Halo 4 gets a 2/10...

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RedDeadFred:
Ok so recently there was a post that pointed out a review of Halo 4 which criticized the game for not having iron sights and not being linear enough. The reviewer gave the game a 7/10 which isn't a bad score, it's just that his complaints seemed ridiculous (my opinion, yours may differ).

Now this reviewer http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2012/11/04/halo-4-is-half-the-game-it-should-be/ has given Halo 4 a 2/10. Which in my mind means the game pretty much has to be broken but he doesn't say anything about it not working. These seem to be his primary reasons for the 2/10 score:
Too much like the past Halo games

Not enough like the past Halo games (yes I'm aware that these first two contradict each other)

You don't get to fire the big gun on the Mammoth

Enemies are Tron like

No scoring system in single-player (I agree with him on this, that's what made Halo 3's campaign so replayable)

AI's having a lifespan

The story is slow, sentimental and too serious

A 2/10 score really stands out on Metacritic so my review will get more traffic (oh wait, that's my assumption not his written reasoning)

Anyway, what do my fellow Escapists think about the review. I myself got a bit of a laugh out of it but a lot of the things he was criticizing I don't personally think are all that bad. I'm not going to get the game anyway because I've only ever really cared about the campaigns in Halo games but I'll definitely rent it.

I don't know if this has been adressed already but Tom Chick does a 5 star scale. Not a 10.

Edit:

It's also worth noting that the scale employed by Chick runs like this:

Here is the scientific breakdown for the Quarter to Three ratings system.

***** (5 stars)
I loved it

**** (4 stars)
I really liked it

*** (3 stars)
I liked it

** (2 stars)
I didn't like it

* (1 star)
I hated it

All the people who bang on about it should read that. In this scale a game is not broken with a single star. He just hated it. That's vastly different and shifts the conversation. This is not and never was about an objective analyses of graphics and sound and whatever else boring criteria you people seem to like. This is about how Tom Chick feels about the game.

yourbeliefs:
I could see Yahtzee giving it a grade like that. If he's serious about it, then he didn't like the Halo series to begin with. Really though, if you flat out don't like a game series, you probably shouldn't be reviewing it because you're going to be so biased that you can't really take it seriously.

Conversely, if you absolutely orgasm at the idea of a new game in the series, you probably shouldn't be reviewing it either.

Athinira:

Alcoholidayer:
objective...review...*sigh*

Objective reviews aren't a myth. It's perfectly possible to detach yourself from your personal bias, and explain how a product works rather than explaining what you feel about it.

If it's a score based review, then the score will obviously be subjective. But the review text doesn't have to be.

The only thing you can be totally objective about is if the sound is clear or muffled, if the graphics are high res or low res, and if the game is stable or not(even that's pushing it because he may have been lucky and experienced few in a buggy game). The problem becomes, you can't justify your score doing that. Imagine if Tom did that, he stated the graphics, sound quality and bugginess, then gave it a 1 out of 5. Truth is you cannot review a title objectively, because it's impossible to justify the score at that point.

I love Mount and Blade warband for example, if I reviewed it normally I would talk about how the combat feels solid and the lack of story actually helps, but someone else may feel the exact opposite, so it's subjective. I would give the game a high score, justified by all the things about the game I said I liked. Objectively however, graphics are outdated, sound design is iffy(good sounds, but very little variation) and it's still pretty buggy(though very few gameplay bugs). If I did that and gave it the same score, no one would understand why I gave it the score I did.

Games must be reviewed subject to a reviewers opinions and biases, because the review text needs to justify the score, not to mention the fact that no one wants to read a review that says nothing about whether or not a game is fun to play.

Owen Robertson:
You make another game after ending a story arc, you're gonna have a bad time. It';s like French-Frying when you're supposed to Pizza.

And Mass Effect is about to French Fry right into a tree.

Though I personally don't care about Halo's story arc too much. The entire game could be devoid of dialog and cinematics so long as I'm killing aliens in surreal environments.

On the other hand, changing the music of a game like Halo could conceivably kill it.

teh_gunslinger:

RedDeadFred:
Ok so recently there was a post that pointed out a review of Halo 4 which criticized the game for not having iron sights and not being linear enough. The reviewer gave the game a 7/10 which isn't a bad score, it's just that his complaints seemed ridiculous (my opinion, yours may differ).

