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

Subscribe
Notify of
58 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fabi
Fabi
9 years ago

Uncharted is one of those games that when someone tells me they don't like it. I just don't believe them. I figure they're either blinded by their fanboyism, or just don't like third-person action games. Not just dislike, but hate them.

There is no way that someone who likes games cannot enjoy Uncharted. But when I go on places like Kotaku, there is so much hate for the game, and so many writers are quick to say it's not their cup of tea, that if I didn't know better, I would believe them.

So to anyone who says they don't like Uncharted, you damn liars.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

Yeah, I find it hard to hate MGS4 and even harder to hate something as accomplished as Uncharted as a whole. MGS4 though isn't for people who don't appreciate a story and long cutscenes. Thats something I love therefore MGS will always be my favorite series even though I find other games better.

AnonymousPoster
AnonymousPoster
9 years ago

Simple fact, often forgotten: Not everything you (the "you" being whomever) like appeals to everyone else.

To use an example other than Uncharted, which I greatly enjoy, the Zelda games have always rubbed me the wrong way. I want to like them, and do enjoy elements of them, but can't enjoy the game as a whole (and won't get into the reasons here). Every time I state this, someone inevitably claims that I'm a blind fanboy, after having spent my own money on it and having very specific reasons why I don't like the product; and after enjoying other Zelda-like games, such as Beyond Good & Evil or StarFox Adventures. Or, failing that claim, that I didn't play the /right/ Zelda, despite my having tried the most acclaimed entries in the series. It's not that I have a problem with who made it, what system it's on or the popularity of the franchise–the games themselves simply rub me the wrong way. And playing yet another one that's slightly different from the others won't change that.

Now, having said that, wouldn't it be silly for me to try to review the Zelda games?? I know I don't like them, so why would I force myself to play one and then write a review about why it stinks? While I'm not disputing the points Ben made, I think this is another reason some sites give significantly lower scores on popular games. The person reviewing Mega Hyped Game X may feel compelled to review it, simply due to the fact that it is so popular, even though they know they will dislike it.

I have seen this happen many times, on titles both low-key and popular, with the reviewers even sometimes stating at the start that they don't like games such as that one, or that they thought it was stupid before they began playing. It's a very stupid way to approach game journalism if you know that you are heavily biased before beginning, yet carry on with it any way.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Any takers on Edge giving U3 a 7 or 8?
Even maybe a 6?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I'll go 8. Because it isn't something "new."

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I was just going to make the same prediction. I going to guess they will give it a 7 or 8. No less.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

5

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

I can tell what rating but I definatly suspect Edge will pull some foul play… awful company…

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I'm guessing a 9. I feel optimistic.
I won't be surprised if it gets a 7-8, but if it gets a 6 ill go find Geohotz and try to compel him to shut their system down =p

Stabs88
Stabs88
9 years ago

Even if this game doesnt get a 10/10, it can get any worse then the last game. Im in it for the story, graphics, and action.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

I get what you're saying…that reviewers and journalists will always have that temptation to stand out in some way with scores or headlines for site traffic….but you're pretty much accusing anyone who does give it a lower score of doing it out of inaccuracy and selfish reasons. They could very well feel that the game deserved a low score for any number of reasons. What might be a "minor flaw" that most looked over, could be a bigger flaw to someone else. This is why I hate review "scores" because it seems almost impossible to convert someone's subjective opinion to a number (which seems so objective and graded).

Having said that I'm sure Uncharted 3 will be awesome based on the Beta and previous 2 installments alone. I don't need review scores to tell me I'm going to love the game.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Reviews are not all subjective. There are qualitative points in all games that can be accurately judged and said to be right or wrong. The graphics in Uncharted 3 are better than the graphics in Duke Nukem Forever. That isn't an opinion; it's a fact.

Many other factors count as well. Good control is good control. If it's laggy and unresponsive or too loose, it's obvious. These are facts and not open to subjectivity.

The idea that reviews are all "opinion" is entirely false and always will be. There are subjective points, of course, and there are personal preferences. But not everything is subject to opinion; in fact, a lot of any given production isn't.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

I agree with you about somethings being fact over opinion like graphics and controls. But my point was that its hard to quantify the things that aren't fact. For example, I know in your InFamous 2 review you had a problem with the "stickyness" of Cole clinging to things too easily. Other members here didn't seem to be as bothered by it, or didn't notice it.

