The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for packing all your worldly belongings into cardboard boxes, because it’s almost moving time. Look at all those DVDs you haven’t watched since the last time you moved.

  • Eurogamer announced that they’d run out of numbers, preferring instead to measure the future quality of games solely via thousands of words of carefully written prose. Except also sometimes with three short conclusive labels.
  • In place of scores, we’ll have one-line summaries for every review, and a new recommendation system whereby some, but not all games will be considered Recommended, Essential or Avoid. As a result of these changes, we will no longer be listed on the review-aggregation site Metacritic.

  • Chum Chris Thursten wrote a diary last year about his experiences getting really good at swordfighting multiplayer game Blade Symphony. It’s like Jedi Knight II’s multiplayer as its own game and deserves more attention, so read this.
  • It’s about the way duels express the personality of the duellist, and about the social structures that form when people have such a striking way of establishing primacy over one another. In Blade Symphony, you bow before you try to kill somebody. You accept advice from high-ranked people when it’s offered. You seek out opponents who can teach you something, and you aim for the top.

  • Tiberian Origins is a nicely presented wander through the Command & Conquer series, soon due to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
  • “While we were doing the military research for C&C we’d come across all these crazy ideas,” recalls Louis Castle to CVG. “The Philadelphia Experiment, […] time travel, teleportation, and so on.” Inspired by stories of bizarre science experiments during the Cold War era, the team became interested in exploring an ‘alternate history’ of World War II, pitting Soviet Russia against the Western allies. As the concept developed, the team quickly realised that such a scenario would be a perfect opportunity to explore the origins of the universe established in Command & Conquer.

  • Hey so there was some articles about Godus this week. I’d recommend two from other sites, both on Eurogamer. First up, try The God who Peter Molyneux forgot, on Bryan Henderson’s experiences as the God of Gods. Or not.
  • “They were talking amongst themselves and didn’t pay attention to me. For some reason they had their backs to me and my friend for the start of the evening. Then more people came and that’s when we started having a conversation with someone. That was a bit strange. You’re here because of me, and they weren’t really paying attention. Maybe they were caught up in some interesting conversation.

  • And follow it up with Rich Stanton’s requiem for a dreamer, which steps back and tries to resolve all the different aspects of the developer.
  • Despite all of this, a tiny part of my brain still believes in Molyneux. And this is the whole point: were Molyneux a total fraud, no-one would be interested. He’d be a minor annoyance. But because of Bullfrog and Lionhead, and not forgetting the hard work and talents of many others, he has a record that includes several truly special games.

  • This is from 2010, but relevant for obvious reasons. Brenda Romero on credibility vs. influence, and how people respond to new work from “legendary” creators.
  • I wondered aloud if people still discussed the cred of the great American author John Steinbeck. His last published work is The Winter of Our Discontent. The title, perhaps, foreshadowed its reception. Some were kind to the work, but many critics and scholars were not fans. They criticized Steinbeck’s decision to speak for the characters rather than let them reveal their thoughts through action. The novel’s construction was sloppy, and its pacing was uncharacteristic of earlier Steinbeck novels. While Steinbeck noted that he was trying to tackle a specific challenge with the book (morals in American culture), he was condemned for exactly this experimentation. His effort, critics noted, was too overt and not well concealed under a typical and masterful layer of metaphor. The book wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but when compared to his previous glories (instead of others’ stock in trade), it didn’t compare well.

  • I continue to be fascinated by sales figures, for the insight they provide into the games that don’t steal the headlines. Here’s details on Ibb & Obb’s Steam release.
  • Simply put, being on sale brings in extra revenue.
    We offered discounts during both Summer Sale and the Holiday Sales. We didn’t get featured, but still had an increase in revenue. And it did not seem to negatively influence our default sales.

    It’s scary how revenue is so dependent on promotions. We could have easily not been offered a Daily Deal and have missed $30,000 net revenue. That’s almost 20% of our revenue so far. In two days.

