Game reviewing lost the plot

2 min read
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One of my regular readers, Andre Odendaal (Mailowl), emailed me this article that he wrote which I completely agree with. Take a look and let Andre know what you think.

I believe game reviewers and critics are not being objective (and even subjective) enough in reviewing today’s games and they are just giving every new game that comes along their highest score possible.

Just looking at Metacritic:
Halo 3 = 94
The Orange Box = 96
Guitar Hero 2 = 92;

are we doomed to have every review being “The most amazing game ever!”?

Reviewers really only seems to have “OMG! I’ve died and gone to heaven” and “This is a turd sandwich” as responses.

The truth is that every new game coming out is going to have amazing graphics, sound, storyline and gameplay and reviewers cannot compare today’s games to those of yesteryear.  These days publishers have oodles of money to throw at a game to get the best physics and 3d engines out and you have companies dedicated to creating engines (Epic and Havok just to name 2).  You can also hire writers and composers because the market is taking game dev seriously as a paying job.

Maybe if games were compared to others released in the same time period we’d get a better scoring system; “So both Halo 3 and The Orange Box a great games, but Halo is better because …” and we?d get a “Best of Breed” which would change and match the technologies as they come out.  Halo 2 is pretty poor compared to Halo 3 and Halo 3 will definitely pale in comparison to what will come out next.

I think it’s a general perception that game critics are seen as narcissistic and aloof but it’s just to counter the fanboys who sacrifice their grannies on the altar of some game; but now they must use their experience of games past and *combine* it with the fact that games are supposed to be better each year.

So game reviewers must raise the bar of quality and bring the scores back into the mid-range otherwise we?ll be lost the miasma of self-righteous consumerism.

Last Updated: October 25, 2007

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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