Something like that could affect the outcome of a score by a couple of points. If the person reviewing it feels that it hinders the experience then yea, suddenly this becomes apparent in the score.

I'm sure someone will find a problem with something in UC3 (maybe the new sprint ability?) that most will look over. And in turn will lower the score. By how much I guess is the topic of discussion. Lower it by a lot to be different, or by the amount they feel is appropriate. I give you credit though, Ben. Reviewing games probably is harder than it seems.

kevinater321
kevinater321
9 years ago

What about the controls in Killzone 2, they were "laggy and unresponsive or too loose" but many people considered it a plus. Its all opinion.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

True, Kevin. To me, I can see feeling it was laggy. But I also think you take into account the actual animations. The controls are actually immediately responsive. The characters are merely slower and more weighted, you know? That might seem laggy to someone only seeing movement speed, and not a correlation between button press and action. The second I tilt the analog stick, the character responds. They just aren't as super human as other shooters.

For that reason, I think some people are making objective judgements without really knowing what they are looking at. Subjectively, if they feel the characters are too weighted or not agile enough, that's an entirely different issue and it becomes an issue of preference. But it's unfair to call it a design flaw. It works the way it is supposed to work… you know?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

jimmy: That control issue in inFamous 2 would hardly have much of an impact, because one can easily deal with it and the majority of all control is fine.

In general, here's my argument for opinion vs. fact:

Quality is not dictated by personal opinion. We may LIKE something more than the other; that doesn't mean what we like is of a better quality. You can LIKE a Big Mac more than a fine cut of filet mignon; that doesn't mean the Big Mac is a better piece of meat.

And to prove that video games are hardly all subjective, look at it this way-

Imagine everyone writing reviews on color. I.e., write a review on the color blue or red. As color is entirely subjective, scores will be all over the place. One source will give red a 1, while another might give it a 10. However, that is hardly the case with games, because there is plenty of objectivity involved; there is QUALITY or lack thereof. And that's what critics rate, and that's why the vast majority of all games tend to score similarly across all sources.

totozero18
totozero18
9 years ago

Now that sir is a great argument to put down a flame war! Too bad fanboys (of any side) do not understand that….. just saying

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Reviewers need only be able to appreciate the good while also recognizing the bad.

That is very subjective.

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
9 years ago

I agree with Ben and Jimmy. Reviews have a subjective and objective nature. The objective nature comes from the facts or the quantitative entities, while the subjective aspects come from preference or the perception of the reviewer.

Thus, it depends on the viewer or the reader of the review not to decide the quality of the game based solely on the score but by reading the review and investigating what the reviewer says, and then sorting the subjective aspects of the review from the objective aspects of the review. This way, he or she can then form their own preferences when the person buys the game. This makes reading reviews and forming opinions quite tedious; however, this is the inherent nature of reviews; so we must take steps to make sure we can make accurate decisions with accurate data.


Last edited by Bugzbunny109 on 8/19/2011 5:15:41 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I dont disagree that U3 will probably get slammed by a few, but what about those games that the critics want to skew up because the hardcore masses are enamored to love it?

I liked Greg K. for gamespot a lot back in the day, but even he couldn't refuse to mention many forgivings for Halo 2's flaws. As if it was somehow above being penalized. Really, it seemed every critic wanted to praise halo 2 even if it wasnt quite a 9 in my book.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Greg K was the man. Gamespot's reviews haven't been the same since he left

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I agree. I really liked their old crew back then. Not that I think theyre bad today, or nothing. But I felt pretty honored to get a review copy of Bastion to review a game Greg worked on.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

This is the same kind of warning that a few were giving before GT5, and that warning was more than merited. I agree completely that whatever the standard Uncharted 3 achieves there will be a few high profile naysayers who are whoring for hits. It's inevitable, and the worst thing is, the numerous sheeple/fanboys who will leap on the Moron Express along with the reviewers doing so.

But then, my distrust of reviews has increased sharply this generation. Obviously JRPG reviews are a particular sticking point for me, but the reviews for other games such as GT5 have deepened that gap in trust.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 8/19/2011 12:55:21 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Oh come on highlander, gt5 had boring looking tracks. Did they miss the memo that race tracks today need to consist of exploding things, cliffs, and environmental hazards? And, oh, Gameplay that only consisted of driving one race after another. I mean, like, thats it. Thats it? Just racing on tracks? I can't get out of my car and run from police *rolls eyes* It had less than 300 hundred premium cars. And oh that menu, oh for the love of man that menu just destroys the game. And that licensed sound track, there's nothing I can do but turn the volume down.