  • I wonder how much of the regular reading audience at the Guardian stumbles into the game stuff, and what they think when they do. I hope they read this, on when dynamic game systems surprise us.
  • There’s a reason this video has almost 750,000 views: watching an entirely emergent non-narrative fight breakout between computer controlled avatars is astonishing and compelling. It’s not just slapstick violence, it actually enhances our understanding of the environment. It tells us that the world of Los Santos is truly batshit crazy, that the player characters are effectively products of a broken society. Also, I mean, they run over the guy’s head in their fire truck. WTF, Rockstar?!

  • The Revolutionary Society Of Men That Women Find Unattractive.
  • Hey it’s Sid Meier and Jake Solomon talking about game design.

That’ll have to do for today. Music this week is the new release from brasshouse band TOO MANY ZOOZ.


  1. GameCat says:

    Another great step to finally liberate reviews from chains of pesky number scores. Soon the Metacritic Giant will crumble (although he is quite useful to be honest).

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I think it’s a generally positive step, but I don’t really like their choice of “Essential”, “Recommended” and “Avoid”. I’m sure they could have had a one-sentence summary at the end instead, which might give a bit more nuance to it. Or just have a binary “good”, “not good” sort of thing.

      • Bradamantium says:

        I really think all they need is “Essential” for the real good stuff and “Avoid” for the real bad. Virtually any non-broken, not entirely banal game could be recommended to someone, probably lots of someones, so that middle step is unnecessary. All the rest should stand on the merits of the written review, not a seal of approval.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          The labels could be seen as categorizing the reviewer’s opinion, not the game itself. As in, “This a positive review” or “This is a negative review” without making an absolute statement on the quality of the game. If I have read a few positive reviews I may be on the lookout for a negative review to balance that. This system allows people to do that.

          Only have three choices makes for a lot simpler user-score.

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        Keep in mind that not all reviews are to get one of those labels, though.

      • shoptroll says:

        “I’m sure they could have had a one-sentence summary at the end instead, which might give a bit more nuance to it. ”

        That’s probably not a bad idea. They are currently doing this with anything that gets categorized as “Essential”, “Recommended”, or “Avoid”.

      • Jac says:

        I’m glad EG have done this as well but not entirely convinced the system they’ve chosen is the best solution.

        I just don’t understand why we can’t just have a rating out of 5 stars (no half stars). For me this is the perfect solution that provides for a “score” but still means that the content of the review is more important. I would have just gone with that along with de-listing from metacritic as 3/5 doesn’t mean 60% it means a decent game that some may really enjoy if it’s a niche they enjoy.

        • malkav11 says:

          3/5 absolutely means 60%. The issue is that for some reason we read 60% as being a worse score than 3/5 even though they are mathematically identical. (And that reason is most likely that percentage scores end up evoking scholastic grading to many people even though that’s not the system being used.)

          • lylebot says:

            3/5 means 60% of 5. It doesn’t mean 60% as good as a 5/5 game. Percents only make sense when you ask “% of what?”, and the answer to that reveals the problem with scores: they imply an absolute scale where there is none.


          • Jac says:

            Well I can’t argue against maths. 3/5 is 60% of course, what I was trying to say was that for me there is a difference between 3/5 stars and 6/10. The star rating for me abstracts enough to not fall into arbitrary number rating whilst still satisfying the need for a score.

            That and it also provides a mid point where for me it doesn’t actually mean 60% it means average or good but flawed / not for everyone. 6/11 would be a better comparator than 6/10 but both provide too many other number scores, ultimately making it counterproductive to try and link a summary rating to the actual words of the review. 5 point scale is the only one I feel achieves this goal with the other option being RPS style WITS. Other systems just don’t make sense to me.

          • basilisk says:

            I think the problem is purely visual. In any visual representation (gold stars + grey stars / full stars + outlined stars / what have you), the 1-5 star system seems to imply that giving zero stars is an option, even though it usually isn’t. The system [i]looks[/i] like a 6-point scale, which skews the perceived results significantly.