Now this reviewer http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2012/11/04/halo-4-is-half-the-game-it-should-be/ has given Halo 4 a 2/10. Which in my mind means the game pretty much has to be broken but he doesn't say anything about it not working. These seem to be his primary reasons for the 2/10 score:
Too much like the past Halo games

Not enough like the past Halo games (yes I'm aware that these first two contradict each other)

You don't get to fire the big gun on the Mammoth

Enemies are Tron like

No scoring system in single-player (I agree with him on this, that's what made Halo 3's campaign so replayable)

AI's having a lifespan

The story is slow, sentimental and too serious

A 2/10 score really stands out on Metacritic so my review will get more traffic (oh wait, that's my assumption not his written reasoning)

Anyway, what do my fellow Escapists think about the review. I myself got a bit of a laugh out of it but a lot of the things he was criticizing I don't personally think are all that bad. I'm not going to get the game anyway because I've only ever really cared about the campaigns in Halo games but I'll definitely rent it.

I don't know if this has been adressed already but Tom Chick does a 5 star scale. Not a 10.

Edit:

It's also worth noting that the scale employed by Chick runs like this:

Here is the scientific breakdown for the Quarter to Three ratings system.

***** (5 stars)
I loved it

**** (4 stars)
I really liked it

*** (3 stars)
I liked it

** (2 stars)
I didn't like it

* (1 star)
I hated it

All the people who bang on about it should read that. In this scale a game is not broken with a single star. He just hated it. That's vastly different and shifts the conversation. This is not and never was about an objective analyses of graphics and sound and whatever else boring criteria you people seem to like. This is about how Tom Chick feels about the game.

Hmm. Too be honest. I kind of like his rating system. He hated it (he gave it 1/5 which for some reason I automatically called 2/10 in the thread) which is understandable because you're not going to like every big game that comes out. It just gives a much broader rating spectrum.

s69-5:

dessertmonkeyjk:

Gameplay 6
Visuals 5
Sound 8
Story 4
Overall Score 5.75

Simple.

Now rate Tetris or Super Mario Bros 3 (aguably one of the best games of all time) with that scale.
Did you find the issue?

I made sure I could easily add & remove categories and still get 10. I could even have up to 10 subcategories for each if I like. Here's another example.

Gameplay 8; Mechanics 8 (10)
Visual 6.5; Aesthetic 2.2; Quality 1.8; Other 2.5 (3.3)
Sound 6; Sound Design 4; Music 2 (5)
Overall 6.8

RedDeadFred:

teh_gunslinger:

RedDeadFred:
Ok so recently there was a post that pointed out a review of Halo 4 which criticized the game for not having iron sights and not being linear enough. The reviewer gave the game a 7/10 which isn't a bad score, it's just that his complaints seemed ridiculous (my opinion, yours may differ).

Now this reviewer http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2012/11/04/halo-4-is-half-the-game-it-should-be/ has given Halo 4 a 2/10. Which in my mind means the game pretty much has to be broken but he doesn't say anything about it not working. These seem to be his primary reasons for the 2/10 score:
Too much like the past Halo games

Not enough like the past Halo games (yes I'm aware that these first two contradict each other)

You don't get to fire the big gun on the Mammoth

Enemies are Tron like

No scoring system in single-player (I agree with him on this, that's what made Halo 3's campaign so replayable)

AI's having a lifespan

The story is slow, sentimental and too serious

A 2/10 score really stands out on Metacritic so my review will get more traffic (oh wait, that's my assumption not his written reasoning)

Anyway, what do my fellow Escapists think about the review. I myself got a bit of a laugh out of it but a lot of the things he was criticizing I don't personally think are all that bad. I'm not going to get the game anyway because I've only ever really cared about the campaigns in Halo games but I'll definitely rent it.

I don't know if this has been adressed already but Tom Chick does a 5 star scale. Not a 10.

Edit:

It's also worth noting that the scale employed by Chick runs like this:

Here is the scientific breakdown for the Quarter to Three ratings system.

