The State of Game Reviews – Part Three

We continue our analysis of what I believe to be our broken modern day game review model.

Read Part One
Read Part Two

Many other games, across all consoles (although it seems like the PS3 has most certainly been graded on a curve and nitpicked more than the other two consoles), have received similar treatment. Reviews are often filled with a series of nitpicks, or vague declarations of “I didn’t like this,” without any clarification or reasoning for feeling that way.

I read a review of Resistance 2 a few weeks back, and the reviewer covered the multi-player aspect of the game (which I could take up a whole article describing), with one or two sentences, and those sentences were him lamenting that the game dared to go big with increasing player count from 40 to 60 in an online match. This seemed to be enough to justify slapping a 6/10 score on the game. Why? Were there any other issues that warranted a subtraction of 4 points?

Was it the controls? Was it the lack of an important feature that would have made playing with 59 other real life gamers easier? Was it sloppy game design? What was it? The reviewer never elaborated, so any potential readers will simply have to take his word for it, and unfortunately, many a reader would assume that, because he is a paid reviewer, he knows more about the medium than they do. This is dangerous territory. The ability of the media to influence public opinion should be approached with care and responsibility by that same media.

There are a lot of new gamers out there, and they expect the gaming industry to be truthful and informative with their assessment of the industry and it’s products.

So far this generation, we have not gotten that truthful, and objective assessment. Maybe it’s too much corporate politics. Maybe it’s back-door deals and other shenanigans (ie, Eidos trying to moderate the poor reviews of the latest Tomb Raider).

It’s a sad state for the gaming media when the console wars have begun to seep into the minds of the press.

Tune in to tomorrow for Part 4, where I outline the steps I believe need to be taken in order to get reviews back on track, and having true meaning and relevance again.

Part One
Part Two
Part Four
Part Five

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2 Responses to “The State of Game Reviews – Part Three”

  1. […] Part Two Read Part Three Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The State of Game Reviews – Part TwoRecent Trend: […]

  2. […] my analysis of what I believe to be the broken modern day review model. Read Part One Read Part Two Read Part Three Read Part Four I feel that video games should be judged on four key principals of game design. When […]

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