            Purely visually, 3 stars out of 5 in these systems seem to say “significantly above average”, even though mathematically that’s not true at all, and the same doesn’t apply to “60%”, which we all [i]know[/i] means slightly above average, because there isn’t the visual component throwing us off balance. Human brains can be really silly sometimes.

            Ultimately, I do think that “good”, “bad”, “okay” is just about the only granulation that makes any sense. Anything beyond that introduces tons of complications and is quite meaningless in describing any creative work.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Score inflation is the reason. They say as much in the EG article on why they are changing. They’ve thought this through. As much as some dont ‘get’ the new system, I don’t ‘get’ those that dont ‘get’ it. So to speak.

            Besides, those desperate for a star rating on EG reviews can look at the Google search results instead of the main site. Again, they say so in the article! (Not having a go at you Malk, just piggybacking off your initial comment).

        • Joshua Northey says:

          A) I really really wish Steam bought or developed a parallel for Netflix’s algorithm. Netflix is occasionally wrong, but mostly if it thinks I will give a movie 4 stars I usually will, and most importantly I will never give it 2. Granted I have like 1500 or 1600 movies reviewed, but a similar system on Steam would quickly help sort the wheat from the chaff.

          Of course maybe Steam and its clients don’t want it sorted because then people would spend less total money? Netflix doesn’t make individual sales, while Steam does. Netflix wants you to be as happy as possible with the service, Steam just wants you to spend as much money as possible.

          B) I find the 5 star system works really great for movies games. 5 is I love it. 4 is this is really good. 3 is this is average and you should avoid if it is not a genre you like. 2 is this is actively bad and you should avoid unless you really really really really love this genre, and 1 is this is an abomination. That system would work great for games.

          I find the computer game 60-95 system obtuse and unhelpful.

          Right now in my Steam account I basically group things into:

          Things that need patches/content before I will play again (Beyond Earth)
          Things I have not played (Witcher 2)
          Things I am playing (Sunless Sea)
          Things I have played and would play again if the mood struck me (FTL)
          Things I have played and enjoy but see no replay value in (Portal 2)
          Things that were bad (Port Royale 3)
          Things that were atrocious (Sword of the Stars 2)

          I am frustrated that Steam’s user interface is so crummy that there are a fair number in the last two columns. Though honestly it has gotten better.

          • letoeb says:

            Re “stars system”: A German magazine did this during its 90s heydays, and it worked exactly like you described: Its ratings were meaningful in a way more nuanced scales are not. It just had one major flaw (to me, anyway): Because it features an odd number of possible scores, a lot of reviews tended towards the 3/5 neither-here-nor-there middle ground. So… Maybe 4 stars might be better. (Incidentally, that’s precisely why such scales in scientific questionnaire s have even-numbered scales: to make participants really think about the question)

            Still, I’m on camp “stars”, too. Needless to say, the readers of said German magazine were not. They hated it so much that, according to its then-editor, mail came in laundry baskets for months after they introduced the new system.

          • Frank says:

            Kongregate also has a really good recommendation system (that seems to have a lot in common with Netflix’s). I would be nice if Steam adopted such a thing, if only to improve the quality of its “queue” of recommendations.

          • Bugamn says:

            Maybe they are using the new review systems to help with classifications? One thing that Kongregate has, and I assume Netflix too, are ratings from the users. Steam doesn’t have this, only time spent in game, and that is not a good measured of how much one likes a game. At least with the new review system one can say whether he likes a game or not, but it’s not as nuance as a 5 stars system.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        I’m sure they could have had a one-sentence summary at the end instead, which might give a bit more nuance to it.

        That’s such a good idea that they already said they were going to do it. In the same sentence as the Recommended/Essential/Avoid thing, even.

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          It seems I’ve fallen into the same trap as people just looking at the scores without properly reading the article!

