I’m not against the idea of user reviews. When they’re used for their intended purpose, they can be beneficial, helping highlight specific issues in games that might not be made clear in more general critical reviews, or brining a spotlight to games that haven’t attracted much media coverage. They’re good for gauging general user sentiment, which is useful in these “live service” days where games often change after they’ve been released. In an ideal world, they’re a useful consumer tool.
Unfortunately, they’re often used by consumers tools for several reasons that might have little to do with the games themselves. They can be used as a form of protest against company policies, or political ideologies. While I understand and sympathise with that because it’s one of the few outlets available to consumers for making a stand against corporate overlords, they can muddy the waters, which isn’t really fail to the people who’ve toiled to make the actual games. It’s on of the reasons that Valve made changes to its user reviews, where floods of negative reviews – known as review bombing – wouldn’t affect the general sentiment or ranking.
Now they’re trying to improve user reviews a little more. Sometimes, people play a game for a short time, leaving reviews that might not accurately represent the state of a game as it stands after a few patches, or after players have sunk more time into them. Now, Steam will nudge players who’ve played more of a game they’ve already reviewed, asking them if they’d like to update their reviews. It’s not obtrusive, but it’s a nice feature that was added at the request of developers.
Last Updated: October 30, 2019