Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10

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Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10

Lords of Shadow 2

Enric Alvarez, studio chief at Mercury Steam, thinks scoring Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 a paltry 4/10, means "one must be blind or stupid" to give that mark to a game with "this quality."

By now, it might be safe to say that Mercury Steam's sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow won't be able to match how the first game fared critically. Over on Metacritic, the first entry in the franchise is sitting at an impressive 85 average, while Lords of Shadow 2 is, as of the time of this writing, at a middling 62. Speaking to Eurogamer Spain, Enric Alvarez, studio boss of Mercury Steam, has spoken out on his latest title's low review scores and in particular, EDGE magazine's 4/10 appraisal. Alvarez was asked whether he thought EDGE's score influenced the opinion of other critics reviewing the game, with the studio chief stating that he thinks "one must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark" to a game with "this quality."

This is another important issue. There are a few media outlets that set trends and then some other that follow them don't dare to deviate too much. The first LoS, which has an 85 mark in Metacritic, also got bad scores on some major sites, yet the game ended having a very good one...It's true that EDGE liked the first game but they didn't enjoy this one as much. I also think that what happened is terribly unfair. One must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark to a game with whis (sic) quality. With a 4/10 people think it's a crappy game, badly done, one that's broken with gameplay mechanics that don't work and awful graphics. If I were a reviewer I'd know this, and I don't think that LoS2 deserves the score of a crappy game.

Pressed on how the gaming media received Lords of Shadow 2 in general, Alvarez notes that he's happy that some people are writing about games instead of making them, how there's a "lack of professionalism" in games press, and how "A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing."

I tend to think positive after reading some things. I'm glad that some people are writing about games instead of making them. I have to take it well, otherwise I'd do something else. But there are also people that appreciated the game. Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say "I do really rock but I hate opera", and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review "Don Giovanni" I wouldn't even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing.

Alvarez notes, "This is not about being right or wrong, it's about talking about what you have to talk. When you say in a review that textures or the engine are not the best, or that the gameplay is not up to it, you have to know it right. You can't just say "I did not like it, and as I don't like it it's bad", because that's incredibly arrogant."

For reference, The Escapist's review gave the action-adventure game 2/5 stars and mentions, "it squanders its polish and potential on archaic contrivances, banal writing, and an overall shallow experience. It's fine if you want a factory standard combat game, but in the year 2014, it's just plain dreary."

Does Alvarez have a point? Is Lords of Shadow 2 a game that shouldn't be dragged down with a 4/10 score? For those who've played it, how would you rate the game and what do you make of Alvarez's statements?

Source: Eurogamer Spain via VG247

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Considering that the user score on metacritic for LoS2 is almost identical to the user score for LoS, he may be justified in feeling a bit aggrieved.

Still, maybe he should keep those thoughts to himself. A higher-up ranting about review scores doesn't really come across as mature or trustworthy.

Anyway, aside from that, it could be that reviewers are starting to be a little bit more tough this generation. Thief looks like it's been reviewed rather harshly, if you just go on the "anything below 8 is shit" scale. Which is good; I hope it continues, and we see more 6s for average games rather than 8s. Even if there is a weird transition phase where people's expectations don't match up perfectly.

Or maybe I'm being naive and optimistic, the sequel was actually shit and user scores don't matter. That's always a distinct possibility. I haven't played either game, after all.

Alex Co:
Alvarez notes that he's happy that some people are writing about games instead of making them, how there's a "lack of professionalism" in games press

Yeah he's probably got a point there.

7/10: This game is average

Or my other favourite.

10/10: It's OK. -IGN

I haven't played it. Having said that, it doesn't matter. The amount of entitlement shown by devs and publishers that they "deserve" a certain score is ridiculous.

Alex Co:

I tend to think positive after reading some things. I'm glad that some people are writing about games instead of making them. I have to take it well, otherwise I'd do something else. But there are also people that appreciated the game. Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say "I do really rock but I hate opera", and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review "Don Giovanni" I wouldn't even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing.