    • aepervius says:

      It does not matter really. Firstly theoretically *every* rating they give, be it a letter a number or a word can be mapped onto a number and vice versa. What is the difference after all between A,C and E (letter score) with 0,5 and 10 (number score) and avoid, recommended and whatever third enutral word I don’t recall. None. tehre is no difference. So should the industry go toward a word score like eurogamer says they want to, metacritic can simply decide to associate a number from the scale of zero (avoid/0/E) to the scale of 100 (recommended/10/A+) and still function. Trying to state you don’t score and still give a word score is fooling only people which never heard of mapping , and mathematical group set theory, and operation on group set.

      Furthermore i know next to nobody which looks at the aggregate *reviewer* score. People look at the aggregate *user* score (on the principle that if your taste match the average , then 1000 user will most probably give a correct rating than 10 reviewer – wisdom of the crow, estimating number of coins in a bottle and all that jazz) which metacritic don’t even need to change,

      Bottom line is, no matter how some site, blogger, vlogger, reviewer and game maker view metacritic, it is most probably bound to stay.

      There is a reason why steam added that user score review.

      • malkav11 says:

        I look at the aggregate reviewer score and more importantly, so do publishers giving bonuses.

        Personally, I don’t trust user ratings most places because users not infrequently a) rate things as a political act rather than because it genuinely represents their feelings about the subject of their rating, and/or b) don’t assign ratings that correspond to the sentiment expressed in the text (if any) of their review. I’ve seen plenty of user reviews out there with a rating of 10/10 or 5/5 or A or whatever and then review text like “I hated this” or “would not recommend”. It’s nuts. I’m slightly more willing to take Steam user reviews into account because the rating is literally just thumbs up or thumbs down and the latter issue is much less prevalent, but it’s still pretty flawed.

        Mind you, with games I already know what I’m interested in most of the time and I’m unlikely to care about reviews unless there’s an unexpected consensus that something I was really looking forward to faceplanted or something I thought would be shit is actually amazing (for the latter, c.f. Wolfenstein: The New Order).

        • joa says:

          Professional reviewers rate things as a political act just as much as users do – if not more. Look at the reviews and awards given to mediocre films like ‘Selma’ and ’12 Years a Slave’. The same is true of games too, the most obvious example being ‘Gone Home’.

          • airmikee says:

            Couldn’t agree with you more that users are just as political in their ratings as anyone else. Look at the Steam reviews for Cities XXL. The “paid patch” actually does provide some serious updates to the series, game runs smoother and faster than SimCity4 ever did (even on hardware released 8 years after SC4 was released), and has quickly become my favorite city builder ever.

            But based on the user and professional reviews the game will probably never see much publicity or play except amongst the people that refuse to believe review scores and just have to try things for themselves.

          • April March says:

            Have you considered that, perhaps, Selma, 12 Years a Slave and Gone Home are not objectively mediocre, and the reviwers’ high scores are consistent with their opinions?

          • malkav11 says:

            You won’t find literally hundreds if not thousands of professional reviewers all ganging up to rate a game or film 0 just because they disagree with something the publisher is doing, and you certainly won’t find them doing that without ever having played(/watched) or even owned the work in question. This has happened with user reviews. And more than once. Hell, you’re not actually going to find that degree of consensus in professional reviews at all, not least because there aren’t that many professional reviews out there in the first place.

          • airmikee says:

            RE: Maklav

            Yeah, you can, check out the professional reviews of Cities XXL.

          • joa says:

            Really? What about excretable rubbish like ‘The Kings Speech’ or ‘Philadelphia’ or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’? You have to admit that even professional reviewers will give something a good review out of liberal guilt, because it ticks a few politically correct boxes, and not because it’s legitimately good.

          • bonuswavepilot says:

            Not seen 12 Years a Slave or Selma, but I liked The King’s Speech, Philadelphia and Gone Home, and were I to review them I would reflect that – you are aware that there isn’t actually an objective measure of ‘good’ for a film, right? Perhaps it is my liberal guilt fooling even myself into believing that an objectively ‘bad’ film is good, but in the absence of any reliable way to measure that, I could equally claim that it is your lack of empathy or conservative small-mindedness which makes you view these objectively ‘good’ films as bad.

