The Inconsistencies of Game Reviews

Once one review says something is bad the next thing you know everyone thinks the same thing. Isn’t that strange? 

Note:

I’ll be covering multiple games, and examples in this article. Don’t take anything I’m writing as a fact. It’s only my opinion on the subject.

When a game is released well known reviewers determine whether or not it’s successful. A good review can boost the sales of games and that determines whether or not we’ll see another one in the future.

Games like Mad Max, Homefront, and Mafia III are universally bashed by people for being repetitive, and boring, but they praise games that do the exact same thing. Homefront did what Far Cry has been doing for years, but it was universally bashed by every major reviewer out there. I really liked Homefront, but thought it could use some work because it was a little buggy on PC.

When a game has some bugs, like Mafia III, certain reviewers use that as fuel to bash a game. They’ll say that it has a great story, but everything else is shit. Lets jump to a well known example of a really buggy game that was universally praised shall we?

witcher3 2016-05-28 14-00-50-13

The Witcher 3 is often brought up in the “best game ever made” conversation and I think it should be because it delivered on just about everything a modern RPG should. It has a fantastic story, good gameplay, characters, soundtrack, open world, etc. I can go on and on about how good this game is, but it wasn’t always this good. When it released it was a buggy mess that couldn’t even reach 30fps on consoles. It took them a long time to fix this game, but everyone overlooked it because it was made my CD Projekt Red. The combat was average when it first released, but got a lot better with the alternative move mode that should have been included on day one.

Why let The Witcher 3 get a free pass, but you shit on a game that was no near as buggy. Rise of The Tomb was literally unplayable on PC for months, but it got near perfect scores while Homefront got a lowly 5 for being “the buggiest game ever made”. What about Batman Arkham Knight? How about Total War Rome II? Those are two great examples of broken games that took the developers a year to fix.

Homefront: The Revolution is pretty much a Far Cry game with Crysis elements. It’s not a perfect game by any means. It’s not better than the games I mentioned, but it’s not a 5 either. It was bashed on, unfairly, by critics about the bugs and glitches, but they praise other buggy games. It’s a double standard and that shouldn’t be the case. If you’re going to bash a game that has some pretty bad bugs you should do it for all games not just the one’s that don’t have a big budget.

fallout_4_logo

Regular gamers are no better with this. There was so much hype surrounding Fallout 4 that it was unfairly bashed for not living up to people’s unfair expectations of the game. The reviews on Steam have Fallout 4 rated quite poorly because “New Vegas was better” or because Fallout 4 isn’t a real RPG. Most people that make this claim are only doing so because someone else did. They’re sheep and don’t know how to form their own opinions so they use someone else’s instead. The Steam review system is broken and can also affect sales on smaller games.

Fallout New Vegas is actually my least favorite Fallout games. It’s one of the buggiest games I’ve ever played. Obsidian is infamous for having buggy ass games that never get fixed, but people still love them. I love them too, but I won’t ever call New Vegas better than Fallout 4.

Games that have noticeable flaws are praised while games that do the exact same thing as a popular game are bashed. Why not bash both games then? I know the argument here will be X game did it better than Y game so that why Y game sucks, but lets get real here. Ubisoft’s method of unlocking new areas obviously hasn’t gotten old with anyone and when another game does it to that makes it bad.

Homefront-The-revolution-beta

Homefront is actually a really good example here. It took Far Cry’s gameplay, exploration, and world unlock system, but added to it by letting us customize our guns in some pretty unique way. It’s not a better game than Far Cry, but it could be with a good sequel.

Mad Max was criticized by being called boring, repetitive, and has a “bad story”, but Metal Gear Solid V was praised because Hideo Kojima made it. Really? That’s one of the most repetitive games of 2015 and it didn’t even have a ending, but it’s a 9/10 right?

How about you try and be consistent with games from now on?

I know not everything I wrote will not sit well with some people. Especially if you’re like the people that I just wrote about. This is my opinion on the subject and you’re welcome to disagree with me on the subject, but you won’t convince me that this isn’t a problem in the gaming community. If every Call of Duty game can get a 9.0 regardless of it’s flaws you know there’s something wrong going on here.

Note:

I’m not calling game reviews or the people that review them bad. I’m just calling some of the hate that spreads around certain games unfair. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

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7 thoughts on “The Inconsistencies of Game Reviews”

  1. Like you I didn’t think New Vegas was the best of the Fallout games… For me it is still Fallout 3. None if them started as strongly as that one… The others desperately needed their own Megaton.

    If I could review games for a living I certainly wouldn’t be complaining! 😉 I think sometimes it skews peoples perspectives too. If you’re getting them for free its easy to be critical or gushing about a product. But when you’ve paid for it you try a bit harder to find the positives and are more willing to point out the negatives too.

    1. Fallout 3 is also my favorite Fallout game :). It started strong and ended strong. It also had a ton of expansions that added to the game instead of settlement building shit that I rarely use.

      I wouldn’t complain if I reviewed games for a living too. I make some money off of this blog, but not nearly enough to quit my day job and make this a permanent gig.

      Even when I get free games I try to point out all of the positives and negatives of the game. Some reviewers are just too quick to bash a game because it does one or two things wrong and ignore everything that it does right. Mafia III is a pretty good example here. Great story, atmosphere, and soundtrack, but it lacks in the gameplay department when compared to other games in it’s genre. That doesn’t mean it’s a terrible game though. It didn’t have the budget of GTA V so it was obviously gong to lack in some areas of the game.

  2. Thought-provoking! I can’t speak for any other reviewers not knowing what their thought process is like while they play a game or review it. I would hope that there’s no bias. I think between games, you also have to consider whether or not it’s being reviewed by the same person. Perhaps someone who enjoyed one popular series didn’t get to review the other less popular or newer game of a similar genre. If they are reviewed by the same person, then maybe there is some bias, but it’s really hard to tell with inconsistencies. This is definitely something to think about though, so I commend you for posting it.

    1. Thanks!

      One review that comes to mind is the Mad Max review over at Kotaku. The reviewer straight up said that he didn’t want to review the game, but had no choice. He said he didn’t want to stop playing Metal Gear Solid V so he could play a lesser game so to speak.

      My point is if you don’t want to review a game pass it on to someone that does. And if you praise a game that does a mechanic that another game also does well why shit on the other game at all instead of being fair to it?

      I obviously don’t know what reviewers are thinking or what their review process is, but there are quite a few unfair reviews out there. Pokemon for example was bashed for having too much water over at IGN :].

      Thanks for commenting.

      1. It’s unfortunate when people actually say that they don’t want to review a game, considering it’s their job to do so. Perhaps he didn’t really have a choice, though it wouldn’t be fair to actually have that affect the review itself. If a reviewer has to review something, it should be done fairly regardless of if they want to review it or not. Though as long as a reviewer is fair and consistent, their opinion is indeed valid.

      2. I agree. It’s funny because Kotaku actually deleted my comment when I said something about it. I was nice about it and everything. That was the first and only time I ever commented on Kotaku.

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