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

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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

Gee, it's almost as if he's aware his game has problems, but won't admit to it.

I disagree with a numbered scoring system in the first place.

An arbitrary number means nothing to the guy who loved the game and replayed it several times.

If numbers would work anywhere, I'd say they should be applied to specific game functions, like musical score and how smooth the gameplay mehanics are or perhaps how many glitches you run into.

Example:

Glitches? 2 out of 5, ran into too many bugs and problems.
Musical score? 4 out of 5, the music really seems to compliment the feel of the game and doesn't get in the way.
Gameplay Mechanics? 5 out of 5. For what they are, the mechanics work fluidly and are very responsive.

You get the idea, I think. But having an overall score? I dunno, it just doesn't seem to do most games justice.

I mean come on the reviewers are pretty much shredding this game to pieces even though it's more then decent. Certain set pieces easily beat last installment (though the overall feeling is much better in the first one). If you can hammer through the first hour or 2 (which indeed is rather hefty commitement) then you are in for a treat.

You all have heard the complaints - "stealth"sections are bad (they are not very stealthy as they resemble odd puzzle with one solution more then anything else)

Modern setting is odd - count Stylish Cape doesn't really fit in the surroundings that are bland for most parts (sewer levels all around guys!) and all the parts in the castle just make you wish you could spend all your time there.

Combat - Im yet to discover the problem everyone seems to have with combat. There are some generally annoying foes who are just not fun to play against (unsurprisingly most of them are in the present... its really odd to beat rocket firing mechs into submission with a sword) but you have so many options (maybe too many, you will forget about some pieces of your arsenal and then wonder for ages how specifically are you supposed to deal with certain situations} that it never has to feel repetitive but then again if you leave something up to the player chances are they will make the worst of it and keep spamming the basic attacks or something.

ah well rant is over. Its fine game. Not better then the first one but 4/10 is really harsh.

Baresark:
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.

I agree with you on the part about the stealth sections. At first they seemed a bit jaring, but then I looked at it from the perspective of "You've been asleep for who knows how many years", and they really don't take that long too. Its odd though you should be frustrated by the open world and finding items later, because they included a mechanic specifically for that with the dodo bird eggs. In fact this is exactly like Curse of darkness on the PS2, in which later in the game you could return to areas with new abilities in a largely interconnected open world, and obtain them. so that was a feature I was quite happy to see return. only difference i believe is curse of darkness let you draw a note on your map for later, which would have been useful with a full map screen in this game. but ah well.

OT: I may be a bit biased, but I've beaten the game, and personally think its brilliant. I will admit there are some flaws, a few clipped corners with the mist form, some of the enemies get pretty op later on....but that being said, you play as a fracking VAMPIRE. compared to the first lords of shadow, i think that made the combat 100x better because you can dash around so easily, striking and meleeing, before switching very smoothly into one of your magics with awesome movesets and special attacks. the games not perfect. no game is perfect. but a 4/10 is rather harsh, and I berated mr Sterling on his review a bit too. I don't know about squandered polish, but its a 3d castlevania that's Beautifully dark, in my opinion has an interesting retelling of the story of the Belmonts (yes it barely touches on all the stuff in between, but still), and has some really interestingly designed bosses too, no shadow of the colossus style battles this time. 8/10, loses points for no full map screen, only letting you see the area you're in, and minor glitches here and there but nothing super game breaking.

I think its a more sign we have to fix how we rate games.
Currently reviewers are ranking Lords of Shadow 2 under Sonic 06.
Does that sound right?

Well I beat the game and Im not a Castlevania fan/platforming fan. I enjoyed the game very much, though the combat was good. The Puzzles made you think and the story was intresting. My only complaint was I didnt like the first ending I got so much.

I was more shocked at the video reviews showing "reviewers" playing the game like they were having a stroke. Button mashing, not using items or switching weapons or taking a second to not just try to rush past the stealth sections in the open.

Crybaby.
But he is right about one thing, the trend train really exist.

I liked the game. My biggest complain was with the human knights animation as it was so wrong. Also, the blood whip has not been fully explained or ever used in cutscenes. They should have had something else. Even if the whip is castelvenia it should have not been in this game. I think the part with the toymaker was the game`s best moment. And i really liked the artstyle.