          • ThatFuzzyTiger says:


            First : You need to own the game to review it on steam

            Second : The Cities series has had several chances to get this right, the fact that XXL is basically a “paid patch” that should have fixed XL platinum is what has got people so riled up. People are hacked off because, and let’s see if you can follow this, PEOPLE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY TO GET THEIR GAME BUGFIXED. THEY ALREADY PAID FOR THE GAME, THE DEVELOPERS SHOULD HAVE THE DECENCY TO FIX THE DAMN GAME.

            So, really, Cities XXL has had it’s chances, and it’s getting exactly what it deserves, much like Peter Molyneux is also getting what HE deserves right now.

            Consumers are no longer putting up with this kind of bull. Deal with it.

          • malkav11 says:

            I see 9 reviews of Cities XXL on Metacritic, that span a score range between 70 and 30. Meanwhile the user score average is 1.2 and there’s a bunch of 0 ratings from users commenting that it’s not a new game and should be boycotted. I’m not sure how this is doing anything but supporting my previous comment?

            I should also note that even if you feel that professional reviewers do the same sort of political rating as users have been known to do (I’d be very surprised if you could come up with actual evidence of this as opposed to them simply not sharing your views of a particular work), that would not make user ratings reliable. It would just mean that scores aren’t useful metrics.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Professional reviewers as far as I know, don’t give games a bad rating because it’s on a console they don’t own. Users can, and do. Professional reviewers as far as I know, don’t give games a bad rating having never even played them simply because they are mad its a remake of something they loved, or a sequel that changes something they loved.

          • DelrueOfDetroit says:

            Wait, did you just suggest that people only like the film To Kill A Mockingbird because of white-guilt?


          • Volcanu says:

            I was amused by the notion that ‘liberal guilt’ would cause film critics to heap praise on a film about the struggles of a straight, white, middle aged man from one of the most “privileged” backgrounds imaginable.

          • SuperTim says:

            I would always prefer the user reviews on metacritic above the professionals. The fact that those so called “professionals” only judge the game on itself, but not on its price, developer, or after-release bugs make me realise the normal users can judge on more and broader criteria than any professional could.

            Just look at the scores for SimCity or Diablo III if you want to judge it for yourselves.

          • malkav11 says:

            Yes, users certainly can. Including whether or not they woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, whether the game has been released on a platform they favor, the presence of entirely imaginary or misinterpreted “issues”, etc. That doesn’t make them -more- reliable, as it turns out.

            Every professional review I read of SimCity and Diablo 3 called out the always-online DRM, and then judged those games on the game. As they should. I might myself consider that a deal-breaker, and it’s important information to have for that and other reasons, but it’s only relevant in the review text if it specifically compromises the experience in a central, ongoing way, and even that’s likely a judgment call for the reviewer. Similarly, price, publisher, etc are all easily available information, often provided with reviews, that is not in and of itself relevant to the game experience by and large. Only you can judge whether you are willing to pay the price that’s been set or support the publisher they’re working with.

            Problems introduced post-release are generally outside a professional review scope, admittedly, as most such reviews are written shortly before or shortly after launch and very few publications revisit them. But similarly, so are fixes made post-release. Ultimately, I think this is the most useful context for user reviews, and this assumes people will make and/or update their reviews after such occurrences, which may or may not happen.

          • SuperTim says:

            Oh, I think it’s fine if you don’t use those information to decide on things. But for me, one who actually pays for games, price plays a very important part whether I buy a game or not. I understand very well that if you have lots of disposable income, or you get your games for free, that you have no use for a “Value for Money” score, but for me it’s more important than all the other scores out there. I really miss the “Value for Money” scores from back in the days…

            Secondly, if a games is done by well-known publishers like EA, then I can safely skip them because they tend to be not very good. And yes, those are just facts, so if you don’t want your reviews based on facts but only on gameplay, well, that’s your choice. For me it would be inadequate.

