I’m A Little Mad
It’s not extremely often that I get worked up about reviews. I mean I review games on here and then I also tear apart good games all the time. The thing that gets me though is the “Professional” gaming sites that review games. Sure I check them to see what scores are looking like, but I’m not one to get upset when a game doesn’t get a good score. Doom got a 7.1, in my mind it’s pretty much a perfect 10. I wasn’t mad, I didn’t care. Breath of the Wild got a 10, I disagree, but it’s not going to make me mad. Why? Because I can accept that games are not viewed the same person to person.
I mean isn’t that the whole point of my entire Unpopular Opinion posts? It’s that I see things differently, and that it’s okay if you feel the same way. Here’s what get’s me though, and here is a link to the review, this is an utter garbage review that has nothing to do with professionalism or integrity in games media. It has to do with getting clicks and advertisers. I get it, I used to write for another site and that was a huge part of the entire set-up, timely reviews so that people will read the content.
I had never seen it really ruin a game review though, if anything scores would be higher due to a lack of completion of the game or even the review lacking information. If you take a second and read the review you will understand why it’s a BS review. It’s not about the quality of the game, it’s about the fact that it has a serious game breaking bug. Now most people on Steam or on the internet really haven’t seen this problem, however Bethesda has said they are going to fix the issue and are working on it, which hey that’s fine with me. I bought it on PC, I know the dangerous waters I’m getting into. I like my FPS’s on PC though and if I have to wait a week, I will.
The problem with the review isn’t that Dan Stapleton points out the problems. It’s that instead of being a good journalist and waiting, he posts the review at a solid 4. Yeah a 4 out of ten. Now if the game was garbage, which it’s not, and this was a huge issue across all consoles and most PC setups, which it’s not, this could be acceptable. In fact it’s a pretty rare occurrence and even google searching it the biggest thing that comes up is that Bethesda is working on it. There aren’t forums dedicated to this issue yet, however there are on a ton of other smaller PC centric issues.
(Yes the it’s a huge bug that could cause issues, but talk about it, don’t base your review on it)
This got me to start thinking about Arkham Knight, you know the game that is pretty much still unplayable for most PC users, or runs poorly to say the least. IGN has never reviewed the PC version. In fact they refused to simply stating that they didn’t have the time to review a broken game. Which from a professional and ethical journalistic standpoint is perfectly acceptable. That is exactly what you should do. Not post the review saying it’s a big ol’ turd since you happened to be one of the few that received the game breaking bug. I understand that it’s frustrating, and should it be mentioned in the review? Hell yes. Should it be the reason you give the game a 4? No.
That’s what angers me about this whole situation. As a journalist or even a critic, they should have more integrity than to just post a review. There are going to be people who get mad about your review regardless. The problem here is that what I see is a quick buck. Want to know when the review for prey went up? Here’s why I am so pissed about this whole situation.
IGN review-about 5pm 5/10/2017
Polygon- 3PM 5/10/2017
Forbes- 12 PM 5/11/2017
PC Gamer- 5/9/2017- no exact time (Sorry)
Games Radar- 7 AM 5/11/2017
GameSpot- 8 AM 5/11/2017
Essentially what this means is that instead of Mr. Stapleton waiting, he jumps the gun and then says we are just going to give a low score because of the bug. Then we will put this little blurb in front of the review, and I quote, “This Review applies exclusively to the PC version of Prey. There is a patch now available that addresses the issue. We are currently playing the Console versions to see if we encounter similar issues, and if not we will score them separately later”
So this begs the question, first why weren’t you having anyone play the game on console for review, since Mr. Stapleton first reported the problem about 3 days ago. Don’t you think that was either A. enough time to start it on console or B. release a statement informing why your review isn’t going to be timely. My Second question here is why are we treating other publishers differently and why aren’t we treating all games similarly. With Arkham Knight they just said No PC review and we don’t have time to review it on PC, but know that its broken. Why wasn’t Prey treated in a similar fashion, well I think I have an idea as to why, but more on that in a minute. The last part of this I want to say is that Dan Stapleton tweeted about an hour ago so 1:30PM 5/11/17 my time that he saw the ending of Prey last night because the patch fixed his game.
ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME! Seriously? The tweet…right here. https://twitter.com/DanStapleton/status/862739259542839297
So you did get to beat the game, presumably on your own save file since the beta patch mattered. So you literally gave a game a bad score, after they fixed the problem and instead of being professional and waiting, you are also whining about how people are talking bad about your review. Seriously…look at his twitter. He is complaining that he knew no matter what he did people were going to complain. HOW ABOUT YOU WAIT DAN!?
Previous Articles and Numbers
This is just the tip of the iceberg too. I don’t think Dan wanted to wait for a couple of reasons and the first of those is numbers. Quite simply the number of views you get for a review of a video game decreases the further from the launch of the game. This means that the bread and butter of these professional review sites is to release their reviews on release or before if the NDA agreements allow it. So it’s about money, remember that time line, only two other sites had their reviews posted, so what did IGN do, oh they let a review come out because pretty soon they were going to be competing with the entirety of the internet and their reviews!
Oh and the second and most important reason, Dan has some serious beef with Bethesda. Yeah I actually look at the internet and this little article didn’t escape me Dan. On October 28, 2016, Dan released an article called A response to Bethesda’s review copies policy. If you don’t know what this is, Bethesda quite simply said they would no longer be giving review copies in advance. The most they would give a copy in advance is 24 hours and they wanted all gamers to be on equal footing. Sounds fair right, well most websites strongly disagreed.
Especially Dan Stapleton. Dan even had this to say in the article “We think this policy is damaging-for informed gamers, games criticism in general and Bethesda.” In the article he further goes on to talk about traffic and that if a review wasn’t out on time it wouldn’t hurt the site. Is that what the review you just released say though Dan? It really seems like to me it’s a little personal, even after the company tried to help you. The icing on top of this mess though is that Dan said that IGN would not update the score if the bug fix worked, which we know it did according to Dan’s last tweet. So the review will forever be a 4/10, for a bug, that is now fixed not even 12 hours after the review was posted.
The Flip Side-
I don’t want to seem like this is a personal attack, but it’s about integrity. I’m not a huge fan of Dan’s reviews, I find him to be overly critical and he has a bit of a god complex. My biggest problem with this review policy is that Dan thinks he is in the right. I can understand that this issue should have an effect on your review. You should point it out, that is the right thing to do, but don’t score it, or just say this is the review from the game I experienced. Say that there was a huge bug and it made you mad, say it might get fixed, but don’t give it a poor review just because it affected you.
This would be similar to you going to watch a movie to critically review it and the projector catches on fire, or that this one particular reel of film had a defect and it caused the last 10 minutes of the movie to be corrupted meaning you couldn’t watch it. It doesn’t mean it will never get fixed, it just means that right now there is an issue. Should you mention that, yes, but guess what, thousands of other people didn’t experience that and probably never will. So instead of giving it a poor review, give it a real review of that 30+ hours you had experienced and then say you don’t recommend it until the game is patched.
Look Dan, I’m pointing this out because even you need to see the hypocrisy here. I’m an independent guy, I don’t care if any of my reviews are on time, I know you do though. I think you spoiled your integrity, and from most of the reactions I’m seeing, I don’t think I’m that far off base. It’s called Journalism, and you are a Journalist. Have some integrity. Re-review that game and give Arkane Studios the apology they deserve. End of story.