Five and below are for something that is fundamentally broken. For example the PS3 version of Skyrim is fundamentally broken, and is why it has a radically low score compared to all other versions on metacritic. I can see the game getting a 6 for most things. A 4 seems more like the critics didn't finish the game, hit a few stealth sections, and then gave their review mad about stealth. Hardly a review of the game, and more a review about a small annoying section of the game.

Regardless of what an individual wants to argue about, Americans, and most others, view a 10 point scale the same way they view Letter Grades. A 6 is a D and is failing quality, but not technically failing. Any time you give a 5 and below you're saying this is an F grade. LOS2 isn't F quality material and giving it such a grade does a disservice to those that truly deserve an F. Namely buggy, and incomplete work.

I could see the possibility of giving a game an F souly based on the story, but it requires an epic fail. Something that truly angers the fans, and not just disappointing. An example would be Promising you wont do one ending, but then Trolling the fans by giving that ending anyways. LOS2 doesn't qualify. Disappointing to some, but not wholly unexpected.

It's D to C work for those disappointed by the stealth, and the ending. It is B to A work for those who were satisfied. Giving it an F when it's not really buggy, or incomplete is just wrong.

medv4380:
Five and below are for something that is fundamentally broken.

No, a five or below means a game is either average or below average. Why the hell would something that's fundamentally broken deserve almost half marks? If a game is barely playable, that's 2/10 territory at the most. If it's just a bit rubbish, or doesn't meet a certain standard of 'average', that's a solid 4 right there.

I've not played the game so wont comment on that, but some people (this twat of a studio boss in particular) seem to have a real problem with grasping a simple 1-10 numbering system.

I read Edge's review. Based on what they said, the score they gave was fair.

I will note that Edge's scores trend a little lower than is often industry standard; mediocre games frequently get 5s or 6s, good games get 7s and 8s, and games that rate 10s are extremely few and far between. This puts it somewhat out of sync with many of the reviewers in Metacritic.

...And then I would say, "Tough shit, Alvarez; it's not Edge's obligation to rate in tune with Metacritic." There was nothing unprofessional about that review in the slightest. It spelled out its arguments for the rating in very clear language: The battle system had problems, the camera had problems, it spent long periods of time in stealth sequences that were unenjoyable and thematically out-of-touch, it dragged on longer than it had new material to fill, the script was poor, the actors disinterested, and the graphics used depth-of-field poorly to try to cloak last-gen quality texturing.

If a producer wants reviewers to just give a franchise entry a stamp of approval for doing more of the same, there are certainly outlets out there which seem to do that; those are the ones who deserve labels like "unprofessional" in my mind. Edge made a convincing case that LoS2 significantly under-performed its own predecessor, and to my mind, that means they did their job for the consumers who buy the games, even if the creators decide to sulk about it.

Condemning the reviewer for having an opinion contrary to your own? How scandalous!

OK, this one guy's words perfectly embody my viewpoint on this. I know that a lot, and I mean A LOT of people can't stand him, but for those that can take Total Biscuit's opinion, here's his opinion on review scores, or "Why the reviewer matters even if you don't like his opinion."

Now, to those who DON'T like him, either because you disagree vehemently with his opinions or because you can't stand that sexy British accent, let me paraphrase him. Basically, while there are many objective things in a game you can say are broken (Framerate is awful, textures are poor, the game handles like it was coded by a two-year-old dry biscuit), there are aspects in gameplay, story, sound design, and graphical design that people enjoy differently from others, and while people try their hardest to be objective in reviews (some more than others), ultimately there will ALWAYS be a bit of bias from that reviewer.

Thus, scores should not be taken at face value, but rather should be gauged in accordance to the reviewer's preferences and whether they match up to your own. For instance, Total Biscuit flat out admits that he puts graphical and gameplay competence over story and that he dislikes puzzles in games where they can be otherwise removed without detracting from the game, and he says that people that like puzzles or deep stories should take any games that he positively reviews with a grain of salt, because the fact that HE likes them might mean that YOU don't like them.

The numbers alone are a poor judge. Reviewer's opinions are more weighted on their tastes and preferences than their numbers themselves, because their tastes and preferences WILL color their perspective on the game in some fashion, meaning that they will enjoy parts of a game that people didn't like and vice versa.

