealm for clarification.

To be clear: A lot of trailers you see for video games include footage that was captured on a PC or dev kit and not the actual console hardware. However, this instance is under more careful scrutiny as the trailer footage is at-odds with the actual game’s performance on Switch. And the Steam notification, besides just being sloppy, gives away a possible explanation for why the game and trailer don’t match up. The trailer is still live on Nintendo’s Youtube channel as of 12:50 p.m EST on September 20.

The Switch port received so much online criticism that Mortal Kombat creator and series producer Ed Boon actually responded, telling the BBC that the maligned port will “absolutely be getting an update” that will address “a number of the concerns” seen online.

“It would have been ideal for us to have released the version that we absolutely wanted,” said Boon. “But anything that we’re finding a problem with is on our list and is going to be fixed. Anything that we see that is not acceptable will absolutely be addressed.”


We’re Years Away From A Better Steam Deck

Steam Deck designer Pierre-Loup Griffais told CNBC at the Tokyo Game Show that the portable PC won’t get a meaningful hardware refresh for at least “a couple years.”

Distributor Valve thinks the Deck is in a “pretty sweet spot,” Griffais said, “in terms of being able to play all the experiences from this new generation [of games], and, you know, so far, the new releases are […] great experiences on Steam Deck.” Resource-heavy Starfield kind of crushes its spine, though.

To The Verge, Griffais clarified that a Steam Deck successor wouldn’t release until at least 2025, putting a Steam Deck 2 more or less on the same timeline as something like the elusive Switch 2, which likely wouldn’t release until 2024 or later. Kotaku reached out to Valve for comment.

“Changing the performance level is not something we are taking lightly, and we only want to do so when there is a significant enough increase to be had,” Griffais said to The Verge.

And, anyway, Griffais feels that the current Deck—an impressive machine by all counts—is holding itself gracefully amid competition like the Switch or Android-based Ayn Odin.

Read More: The Steam Deck Had A Phenomenal First Year
Buy The Steam Deck: GameStop

Sales have been steady even after covid’s (relative) decline, and Valve is routinely releasing software updates. “We’ve done a lot of work on Steam[‘s operating system, which powers the Deck],” Griffais said to CNBC. He’s also happy to recognize that “the power and strength of PC is that there’s a diversity of options. […] I think it’s great that all these other manufacturers are also participating [in creating portable consoles] […]. If they succeed, we succeed.”

While the specifics of a Steam Deck 2 are unknown even to its manufacturer, Griffais more or less confirms that trendy attention on VR, like that which Mark Zuckerberg is beaming into the Meta Quest 2, probably won’t ever pair with Steam Deck.

“We don’t really have a VR story to [the Deck],” Griffais said to CNBC, “but [VR is] definitely something we want to explore more in the future.”


THPS 1+2 Finally Coming To Steam Three Years After Launch

After launching back in 2020 on PC via the Epic Games Store, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is finally (three years later…) making its way to Steam in October. Soon, it will be very easy to play this fantastic remake of the first two games in the series on your Steam Deck, no Heroic Games Launcher required!

Cast your mind back to September 4, 2020. The covid-19 pandemic was still a new and horrible problem, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles had yet to be released, and the world received a new Tony Hawk game in the form of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. It was a good game that recreated the feel of those older titles, but did so using advanced visuals. THPS 1+2 also launched exclusively on the Epic Games Store on PC. And then, uh, well three years passed, covid is still a thing, and it seemed like Activision had forgotten all about THPS 1+2 or releasing it on Steam. But now, either a really long exclusive deal has expired or someone at Activision remembers they could make extra money by bringing the last good Tony Hawk game to more players via a Steam version.

On Tuesday, the official Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Twitter account announced, with little fanfare or hype, that the popular remake would launch on Steam on October 3. The game already has a Steam store page, and players can wishlist THPS 1+2 ahead of next week’s Steam release.

It’s unclear why now, after three years and a lot of radio silence, Activision has decided to bring THPS 1+2 to the PC storefront used by most players. Kotaku has reached out to the publisher for more info.

I guess it’s possible the company signed some three-year deal with Epic, but that seems like far too long for this kind of exclusivity deal, especially for a relatively low-key game. It’s also possible that Activision realized that THPS 1+2 is a perfect fit for the Steam Deck, and putting the game on Valve’s storefront makes it easier for people to buy and play it on the popular portable PC. Or maybe somebody just stumbled upon a sticky note in a desk and went, “Oh shit, right!” and hit a button.

For now, we just don’t know. (It’s obviously because they were worried players would become confused, and try to screw trucks to their Steam Decks -Ed.)

Personally, I’m pretty happy to see THPS 1+2 finally coming to Steam. The idea of having this game easily accessible on my Steam Deck—no weird launchers or tinkering required—sounds wonderful. And hey, maybe this is a sign Activision has plans to make more Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games? Probably not, but I can hope, right?


