Alice is sublime, but I really disagree that none of the others are good. In fact I think pretty much all of them are good, and I’d kind of challenge you to pick out who isn’t, and why, because I think if we apply the same standards to any of the other reviewers RPS has had, we will find them “wanting” as well. In fact some of RPSes earlier reviewers were um… not great (all long-since-departed).
I feel like I would have been much more upset about John leaving say, three years ago. Alec it is definitely sad to see go, very talented and reliable, but I feel like John has been almost a parody of himself for well, yeah about three years, and over the last year or so, it felt like his reviews weren’t really telling me anything at all, just sort of engaging in predictable tropes - it was entirely predictable what he would like, and why, and what he would hate, and why, and he didn’t have those flashes of deep insight or surprising opinions that critics with strong opinions like Mark Kermode have. He’s never been that erudite a critic of actual game design, just a man who is good at expressing his opinions in a either poetically gleeful, or barbed but humourous way. And I feel he’s lost a lot of that sense of humour too. This seemed particularly evident with all the “Bestest Bests” he was handing out - to exactly the games you’d expect, for the reasons you’d expect, and it seemed like maybe he wasn’t even interested in reviewing games he didn’t love.
I mean I actually can’t entirely blame him for that - ME: Andromeda, a game he was never going to love, seemed like actual torture, because he had to play about 10 hours a day as far as I can tell, to get the review out when he did. But his vitriol there wasn’t funny or clever, and he seemed more ground-down than anything else, and that seemed to be a tone present in a number of his more recent reviews (to me).
Anyway, TLDR I feel like he’s been phoning it in for a long while, so it doesn’t particularly surprise or upset me.
I think it will be fine. I think RPS is fine - and honestly is a lot better now than at a number of points in its history. Bioware will either get their shit together or they won’t. Months and months (IIRC) before Anthem came out I said DA4 was actually the big test and recent stuff bears that out, I think. If they don’t, well, it seems like their legacy is well-established with a wide variety of high-budget CRPGs on the way.