But on topic, why this matters to the topic? Well, quite simply... this guy is an idiot, and he can't see where the 4/10 reviewers are coming. Maybe they see some glaring flaws that he refuses to acknowledge, or maybe they don't like choices in the design for the game that he thinks were brilliant, or MAYBE he's just an asshat that can't take criticism.

CaptainMarvelous:
Currently reviewers are ranking Lords of Shadow 2 under Sonic 06.
Does that sound right?

I don't know, as I have never and plan never to play either game...
Why the hell is my Captcha suddenly Spanish?

suitepee7:
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. .

I blame IGN reviews. You know a game is shit when they give it 7/10 instead of the average 9/10. Even Battlefield 4 got an 8.5/10 and that game was broken for more than 3 months (still fixing). Its single player was absolute garbage and the mulitplayer was literally unplayable. I'm a big fan of BF4 (120 hours lol) and the series, but it didn't deserve an 8.5.

OT: I can kinda see him making out a couple decent points here about the games media, but it mostly sounds like he's really butt-hurt over the number 4.

I don't know anything about his game but I think he makes some decent points. I don't even bother looking at "professional" game journalism sites for reviews anymore because they often seem pretty terrible.

If it's a big name mainstream title then it will do fine but if its not Call of duty, Elder scrolls or GTA then there is a good chance it will get screwed. I have seen reviews on IGN for example where the reviewer openly admits in the review to not actually having played the game.

Likewise people who have only played FPS games and never touched a racing game will end up being the ones to review new racing games etc.

Im glad that youtubers like Angryjoe and Total biscuit exist as they are the only place I get my reviews from now, professional game reviews have been a joke for a long time now.

Question; is this new game in the 2D platform vein? When was the last Castlevania that was? I really want to play another CV but I haven't seen any recently :(

This is a dicey issue, honestly. Some reviewers do have a bias towards certain game styles and can be expected to view certain games with rose-tinted glasses. Objectivity is, after all, a myth. There's always some amount of subjectivity that's going to color your review.

On the other hand, hating a game style or not being predisposed to it might make you a bit more critical than you would normally be. I more or less understand what Alvarez is criticizing, but I haven't played the game. I have no way of knowing if LoS2 is as bad as it's been made out to be, or if there's some worth to it all.

Were these same critics "Bind or Stupid" when they gave the first game 9/10? You can't have it both ways. If you live my reviews you die by them too. Getting upset about scores comes off as petty.

Snowbell:
When was the last Castlevania that was? I really want to play another CV but I haven't seen any recently :(

Not counting Harmony of Despair, the last Metroidvania was back in 2009 with Order of Ecclessia on the DS. Considering how the game has flopped critically, I don't think we're going to see any new entries in Lords of Shadow anytime soon. I would say this is probably a good time to bring back Metroidvania, though we'll see.

While I certainly agree that it's a decent game worth more than a 4 (its definitely better than the first Lords of Shadow game, that game was fucking shit imo) but I have just one thing to say to him..."oh fuck off, dude" All you are doing is coming off like a spoiled brat throwing a tantrum because someone didn't like your game as much.

If there is one thing to learn it's that life ISN'T fair, LoS2 may indeed be better and not deserve that low a score but them's the breaks kiddo. The best you can do is enjoy the praise, learn from the criticisms, and try to do better next time.

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.

Yeah, this is why I hate the traditional - for video games - x/10 scoring system. Film gets x/5 stars (Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes not included!). Literature gets x/5 stars. Restaurants and hotels get x/5 stars. It's cleaner, more elegant in its simplicity, and easier to interpret. In the x/10 system for video games, with some reviews even going into decimals, ex.6.75/10; they expect the consumer to trust them to accurately judge out of a hundred? What element of a game can be picked apart THAT much? It's rediculous. I get that this often happens in review-by-commtittee, but even that doesn't change that it is of no additional benefit to the audience. Rather, as past such reviews would indicate, it increases the likelyhood of confusion in the audience.