            As for problems that only happen on release day (or later) and fixes in the future, well, if your audience are fellow reviewers and people who don’t have to play the game after enough fixes, then yeah, it’s a good indicator. But if you’re just going to make up a random number and tell that to people who want to buy the games before and on day one, then I’d like to do an interview with you just like the one with Peter Molyneux.

          • malkav11 says:

            The point is that whether a game is good value for money is a purely subjective thing, both in terms of what you value in a game and what price you end up paying for it. It’s not relevant to a review, because the reviewer isn’t you. I myself consider the standard MSRP for most games a gross overcharge, and DLC is usually priced a minimum of twice as much as I would pay for what it adds (sometimes much more). But I also have a fairly limited (though quite adequate) income, buy games only on PC (these days, at least) where sales are an inevitability, and have a tendency to flit mayfly like from game to game. And I hate multiplayer so that never figures into my value proposition. So Call of Duty’s eternal $40-60 price for a 4 to 6 hour singleplayer campaign and two multiplayer modes I will never touch is horrible value for me. For someone who will play 1100 hours of the multiplayer, it’s a bargain. That’s something that a good review will address by explaining what you are buying, not by an arbitrary numerical score.

            Similarly, you may find that EA doesn’t put out games you like, but that doesn’t mean that nobody likes those games, or that it’s a meaningful element of a review; because all you need to make that judgment call for yourself is to know which games are published by EA. As part of the actual review, it’s helpful only for people who share that reviewer’s specific bias.

          • MrBehemoth says:

            Basically we should all just learn that reviews are subjective and always will be. If you find a reviewer you trust, who has similar tastes and values to yourself, then you can maybe use their words to begin to form an opinion of your own. But even then you need to remember that their talking about their own impressions, which will be different to yours to a great or lesser degree. For example, I enjoy and value Yahtzee’s reviews, even though they often seem to be filled with harsh criticism for games I love. I’ve learned to spot when he’s just doing his tongue-in-cheek Yahtzee thing and notice the surprising moments he dishes out shining praise. When he does I agree with him 100% of the time.

            User reviews/scores just tend to annoy me, even when I agree with them. They’re often liking or disliking it “for the wrong reasons”.

            The only way to pre-evaluate a game is to look at multiple reviews, gameplay trailers and other marketing material, with a pinch of salt and some well-placed cynicism, and make a judgement call for yourself. You won’t always be right, but you’ll always come to a more accurate conclusion than scores or any number, letter or word based grading could ever lead you to.

          • SuperTim says:

            Well, I believe I get the point now both of you are making, and which you are very correct in this: Reviews are no longer written for the person who pays for the game. Instead it’s used as a currency to justify the fact that they got a free review copy (and not to forget the many really nice press trips), and to help the developer get their deal of “at least 80 metacritic points for more money”. For us ordinary people, a review is only useful if we ourselves collect all the other facts that they’re not mentioning, before we can make a buying decision.

            In that case, then why not keep the scores? In fact, if you give every game a 100, the developers will be happier, and the game players and buyers can understand that they have to figure out their score themselves.

          • bill says:

            User ratings/reviews can be useful in specific situations. The ratings only work if they are an average of a very large number of users. About 50% of user ratings/reviews are complete crap, by idiots. So you need a huge number of reviews to average out to overcome this.

            Check out any of the user reviews on the Play Store and you’ll find that about 20% appear to be for the wrong product, and another 20% don’t seem to understand a basic function of the app or haven’t read the description/instructions. The other 50ish % tend to be either 1 star or 5 stars, and they will eventually be enough to outweigh the crap and give a very very rough idea of if the product is worth checking out or not.

            Individual user reviews tend to be so specific that they aren’t useful unless they specifically apply to you. As such, I don’t find them much use at all in terms of giving an idea of the game. But I do find them useful as a resource for searching and finding answers to specific questions. If I want to know about a very specific detail then there’s probably a user who has posted about that and I’ll probably find that by searching.

