Trusting Day One Reviews

This is more directed towards open exploration games specifically but applies to all games. This is the generation where developers are trying to do everything to make their game a very amazing experience (well some of them). No longer are the days of 12 hour straight stories with extra optional content. Many of these worlds take days worth of time to fully explore let along just finish the story. So, the question for today is, can we trust the people who are bringing out the reviews?

There has been a great fleshing out of the worlds for the last couple of years. One of the biggest of the earlier generations was Skyrim. A game with a seemingly infinite amount of side quest and a story that was buried in its own world. This game, even if a player was to focus only on the campaign, is not finishing this game within a day (unless they just have that kind of time). Even then, there are different factions you can join, different stories that you can get involved in, and just exploring the world, in general, would take a few days to get through. The gameplay is Skyrim all the way through, but the other elements can possibly change if there is not some time taken to look at them.

This brings up a problem that people should look into when they look at reviews. They are not playing the game, to just play it sometimes. It might be enjoyable to them, but it is still a job with a deadline. Also, some reviews focus on things that might not be the most important thing or leave you with more questions.

Destiny 2

An example of this is Destiny. Destiny is one of the shortest games of this generation. It masks its content making it seem like it is so much to do when there is nothing really going on. After you explore the planets for 30 minutes to an hour, the sense of adventure wears off because the planets are uninteresting. The crucible is fun but that is competitive multiplayer which does not take that long to get an understanding of. It is not a terrible game, but it is not good either. Also, the nickel and diming with things such as emotes is a heavy turn off since you can not unlock them through normal means

Many reviewers gave it good to great scores which did not match up with their amount of problems that the game had compared to the number of praises it has.  This is a moment where this person’s opinion loses some of its credibility. As a buyer, there is an amount of trust you have for someone’s opinion. Maybe because they are an expert or they have been doing this career for awhile. It is understandable how people can trust them but leave a little room to form your own opinion. and be wary of theirs.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Trusting Day One Reviews

  1. I’d say a somewhat underreported problem with reviews in this medium is that it’s obvious the critics don’t always finish the game. It’s not a new problem either; hearing what the critics had to say about Earthbound back in the nineties made it painfully obvious they didn’t play the whole game. Sadly, it’s not a problem they would improve on, as I’ve seen a few instances in which they praised a game that has a strong first half but a weak second half or, similar to the case with Earthbound, decry or underrate a game that one needs to complete in order for it to have any kind of satisfying impact. This propensity simply would not fly in any other medium.

    As for a specific case, look no further than Metal Gear Solid V. It’s clear they rushed the second half, but because it’s long and all of the best gameplay happens to be in the first half, it got perfect scores across the board. Even as someone who liked the game, I will admit it did not deserve such high accolades because it was clearly not finished.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will say, as someone who has reviewed games without completing them at the time of writing, that there’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way. I think the biggest issue is that reviewers that write their pieces about games they haven’t finished often are scrambling to get their work done before the embargo lifts.

      I don’t have to worry about embargos, because I never get review copies!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I wish would they would at least try. Some do when they focus mostly on game play elements and the multiplayer aspect only. This does make it harder for people who want good stories to find reviews. As for MGSV that is not the first time I have heard that the second half was disappointing. The good thing about this is that it exposed a lot of reviewers that do not finish games.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. It’s definitely a tricky situation. On way hand, you need to get a review published for a 100 hours game before the game’s release, on the other hand, you sometimes only get a review copy a week before and you’ve got to play as much as you possibly can to get an opinion out in time. Because if you wait too long, no one will care and your review gets no clicks or reads.

    Shorter games like Uncharted 4 and Resident Evil VII are ideal because the experience is finite but larger games do enter a gray area.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s definitely one way to do it. I think including a “time played” section in reviews will give us a fairer understanding of where the reviewer is coming from. 🙂

        That said, would you like to share your articles in our FB group? We’re a growing community of gaming bloggers and we’re always looking for more great writers to share and discuss their work and all things gaming. Just search for “Game Bloggers United” on Facebook.

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  3. As a reviewer that gets review copies of multiple games I agree and disagree with this. Open world games are huge and they do take a lot of time to complete, but developers know this which is why they give us up to two weeks of access to the game before anyone else. I have 4 kids and can only play games after they’re sleeping or at their grandma’s house so I use what time I do have to complete the game.

    I don’t post a review until I finish a game. Finishing a game means side quest, main quest, and exploring everywhere I can think of. I did it for Skyrim, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Xenoblade Chronicles X, etc. I’m doing it now for Andromeda, and Breath of The Wild. And if a review is going to be a late I let the developers know and I’ve never had a problem with it. As far as views go I don’t notice a decrease in my views when I do reviews.

    I know some reviewers don’t finish their games before they drop reviews. Mad Max is a good example here. Some reviewers overlook issues (Batman Arkham Knight) with a game and still give a 9/10. Reviews aren’t perfect and they never will be, but there are good, honest reviewers out there. Just because a game doesn’t score the way you think it should doesn’t mean the reviewer didn’t play it all the way through.

    And Destiny didn’t get glowing reviews btw. It holds a 75% on metacritic from game critics. And if someone did love it enough to give it a 9 who are we to judge? Just because “you” think differently doesn’t mean that person should. Everyone is different. I have friends that ranks Destiny in their top 5 games of all time. Do I agree? Of course not, but that doesn’t make their opinion wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You bring up a lot of great points! I do like to read reviews, but I realize everyone’s opinions are different. Therefore, if I want to play the game, I just play it and make my own judgments about it! 🙂

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