Diablo 4 Is Coming To Steam In 2 Weeks

Today, during Blizzard’s Diablo IV Developer Update livestream, members of the game’s dev team dove right into the myriad changes expected to arrive with the game’s next big update: Season of Blood. But tweaks to loot drops and XP rewards won’t be the only new experience for PC players, as the game is now confirmed to arrive on Steam on October 17, 2023.

Originally released on June 5, 2023, for consoles and PC, Diablo IV initially required use of Blizzard’s well-known launcher. But like Blizzard’s Overwatch 2 before, the latest entry in the classic ARPG will also coexist on Steam. During the developer stream, Associate Director of Community Adam Fletcher said that Diablo IV will go live on Valve’s marketplace alongside season two’s launch and will feature full cross-play and cross-progression right out of the gate. The Steam page for the game is now live.

Diablo IV on Steam means better Steam Deck integration

As Fletcher stated during the developer stream, one benefit of all this is that those of us who’ve wrangled with the back-end process of getting Diablo IV on Steam Deck won’t have to struggle as much anymore.

Diablo IV runs surprisingly well on Steam Deck (provided most of the graphics settings are scaled down to the lower side of things), but since Valve’s mini PC doesn’t run Windows natively, Blizzard’s ARPG isn’t as easy to jump into as other games are on the platform. That said, since Diablo IV is an always-online game, you’ll still be restricted to wherever you can snag a wi-fi connection should you want to take the fight to Lilith on the go.

A Steam version of Diablo IV opens the door to user reviews

While pages for games can link you directly to a game’s forum page, there isn’t a way to leave or read user comments on the service. Steam, on the other hand, is often desired for its detailed user reviews, which sometimes possess a refreshing level of honesty and sometimes see players unite over common gripes, justified or not. Overwatch 2, another Blizzard live service title, exemplified this, as it’s taken a beating from gamers on Valve’s marketplace. The game currently has a status of “Overwhelmingly Negative,” based on some 193,000 reviews.

Read More: Overwatch 2 Steam Reviews Are Predictably Brutal, Say Porn Is The Best Part

Diablo’s transition to a live-service game hasn’t been without significant road bumps. Over the summer, Blizzard took to apologizing for some devastating changes to the core gameplay after angering fans.

Now that the game will be on Steam, potential criticism might feel a bit louder.

THPS 1+2 Gets Offline Mode, But Only On Steam Deck

Good news skater punks: The recently released Steam version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is now playable offline. But in totally wack and weird news: This offline mode is only for Steam Deck users.

First released in 2020, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a very good remake of the first two games in the iconic skateboarding franchise. It initially launched on consoles and PC via the Epic Games Store. And for three years, the only way for PC players to buy and enjoy THPS 1+2 was through Epic’s storefront. Last month, that changed, when Activision finally remembered to bring the game to Steam. Sadly, this version of THPS 1+2 still came saddled with an always-online requirement on PC, just like the Epic Games Store edition. As you can imagine, this frustrated many players. However, a new update added offline support, but in a confusing and somewhat unprecedented move, this feature is only available on the Steam Deck, Valve’s hugely popular portable PC.

On October 18, a few weeks after it finally leaped to Steam, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 received a small 1.1 patch. There were only two notes in the update’s tiny changelog: A keyboard overlay error that occurred on Steam Deck was fixed, and offline mode was added to that same platform.

Fans still trying to get around the weird requirement

Of course, fans assumed that they could dupe the game and Steam into thinking they were playing THPS 1+2 on Steam Deck even when playing on their desktop computer or laptop, and thus enjoy offline play without using Valve’s handheld. But so far, people are struggling to find a workaround.

PlayStation / Activision

On Reddit, users are sharing different ideas for console commands that could trick the game, but nothing seems to be working yet. That means, at least for now, that the only way to play the game without an internet connection is on a Steam Deck. And even if (or more likely when) players and modders figure out how to properly trick the game and Steam into letting them play offline on a desktop, it’s bizarre that any of this is happening at all.

Kotaku has contacted Activision about the offline mode’s Steam Deck requirement.

I’ve not seen a publisher do something like this on Steam Deck before. Plenty of games don’t support the portable PC, and just as many have been updated to add graphical options or tweaks designed to make the game run better on it. But I’ve never seen a game completely lock out features or options when played on a desktop. Even Aperture Desk Job, Valve’s small Steam Deck game meant to show off the handheld device’s features, is fully playable on desktop.

Yet, not so with THPS 1+2, which seems to be holding a much-requested offline mode hostage and only letting Steam Deck users enjoy it. Sure, it makes sense that Activision would want the game to be playable offline on Steam Deck, as it makes it easier to play the game anywhere and that leads to more people buying it before road trips and the like. But to completely lock that mode away from everyone else on Steam is quite bizarre, and frankly pretty shitty.


