Welcome to my new site

Hello all! If you don’t know me, I’m Tom Hatfield, a freelance games journalist. I’ve worked for PC Gamer, Nintendo Gamer and Edge. I created this site to showcase some of my published work and host any articles I feel like writing, but can’t find a home for anywhere else. I’m also planning to use it to write about films, books, TV, comics and other other medium I’m interested in.

If you’re interested in my opinions, I recommend following them in 140 character form on twitter. If you want to get in touch with me for work then you can email me.

Otherwise just sit back and enjoy the writing!

‘Cinematic’ is not a dirty word

Recently Rock Paper Shotgun published an article railing against ‘cinematic’ games. The sentiment will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time on any game site or comment thread. Games are games, why should games be like movies? Treating games like movies means long, non-linear cutscenes, and no-one likes those. The best course for games is to focus on interaction, and ignore films entirely. The argument is a compelling one, but I think it’s dead wrong, and stems from a basic misconception about what we mean when we say ‘cinematic’.
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Now Playing: World of Tanks

This is one of the first things I ever got published in a magazine, and PC Gamer have just put it online. It tells a story of my first time playing World of Tanks. I figured it’d be easier to get the hang of it if I joined up with a more experienced friend, but as I rapidly found out, World of Tanks doesn’t work that way.

I ended up in a high tier battle in a tank made by Fischer Price. Read it here.

Against all odds, World of Tanks is actually a lot of fun. The trick is the way that it takes a very complex ballistics model and hides it behind some very simple FPS style controls. I haven’t played it in a while, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with World of Planes.

Skyrim Mods coverage

When Skyrim first came out, I figured mods for it would be a big deal, but I never realised exactly how much they’d take off when the Steam Workshop was released. I’ve spent a lot of time covering Skyrim Mods since then, and I’ve become something of an expert.

Here’s my list of the 25 best Skyrim Mods, it’s the culmination of several mods posts I’ve done for PC Gamer over several months, with new mods continually added and removed. Here’s my post for the PC Gamer Skyrim Mod collection, picking out some of the best of the Steam Workshop.

And in other PC gaming news

Back when I was interning at PC Gamer, one of my jobs was to write the ‘And in other PC Gaming news’ round up every day. I enjoyed it, because it gave me a lot of freedom, all I really had to do was present the links and be funny in the intro. The informal format also resulted in a lot of back and forth with the readers.

You can read them here.

My favourite is the one I wrote entirely in Ork speak.

World of Warplanes preview

An early preview of World of Warplanes I wrote for PC Gamer. Most of it is based on an interview I conducted with Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming.net and lead designer of World of Tanks. He’s a really interesting guy, and talking to him gave me a real insight into the Russian games market, and why free to play took off over there like it did.

Read it here.

Why I play Football Manager

This is one of my favourite things I’ve ever written. It’s my attempt to explain the enduring appeal of Football Manager, and the way in which it creates little narratives as you play. I do this by sharing one of my favourite Football Manager memories, the story of Shane Paul, a young prospect who had one moment of glory before burning out.

Read about it here.

One day I hope one day someone will give me the chance to write a proper full length Football Manager diary, there’s so many good stories in that game.

King Arthur 2 preview

I actually reviewed the first King Arthur back when I was still an amateur at Gaming Daily. It was one of the first games I got review code for. Now I’ve grown up a bit, and so has King Arthur, I got to take a look at how the sequel is shaping up.

You can read about it here.