Either EA didn't send the cheque or someone is actually allowed to be honest in their review for a change.
Eurogamer in honest review shock(26 posts)
Eurogamer are for the most part quite honest. The 8/10 for The Old Republic at launch was a deserved mark for the time they spent reviewing - the leveling is and was great, and they did not have a chance to cover most of the endgame, as that would take a good few weeks more.
This second review takes into account new games which had the chance to take good ideas from TOR, as well as improve upon them. In addition the reviewer had a chance to see more of the long term development of the MMO - or rather - the lack of it.
I rarely find myself disagreeing too much with Eurogamer reviews, and they never come off as bought, that's IGN's field of expertise.
Pretty sure the running joke was every game received 8/10 on that site most of the time.
Not sure why you would claim that Eurogamer isn't generally honest. They been more than willing to be critical of big releases on numerous occasions.
I actually consider EG as being one of the most honest review posting sites out there. Also, they are the ones that actually did something BIG and VISIBLE about the whole journalism and reviewing thing. Yes, they did make some really bad mistakes during the Florance situation but at least they published the original piece and started the whole (much needed) discussion.
Maybe it was not effective but they DO try to be honest most of the time.
I thought the review was refreshing and loved the honesty shown. No sugar coating the bull shit like they did with the first review.
EG do give out too many 8/9s like candy and kind of reminds of a time when Edge Magazine ever scored anything more than an 8/9, it was like gold dust and then the first 10 came along and the gaming world's heart skipped a beat in shock.
Today, these things just don't shock any more and I feel more reviews need to be like this but then it begs the question, will publishers support a site being honest?
For Eurogamer I don't think it really counts when you back down as soon as someone mentions the word lawyer. If gaming journalism wants to be taken seriously, it's going to have to be seen defending critical pieces, instead of very publicly running away from them.
Eurogamer definitely lost any respect I may have had left by going that way. I've known much lesser mags who have done a much better job of standing up to those kinds of threats.
Honest, sure. Cracks when pressured, definitely.
@GimRita, Here's a crazy idea. Maybe there's just a lot of really high quality games being released.
A positive view on our hobby? Madness, I know.
Personally I don't see the point in a re-review. Especially this one as it doesn't seem to be a review on the actual game, but the F2P options of the game. Do I think the game is a 4/10? No (maybe 6 or 7). Do I think the F2P options are? Yes. And that's what is mostly talked about in the review.
If they carry on the re-reviews, I personally would be interested to see more re-reviews of MMOs. Especially GW2 as that received a 9. Personally I think a lot of reviews for that got caught up in the usual hype as it certainly doesn't seem to have set any new standards for, well, anything.
If you choose to give something like Deus Ex: HR a clean slate (just to pick out one massively overrated AAA title) then either you've never played a game with proper AI and writing, or you simply choose not to critisize it.
There's really no excuse for pretending like the market as a whole is virtually indistinguishable due to the glow of it's exceptionalism. Maybe the reviewers just aren't capable of providing a proper critique.
The market being that good is about as probable as the same thing happening to movies or music. And even if a [release] is generally quite sanitized, that certainly doesn't ensure that you'll like it.
Viral they re-reviewed Conan when that went F2P and I think if a game changes its fundamental mechanic(in this game from subs to F2Pish..), then a re-review is warranted. And, to top things off, every single word in that re-review matches my recent return.
Biofail have created a game where the 'haves(Subs) have everything and the 'have-nots(F2Pish) have to decide on how they spend their money and within the blink of an eye, bang, you've spent more than the subs fee and still have limited access.
How fucking petty can they be by offering limited amount of quickslot bars, ability to unify colours, hide your legacy/headslots, I mean fucking hell.
This style of F2P has been designed by someone very bitter at the fact the game failed and just rubbed more salt in the wound. I guarantee this game will be fully F2P by the end of the summer.
And on topic - Ireland, I cant think of any of my recent purchases where the review score matched the experience. My last so called triple A was Shogun 2 and that did not deserve the 9 - more like a 6 and funny how all the reviews omitted that the game wasn't even shipping with dx11 support, despite showing off dx11 bull shots.
DSB hit the nail on the head
Yes, DE: HR has really problematic AI and some of the dialogue is not that great but here's the thing: I am a huge fan of original DE and actually managed to enjoy HR. Loved most of its story and characters (Horrible ending aside). That doesn't mean everyone had to love it or hate it as well. True, there are technical aspects to a review but think about it.
Look at movie critics. They disagree all the time. I'm not talking about contrarians like Armond White. I'm talking about respected ones like Ebert who might give thumbs up to a totally crappy film and yet badmouth a classic beloved by every single other person (Critic or not). Even something near perfect like Social Network (A rather flawless film IMHO) has detractors. Is that a badly made film? No but art can NOT be objectively reviewed.