Alvarez notes, "This is not about being right or wrong, it's about talking about what you have to talk. When you say in a review that textures or the engine are not the best, or that the gameplay is not up to it, you have to know it right. You can't just say "I did not like it, and as I don't like it it's bad", because that's incredibly arrogant."

Well, cant say he is all that wrong there. I dont agree with it all but the "who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be" is very true

Given that the overall average is a 62 as of the time of writing, a 4 out of 10 seems to be within the range of logical values to expect. So I wouldn't call it "stupidity", no.

Does it deserve a 4 out of 10? Eh....depends whose scale you use. A 4 out of 10 is pretty dismal for most reviewing scales, but on, say, Angry Joe Show, that'd be somewhat below average....still technically a "bad" review but not a lethal one.

That said? Alvarez is a prick for insulting reviewers and is contributing to the general attitude amongst some gamers that if a reviewer doesn't give your game the rating you like, it's okay to harass them or send them death threats. That is bad and he needs to get called out on that, because what he did is far more "stupid" than the review he's bashing.

How do I exist in a world where 4/10 or (Just slightly below average) is considered an insult or a huge failure. Seriously, why have game "scores" if getting below a 7 or 8 automatically makes it "bad" and why bother having any numbers between 1-7 if almost all games score within 7-10, meaning that 7 becomes the new "shit" 8 is "Average" 9 is "reviewers were paid off" and 10 is "CoD LOL or GTA LOL". Also, granted it's just his opinion, but is he seriously going to start throwing around insults like an immature kindergardner over his game getting "slightly less than average" a review score? A thing that's purely and entirely SUBJECTIVE? God damn I hate people.

Alex Co:
Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject.

No no no no no. You're entitled to feelings of annoyance that your game isn't reviewing well, but you don't get to tell people that they're somehow reviewing it wrong (see RedEyesBlackGamer's post). And you certainly don't get to play the "reviews must be objective" card, because it is utter nonsense. I refer Mr. Alvarez to Jim's famous attempt at writing an objective review for Final Fantasy XIII.

The game looks average at best anyway. I haven't actually played it but judging from gameplay footage it just doesn't look at all interesting. Sure the game probably works fine (which is why it got as many arbitrary points as it did) but only notable games deserve above middling scores in my opinion.

I always find it funny when fanboys who have a problem with Metacritic's inability to properly translate scores that aren't on a 1-10 scale come and whine about it to the reviewers. This is so much better.

He does have a point about a lack of professionalism in gaming press.

I've seen a lot of ludicrous scores on metacritic from so-called "professional" critics, their scores are never based on the quality of the game but rather the genre or style of game they are reviewing.

Nintendojo is the worst for this, they review turn-based JRPGs and then go and on and on about how bad turn-based JRPGs are - That's not the point of a game review, you aren't reviewing the genre the game is a part of, you are reviewing the game goddamnit.

A great example of sheer idiocy is this gem on Tales of the Abyss (a game with an overall score of 75 on metacritic and only 1 negative review), the negative review I mentioned was from this reviewer who wrote in the summary: "Tales of the Abyss has very little to offer even die-hard JRPG enthusiasts";
I'm sorry? what?
Very little to offer EVEN die-hard JRPG enthusiasts?

I guess you just have to put aside the fact that Tales of the Abyss is one of the most beloved Tales games in the franchise and almost any JRPG fan will say it's a good game if not a 'must-play'.

They marked it down for dull combat, they marked it down for cut-scenes, they marked it down for "techno-babble".
Dull combat? have they played any other JRPG? (well yes they have and they mark all those down as well for seemingly being in the JRPG genre).

It's just stuff like that that get's to me.

I remember a game a while back that I saw on metacritic, it was a turn-based RPG, had 60 positive critic reviews, no mixed and then 1 negative score of something ludicrously low, like 5 or 10. (I can't remember the name and I just spent a shitload of time trying to find it but couldn't)

I mean, I think you know you are being a little unprofessional when the next lowest score above your 10 is an 85...

