View Full Version : Why "objective" game reviews don't make sense anymore

Reviews about subjective matters such as how emotionally resonant Gone Home is, as well as criticisms toward GTA5's treatment of women characters, have met with much anger from the game community. I actually think these opinionated reviews are refreshingly honest compared to the tokenly-objective reviews game sites have been peddling out for years.

Basically, if a game has beautiful graphics, performs well, has refined gameplay mechanics and lots of content, it is entitled to be at least a 7/10. The debate isn't any longer about whether the game is good or bad but rather "is it an 8 or 9?".

Zelda and Assassin Creed entries have been showered with 8's and 9's by critics because "hey, despite it's faults, it's still Zelda/Assassins' Creed". Later some of those games would age horribly and players themselves would reject them.

On many occasions, the average player and even the seasoned gamer will (honestly) think the game is either fun or "it sucks". For example, GTA IV was praised immensely by critics but many players just thought it was plain boring.

Objective game reviews don't make sense in this day and age. Back in the 80's and 90's where internet video streaming wasn't around, we needed someone to tell us how good the graphics are and how good the sound is because we couldn't just Youtube it. Another fact is that quality control has improved.

Most mainstream games aren't that bad. In the 90's there was a lot of shovelware, but nowadays, games (aside from the occasional RE6 or Duke Nukem Forever) aren't really bad as much as they are just unoriginal. There are plenty of refined games where you can shoot people or take down enemies. Now, I feel there is a need for more irreplicable aspects in gaming: a strong coherent memorable story and the like.

Metroid Prime 2 for example is very functional game that can be a lot of fun, but it mostly just consists of shooting enemies and it isn't very original or memorable. Back then, it was an excellent game for the time. It was a quality product. Today, we have loads ot quality products and simply being objectively functional isn't enough.

I don't think reviews have ever been fully objective. Lots of readers of these critic websites want enough subjectivity to know whether a game is an 8/9/10 but want enough objectivity to make sure a game can never get a negative review unless it has bad graphics/glitches/is short. Even if the gamers themselves don't like the game.

This is why I watch only a few reviewers, and never any of the bigger company reviews like IGN or Gamespot. Or, I watch them, but I don't take the review and rating itself seriously.
I watch Angryjoeshow on youtube, and I agree with mostly everything in his reviews. He reviews games on their own, and tries not to compare it to others unless he has a valid point to make.

Titanfall is a great example of this. It gets amazing reviews from places like Gamespot and IGN, and Joe gives it a 7. Which is good, but it is a couple notches down from IGN's review, which I thought was fair due to the lack of content, which Joe listed as a flaw in his review. Though it IS above average, because it is a smooth and fun game that is unique to it's genre, and it deserves points for that.

I think this comes down to corporate deals. Big game publishers give companies like IGN or Gamespot free games, paid advertising and publicity(for both of them), and in return, they have an obligation to give their big hitter games good review scores.

i think the big reason why people respect Angry Joe is because he puts time into his reviews.

He's makes 25-40 minute videos. Not just 3-8 minute videos.

Yes, I do think the reviewing scores are partly due to corporate influence. But moreso, I think it is due to fanboy influence. If a GTA/Halo/Zelda/Mario/Uncharted game got a 4/10 by a reviewer, people would flip like crazy.

They are always too busy judging it's moral standpoint and storyline and really don't give any thought whatsoever into gameplay annoyances and inaccuracies in the game itself. It is often treated too much like a movie. I couldn't give a f*cking cat's piss about plot holes in a story or anything that doesn't make sense at all. However when it becomes so unbelievably sh*t (Far Cry 3's story) then it becomes an issue and is worth mentioning how sh*t that is. However the gameplay was flawless pretty much.

It is funny how a game can be on one hand one of the worst in history for the dumbest story plot's in history, yet some of the best gameplay and spawning one of my favorite games of all time: Blood Dragon.

It depends what you get out of games. Some people probably only want their 6 hour intense story and to move on. I for one actually would prefer almost no story whatsoever and to just create a story myself based off my own actions and play a game for hundreds of hours and having a product that is infinitely replayable.

I really dislike using games as a vehicle to tell me a story. For the vast majority of the time it is f*cking terrible. Some exceptions being the MGS series, and in recent years Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex: HR and a few others.

But when the biggest of all games (GTAV) comes out, and contains a storyline that I not only hate, but hate with an insanely firey passion. It makes me wonder is there even a chance that we will get any games released these days that aren't just a huge f*cking cliché of bullsh*t useless tropes that make me want to hang myself?