THQ feels “disappointment” over Red Faction: Battlegrounds reception

Saturday, 16th April 2011 19:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

THQ’s Lenny Brown has said that he is a bit disappointed at the reception Red Faction: Battlegrounds recieved on Metacritic.

Currently rated at 49 out of 100, Brown is of the belief that such score aggregate sites have “no bearing,” as “they don’t really affect studio prices.”

“I think it’s a little bit of a disappointment, [and] I think what’s most disappointing for me, is how sometimes the prose of the reviews don’t match the final score,” he told Joystiq.

“Someone will say something not necessarily glowing, but you think you’re tracking along a 7, and then you get a 4. That’s not talking about the fairness of the score of this game in particular. It’s not the best game in the world, but it’s not a 5. It’s a satisfactory experience that leads into the bigger game. And I think just because of what we’re trying to do, that’s innovative, and I think that alone deserves a 7.”

Brown went on to say that sites like Metacritic affect the “industry in a weird way,” but believes part of the problem with the game’s reception stems from THQ not being clear about what exactly a game like Battlegrounds entails.

“When you have five minutes for an instance-based gameplay session, that’s [Battlegrounds],” he explained. “And when you want to spend two hours in the Red Faction universe, that’s [the larger games] on the console.

“I think we’ve got to do a better job of messaging that, to the consumer and to the game press.”

Red Faction: Battlegrounds launched on PSN and XBL in early April.



  1. DSB

    You know what’s absolutely awesome about that?

    He would NEVER say anything like that, if it had scored well.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    How about we just ignore all the really low scores and then you still average at a 6….. Yay for curving scores!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. The_Red

    First Homefront and now this. THQ and Bilson really need to stop this.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. hitnrun

    The man has a point, but the perceived injustice is less to be blamed on game media than the industry itself. The days when most titles broke some new ground or brought some interesting angle to be pored over by a quirky consumer base in glossy magazines like Next Gen are long gone.

    There’s a cubic shitton of games being released every week, and reviewers need to churn through them all. Perhaps you shouldn’t “synergize” (milk) a decade-old franchise if you want credit for an experimental turn? And perhaps you shouldn’t – by his own near-admission – aim for mediocrity?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Grimrita

    I cant see all the fuss about metacritic and reviews – after all, its all bullshit. No matter how bad a game is, if publishers are able to pay for a good ‘review’ they will, either in advertising revenue or promising exclusive previews on forthcoming triple a titles.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 You’re right, but using aggregates, you can still pretty much tell within the 7-10 scale what you might want to check out and what you might not.

    At least I can count the times that hasn’t been true for me on one hand.

    Probably the reason why I prefer VG247 is that there aren’t any reviews, so it doesn’t lose any respect for the whole, whenever someone jumps on a hype wagon or gets it totally wrong.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    I only look into reviewing sites like meta critic and such for a game I am curious about and I look at the user ratings and reviews not the actual reviewers.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. mojo

    to basically everyone interested in gaming: if u still give something about review scores, your doing it wrong.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Gigabomber

    Top-down games have to be just right to work: the public has lost a lot of interest in them in general.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. mojo

    yeah sure. but it still is wrong..
    Gaming is for personal pleasure. personal. like art. ever seen someone rating the mona lisa as 9.7 out of 10?

    #10 4 years ago
  11. xino

    why should they give a piece of sh* good score!?

    some other THQ guy complained about people scoring Homefront wrong. Is THQ retarded!?

    they are publishing trash game THEY believe looks good in their eyes

    #11 4 years ago
  12. DSB

    @10 You’re not making sense.

    A review is essentially just as personal as what’s being reviewed.

    The only difference between that and a general opinion is that, at least in theory, a review should be done by someone who has enough references and expertise within the material, to make it a more qualified argument, than it would be coming from a layman, and with a higher ability to communicate what he means.

    Works of art are rated just as much as any other piece of culture, that’s what defines their place in society, auctions and art galleries. The Mona Lisa is simply rated “Priceless” where as the work of an up and coming modern artist may be rated “300,000 dollars starting price” at an auction.

    You think those prices are based on esoteric knowledge siphoned from the universe, beyond subjective influence? Yeah, right.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    Stop publishing mediocre titles, then we can talk.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. MegaGeek1

    User reviews are where its at. If someone is interested enough in a game to purchase/rent it, then go out of their way to write a review, its a safe bet that its going to be truthful.

    Additionally, if that same interested person plays the game and says its a piece of shit, well it probably really is!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Hunam

    Pretty much. THQ keep making poor games them moaning about Metacritic, as if they do anything other just aggregate reviews.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. DSB

    I’d rather not ask the guy on the street what he thinks about a game. There’s a lot of hysterical people around, and you have no idea what they’re basing their opinions on.

    Just looking around the Steam forums can be pretty disturbing and entertaining at the same time, in terms of the kind of screwballs that congregate around the gaming scene. Yikes!

    Sure, there might be good ones in there, but there’s as much of a chance that a guy might take a psychotic liking to a game as there is of the opposite. I put more faith in people who actually know what they’re talking about.

    Even if most of them are bought off or unqualified, a games writer is still supposed to be just that.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Phoenixblight


    “Even if most of them are bought off or unqualified, a games writer is still supposed to be just that.” Keyword there.

    Users generally don’t have an agenda besides being opinion based where reviewers and this is starting to show do; to get the most hits, to get paid by the publisher for that high score, etc. FOX News supposed to tell the truth but do they? Or do they enhance the truth? :D

    #17 4 years ago
  18. DSB

    I honestly couldn’t agree less. I’d say most gamers have an agenda. Whether they prefer one developer or another, one genre of a game or another, one gameplay element over another – And why wouldn’t they? They have absolutely no expectation from anyone not to be biased, no editorial supervision, and all the rights in the world to think what they want to think, for whatever reason. Retarded or otherwise.