If you don't like a particular genre of games than don't fucking review them, I'd never review Fifa because I already know I'd hate it and I'd say it is shit because I don't like sport games.

Can all Game Developers/Publishers make a joint pack to shut their mouths without having the PR guys vet everything they say first? Because I really hate these dumb comments from game developers whining about their review scores. Ninja Theory did the same thing with DmC and it made them look like gigantic assholes.

Ninmecu:
How do I exist in a world where 4/10 or (Just slightly below average) is considered an insult or a huge failure. Seriously, why have game "scores" if getting below a 7 or 8 automatically makes it "bad" and why bother having any numbers between 1-7 if almost all games score within 7-10, meaning that 7 becomes the new "shit" 8 is "Average" 9 is "reviewers were paid off" and 10 is "CoD LOL or GTA LOL". Also, granted it's just his opinion, but is he seriously going to start throwing around insults like an immature kindergardner over his game getting "slightly less than average" a review score? A thing that's purely and entirely SUBJECTIVE? God damn I hate people.

"Vidyagaemz" logic. Anything below an 8.5 is considered "bad." ={

Games should be reviewed by a person who's a fan of the genre, familiar with the franchise if possible, hasn't been sullied with thousands of hands-on previews and so on. It's this annoying scale we use where a "7" is considered bad by both publishers and even gamers alike. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard people say "Oh, I'm not getting X game it's only a 7" and it drives me nuts.

If we could get 7s in every aspect of our lives, we'd be one happy camper.

Whatislove:

If you don't like a particular genre of games than don't fucking review them, I'd never review Fifa because I already know I'd hate it and I'd say it is shit because I don't like sport games.

And this is the take away from it all.

I'd still say be careful with how you're wording it, since it still seems more focused on scores. It isn't the scores but opinions of someone. Keep that in mind.

Maybe clickbait comes to mind with your example though >>

Whether or not he has a point... Dissing the press has always been a bad move.

Alex Co:
Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10

Isn't that an insult to blind stupid reviewers everywhere?

But from what I've heard from a friend it's "ok" not great, not bad just "ok" so maybe a 6/10 would have been more appropriate?

If you check the Metacritic for the second game then the user score is pretty much the truth of the matter. Hey..if money talks then the customers seem to be enjoying the game.

It's their opinion and all, but that doesn't change the fact that the majority of the public enjoyed it given the score (myself included).

As long as you hang all your hopes and dreams on scores that tell absolutely nothing expect to be disappointed, now go read what the people are saying and you will understand their standpoint.

The game seems fine while incredibly pretty, I only found the story to be very Kojima... as in doesn't make sense in any way shape or form.

He says it isn't lacking in quality when it comes to mechanics, does he care to defend the atrocious stealth sequences and the general lack of direction? The game is a mess, it's expensive and parts can probably be enjoyable, but it still contains a lot of messy decisions and poorly executed game mechanics that really doesn't add anything positive to the overall experience. That sounds like grounds for a 4/10 to me.

canadamus_prime: developers who whine when their game gets a low review score and calls the reviewers blind and stupid are whiny little bitches and should be called out as such.

...oh wait I just did.

I've played and beaten the game, it's not a bad game but definitely not a good one. The only remotely fun part of the game is the combat but it's been done before and done better in devil may cry games. Everything else is boring and a chore instead of fun.

I only put up with it because I wanted to finish what I started, the voice acting was pretty good though.

so basically this can be titled "idiot hack throws a hissy fit because people have called him out on being a hack." Seriously, how fitting that the guy banging on about professionalism is engaging in what can be described as unprofessional behavior. Seriously, if you don't want bad reviews, don't make a bad game. And if you can't take criticism you probably shouldn't be in the gaming industry in the first place.