Don’t Sleep On These Great Steam Halloween Sale Deals

An image shows characters from popular creepy games standing together.

Image: Capcom / Remedy / Devolver Digital / Kotaku

It’s nearly Halloween, so it’s once again time for Valve to throw a big ol’ spooky-themed Steam sale. And this year there are plenty of great deals on new and old games, most of which are scary and perfect to play on Halloween night. Also…

BOO! Did I scare you? Probably not. Let me try again. *Clears throat* We live in a rapidly declining civilization that is being destroyed by powerful corporations and dangerously disruptive technology that will, quicker than most people realize, make it nearly impossible for folks to earn a living and live a comfortable life. Scared? Well, I can’t stop all of that but I can help you save a few bucks for the future with some of the best deals currently available via Steam’s “Scream: The Revenge” Sale.

Check out our list below for some highlights, and don’t wait too long to grab some of these creepy classics, as the Halloween sale ends November 2.

  • 7 Days To Die $6 – ($25)
  • Alan Wake – $3.75 ($15)
  • Batman Arkham Knight – $4 ($20)
  • The Callisto Protocol – $24 ($60)
  • Cult of the Lamb – $15 ($25)
  • Darkest Dungeon – $5 ($25)
  • Days Gone – $17 ($50)
  • Dead By Daylight – $8 ($20)
  • Dead Space remake – $36 ($60)
  • Dredge – $19 ($25)
  • Project Zomboid – $14 ($20)
  • Resident Evil 2 – $10 ($40)
  • Resident Evil 3 – $10 ($40)
  • Resident Evil 7 $8 ($20)
  • Resident Evil 4 & Separate Ways DLC – $40 ($60)
  • Resident Evil Village – $16 ($40)
  • Strange Brigade – $2.50 ($50)
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series $12.50 ($50)
  • Weird West – $10 ($40)
  • The Quarry – $15 ($60)

And good luck to everybody with the robot AI overlords and the fall of humanity and all that. Perhaps share in the comments below any good deals you find on Steam during this Halloween sale to help distract us from the doom and gloom of the future.


FPS Crushing Steam Charts Already Ruined By Cheaters, AI

The Finals is a forthcoming free-to-play first-person shooter from new studio Embark, set in a fictional game show’s death arena. Its open beta—which you can sign up for now through November 5 on Steam, PS5, or Xbox Series X/S—promises confetti colors and similarly striking flames and explosions. It looks exciting, and its playtest reviews seem promising, but some early players are finding its ugly dust bunnies: a bunch of cheaters and stiff AI-generated voice acting.

The cheaters will presumably be easier for Embark to take care of; The Finals doesn’t have a release date yet, so there’s time to patch holes. But there are (if you listen to the subreddit) so many cheaters plaguing the open beta.

The FPS currently stands at number five on Steam’s Top 100 played games chart, peaking at nearly a quarter of a million concurrent players. Even with this huge audience, some players say the cheaters stand out and destroy gameplay.


“Today I’ve run into up to 3 obviously hacking players in each match, sometimes for several matches in a row,” one Reddit user said in a post about cheaters. “It’s a flood, and I worry it’s rapidly going to get worse.”

“We’re actively working on improving the situation,” Embark wrote in The Finals’ Discord on October 30. “Accounts that are cheating are not going undetected despite cheat vendors’ assurances. We have the necessary information, and we’re taking action on it.”

The developer encouraged players to continue to report instances of cheating, and noted that players who have been “running unauthorized third-party software, scripts, vulnerable drivers, or badware” might now be blocked or suspended from the game.

Embark is less likely to align with its fans’ interests in terms of AI, though. In a July episode of its podcast, Embark said that “with a few exceptions” for grunts and breaths, The Finals uses AI text-to-speech voice acting.

“The reason that we go this route,” audio director Andreas Almström said, “is that AI text-to-speech is finally extremely powerful. It gets us far enough in terms of quality and allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas.”

Players and voice actors alike, however, find it “unnatural,” one Reddit post said. “With how polished the rest of the game is, could they not have spent a bit of money hiring some voice actors?”

“I hope they take player feedback into consideration and just cast someone,” voice actor Gianni Matragrano wrote on Twitter. With no set release date, like with The Finals’ cheating, Embark has a chance to turn things around, or not.

There’s hope: in a statement provided to IGN on October 31, Embark said that “making games without actors isn’t an end goal.”

“In the instances we use [text-to-speech] in The Finals, it’s always based on real voices,” a spokesperson said. “In the open beta, it is based on a mix of professional voice actors and temporary voices from Embark employees.”

Update 10/31/2023 10:15 a.m. ET: Included Embark’s public statement on A.I.