Should reviewers complete games?

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Jason West and Vince Zampella have been fronting questions at QuakeCon over the weekend and one of the topics that came up were reviewers.

According to Zampella there is nothing more frustrating than reviewers who don’t complete games and he feels that all games should be completed before the reviewer puts virtual pen to paper.

I only half agree.

If a game is less than 10 hours there really is no reason not to complete the title before putting up the review but when it gets longer than that things become a little murkier, especially for part time reviewers.

Take for example Red Dead Redemption which has a huge single player storyline with a very feature packed multiplayer component on top of that. I feel that in the single player campaign once you have played 10 hours you have pretty much experienced all the game that is needed before writing the review. That is unless you are finding the game truly awe inspiring or truly gag inducing.

As a reviewer you have a responsibility to justify the score you have given a game and if you give it a 9.5+ then you really need to be sure the game is worthy of that score and you can’t do that without playing all aspects of it.

However if the game is truly terrible it then becomes more about how terrible a game is, it’s not fair to a bad title to give it a 2 without truly going indepth into it… however giving a game a 4,3,2 or 1 really makes no difference. The game is obviously terrible.

But you also need to be wary of games with quality piled on towards the end, like Braid for example. If you stop playing Braid 10 minutes before the end the game is possibly going to lose at least a point possible a point and a half.

What do you feel, should a reviewer be able to review a title they haven’t finished? Should they tell you if this is the case?

Alongside this, should games be allowed to receive scores of 10 and 0?

Last Updated: August 16, 2010

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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