The best thing about the x/5 star system (no half-star garbage either becuase other wise it's just back to x/10 and everyone knows it), is that you can't break in half - no mid-point. Between 3/5 and 4/5 the consumer can rely on the review indicating it could be worthwhile - buy it if you want, and expect to enjoy it. 5/5 tells you to absolutely get it if you can, it's a must have if you enjoy the genre it's in. And between 2/5 and 1/5, the consumer can expect an unsatisfactory experience or that the game is broken.

It's simple, clean, easy to understand, we've already been trained to think in those terms by other forms of entertainment and services, and the devision between good and bad is abundantly clear. Such a system is also less prone this nit picking, "Come on, just a 7.48? it deserves at least a 7.75!!!" nonsense.

Every other entertainment avenue or service of rate that I can think of has generally adopted the x/5 system for a reason. It works very well. Why the gaming and game journalism industries can't universally grasp this concept baffles me.

Steve2911:

medv4380:
Five and below are for something that is fundamentally broken.

No, a five or below means a game is either average or below average. Why the hell would something that's fundamentally broken deserve almost half marks? If a game is barely playable, that's 2/10 territory at the most. If it's just a bit rubbish, or doesn't meet a certain standard of 'average', that's a solid 4 right there.

I've not played the game so wont comment on that, but some people (this twat of a studio boss in particular) seem to have a real problem with grasping a simple 1-10 numbering system.

5 is not the definition of Average.

Average:
the result obtained by adding several quantities together and then dividing this total by the number of quantities; the mean.

Everyone who is foolish enough to think that Average means middle deserves the F grade they earned.

The average video game score is 7-7.5 which just happens to be what a C Average is on a 10 point scale.

As much as I loved the narrative, plot, and acting of the first game the part that made me just frustrated during the entire time was the gameplay and consistently poor game design decisions of Lords of Shadow 1. Combat was inconsistent when it came to attacking opponents, parrying attacks was never truly rewarding to the player in buying time, controls were extremely cumbersome having to pressing in the joysticks of R3 and L3, constantly forced to fight enemies off screen, and for a stage based game they never healed Gabriel between stages which is a cardinal sin of game design. Having to do boss fights BACK TO BACK where I could only take ONE hit was not enjoyable at all.

All I can say is that it was obvious that MercurySteam learned NOTHING when developing Lords of Shadows 2 and their demo proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. The platforming which was another gripe I had became WORSE which I don't even know how you pull that off. Combat had the same exact problems as well as the controls.

Not glad to see it get a crappy review but it was clear MercurySteam didn't get any real feedback and only fed on their self manufactured echo chamber of twitter and forums where they control the rhetoric. Which is sad because a lot more people need that slap on the face and realize that they do need people to tell them their product is shit and explain why it is shit.

I wanted Lords of Shadow 2 to be good but from what I hear instead of being focused on being in London and bringing the chaos into London they make the plot so convoluted that they have Gabriel go into the past and also have stealth sections because some developer was bloody retarded and didn't understand that people wanted an action game.

He's right. Even if it's not well written and the setting is confused, LoS2 is AT WORST a 6/10 game...as reflected by Metacritic.
Anything lower than that is reserved for games that are truly broken, are plagued by glitches, have extremely sub-par game mechanics or graphics.

An average, unspecial game is a 7/10 on a normal review scale, and that's honestly what LoS2 should probably get.

It's possible, however, that the guys who give it a 4/10 use the less standard "5/10 is average" scale. A logical scale, but one that NOBODY uses or recognizes.
If that's the case, then yea, 4/10 is probably right, because that translates to about a 6/10 on a "normal" 1-10 scale.

*shrug*

Plus, Edge isn't even important.

That said, name-calling is probably a bad choice.

I've never played or heard of LoS (either of them), but I can affirm that this point rings true for many other so-called reviews:

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.

I've seen so many critics give a game a shoddy score just because it doesn't live up to their personal expectations or because they believed it had greater potential. As Alvarez says, that's not a review, it's an opinion.

medv4380:

Steve2911:

medv4380:
Five and below are for something that is fundamentally broken.

No, a five or below means a game is either average or below average. Why the hell would something that's fundamentally broken deserve almost half marks? If a game is barely playable, that's 2/10 territory at the most. If it's just a bit rubbish, or doesn't meet a certain standard of 'average', that's a solid 4 right there.

I've not played the game so wont comment on that, but some people (this twat of a studio boss in particular) seem to have a real problem with grasping a simple 1-10 numbering system.

