This week, we finally saw the first gameplay trailer of Return to Monkey Island, a follow-up to the first and second Monkey Island games that’s headed up by Ron Gilbert. Much of the game’s rollout has been delightful — an apparent April Fools’ joke by Gilbert about a new Monkey Island game turned out to be a real announcement. But there’s been some sour discourse following the new trailer, and on his personal blog, Gilbert said he won’t be posting about Return to Monkey Island anymore (via Eurogamer).
“I’m shutting down comments,” Gilbert said in a post featuring the new trailer. “People are just being mean and I’m having to delete personal attack comments. It’s an amazing game and everyone on the team is very proud of it. Play it or don’t play it but don’t ruin it for everyone else. I won’t be posting anymore about the game. The joy of sharing has been driven from me.”
From what I’ve seen, most of the negative comments have been focused on Return to Monkey Island’s art direction. The original games used pixel art, but the new game opts for a more cartoony look. In an April interview with The Verge, Gilbert said that was an intentional decision:
So it isn’t pixel art, and that was a discussion that Dave [Grossman] and I had early on about “should it be a pixel art game? Should it not be a pixel art game?” Ultimately, we thought that we just had a lot more freedom and flexibility to not make it a pixel art game. I think people are going to be very happy with the art once they see it and once they see it moving and the animation. We have an incredible group of animators on the project, and it’s really neat when you actually start to see everything moving in the game.
And Gilbert tried to address criticisms of Return to Monkey Island’s art style in a May post on his personal blog. “Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it’s the art style I wanted,” he wrote. Unfortunately, though, some people have continued to say vile stuff, and now it seems we won’t be hearing from Gilbert about what looks to be a terrific game. (Seriously, if the short scene featured on the Return to Monkey Island website — complete with a classic point-and-click dialog tree! — is any indication, then I think we’re in for a treat.)
The vibes in video games have been weird this week. A release date for God of War: Ragnarok was rumored to be announced on Thursday, but on Wednesday, Santa Monica Studio creative director Cory Barlog said on Twitter that wasn’t the case and has had to ask fans to be patient after fielding many, many comments on his recent tweets.
“If it were up to me I would share all the information when I know about it,” he said. “But it is not up to me. So please, be patient. I promise things will be shared at the earliest possible moment they can be.”