Same goes for games. DE: HR or many other games that got high scores are NOT that flawless... Yet, maybe the experience felt like the 8/10 or 9/10 to their reviewers. There was a "1 or 2 out of 10" review score for Halo 4 but that does not automatically make it a good review just like giving 10 to Halo does not automatically make it a bad review. Sure, I absolutely believe that some of the 9s and 10s are BOUGHT. I know that is true FOR A FACT. Yet not every 9-10 is like that. Sometimes a great score is given to a flawed product because maybe the experience was worthy of that score (Even if the technical thing wasn't completely).
I'm not arguing the F2P situation, it does seem shit. But then, I pay a sub for the game so it doesn't really effect me. I want to have everything unlocked and so I choose the sub option. Exactly the same case with DCUO.
Apart from some of the things like the hotbar locks, I still think it's a half decent offering. Like the review says, you can access all of the stories without a sub, which is undoubtedly the best thing.
If you're not happy with a free KOTOR-like story, and want more of what the game has... then I think you should sub up or go home to be honest. ;)
The_Red It's fine to like HR, everybody is perfectly entitled to like what they want, but when a horde of reviewers fail to touch on some (to me) pretty obvious flaws, then I consider that review a failure.
We're talking as average Joes here, but if you're a reviewer, your job is to analyze, judge and communicate.
In that way, a wildly positive opinion is really more of a challenge. An overwhelming love for something is usually natural and obvious to the person who has that emotion, but it likely won't be to anyone else. You have to take a deep breath and remember the job, which in my opinion is what seperates the skilled from the fool.
HR was just an example. There are a lot of others. Perfectly enjoyable games, but with very obvious shortcomings. The fact that those shortcomings get left out makes me think that people aren't paying attention.
For the record, I think DE:HR is a horrendously overrated title.
It's not the critics job to agree with my opinion though. I want to hear polarized opinions. At the same time, not all of us are old, cynical and jaded, even if we're old (like me). I have a strong belief that gaming only continues to get better and better, and that we're spoiled for choice.
DE:HR is only one game. Even at that, I know plenty of people who do think it's amazing anyway.
DSB, I know that we are talking about professional reviewers that must try to stay objective but that's not really possible. Games are not just technical achievements. They are works of art and you can never analyze them fully objectively.
I like to use the movie Cloud Atlas as an example. It is a film with 40 or 50 score at MetaCritic where a LOT of respect critics hated it and a few of them (including Ebert) loved it. Ebert gave it 4 stars, crazy high score! Now I know many consider Ebert to be a bad or at least an out of touch critic and neither he or many other supporters of CA talked that much about its shortcomings. Some of them did mention weak points (briefly) but they mostly focused on the experience and the good parts. It is their job to stay analytical and maybe they are being fools but it was a work of art that made them fools.
My point is that maybe some of those fools are better critics. Again back to Armond White, the guy may be a troll but he is smart and skillful. He solely focuses on shortcomings of acclaimed films and logically proves that they are bad while also skillfully proving that an Adam Sandler comedy is great social commentary.
Back to DE: HR, I agree that the overwhelming 9s and 10s are too much for this game but only some of them are from blind / naive / careless love OR from greasing money. I also agree that they must acknowledge all the important aspects and pay full attention regardless of their experience. A game full of shortcomings that they hated might contain some really shining moments while an enjoyable one might have some crushingly bad aspects (In terms of DE: HR, it was the ending for me).
I'd also like to bring up Fallout 3 and Fable 2 season because that was the era that made me question Eurogamer. Both got perfect 10s! They were pretty much super shiny reviews that in parts felt dishonest. Since then, the crazy number of perfect 10s have stopped and I have slowly began to trust them. So far, only much fewer and smaller games like Spelunky have gotten perfect 10s from them (Which I fully support! Spelunky for the GOTY and for the president!).
I think there needs to be a differentiation between "worth" and "fun".
Right now if a game is fun then the game is good. There needs to be more in-depth analysis of gaming as it becomes more complex and more mature.
In cinema there can be perfect enjoyable movies written well but technically and artistically are trash. They are usually reviewed as such and given appropriate write-ups. Think Micheal Bay explosionfests, they might be of little worth to cinema at large but they do have a hell of alot of explosions.
@The_Red We obviously don't disagree very much, and I absolutely agree that the happy hobbyist can make a much better critic than the serious intellectual.
I also totally agree that a review is mostly subjective, but I still think it has to have some measure of objectivity, because some parts of games are really zero sum considerations.
Obviously the feel and mood and "wholeness" of a game is going to be down to the individuals intuition and enterpretation, which is how most gamers will judge it, but then you also have stuff like sound, mechanics and core writing, which are all really down to fundamental craftsmanship, and I think a critic has some responsibility to (at least) aknowledge those things, where they matter.