5 is not the definition of Average.

Depends on whether or not you take 0 to be the bottom of the chart or 1. If 0, then 5 is the median number. If 1, it would be 5.5.

So yeah, 5 is 0.5 points below average, sometimes. Point well proven, sir.

Steve2911:

medv4380:

Steve2911:

No, a five or below means a game is either average or below average. Why the hell would something that's fundamentally broken deserve almost half marks? If a game is barely playable, that's 2/10 territory at the most. If it's just a bit rubbish, or doesn't meet a certain standard of 'average', that's a solid 4 right there.

I've not played the game so wont comment on that, but some people (this twat of a studio boss in particular) seem to have a real problem with grasping a simple 1-10 numbering system.

5 is not the definition of Average.

Depends on whether or not you take 0 to be the bottom of the chart or 1. If 0, then 5 is the median number. If 1, it would be 5.5.

So yeah, 5 is 0.5 points below average, sometimes. Point well proven, sir.

Still wrong. 5.5 isn't the median and it isn't the average/mean. It's simply the middle of the scale.

I certainly do hope you bother to look it up because if you said that in a Elementary math class, Stats class, or even basic algebra you're going to fail. You are fundamentally wrong at a very basic mathematical concept.

If electrical appliances were expected to be 'reviewed' the same way games are, you might see scenarios like this unfolding:

Consumer: This toaster is functional enough to heat a single piece of bread, but the residual heat from toasting makes cooking successive pieces impossible to manage, as they all come out burnt. The crumb tray is also very loose and the electrical contacts are poorly soldered, as you can often see flashes of electricity when you press a button. All in all, I'd rate it 4 out of 10.

Toaster manufacturer: You must be blind or stupid. Look how pretty the toaster is! It's at least worth a 7/10.

medv4380:
Still wrong. 5.5 isn't the median and it isn't the average/mean. It's simply the middle of the scale.

I certainly do hope you bother to look it up because if you said that in a Elementary math class, Stats class, or even basic algebra you're going to fail. You are fundamentally wrong at a very basic mathematical concept.

Elaborate? What number would you call the 'average' of a 1-10 scale?

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 = 55, 55/10 = 5.5

Or if you count the 0, 55/11 = 5

Steve2911:

medv4380:
Still wrong. 5.5 isn't the median and it isn't the average/mean. It's simply the middle of the scale.

I certainly do hope you bother to look it up because if you said that in a Elementary math class, Stats class, or even basic algebra you're going to fail. You are fundamentally wrong at a very basic mathematical concept.

Elaborate? What number would you call the 'average' of a 1-10 scale?

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 = 55, 55/10 = 5.5

Or if you count the 0, 55/11 = 5

Average/Mean and Median are defined by the set. Not the scale.

In your set of {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10} your average is 5.5 as well as your median.

However, in the set {1,5,5,5,5,10,10,10,10,10,10,10}
The median is 10
The average is 7.5
The min is 1
The max is 10

The Scale could be 1 to 10, but it could also have been a scale of 1 to 100. The Average is always defined by the set. Not the scale.

Another common misconception is that half fall below average. That only happens when the set is Normally distributed. In the set I gave only about 40 percent fall below average.

The Average Score given to a video game is about 7.

medv4380:
The Average Score given to a video game is about 7.

That's not relevent. The score given is the opinion of the reviewer, not of the reviewing media as a whole. There are many sensible reviewers who would score a game they consider to be average with a 5 or a 6. What other reviewers do is none of their concern.

It's really not a difficult concept to grasp.

Steve2911:

medv4380:
The Average Score given to a video game is about 7.

That's not relevent. The score given is the opinion of the reviewer, not of the reviewing media as a whole. There are many sensible reviewers who would score a game they consider to be average with a 5 or a 6. What other reviewers do is none of their concern.

It's really not a difficult concept to grasp.

Again completely wrong. In that case Average would be the average of their scores. Their opinion is irrelevant to the average score they give. Someone can "say" that 5 is average, but when you average out all their scores for all games and it comes out to 7 the average is 7.

Pick 10 games and 2 review outlets and I'll show you how wrong you are.

