A Hitman: Game of the Year Edition GOG Review Bomb is currently underway over claims that the game includes DRM on what is ostensibly a DRM-free storefront.
The 2016 version of Hitman was very different from previous games due to an increased reliance on online-centric content. The game's future was in trouble when Square Enix decided to release IoI Interactive as one of its developers; fortunately, the company managed to land on its feet and reclaim ownership of the Hitman franchise as an independent entity.
Since then, a second and third Hitman game in the new trilogy was released, the latter of which upset some players by being an Epic Games Store exclusive and worrying players about having to pay for content in the previous games a second time. Now, the first game in the modern trilogy has launched over at DRM-free retailer GOG and it's become embroiled in controversy over its online-only systems.
Why the Hitman: Game of the Year Edition GOG Review Bomb is Happening
The Hitman: Game of the Year Edition GOG review bomb is happening over what is essentially an argument about the definition of DRM due to the game's inclusion of online-only features, further complicated by GOG's response to some of these reviews.
Take note of a disclaimer in the description on the game's store page:
Please note: Internet connection is required to access Escalation missions, Elusive Targets or user-created Contracts. Story and bonus missions can be played offline.
The online-only features didn't exactly run as smoothly as one might have hoped when the game first launched, so it's no surprise that people aren't particularly fond of them.
The inclusion of these online-only features has resulted in the Hitman: Game of the Year Edition GOG review bomb; the game currently sits at an astonishingly low 1.5/5 stars based on user reviews. GOG's response to these negative reviews has arguably made the situation worse.
"Dear GOG community! Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention," began a statement from the company on its forums. "We’re looking into it and will be updating you in the coming weeks. In case you have purchased HITMAN and are not satisfied with the released version, you can use your right to refund the game. At the same time, while we’re open for meritful [sic] discussion and feedback, we will not tolerate review bombing and will be removing posts that do not follow our review guidelines."
GOG's intolerance of "review bombing" appears at odds with its review policy as highlighted on Reddit; note the sections about negative reviews and unacceptable review content:
Can I write a negative review?
Yes. If you are unsatisfied with the game (e.g. the gameplay, graphics, in-game mechanics and features) you are free to write a review and share your opinion with other GOG users as to why you do not recommend it.
What kind of content is considered unacceptable in a review?
Your reviews should be about the game you are writing your review about, constructive and polite. Please refrain from using language that may be considered offensive, inappropriate, or abusive.
The inclusion of online-only features is viewed by some as being tantamount to DRM -- something that's not supposed to happen on GOG as a general rule. We've reached out to GOG for comment on this matter and will update this article when we receive a reply. You can buy Hitman: Game of the Year Edition on GOG for $17.99 or your regional equivalent, a 70% discount.
Disclosure: GOG works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership, and TechRaptor earns a small commission off purchases made from some links in this article.
Do you think that online-only features should qualify as DRM?