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  1. #1
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    Game review scores

    Ok I know we likely have one of these threads on the forum somewhere already but this pcgamer review of Diablo 3 is just boggling my mind right now.

    http://www.pcgamer.com/review/diablo-3-review/1/

    I know the review score system is usually broken anyway, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a review's body text and final score seem so disconnected. I think the text of the review is fairly spot on as it covers the horrible connection and lag problems, the RMAH and broken item system. I don't mean this as an attack on D3 (I'm playing it and enjoying it) but I just can't see how the review can list all of the faults and still come out with a score of 90! I mean, how could you write the text below, about a game that was supposed to be based on addictive loot collection and not count that as a fundamental flaw, completely aside from the horrible launch and connection issues?

    'For other items, too, it’s hard to care about the banal stats they offer. You do find incrementally better kit, and there’s an inherent addictiveness to that, but the excitement of finding something truly remarkable is almost gone. There’s not nearly enough variety in either the type or effectiveness of what you find, and the significance of stats is fussily abstract: +93 strength has no effect on a Monk’s punching damage, because that’s not her ‘primary attribute’.'

    Diablo 3 has plenty of good points but the review reads like a 75 or 80. 90 should be something close to perfect surely? It just seems to ruin the perfectly good piece of writing that preceded it.

    I know I'm preaching to the choir in here of all places, but if you have worse examples please post them in!

  2. #2
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    > Modern PC Gamer.
    > Expecting a decent review.

    They're basically a print version of IGN.

  3. #3
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    Well you don't start with 100% and deduct points for things that go wrong. It's awkward with D3 as the launch problems have dogged it, but do you score to reflect that or not, given they should be resolved. I think mentioning them in the text is the right approach, as it warns people to wait a while. But if they enjoyed the game to a 9/10 level then it's a fair score.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    I think it needs to be a case of games being re-reviewed if things change. An example being The Witcher - it was reviewed when it came out, got another review when the EE dropped. That's the way to do it. If nothing changes, then leave it.

    So, say D3 got its online DRM axed, it should be re-reviewed or have the review updated to reflect that fact.


  5. #5
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    As I mentioned though there were strong criticisms of other elements of the game besides the server issues (see the paragraph I quoted for isntance). I still can't see how they could come to that score when you're saying the loot system of D3 isn't up to scratch. If the main feature and spirit of the game isn't where it should be (the excitement of rare loot drops), how is that valid?

    If for instance an Amnesia game came out that wasn't very scary anymore I would weigh that pretty heavily in my rating of the game, same as a softcore Eve sequel or a consequence free Witcher. If the centrepiece of the game, and one of the features the franchise is famous for doesn't deliver then surely that has to have a fairly serious impact? The feel of the review and final score don't seem to tally. Maybe that's me, maybe the way it was written.

  6. #6
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    The score should be based on what the state is when they play it, not what state it might be in next week. Every review site's back catalogue is full of games that got bad marks because they were buggy on release. They weren't given a new review when the bugs got fixed. Diablo 3 shouldn't get special treatment.

    Personally I am in favor of re-reviewing things like this a bit later, but you've got to actually wait until the problems are fixed, rather than not marking them down on something on the grounds that you "reckon" it'll be better at some point.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  7. #7
    Review scores just suck. And so does something like Metacritic, which supposedly tallies them together even though every review is subjective. Problem is that they're just standard. I've seen few gaming journalism sites or even hobby sites that forgo the numerical scoring element of reviews. And I have to admit that that's what my eye goes to first: the score.

    I would rather read a scoreless review, though.

  8. #8
    Network Hub DzX's Avatar
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    You have to remember this is the same site that gave Dragon Age 2 a 94/100, claiming the game had 'The best RPG combat ever. Not gaming’s best story, but maybe its best storytelling. Darker, sexier, better.'

    I rather liked the game, unlike most, but that review invalidated much of the merit their opinion held in my eyes given how detached it is from reality. Well, that and it reads like an advertisement [much like IGN's Mass Effect 3 review]. It appears reviewers and gamers hold different standards.
    Last edited by DzX; 22-05-2012 at 02:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    It reflects how much the reviewer enjoyed the game while playing. He pointed out the negatives but they were not enough for him to bring it down.

    Not everyone is going to agree.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Scumbag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    I think it needs to be a case of games being re-reviewed if things change. An example being The Witcher - it was reviewed when it came out, got another review when the EE dropped. That's the way to do it. If nothing changes, then leave it.

    So, say D3 got its online DRM axed, it should be re-reviewed or have the review updated to reflect that fact.
    I've argued with friends a few times that people should do this, mainly due to the fact a newly released game is rarely the same product 6 months down the line. On release did it have gamebreaking technical problems? Were they fixed? Has it had free content added? Is the free content good or game breaking? How does any DLC tie in with the product? If it is multiplayer, is it still fun 6 months later with tweeks and ballancing? Do servers still exist?
    If anything there needs to be a site dedicated to cheap and / or old stuff with updating reviews (hint: tell me if it exists).

  11. #11
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    Review scores are the only power gamer review mags/sites wield over publishers. Why would you expect PCGamer to put that in jeopardy especially with a giant like Acti-Blizz?


    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    > Modern PC Gamer.
    > Expecting a decent review.
    Man, even though I get your point, this faux-greentexting shit is bloody annoying outside 4chan.

  12. #12
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    I read the review. Mr Francis detailed some of the problems he had with the game (and, of course, the problems of its online nature), but all in all the review was a very positive one. He loved the feel of combat. He loved the skill system. He loved the class diversity. He loved the way it looked. He loved the monster design.

    He summed it up by saying it was "...
    a phenomenally good game, immediately fun to play and enduringly compulsive." Diablo has "never been such spectacular fun to play, or so creative to tinker with." Would he recommend it to a friend? He'd make them aware of the connectivity issues, and then: "God, yes."

    I recognise scores tend to do more harm than good, although I hold a degree of affection for them, and in the hands of good reviewers I find them quite useful. Surely if any review reads as a 90% it's this one. It certainly fits in with how I remember PCG UKs scoring system to work.

    Besides that, Tom nailed exactly how I feel about the game. I love what he loves and I have issues where he has issues.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    The score should be based on what the state is when they play it, not what state it might be in next week. Every review site's back catalogue is full of games that got bad marks because they were buggy on release. They weren't given a new review when the bugs got fixed. Diablo 3 shouldn't get special treatment.
    It's perfectly possible that the reviewer could have played the game and not ran into any of those problems though, especially with something like this. 'Review it as you found it' works both ways. If the reviewer just played it at 3am in the morning, had no queues, no lag and and no disconnects, then you couldn't mention the problems. Which wouldn't be fair either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Review scores are the only power gamer review mags/sites wield over publishers. Why would you expect PCGamer to put that in jeopardy especially with a giant like Acti-Blizz?
    Well Blizz don't even send out review copies early anyway...

  14. #14
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    I know this is a well trodden point but I guess this is where trying to add an objective score to a subjective opinion causes problems. I guess that's why we are all here at RPS in some ways. I have no issue with the review itself at all, Tom really got to the crux of the various problems and great positives about the game. It just seems to cheapen the article when you try to shove someones well thought out experiences into a formula to pump out a number.

    I think Tom enjoyed the game 90 out of 100 enjoyments but I'm not sure if you broke everything down category by category you would get the same score. Does that make sense?
    Last edited by Skeletor68; 22-05-2012 at 03:36 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Well Blizz don't even send out review copies early anyway...
    *cough*
    http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/11/08/pc...ars-of-diablo/

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/11/24/pc...ssue-diablo-3/

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