Steam’s endless quest to balance inclusivity with discoverability has spawned yet another new community feature – Steam Reviews, a system designed to help you find, rate and benefit from the critiques of your fellow gamers.
The feature is now in beta and can be access from an informative Steam Reviews hub; scroll down to access your personal review area and check out an FAQ.
Valve describes the new scheme as “an evolution of the Recommendation system”, and noted that Steam users have generated over 7 million Recommendations since 2010, all of which have can now be upgraded to Reviews. If you choose, you can make these visible to everyone.
Basically, the system allows you to write reviews of any game you’ve played on Steam. You can browse reviews from specific Store pages, or see those from your Steam friends or the broader community; comment on reviews; and rate reviews for their helpfulness, including down voting poor ones.
You can even browse reviews by helpfulness, presumably helping to weed out the trolls or knee-jerk responses, and if you find a particular reviewer’s opinions really align with your own, you can easily see all their reviews. Steam Reviews supports multiple languages and options for browsing only those in your native or favoured second tongue, too.
Valve is considering adding a Metacritic-like overall score for each game later in the beta, but Steam will continue to show Metacritic scores where available. Unlike Metacritic, though, developers are able to respond to negative reviews, and when they do so, the author of the review will be notified. Developers will not be able to delete reviews, but they can mark them as spam or offensive, as any community member can.