Posted 8:56pm on Wed 6 November 2013
- Posts: 8
The Call of Duty franchise's biggest critique by far is that in every yearly iteration of it that nothing changes. This obviously comes from Activision not wanting to stray to far away from what's making the billions of dollars they rake in every year. This method, commercially is obviously brilliant for the publisher putting the minimum amount of money in and still getting maximum out. Critically though this comes under a lot of fire from consumers and Journalists alike.
The franchises repetitiveness often comes up in reviews but is also over looked or ignored by others. So is it fair to mark down a game that is so similar to a previous that was made just a year ago?
On the one hand, you could say that it would be unfair for anything outside the specific game to affect its score. The game should be tested on its merits by itself.
But, it would be naive to think that the game lives in a vacuum and that you have to take other considerations. Game reviewing itself includes comparing the game you are reviewing to other games to see how it compares(e.g ShootyMan 3 got a 7/10 from me and this is better than ShootyMan 3 so I'll give it a 8/10).
I'm not entirely sure where I stand at matter at the moment, but it's interesting to think about. I'd love to hear some other opinions on the matter. Which side are you on? Have I missed any other factors? Love to hear what you guys have to say!!
Posted 9:15pm on Wed 6 November 2013
- Posts: 51
FIFA every year... do they really deserve the generally high scores they receive when usually its just a few engine tweaks and an update on the teams/rosters... not to mention charging full price for it every year.... when the likes of mass effect, GTA, Skyrim etc takes YEARS for the next iteration in the franchise, take thousands of man hours to develop and involve alot of agonizing over new game mechanics or characters, what will the fans like or dislike, whether or not to include online multi-player etc ..... yeah. some games have to work really hard to earn even a decent score... wheras others just update the teams and then charge full price every year.... NOT FAIR lol
Posted 9:20pm on Wed 6 November 2013
- Posts: 8
I was going to (and should have) mentioned sports game as they seem almost immune from critique in is area. Although an argument could be made that since soccer hasn't changed much over the past 100 odd years or so, that it would be difficult to change a video game about it.
Posted 9:31pm on Wed 6 November 2013
- Posts: 51
Fair point, sorry just a pet-peeve of mine
Posted 10:20pm on Wed 6 November 2013
- Posts: 6,147
It's a fair point.
You'd think that other obvious outside factors should also be taken into account:
Price - If COD: Ghosts was free should it score higher or should it still get a 74 Metacritic but with more recommendations to get it?
Previous Installments - If COD: Ghosts was simply Black Ops II with a different label on it should it still get an 83 Metacritic as Black Ops II did but with warnings not to buy it if you already have Black Ops II?
Readership - If your readership consists entirely of hardcore shooter fans and you review an RPG, do you mark it down because you know your readership are going to hate it even though you know hardcore RPG fans out there are going to lap it up?
That's just 3 factors off the top of my head, and I don't care what reviewers say, deep down these factors all have an impact on final scores. Which is what makes final scores pretty useless and your own research invaluable. Which is what makes Videogamer.com et al invaluable to me because they give me lots of material to research.
Metacritic is really a last resort for when I'm on the fence and need a lot of opinions.
Posted 8:12am on Thu 7 November 2013
- Posts: 75
I think this is one of the problems with videogame 'scoring'. Call of Duty is undoubtedly a great game, it's just the fact that you're paying £40 for something very similar to something that you've paid £40 previously for... quite a few times.
However should the score assume the player has played all the previous Call of Duty games? I'm not sure. Someone who has played all of them will probably enjoy Ghosts less than someone who is playing Call of Duty for the first time. It's issues like this that are the reason why a few outlets don't give out 'scores' so that the readers focus on the text and the issues they raise, such as the fact you may not enjoy it as much depending on what you've played before.
Ideally it'd be great to get a review from both someone who is a heavy CoD player, and a review from someone new to CoD. But let's face it, who hasn't played CoD?
Posted 8:26am on Thu 7 November 2013
- Posts: 8
Price could definitely be a factor in the score, F2P games definitely get "well, it's free so i can't complain".
As for your second point I think that although how impossible that situation would be, the game itself was still a 83. Extremely shonky business practices doesn't change a quality of a game.
Readership could even extended to the reviewer themselves, for example if were to review the new MGS game my score would be skewed probably because of my love of the series. Conversely some who doesn't appreciate watching cut scenes for hours could skew the result the other way.
Scores themselves are at least in my opinion a necessary evil. Sure its hard to boil down a 10+ plus experience with so many factors to consider in to some digits. But without them its hard to definitively to say what games are better than other ones, without playing yourself. There are definitely pros and cons to each method, but I think both are needed to work together.
Posted 8:33am on Thu 7 November 2013
- Posts: 8
I think this is a case for multiple scores for a singular game depending on different factors. For example, Dark Souls is a really well crafted game with deep gameplay and rich narrative. But it also has a steep learning curve and a difficulty that alienates a lot of players, so they game would be differently enjoyed by different people. So if you were a hardcore RPG player the game would be a 8/9/10 of of 10. But to a more casual player it would be more of a 3/4 out of ten, at least were enjoyment is considered.
Posted 3:52pm on Thu 7 November 2013
- Posts: 72
I think it's more of an argument against scores entirely. I quite like vguk's new policy of having a short, sharp summary of a review - enough to give you a feel for the game so you can determine whether you're interested enough to explore it further - I don't think you need a score with it though.
Posted 4:12pm on Thu 7 November 2013
- Posts: 4
I think reviews are bogged down by the use of scores, whether that's percentages, ticks, pies, Grace Faces, skulls or whatever else you want to use to quantify what you have reviewed.
I'd much rather read a full and frank review of a game with the pros, the cons and the reviewers opinions and skip the score altogether. A score will never sway me on purchasing a game, but a well written/filmed piece about how good or bad a game is detailing why, certainly might.
Having said all of that I understand why they do it. There's a huge section of the gaming market that love them, for better or worse.