In the past, gaming reviews were generally important because they conveyed an unbiased, critical analysis of a game. People looked up to reviews, and often formed the purchasing instinct of gamers.
Moving forward, in the last 5-7 years, at the tail end of the last generation and through-out the current generation, most reviews have been a mere promotional material or sponsored articles of publishers and gaming studios. There are only a few games like “The Last of Us” which was highly rated and lived up to its rating score of 95% on Metacritic.
Now, it’s difficult to really purchase a game based on many of the reviews available in the wild. For example, the highly rated Metal Gear Solid V has a Metacritic score of 93%, but in reality, the game’s first entry into the open world genre didn’t fit into the idea of the franchise. MGSV was a colossal flop, as many fans of the series could not comprehend how Hideo Kojima could hit an unrepentant low with the critically acclaimed franchise. The plot was awful, story incomplete and gameplay a total mess. Yet, the game was hyped by reviewers alike as the ultimate game in series, but players of the game thought otherwise, as it has a User Score of 8.2%, a sharp difference between what the so-called reviewers think and gamers who have actually played the game.
There are equally other games which reviewers slammed with a low score of 69% on Metacritic but has an unbelievable User Score of 7.8%. This is a dangerous trend moving forward, game reviews are gradually failing to influence gamer’s decision as many of them have become personal opinion, lacking basic journalism ethics.
Stories of reviewers who dislike a specific genre reviewing games in such genre are equally very available in public domain. Of course, you can’t expect an unbiased review from such a close-minded reviewer.
The question now is, at what point does one really draw the line? Gaming reviews are no longer what they used to be; there is a general bias in relation to big publishers like Rockstar. While their effort and time spent on a game should be rewarding and appreciated, it brings out arrogance when games from super mega publishers are giving an error-free reviews. But the reverse is most likely the case, when gamers eventually purchase the game.
Do you purchase games based on reviews and have you regretted purchasing any game based on reviews published in these gaming websites?