    This comment section is often a good case study of that.

    Fox News is fair I guess, given the inaccuracy of the gaming press as a whole, but Fox News is very much just a propaganda network, it’s not like they were ever supposed to tell the truth.

    The system has obviously failed, but going on user reviews is little more than accepting that. There are still proper independents out there, you just have to find them, although probably not on the bigger “subsidized” sites.

    Personally I’ll take an objective, distanced and informed view over “Joe Internets” rants any day of the week.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight


    I don’t follow reviewing sites because well I was reading reviews on Homecoming and they gave it a low score not because it didn’t go with Silent Hill theme but because “it didn’t have enough action in it like Resident Evil” I don’t follow that site any more(Gamespot) Then you watch G4 and watch them during E3 what does Adam and Morgan do? They spent 80% of E3 talking about MS and what they have done not following PS3, Nintendo or any other developer.

    With users you can sift through the data and see what the general consensus is for the game. Where a reviewing site is just there to jerk you off.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. mathare92

    I’m with DSB on the point of user reviews. Even if I could find one that is perfectly worded or structured, I’ll just always have the feeling that the writer’s not being totally honest.

    Getting an opinion from someone I know, or users I’m familiar with on a forum, is another thing altogether.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DSB

    I don’t blame anyone for going that way, it’s bad times for games writing. I just don’t see user reviews as any less broken than syndicated ones. I probably consider them more so, due to the lack of transparency.

    As mathare says, if you actually know a writer or a user, then you also have a reference of his likes and dislikes to compare yours to. As such, if I want someone to walk me through a game, I’m gonna go for a writer who I know to argue his case well.

    If you account for the fact that the system is broken, and you watch out for the bigger titles especially, then a meta rating is still going to be some kind of reference.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. dtyk


    This isn’t Bilson you retard.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. mojo

    tbh i never understood the pricing of art.
    For exaample i realy dont get why anyone would even pay penny for those retarded and unbelievably fugly picasso shit-pieces..
    It doesnt convience me. so they are doing it wrong too.
    A review SCORE cant do justice to something like art, music or games.
    Furthermore theres a reason i said review SCOREs and not only reviews in my initial post.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. mathare92

    @mojo tbh i never understood the pricing of art.

    Watch Exit Through The Gift Shop. Thierry Guetta will teach you ;)

    #24 4 years ago
  25. frostquake

    Forget Scores then, and listen to your “CUSTOMERS” it is a Mediocre game at best, and quite boring in the long run…I didn’t enjoy it very much at all!! I was hoping for a top down version of the Mech type game with Red Faction Feel, Missions and such, not a run around in circles till your eye’s bleed game!!

    You could have done something SUPER like a Chapter 0, kind of like Dead Rising 2 did. You let me Down Red Faction!!!

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Gekidami

    I didnt think the game was too bad when i was just playing through the training missions, but online its a bit of a cluster fuck. The game isnt bad, its just isnt anything special. Its mediocre.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. DSB

    @23 A price on art is the same as a score. It’s numerical, and it’s based on the value of the piece, just as a review score. Perhaps with the caveat that artpieces can have their price go up based on heavy demand and trading. It’s a secondhand market.

    If you didn’t have people judging it, then there’d be no distinction between good art and bad art, and there’d be no point in visiting a gallery, because children’s drawings would be right up there with the classic masters. That’s how mindless relativism works.

    Art, games and music is never going to be beyond criticism as you suggest, even if that criticism is always going to be subjective to a point. Maybe assigning a score is callous, but it’s the easiest way to inform people about what you think, and it makes for a reference between games.

    I think it’s incredibly simple. Justin Bieber is not Mozart. Dan Brown is not Goethe. Red Faction: Battlegrounds is not Deus Ex. The idea that everything is as good as everything else is nonsense. It’s perfectly justifiable to critisize material, and to distinguish it from everything else.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DaMan

    you guys are talking past one another I think, you can’t ‘rate’ art, you can evaluate the narrative or composition. you can’t score Goethe above Byron or vice versa.

    also, deus ex isn’t better than Red Faction. I can validate that by simply stating that Deus ex is less fun. they serve different purposes. same with J Bieber and Mozart btw, although the former is shit. but say, Michael jackson is pop music, yet despite it serving a shallow and purely entertaining purpose it isn’t any worse than classical music, it’s uncomparable.

    also, art isn’t neccesary cultural, culture is one thing, art is another, entertainment is yet another one. rating something which doesn’t reflect society based on their cultural value is retarded. art might involve emotion but have nothing to do with that.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. DSB

    To a certain extent.

    There’s a bit more to music, and most other creative crafts, than simply peoples perception of it. You can quite easily compare Justin Bieber to Michael Jackson and discern who was better at being “shallow” and “purely entertaining” (I wouldn’t use those words). It’s still a craft.

    It goes without saying that you can never pass an ultimate verdict on a creative piece, any more than anyone can create an ultimate piece. It’s always going to depend on a persons subjectivity – but again, a review never claims to be anything more than that.

    And that take would still be more or less qualified by actual knowledge, experience and understanding.

    Goethe and Byron is a tough one, but I don’t think classical writers should be above criticism. It’s just a hell of a lot harder to actually qualify, because you’re dealing with different times, different standards and pretty intricate concepts.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. DaMan

    I would never argue that the craft side is present everywhere, and largely at that. there’s the narrative/composition side, and the perception side. I’m just saying you can’t rate the could probably easily argue that Goethe was more qualified at writing.

    Justin Bieber can and should be compared to Michael Jackson, pretty sure you can rip the former apart despite tastes in music.

    #30 4 years ago

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