No Bombs allowed!
In an interesting move, the review service Metacritic has locked user reviews until 36 hours after game releases. As of right now, when you head to the site and try to post, you receive a message that says something along the lines of ‘Play the game first’. The idea behind the move is to try and stop the number of review bombs that games can sometimes receive straight after launch.
This most likely has stemmed after the heavy criticism from the ‘Last of us 2’ in June of this year. After the ‘gamer’s’ reviews, it threw the whole aggregate into the low scores of 2 to 3 stars, the polar opposite of the 10/10 official reviews it started with. Not mention some pretty heavy and harsh words from the gamer community. Something that sadly moved onto to death threats being sent to the developers (this is something that should NEVER happen).
Personally, whilst I like the idea that reviews should only be written after a game has been played, I also feel that this is like putting a gag order on players. At the end of the day, people are entitled to their opinions, good or bad. If you play a game for five minutes and decide you don’t like it, then that is your choice. If Metacritic then has a function allowing you to comment or review, then that should be upheld. Bombing a game is totally acceptable, and in some cases warranted. It works in the same way that giving a game 10/10 after only a couple of hours play can be misleading. I normally don’t get stock of a game completely until I have been in that game universe for at least 3 or 4 hours playtime. Imagine if we at DGR were only allowed to report the news 36 hours after the event? Most of the game news and review sites would stop posting and we would all be out of a job.
Its also widely known that some review sites are paid to give top reviews. Surely this should be stopped before allowing the general public to have their say. When I look to purchase a game I take a mixed look at official reviews and sites like Metacritic before I make my choice. I have enough sense to see when a game is being bombed by haters or when I think the reviews seem ‘too positive’
By stopping gamer’s making any reviews until 36 hours after release, I believe that Metacritic has forced their own hand at stopping people’s freedom of expression. Whilst their intentions were no doubt noble, this is not a path we should need to go down.
Drop me a line if you agree, or even if you don’t [email protected]
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