***** (5 stars)
I loved it

**** (4 stars)
I really liked it

*** (3 stars)
I liked it

** (2 stars)
I didn't like it

* (1 star)
I hated it

All the people who bang on about it should read that. In this scale a game is not broken with a single star. He just hated it. That's vastly different and shifts the conversation. This is not and never was about an objective analyses of graphics and sound and whatever else boring criteria you people seem to like. This is about how Tom Chick feels about the game.

Hmm. Too be honest. I kind of like his rating system. He hated it (he gave it 1/5 which for some reason I automatically called 2/10 in the thread) which is understandable because you're not going to like every big game that comes out. It just gives a much broader rating spectrum.

I think it's an important distinction that kinda got lost in the frey.

For what it's worth, I don't particularly like Tom Chick. I like his style but I often don't agree with his reviews.

It's just important to keep in mind how he writes. And frankly I'm not sure why MetaCritic includes him. They completely mangle his range of stars in converting them to a x/10 system and they frequently sic fanboys on to Qt3, as was seen with his Max Payne 3 review.

I've looked at a lot of his reviews and to put it nicely the guy is one of the shittiest critics out there. He's entitled to his opinion but hes just not very good at what he does to be honest. I'm not going to get up in arms about it but there is little denying this guy is a bad critic, and not just for this either.

Oh look, the same person who gave Deus Ex : Human Revolution a 2/10 and gave Lollipop Chainsaw a 3/10. Bunch of rubbish that website is.

Im going to activate my super power. Apathy.

lacktheknack:
Other games this guy has given 2/10 to:
Lollipop Chainsaw
Syndicate
From Dust
Resident Evil 6

Star ratings are irritating.

2/10 for From Dust

He really is an idiot

DisgruntledOwl:

lacktheknack:
Other games this guy has given 2/10 to:
Lollipop Chainsaw
Syndicate
From Dust
Resident Evil 6

Star ratings are irritating.

2/10 for From Dust

He really is an idiot

1) He gave them a 1 out of 5, you can't just act like it's the same when it isn't.
2) He is allowed to have an opinion. Seriously, is the fact that one guy may not have enjoyed a game so foreign to you that when you finally see it you just have to act like he's the devil or something? He has an opinion, he stated it, if you don't like it, then maybe you should try figuring out why he didn't like it, not call him an idiot.

Athinira:

Alcoholidayer:
objective...review...*sigh*

Objective reviews aren't a myth. It's perfectly possible to detach yourself from your personal bias, and explain how a product works rather than explaining what you feel about it.

If it's a score based review, then the score will obviously be subjective. But the review text doesn't have to be.

They're reviewing creative works, not toasters. You can only be objective so far as you aren't being bought off. You cannot review an aspect of a creative endeavour 'objectively' because if you don't like it, you just don't fucking like it. There's no getting around that.

wow. 10 pages about a guy not enjoying a Halo game.

image

Btw, was it true that Halo 4 was about Corinna (sp?) having breast cancer, and it ending with master chef crying?

charge52:
The only thing you can be totally objective about is if the sound is clear or muffled, if the graphics are high res or low res, and if the game is stable or not(even that's pushing it because he may have been lucky and experienced few in a buggy game). The problem becomes, you can't justify your score doing that. Imagine if Tom did that, he stated the graphics, sound quality and bugginess, then gave it a 1 out of 5. Truth is you cannot review a title objectively, because it's impossible to justify the score at that point.

Despite what most people think, in journalism, objectivity is considered synonymous with staying neutral, and therefore doing an objective review is as simple as making unbiased statements, meaning that you either leave your own perspective on things out of the equation or bring in multiple perspectives and give them equal weight and background so the reader/viewer can form their own opinion (the latter is close to impossible for humans however and is very sensitive in how it is posted, see two paragraphs below). As mentioned, not everyone assigns scores to reviews, sometimes for this very reason.

That's the entire definition of the difference between subjective and objective journalism: whether or not the writer is (even uncounsciously) persuading people towards his own (or another predetermined) viewpoint. An objective review is all about giving people descriptions that they can form their own opinion based upon.

This can manifest in many ways. Most people will look at the content of the material for subjectivity, but even the method and location of publicizing the material or the decision to do so can be considered subjective journalism. As an example, if i decided to write a book about Bill Clintons affair, then even if everything i wrote in this book was 100% facts and i didn't at any point display any opinions in the book, the mere decision to write a book about a man cheating on his wife could be considered subjective because it would still be condemning his act on the basis that's it's an unacceptable social norm.

