Learning things and getting smarter is normally a cause for celebration, but in the case of Kelvin, everyone’s favorite Sons of the Forest (opens in new tab) flunkie, it’s having the opposite effect: A recent patch gave him a bigger brain, and some players do not like it.
Lauren Morton recently declared Kelvin “the new best boy of videogames (opens in new tab)” thanks to his adorable blend of energetic industriousness, childlike friendliness, and, well, let’s call it not-fully-developed problem-solving skills.
“Kelvin is not a dog. He is not a toddler,” Lauren wrote about her best digital pal. “But my friends and I have been cheering on every one of his little feats as if he were. He runs with small, fast-paced little steps. He tosses items you request exactly where he’s told (what a smart boy). He smiles in a dazed, happy-to-be-here way, and look at how good he is at fishing.”
But the first patch for Sons of the Forest smoothed out some of those charmingly rough edges. From the patch notes (opens in new tab):
- Kelvin catch fish order will end after a time
- Fixed Kelvin cutting down trees with player structures attached
- Fixed Kelvin dropping radios destroying the radio
Individually, these are relatively minor points, and even obvious improvements. I mean, if you tell Kelvin you need some logs, and he runs off and chops down a tree you just built a treehouse into, well… What the hell, Kelvin?
But as GamesRadar (opens in new tab) noticed, quite a few Sons of the Forest players on Reddit (opens in new tab) aren’t happy about the upgrade. They liked slightly-gormless-but-deeply-devoted Kelvin, the boy who really tried his best at everything, and now that he’s better at things… he’s just not so good anymore.
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Others shared similar thoughts in the replies (opens in new tab):
- “Kelvin isn’t Kelvin anymore” – art_syber
- “This is going to get a whole lot of kelvins killed” – ChalupaPickle
- “He was sooo good at getting logs” – Eisenfuss19
- “I hate Kelvin now” – Financial-Look-1155
- “Ok that’s it im replacing kelvin, next cannibal that walks in the gate is my new companion” – Potato_Dealership
- “I mean, I always found his clumsy AI to be immersive because you know he’s got brain damage” – Various_Ask_8727
- “They need a toggle option. Like ‘Clumsy Kelvin’ vs. ‘Clever Kelvin’ that people can switch between” – PurdyDeadly
I can understand the response. In some ways, Kelvin reminds me of my dog (opens in new tab): Full of loyalty and love, and somewhat less blessed with brains. Would I make her “smarter” if I could? Sometimes I wish she was a little brighter, sure, but there’s something undeniably endearing about a big girl who does her goddamn level best even when she has no idea what’s going on around her. (Which is most of the time.) Kelvin isn’t a dog, as Lauren said, but he definitely has a similar kind of chaotic energy.
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Sons of the Forest developer Endnight Games hasn’t yet responded to the disappointed Kelvin fans, or indicated that it might do a Flowers for Algernon on him to put him back to his original state. I’ve reached out to the studio to ask (I am nothing if not thorough) and will update if I receive a reply.