I'm just warning all of you right now.
If there's one constant in this industry, it's the following- when a game attains such a lofty position that it has a chance of dragging down perfect scores from major sources, the effect is inevitable. It's always the same situation.
Gamers and journalists seeking to exert their singular superiority over others – a lingering personality flaw from the days of ego complexes generated by nerd rage – will find something wrong. It'll be something everyone else had missed or purposely glossed over. It'll be due to the fact that critics were "blinded" by the hype. It'll be the one "common sense" critic who wonders how the wool could've been pulled over the eyes of so many. It'll be a major "plot hole" or a recurring glitch (invisible to all but the attention whore in question). This is guaranteed to happen in game communities and forums.
But the reason Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will earn a 7 from somewhere is only partly due to the aforementioned superiority complex. Gaming is big business now, and online publications are businesses, too. In order to keep them afloat, they need traffic. In order to obtain big traffic, they can't blend in; they have to stand out in some way. Hence, the creation of dramatic (and often inaccurate) headlines simply for the sake of visibility. Sadly, so few gamers actually read articles, so such headlines work. Therefore, amidst a slew of 9s and 10s, that 7 for Naughty Dog's masterpiece will certainly stick out.
Yeah, big traffic. I think this is something the average gamer should understand. And I know everyone will hate me for saying this, but it's almost starting to get to the point where the only sources you can trust are the ones who don't really need that traffic. They're not going out of their way to find visitors; it's not an incentive. And therefore, the score should simply be based on the critic's opinion, and that's that. That's sorta shooting ourselves in the foot, of course, but I think PSXE readers know we'll tell them how we feel. If Uncharted 3 is a 7, I'll give it a 7.
I'll be crazy disappointed, but it'll happen. Anyway, everyone should be aware of this phenomenon by now. It happened with MGS4. It happened with any new Halo . If we break a certain plateau; if we're approaching perfection, there will always be someone to say, "no, it's not." And now, it's not just about attention; it's the double-edged sword of attention and visibility for the sake of dollars.
Related Game(s): Uncharted 3