Game reviews are luckily more simple than that, and if posted on a rather neutral site/location, they can qualify just fine for objective journalism. If I want to review a shooter, and i explain that it took me 15 hours to complete, i explain about the weapons, i explain about how the action is paced, i explain how the enemy AI behaves, i explain if i encountered any bugs or trouble, than that's a perfect valid basis for people to make an opinion or not whether it's a shooter for them. Some people will consider 15 hours too short, some will consider it adequate etc. Note that I'm not saying that the expectations the review creates will match reality, because that is determined by how they interpret my review since everything is subject to interpretation, even facts. That's not the fault of the reviewer however, but rather a side effect of the simple fact that were all different and will make off with different experiences of the same thing.

This is Metacritic's fault for featuring Tom's reviews in the first place. I've always thought the man is a complete idiot, and I don't even like Halo. That said, he's entitled to his views, and it's not his job to worry about the Metascore. It's Metacritic who should exercise some discretion when choosing which critics to feature. Unlike film, which is far more dominated by pure opinion, there are aspects of game criticism where it has become standard practice to exercise a degree of impartiality. I realize the man is tenured and shit, but the grading scale he uses simply has no place in an aggregated score where literally every other critic grades based on a different scale and standard. That is to say, if a game performs proficiently, is up to industry standard in most aspects (graphics, controls, sound, AI, etc.), and has no truly glaring drawbacks (extremely short length, questionable DLC practice, etc.), it should generally at least earn a 5/10. I've not heard of a single prominent game critic (aside from this guy) that doesn't go off of that standard (though obviously 7/10 is the more typical "average" score). Metacritic obviously integrates this view into their site, as we can see that their scoring brackets coincide with the aforementioned grading scale. I also don't care if he uses a "star" system, that just goes to show how much more poorly his reviews mesh with the others.

Never been a big halo fan. That being said, I've played 4 and it doesn't deserve a 2/10

Athinira:
If I want to review a shooter, and i explain that it took me 15 hours to complete, i explain about the weapons, i explain about how the action is paced, i explain how the enemy AI behaves, i explain if i encountered any bugs or trouble, than that's a perfect valid basis for people to make an opinion or not whether it's a shooter for them. Some people will consider 15 hours too short, some will consider it adequate etc. Note that I'm not saying that the expectations the review creates will match reality, because that is determined by how they interpret my review since everything is subject to interpretation, even facts. That's not the fault of the reviewer however, but rather a side effect of the simple fact that were all different and will make off with different experiences of the same thing.

That would still be subjective, as you would have stated bugs or trouble you experienced, how long it took you to finish the game. As you said, to be unbiased you need to either remove your perspective, or bring in multiple other perspectives. You can't do the first, and the latter will still be subjective because it will feature multiple people's subjective opinions.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but most people who get reviews from specific people or sites get them generally from people whose opinions they agree with. No one follows IGN or Gamespot because their reviews offer "unbiased facts", but because they value their opinion. You can write objective articles about games yes, but not reviews.

Here is a challenge to you, write an unbiased/objective review, and we will see if you actually can, since you seem to think it is so easy.

charge52:
That would still be subjective, as you would have stated bugs or trouble you experienced, how long it took you to finish the game.

You still aren't getting it.

That everyone is going to experience things differently is given. We can't change that, we are different people, playing the game differently on different computers and at different time schedules. Hell, two playthroughs from the same person are also likely to be differently timed. Yes each playthrough is subjective. You're basically arguing that it's my job as a reviewer to figure out how you are going to like the game, which it isn't.

The point of objective journalism is to give people a (non-biased) point of comparison so they can form their OWN opinion or conclusions, where subjective journalism attempts to persuade people to accept an opinion (or direction) and push them towards a preferred outcome. That's the entire difference right there, and the point is whether or not i can relay my playthrough objectively. I can't tell or predict how long it's going to take you to complete, say, Mass Effect 3, even if i have played the game myself. I can't tell you whether it feels too long, too short, too boring or too average either if i want to stay objective. I can, however, tell you that it took me 80 hours including all the DLC and doing a completionist run on the highest difficulty with me dying and reloading on average of 7 times per mission and that this was about the same difficulty (death rate) i also had on hardest difficulty in ME2.

