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It's time to say goodbye to RPS guides writer Hayden Hefford

They're off to have a new adventure called: How to do a university

A photo of Hayden Hefford, with a hand-drawn Horace in the background
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Alas, more sad news today, folks. Our brilliant guides writer Hayden Hefford has just completed their final day at RPS. From the end of September, they'll be starting a new life of scholarly enlightenment as they head off to university, undertaking that most noble of pursuits: the quest for infinite knowledge. We'll miss them dearly, so please join me in the comments below to say farewell.

Hayden joined us in the autumn of 2021, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as a fresh face in the world of games journalism. They took to their role instantly, throwing themselves into the likes of Minecraft, Back 4 Blood and Battlefield 2042, before joining guides editor Ollie in the guides trenches writing about Warzone and Call Of Duty: Vanguard. They went on to cover all manner of games in the months that followed, and their ability to switch from things like COD and Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel to Tunic and Elden Ring, all while becoming an instant expert in all of them, has never ceased to amaze me.

In hindsight, Hayden's forthcoming ascension to academia shouldn't have come as a surprise, as they were always looking for ways to improve both their writing and their wider skillset as a writer. I still remember the day when, just a few months after Hayden first joined us, they came to Alice Bee and myself asking if they could write a little thing about Project Zomboid, which they'd been playing over the Christmas break. It was their first bit of non-guides work, and they were quite nervous about whether it was any good. And honestly, I was so bowled over by the finished article, that I wanted to reach through my monitor and give them a high-five.

Hayden went on to stretch their feature-writing muscles after that, combining their extensive guides knowledge with their personable style of writing, telling us about how Elden Ring's Mimic Tear Ash nerf left them broken-hearted, and the effects of Diablo 4's disastrous pre-season one patch. They also threw themselves into our themed feature weeks, collecting together 5 games that make your mate the monster for Halloween last year, and the lovely Ikenfell for our Magic Week back in February.

They also threw themselves into review writing, taking on our Sniper Elite 5 review, as well as As Dusk Falls, Temtem, Grounded, Terra Nil, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge and Lil' Gator Game, awarding the latter with a Bestest Best.

I think my favourite piece of Hayden's, though, will always be their big interview feature about the making of As Dusk Falls, which not only has one of my all-time favourite quotes in a headline, but it was also Hayden's first big interview full stop, and their very first studio visit. Doing these sorts of features is no easy feat when you're still quite new in the world of games writing, but Hayden rose to the occasion brilliantly.

We'll miss them greatly, but I have no doubt Hayden has a very bright future ahead of them. We wish them all the best on their university adventures, so please join me in saying farewell, goodbye and happy studying in the comments below.

PS: nope, that doesn't mean TIE Fighter's going back on our list of best Star Wars games. Hayden's ranking remains pure and true on that front, so you'll just have to let that one go, young padawans.

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