To all the people who are saying "5 is average, I don't get the complaints"...most video game reviewers, for better and for worse, use 7 as the average, probably because most video game reviewers are American and have been schooled that 7/10=70%=C=average. You can say all you want that 5 out of 10 should be average, but that's not how video game reviewers work.

Since 7 is average, a game getting 4 out of 10 is pretty bad, and I can understand frustration when you make something and it is slammed by a critic because he didn't like it. This is hardly the best way to voice that frustration, though.

By the way, I use a 5/10 is average scale when I review stuff. However, I make sure to explain that I am using that scale, because to people used to 7/10 being average, me giving 6/10 to something I found flawed but slightly above average would seem contradictory. I'm not sure if Edge bothers to explain that 4/10 to them might mean slightly below average.

So...the general public doesn't trust reviewers. Now game developers don't trust reviewers. Man, that must be a hard job to enjoy. Personally it sounds like this guy got his feelings hurt that his game isn't wowing people.

Alright, I've read the comments and the article and I think I know what I want to say.

Eric Alvarez is totally right about the lack of professionalism when it comes to gaming reviews. I'm going to ignore LoS2's party in what I have to say because I haven't played the game and am not foolish enough to act as if I can tell the games quality without having done so. Nevertheless he's right.

Gaming reviews for the most part never speak about gaming mechanics or quality of things like the UI. Instead what we get is one of two things. One is a very vague summary of the game with limited information on how the game plays, if its buggy, if the UI is functional and displays info in an efficient manner, or how long the reviewer played the game. An example of this (and yes I'm firing shots here) the Escapist reviews of Dragon Age 2 and Total War Rome 2.

Both games were praised and given high score. In the case of Dragon Age 2 there was no mention that the game's options were severely limited compared to the first game (City world instead of country, no race choices for protagonist, and literal copy pasted maps). The review failed to inform people of any of those changes to the franchise and that'd kind of integral to how a review works. There was also no mention on how the mechanics of the game worked other than a slight mentioning of the streamlined combat. I think we all know the general consensus of DA2 isn't a 5/5. There was an Editorial, also on the Escapist, aptly titled "When Dragon Age II Fell Apart". Give it a read.

With the Total War Rome II review the review was just a vague description of the first few hours of the game (a say "few" hours but this is a strategy game so "few" really means anything under 20 hours) and failing to inform the readers that the game was fundamentally broken and not fit for sale in its state at the time of release. I don't know how a game that straight up didn't work got a 4/5 when it objectively did not work as it should have, and that's the problem I have with a lot of reviews these days.

The other caveat I have with "professional" reviews is the reviewer going on a soapbox against a certain aspect of the game and completely ignoring the rest of the game's feature. Then scoring the game based on the one aspect. The Escapist GTA5 review comes to mind with this(I'm sorry I keep going after the Escapist here but this is our community and I want to see it become aware of these problems). A lot of us here on the forums disagreed with the review, not because of the score, but more because the review was more of a rant than a review. The reviewer went on about how he didn't enjoy playing an actual morally corrupt person in a world that depicts everyone as kind of dickish in GTA5. Which really is like complaining about playing a lumberjack in Lumberjack Simulator 2014. Every GTA game had a bad guy protagonist, yet it wasn't OK when the game's story was written as more of a serious satire. Now that's the reviewers opinion and I respect that and choose to disagree, but to not mention any of the features of the game, how the game mechanically plays, how well the game ran, how well its side missions fit into the game or how the UI works out. It was just a soapbox against playing the bad guy in a video game set in a realistic dark satirical America. People in the forums brought up how you could levy the same criticisms against Breaking Bad, but at the end of the day Breaking Bad is very well acted and written and GTA5 was a damn great functioning game. Not liking something doesn't equal it not being objectively functional.

This is why numbered review systems are a problem. If there's no mention of objective facets of a game like how much it lags or if the gameplay is awkward to control, then you're really just putting a number beside a subjective opinion and trying to smoosh them together. And sometimes that subjective opinion isn't even well informed. I'm suspect of any review written in the Oct-Dec rush of games because reviewers go into overload trying to play as many games as possible in as short a time as possible. You throw something like a Total War or Crusader Kings game in there and you will guarantee a poorly informed review due to the time it takes to learn those kinds of games.

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