I don't think this game deserves a score so low. I am almost done with it (DAMN YOU RESPONSIBILITIES!) and at this point I would give it a 7/10. I think they made a couple of design decisions that were bad. The weird part is, I can't even really complain about the stealth sections. Why you ask? Because they can mostly be beaten in less than 5 minutes. That is such a tiny part of the game that it bears hardly any mentioning at all. The thing that has made the game worse for me is actually the free camera and the open world design. The first one gets a 9/10 from me. I thought the locked camera would be annoying but I soon learned to really like it. I don't think it's worth having a free camera in a combat heavy game without a lock on. I get attacked by surprise so many times from the back that it's just annoying. Though I do feel the combat is still very very good. But the open world design is bad, IMO, because back tracking to find items is not happening. I don't want to run through those areas again. It's as simple as that. Those two things bring my score down a bit, but it's still a good game.

OT: I think that it is a bad move to say bad things about the games press who often are blind and stupid (I'm not a developer, they can't affect my life at all). I also think it's a bad move to concentrate on the EDGE review. He says he generally feels positive... then concentrate on the positive reviews. He shouldn't even care though. The Edge and IGN reviews are atrociously written crap that literally tell you nothing about the game. They don't justify what they say by expanding on any of the bad stuff, they are just like, "I didn't like this" or, "it feels clunky". Thanks guys for the awesome descriptive review you gave. Idiots. It's a sad day when you can go to the Steam forums in order to get a better written review.

Note: I bolded the part I did because it seems like everyone is far more offended by the stealth sections than they should be. They aren't good, I'm not saying they are. But you spend less than 45 minutes of the whole game on them, and you are probably looking at 17-20 hours of game. More if you want go and get all the collectibles.

Caiphus:
Considering that the user score on metacritic for LoS2 is almost identical to the user score for LoS, he may be justified in feeling a bit aggrieved.

Metacritic users aren't really any better standard of measurement than Metacritic itself, depending on how you view an aggregate website at least.

Mostly because the users aren't beholden to any form of "professionalism" in the first place, so they can say or do anything with no regards to the pros or cons of what they're bombing or inflating.

As far as Lords of Shadow 2 is concerned, I haven't played it myself either and I don't really plan to, but from what I've seen of it it's far less interesting than the first one despite being more polished, and that mostly comes down to the fact that they spend far too much effort on the "modern-day" segments of the game, which have little in the way of interesting environments or plot elements. I wouldn't presume to speak for the people posting in the user section of Metacritic, but I imagine most of them were probably fans of Lords of Shadow, and a general consensus I've seen among reviewers and critics is that fans of the first are liable to enjoy the second, but it will hold little for everyone else.

Shut up Enric Alvarez, your game sucks and now you have to live with it.

Use this experience to make better games, not to whine about people not liking your shitty game.

Caiphus:
Considering that the user score on metacritic for LoS2 is almost identical to the user score for LoS, he may be justified in feeling a bit aggrieved.

I wouldn't fully go on user score alone when it comes to Metacritic. Many times has the User Review section on the site and the User Score been bombed by many people who either didn't like the game or want to troll.

OT: While I've not played LoS2, nor to I really want to after not liking LoS1, I will say that I honestly hate scores in reviews because nowadays it's either you are 85+ or else it is a bad game. Really though I don't use reviews too often to make my decisions for me and tend to at least see some sort of gameplay, a quick episode of a walkthrough, or reviews that tend to not use scores that often (see Somecallmejohnny).

4/10 means it is slightly below average, but considering most people consider 7 to be the middle (because reasons) i can see why he's upset. i would consider 1 point below average to be a mediocre experience, but with a few issues that genuinely annoy me, but three points below average would indicate it is shite, with loads of bugs that make it barely playable. the only redeeming features being perhaps functional combat and puzzles that mostly do what they're meant to.

that being said, you cannot tell people how to review games. you may disagree, but they are entitled to have an opinion and make it known. the arrogance of calling people blind or stupid is astounding, and makes him come across as a colossal douche.

I've been watching tetra Ninja LP it and so far I'm hating roughly half of the game I've seen.

He has got a point. With the current scoring systems, nobody has any idea what that score is supposed to mean.
Simple math would suggest that a score of 5/10 would be an average game, but that be equally stupid as assuming that you get a C in school if you manage to score 50% correct answers.