      • kament says:

        In place of scores, we’ll have one-line summaries for every review, and a new recommendation system whereby some, but not all games will be considered Recommended, Essential or Avoid.

    • Geebs says:

      Moving from one three-point scoring system (four if you count scores of 10, denoting that the game is a heavily promoted platform exclusive), to a different three-point scoring system (four if you count “no rating”) seems like kind of a sideways move to me.

  2. shoptroll says:

    Thanks for linking to that post by Brenda Romero. Plenty of good things in there to think about.

  3. lowprices says:

    Sundays are for turning 31, for enjoying a breakfast with friends, then braving the crowds of Meadowhall, for organising a friends stag do, and then rewarding yourself for doing constructive things on your birthday with a glass of red wine and Monster Hunter 4.

    I think Rich Stanton’s piece on Molyneux is probably the best single bit of writing about the subject I’ve read in all the controversy this week. Sums up perfectly how I feel about the man.

  4. dangermouse76 says:

    Not buying games at launch and mitigating my own expectations of a game developers relative success or failure to produce the game they wanted means numbers became irrelevant along time ago. They provided a snap shot of an individuals opinion of both the game and what they thought a the number meant relative to that.

    I now find myself living in post review society ( locally amongst friends ). I read up on how a game has settled in then decide whether to buy the game. Except GTA and Elder Scrolls ( I’m still a sucker for them ).
    It’s also fair to say that the older I get, the more games there are I have not played. Therefore it is easy to be buying games long after they came out simply based on the fact that I am now ” time poor ” in terms of the good old days of 300-400 hours playing Oblivion on a sofa days on end.

    God I love games !

  5. Wulfram says:

    So basically

    Avoid = 0-6
    Recommended = 8-9
    Essential = 10

    Not exactly a revolutionary change, but I guess they were annoyed at people complaining because they didn’t understand that a Eurogamer 8 was basically equivalent to other sites 8.5

    • shoptroll says:

      They left some wiggle room so that “Recommended” isn’t necessarily “8-9”. A likely example would probably be something like Deadly Premonition which is interesting to people but not exactly the most polished experience out there.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      I disagree, Wulfram. I don’t think that’s what Edge were saying at all.

      • fuggles says:

        The non number scores have all applied retrospectively so that basically is what is happening.

        • shoptroll says:

          Not necessarily. If you look at some of the reviews (written prior to the change) that haven’t been labeled, there’s a lot of 6’s that aren’t labeled as “Avoid”. Here’s a 5/10 which isn’t marked “Avoid”.. Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes scored an 8/10 but didn’t get a “Recommended”.

          • shoptroll says:

            And here’s a 2/10 without “Avoid”

          • Wulfram says:

            I was just guessing with the “avoid” range. Seems like they’re a bit stingier with it than I was thinking.

            I’d guess Goblins and Gnomes didn’t get a separate recommendation because it’d be redundant with the “Essential” that Hearthstone has.

          • Muzman says:

            Seriously waiting for them to review some broken piece of reprehensible garbage and mark it ‘Essential’ just because the horror is so hilarious.

            That’d blow some minds.

          • Philomelle says:

            Having played Sonic Boom, I can assure you that a recommendation as glowing as “avoid at all costs” is too glowing because it implies an emotional response, even if a negative one.

            In this particular case, they’d need to add “Apathy” to their list of one-word summaries.

    • Josh W says:

      And so we never know what the poor rejected 7 stands for.

      • April March says:

        That’s why RPS always scores a 7 – to keep us on our toes.

  6. Monggerel says:

    So now instead of numbers it’s Cool/Lame out of Yes/No?


  7. Jamesworkshop says:

    link to

    the saudis have japan beat on this issue

  8. Rikard Peterson says:

    Hooray for getting rid of review scores!

    I recently saw someone arguing that a reviewer was an idiot because of the score he’d given a game, and at the sam time that person agreed with everything written in the review. That sort of thing makes it very clear to me that review scores can be harmful, not to mention the tales of how some publishers treat the metacritic score.

