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?