Scoring without any frame of reference that is uniform to everyone is a horrible idea, since it provides people with the illusion of objectivity. ~ "Uuuh, they have numbers! They have GOT to be objective, because of numbers!"

I played it from start to finish and I have to say as a fan of the first game, I was moderately disappointed by this game. After I completed the story I was dumb founded by how abrupt and ambiguous the ending was. It just felt as if the writers didn't know where they wanted to go with this or how to conclude the story with all it's build up. Not to mention some of the gaping plot holes that are clearly seen.

The stealth sections are boring, uninspired, and have no place here. Sneaking around a heavily armored behemoth made sense the first time, but having to do so after I've conquered a boss creature 10 times their size? It's insulting. I may be playing as the Prince of Darkness, but I sure don't feel like it. Also, certain mechanics in the level design, like having to constantly pull the same lever to activate power to something (like a door or elevator) multiple times, because of a monster encounter that you couldn't avoid. This is something I have no tolerance for as it simply makes each area tedious and hampers the flow of the game as it happens constantly.

Ultimately the game fails to live up to it's predecessor, simply because the whole time I was playing it, I kept wishing it was more like the first game. That right there is the biggest reason I feel the game fails and why a score of 4 out of 10 feels fitting. I agree with Jim Sterling's assessment on the game.

It's nice to see a head of a studio actually defend his game, instead of grovel and apologize to the masses and agreeing that their own game sucks.

Having actually played the game myself, I have to agree that critics are idiots. The 'stealth' sections (feel more like puzzles really) are minutes long and took me no more than a single try each time. Combat feels tight, the story is no worse than in the first game and the boss fights are awesome. I have no idea why this game was judged so harshly. I've seen games with bigger issues get a higher score in the end.

I would give this a solid 8/10. It entertained me and I played it to the end, which I haven't done with a game in quite a while.

What's wrong Mr. Alvarez?
Did the critics and public realize you made a completely bland, formulaic God of War clone and aren't blindly buying into it because it doesn't have the expected high scores?

If you should be angry at anyone, it's the marketing focus group you contracted to design your game, or yourself for thinking that you deserve better reception just because it was standard practice to artificially inflate scores for AAA productions (on ANY scale).

In fact, I see this mediocrity getting a middling score a good sign. LoS2 hasn't been hate-bombed by legions of angry metacritic users and the critical reception isn't nearly as inflated as normal. So for once, the critical feedback seems quite appropriate.

So stop your damn whining and either do better next time, or get the fuck out.

From what i have seen its a solid game with no bugs or game destroying glitches. 4/10 means to me that the game is barely playable, has huge issues and crashes every 10 minutes but still shows some potential.

Look 1-5 to me means how stable the game is.. everything above 5 is polish and gameplay/story and just plain ol fun.

LOS 2 is neither garbage nor unplayable so i can understand him being pissed at the low scores.

Maybe next time keep enough of the game budget back to dish out some bribes like the big publishers eh?

I just love how it's becoming so common for game studios to insult critics.

Caiphus:
Considering that the user score on metacritic for LoS2 is almost identical to the user score for LoS, he may be justified in feeling a bit aggrieved.

They're all haters. Or bribed. Or jelly. Mad jelly yo.

Alex Co:
Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10

I must disagree with that sort of logic that the LoS2 boss believes in. Just because something is pretty doesn't equal that it is worthy of a good score. A pretty piece of shit is still a piece of shit regardless of how nice it appears. Aesthetics is a point worth critiquing, but it's one of many points that should be evaluated and recognized. When a game cannot fulfill the needs of the gamer, it isn't really worth much. It's even more annoying that these companies feel they're entitled to a great score. A game is judged by it's own worth, so if it's given a shitty score by multiple critics then something is not working out. Although, gamers and critics don't always agree on the same thing. There are some games that are panned by critics, but loved completely by some gamers. The reverse can be true as well.

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