It should never be a checklist, and you don't have to cover stuff that isn't significant, but if there's a point to be made about any one of those things, then I do expect a professional critic to pick up on it.
Good examples there too. You could also do the reverse for something like King's Bounty. Firstly it's a basic clone of the Might and Magic, secondly it has reasonably low production values, and the writing is mostly translated from Russian, so it all looks pretty ridiculous.
But all of those shortcomings just serve to make it charming, and it's still quite rewarding to play, so to my mind it's an example of the opposite. But I would still include all those "flaws" in a review, simply to aknowledge that they exist, and how they affect my experience.
Most game-players are unfussy and just like their mostly-dull gaming staples like CoD and FIFA. They don't give a shit if MoH 'forces' you to perform certain actions or behave in a certain way, because that's what they'd do anyway. That's why Mass Effect became pew-tastic, because more of those game-players would buy it.
I think review sites like EG accept that and review accordingly. A game looks nice and pews well - 8/10. Anything more is a bonus.
Fussy, critical gamers wanting variety and innovation are being rapidly outnumbered by their unfussy gaming brethren, and are therefore probably better going to less popular review sites for an opinion that suits them.
@DSB We are indeed not disagreeing because we both want the same thing from the reviewers: Being objective when it comes to sound, technical graphics , writing principles and such while also trying to focus on all aspects that matter and affected their experience in a good or bad way.
I would like to highlight 2 parts of your post because they pose an important argument and then answer it perfectly. First, "If there's a point to be made about any one of those things, then I do expect a professional critic to pick up on it." My initial answer was like this: That would be great but here comes the subjectivity. Even two professional critics might feel differently about said insignificant yet still flawed aspect. Maybe it's not possible to objectively say whether or not there is a point to be made about some of the smaller aspects.
Of course, final paragraph answers that in a way that I absolutely agree with: "I would still include all those "flaws" in a review, simply to acknowledge that they exist, and how they affect my experience." It really does depend on how those flaws affect personal experiences. In a situation like this, even professional reviewers might differ and that is ok. Guess I'm defending EG too much here but again, to me they are trying to do what an honest and professional reviewers should do (Excluding a few worrying reviews here and there).
Superb call on King's Bounty. It is a indeed the great opposite. Also, this kinda ties to what @Bremenacht said (Not the EG part but the general reviewers): If a game looks nice and pews well, it gets 8/10 or higher. This is what I read in defense of Halo 4's one super low score. While I can't judge that review because I haven't finished that game, the defensive argument about it was pretty solid IMO: We have reached the point where most $60 games are really polished and mechanically well made. Just like Hollywood blockbusters. It could be time to change our views. KB is one of the games that did force the change. Same goes for Deadly Premonition and Zombie U. They are flawed (More so than KB perhaps) but they have some unique charms. The kind of charm that could make all the other and more significant problems go away for certain reviewers.
Thank you DSB for this discussion and sorry about my long posts.
To me that scenario kinda sounds like the argument between New Games Journalism and proper games journalism. "NGJ" was this attempt to establish games as too artistic and intense to ever properly review in a professional way, but I do strongly disagree with that.
In my eyes, NGJ was more about games journalists wanting to justify writing fiction instead of doing their job. If games were indeed too "radical" to pin down, then you're perfectly free to fool around with a review however you wish, like writing it from the first person of the protagonist, or his dog, or whatever else you might think of.
In my opinion that has nothing to do with journalism, and it alwayas struck me as a bad excuse for someone to pad their egos at the expense of being informative.
There's no accounting for taste or standards, and that's fine, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone would look at (for example) the AI in Human Revolution and recognize that it isn't very smart - It obviously isn't, to the point where the gameplay becomes less than it could be, simply because the AI ends up being too predictable.
If I was an editor, I would definitely be judging the quality of my writers in part on how good they were at picking up on those things. They don't have to hate the game for it, but they do need to notice it.
Really that's the biggest problem I have with Eurogamer. Tom Bramwell strikes me as a pretty weak editor. He doesn't seem to challenge his staff very much, and he lets quite a few bad reviews slide.
As a writer, I can't respect that. It really hurts like hell when an editor picks apart something you've done, and calls you on all your weak points, but ultimately I think that's the most effective way to teach someone to be a better writer.
At the end of the day, a bad review is as much the editors fault as it is the writers.
Hmmm, I had never thought of it that way. Need to give it more time and thought.
On subject of Bramwell, I actually had some respect for him but after the Doritos-gate, lost most it (Regardless of reviews or anything).
I dont think EG is any honest and unbiased. Try running a story that does kiss Gabe Newell/Steam´s ass. It´ll get shutdown immediately.
I can't think of many other sites (besides maybe Gamasutra and the PA Report) that produce enough great examples of investigative games journalism like this:
Mind you, Parkin seems to write most of them. The guy is a machine.
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