  9. vetinari says:

    That sarcasm is on point, as it shows just how conflicted they (in this case, Eurogamer) are about adapting to a situation where Metacritic is all about the 0’s and 10’s a game gets, arcticles above 140 characters are considered tl;dr and people still go on about reviews lacking in quality, the latter being up to discussion at any given time.

  10. therighttoarmbears says:

    That Blade Symphony piece sure makes it sound awfully exciting. I have no doubt but that I’d be rubbish, but shoot, maybe I should give it a try.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    I did not realize Frank Klepacki was one of the netrunners who got fried in the NOD ending. The FMV in C&C1 is pleasingly surprising in that, for all its amaetur talent, it’s competently watchable. Nobody is a scenery-chewing ham, unlike in the sequel with Real Actors.

    The claim that Red Alert was already expected to be the next game after C&C1 seems odd, given C&C1 shipped with a trailer for what was planned to be Tiberian Sun on the disc (I’m a mechanical, I’m a mechanical, I’m a mechanical man), although by CovOps that was a trailer for RA, so I guess that fits.

    Seriously, C&C1 and RA1 are still great. If you’re jonesing for some varied RTS singleplayer in this era of MOBAs, tower defense, and Starcraft clones, go back and play them, especially the GDI campaign. Original discs work fine in DOSBox with no more fiddling than installing the expansion packs for the bundled patches. Stay away from OpenRA, it changes too much.

    And curse EA.

    • Gap Gen says:

      My main problem with RA is that the scroll speeds are way too fast and I never managed to get a fix working in the short amount of time I was trying – possibly this was something to do with not using DOSbox?

  12. Maritz says:

    Someone needs to revive the PC Zone “dump” award.

  13. Shazbut says:

    That GTAV clip in the Guardian piece is beautiful. Almost sold the game to me right there and I had no prior interest

    • Steven Hutton says:

      It’s as boring as every other GTA game. By which I mean “very”.

  14. kament says:

    The number of people going “Well they aint changed nuthin” is astonishing.

  15. Eiv says:

    I love the fact they scrapped review scores. Publishers put farrrr too much pressure on devs using metacritic.

    Kotaku us/uk switched to a Buy/DontBuy system and thats why I use them. They add extra context to justify said ‘score’ too.

    • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

      Whereas Polygon has shifted to “provisional” reviews so they can adjust their scores post release if they get Reviewers Regret (like they did with Destiny).

      • Geebs says:

        The idea is that by the time you’ve got through all of Polygon’s Web 2.0 nonsense, finicky over-design and lowering clouds of pull-quotes, the affected, bland, uncritical and tedious prose will be in its final version. Despite this, their comments section reaches saturation of ideas within about five seconds of initial publication.

        TL:DR I don’t know why they bothered.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          If this was a long-winded way of saying Polygon is a joke, I agree with you.

  16. Kohlrabi says:

    I wonder what would have happened if the guy who gets slaughtered by firemen in that GTA5 video had been a female character. Obviously slaughtering virtual men is “emergent gameplay”, while slaughtering virtual women is “mysoginistic”. Standards are great, you can even have two of them!

    • MrBehemoth says:

      An interesting but moot point as, in my experience playing GTA5, a woman, when perceiving that her vehicle has been attacked (by a water-cannon or otherwise), would not get out of her car and return the attack. She would be more likely to drive or run away, whereas it seems to be about a 25-50% chance that a man will retaliate. Now that raises some different gender issues…

  17. BooleanBob says:

    I’m kind of amazed nobody had anything to say about that there Command and Conquer article. I suppose the silence indicates we’re all in total agreement that it was a fascinating insight into not only the series itself, but also a thoroughly romantic (and possibly imagined) era of games development where your Grandma could be doing voice-over work on Tuesday, playtesting the multiplayer on Wednesday and lending out her blue-rinse as a prop for the FMV team on Thursday. On Friday the game would release and within a year you’d both be millionaires.