=p

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

LOLOLOLOLOL!

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

I LOVE GT5…with that said, most critics who hated it or loved it were on the money. GT5 has its problems, but it's still above the rest. IGN described GT5 the best which is ironic. "A 10/10 simulator trapped in a 5/10 game" (something like that) I agree with that, your not racing other cars, you trying to place the highest against prescripted competitors, but outside of that…the mechanics behind this game is mindblowing. GT5 is a pure 8.7 for me due to uncompetitive actual racing, but I love it more than any race car game that I have rated higher because GT5 is endless and the foundation is great.

LMAO @ Temjin001

Kiryu
Kiryu
9 years ago

Sony dev's still improve still after achieving perfection.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Ben –

Truth be told, I am fully expecting one the posters here to go on some 5 paragraph rant describing everything wrong with Uncharted 3.

Perhaps they'll take up the crusade of defending one of these tabloid reviews.

It'll be fun revisiting this thread, that's for sure.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

It will be that guy _______

totozero18
totozero18
9 years ago

@World I don't even know you man, but I could see your face while typing that. Priceless


Last edited by totozero18 on 8/19/2011 4:17:16 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

haha

Cole
Cole
9 years ago

U3 is one of those games where I honestly don't give a toss what the critics say. I'm getting it regardless.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

I'm with you on that.

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Me too.

wiley_kyotee
wiley_kyotee
9 years ago

Ben,

This is the only site I trust for reviews lately. I believe you call them as you see them and do not play games trying to garner attention (hits).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Thank you.

Danny007
Danny007
9 years ago

I wish I was a reviewer. I'd give it a 10/10 without even playing it.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

That's probaly why you're not a reviewer then… 🙂


Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 8/19/2011 3:02:07 PM

Danny007
Danny007
9 years ago

Haha, I guess so. 🙂

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

UC3 is one of those games where reviews will mean nothing to me. Everyone could give it a 0 and I'm still getting it DAY1. I must admit though I'm finding fewer sources I can trust for reviews. Ben, you and Arnold (where the hell is he) are still at the top of my list.

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Is becoming an old act, time to put a 6 on GeoW3.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I'm sure Gears 3 will be awesome. It'll be mine, I'm sure.

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Same thing there. No matter what the critics say, I'm getting GOW3 day 1 also.

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Critics are going to put 9-10 no matter how repetitive GeoW3 could be.


Last edited by Oxvial on 8/19/2011 8:59:36 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

So true. I just have this feeling the game is going to get ragged on, it will be interesting to see which publications do it.

A few months back I wrote an editorial asking if gamers trust the smaller sites or the bigger sites more for their reviews and a surprising number said they preferred to read reviews from smaller gamer sites because they felt they were from the heart of real gamers who are more likely to make realistic recommendations and less likely to have any outside pressure exerted on them to give out unwarranted scores in either direction up or down.

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

I am going to bet on there being at least a six

DrRockso87
DrRockso87
9 years ago

Wouldn't surprise me. I'm still skeptical whether the Gamespot review critic honestly thinks inFAMOUS 2 deserves a 7.5/10. If he does then no problem but the complaints were rubbish.

WNDRTWN1
WNDRTWN1
9 years ago

No offense to you Ben and anyone else who review games. But till this day I don't rely on reviews and review scores to manipulate what games I should play or buy. I make that judgement on my own and it has worked out just fine for me for many years.

I love this site because of the articles and I enjoy this site community, period. I won't say I have never read a review on this site or any other site, but it never had any weight on what game I will buy.

Ben, I believe what you are saying is true but let the naysayers say what they want to get traffic. But in the long run it won't matter to me and the millions of others whom are itching to get their paws on it.

clockwyzebkny
clockwyzebkny
9 years ago

Certain games have such greay developers and support from their publishers, that they're almost guaranteed to garner great review scores ALMOST GUARANTEED Lol Im getting Uncharted 3 no matter what tho

___________
___________
9 years ago

oh lord…….
im not going to bother!