If i say the above, I'm not asking you to take the 80 hour duration for granted using the same settings as me. Rather, what I'm asking you to do is use the data i just provided you to make a point of comparison using your own skills, your own past experiences (for example, having played ME2 yourself on same difficulty as me and having a similar death rate) and the amount of DLC you have compared to me to try figuring out how long it's going to take you to complete the game. I'm not trying to persuade you to believe something. I'm trying to give you the tools to create your own expectations, in this case about how long ME3 is going to last for you.

Yes my data is subjective, but you already know that, so you're expected to take that into account when you draw your own conclusion. If i told you i could run 10 miles in 50 minutes and that I'm a world class runner, then you already know that unless you are also a world-class runner then you can't do that. I'm still relaying my objective experience to you though, and can make a calculation from there and say "Okay, if i assume i can run at 50% of a world-class runners capacity, i can probably run 10 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes then".

Here is a challenge to you, write an unbiased/objective review, and we will see if you actually can, since you seem to think it is so easy.

As long as you don't understand what objective journalism is, that's a rather moot point.

Athinira:

charge52:
That would still be subjective, as you would have stated bugs or trouble you experienced, how long it took you to finish the game.

You still aren't getting it.

That everyone is going to experience things differently is given. We can't change that, we are different people, playing the game differently on different computers and at different time schedules. Hell, two playthroughs from the same person are also likely to be differently timed. Yes each play-through is subjective. You're basically arguing that it's my job as a reviewer to figure out how you are going to like the game, which it isn't.

The point of objective journalism is to give people a (non-biased) point of comparison so they can form their OWN opinion or conclusions, where subjective journalism attempts to persuade people to accept an opinion (or direction) and push them towards a preferred outcome. That's the entire difference right there, and the point is whether or not i can relay my play through objectively. I can't tell or predict how long it's going to take you to complete, say, Mass Effect 3, even if i have played the game myself. I can't tell you whether it feels too long, too short, too boring or too average either if i want to stay objective. I can, however, tell you that it took me 80 hours including all the DLC and doing a completionist run on the highest difficulty with me dying and reloading on average of 7 times per mission and that this was about the same difficulty (death rate) i also had on hardest difficulty in ME2.

If i say the above, I'm not asking you to take the 80 hour duration for granted using the same settings as me. Rather, what I'm asking you to do is use the data i just provided you to make a point of comparison using your own skills, your own past experiences (for example, having played ME2 yourself on same difficulty as me and having a similar death rate) and the amount of DLC you have compared to me to try figuring out how long it's going to take you to complete the game. I'm not trying to persuade you to believe something. I'm trying to give you the tools to create your own expectations, in this case about how long ME3 is going to last for you.

The problem there is that that would not be a review, it would be you stating how long it took you to play. Like I said, you can write objective articles about a game, but not an objective review.

Here is a challenge to you, write an unbiased/objective review, and we will see if you actually can, since you seem to think it is so easy.

As long as you don't understand what objective journalism is, that's a rather moot point.

Then tell me great Magistra, what exactly is an objective review? Since all you've done is bang on about objective journalism, while completely ignoring the entire reason we are even talking to each other, which is because I stated you cannot make an objective review! Please, do tell me, oh, and I would very much appreciate it if you would respond to all the points I bring up, rather than snip one sentence out of context and reply to that. And before you try to point out any hypocrisy, I snipped your part about jogging out because it was just your Mass Effect 3 example in a different form.

charge52:
The problem there is that that would not be a review, it would be you stating how long it took you to play. Like I said, you can write objective articles about a game, but not an objective review.

The definition of a review actually extends far and wide, wider than you think apparently.

In fact, a simple statement like the length of a game can actually be considered a review. It's no different than reviewing, say, a smartphone and saying that it hasn't broken despite you having dropped it on the pavement 10 times. That might be a simple fact of information, but that's actually a pretty objective way of saying that this is a durable smartphone, even if someone else contradicts you and explains that his identical smartphone already broke the first time he dropped it. And i know people who have bought their smartphone on the above premise alone because they are the types who always drop their phones. They don't need any other information from a review other than a comment on durability.

If you actually go around reading reviews, you will actually find a lot of reviews who differ quite a bit in objectivity/subjectivity. Some are, as i suggested, more focused on explaining their experiences while others (most in fact) are busy explaining their feelings, what pleased them and what annoyed them.

If you have yet to read a 90-100% objective (or even a 60-90% one), it's because they're generally boring or unfulfilling. People WANT reviewers to describe their feelings rather than just delivering monotone descriptions. While objective reviews surely are possible, they are unfortunately limited compared to subjective reviews, because there is only so much you can explain to people without them experiencing it personally. Describing a game as a "fast paced adrenaline rush" might be subjective, but it's also exactly what people who like a fast paced adrenaline rush want to hear before they jump out and spend $60 on the new Call of Duty.

charge52:
Then tell me great Magistra, what exactly is an objective review? Since all you've done is bang on about objective journalism, while completely ignoring the entire reason we are even talking to each other, which is because I stated you cannot make an objective review! Please, do tell me, oh, and I would very much appreciate it if you would respond to all the points I bring up, rather than snip one sentence out of context and reply to that. And before you try to point out any hypocrisy, I snipped your part about jogging out because it was just your Mass Effect 3 example in a different form.

The reason i snip out one point of your text is because it's the only relevant part when the rest is banging on about something you misunderstand to begin with. I only need a small part to demonstrate the misunderstanding. That you snip out only parts of my text is fine, since most of my writing style is based around giving analogies and examples which doesn't need to be quoted (but certainly should be read nonetheless, even though i have a terrible habit of banging on about things several times).

A review is a journalistic article, and as such is covered in what can be considered objective or subjective journalism. Reviewing a game (either objectively or subjectively) is in fact not much different from reporting an event like the U.S. Election or the recent Hurricane, and while the approach might be different, the same basic journalistic principles still apply.

So to answer your question: An objective review is a review about a product that explains about factual non-biased experiences with the product. Yes, the experiences might be different because different people will always have different experiences, but that's why it's up to the receiver to decide whenever he or she has enough information to draw a valid conclusion, which - ironically - is also going to vary between people. Some people want to know everything about a product before they decide to purchase, while others are satisfied if the name is "iPhone".

What's paramount in the review though is that the information is non-biased, both in content, context, coverage and delivery. It's extremely hard and most of the time it's not preferable either. But it's certainly not impossible.

@Athinira: reviews are not journalism, they are opinion pieces like op-eds. Journalism involves reporting and investigating events/issues etc. Reviews involve giving an opinion on something. An opinion is by definition subjective.

According to the 2:45 site, 1/5 stars = "I hated it". If dude hated Halo 4, why do you care? Because it affects metacritic? again, why do you care? Do you work for 343? is your Christmas bonus tied to the metacritic score? You really should figure out why you are so emotionally invested in a friggin videogame made by one of the biggest corporations on the planet and why a reviewer hating it bothers you so much.

PS I'd love see an objective review too. An unbiased opinion, the very definition of an oxymoron.

sunsetspawn:

On the other hand, changing the music of a game like Halo could conceivably kill it.

That's a good point. You could change the feeling of anything with the right music.

Was I the only one that was getting odd "Mass Effect" vibes from the whole game? I thought the campaign was fairly enjoyable, but it just doesn't really feel like a Halo game to me anymore.

Unless the game is meant to be a comedy isn't it good when the story is serious? Not being linear enough? Do they mean they want it to be go from point A to point B or did they have a different type of linear in mind?

Halo 4 isn't mindbogglingly amazing but it does not deserve as low of a score as 2/10. I'd give it 6.5/10 or 7/10 that's just based on the campaign though. With multiplayer it easily scores a 7/10 or 8/10.

BoogityBoogityMan:

PS I'd love see an objective review too. An unbiased opinion, the very definition of an oxymoron.

There was one in this thread...
I don't want ot take credit for it, so I'll quote below.

(Also, agreed with your comments. Fanboys be crazy...)

ex275w:

Also for the people wanting a Objective review, here's one! I don't think that a lot of persons know what the word means. ;)
http://www.destructoid.com/100-objective-review-final-fantasy-xiii-179178.phtml

Funny stuff.

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