Do Review Scores and Impressions Matter?

No Mans Sky

Let’s talk review scores and opinions. Yes, you’re quite right, both of these are one in the same, but do they really matter in the grand scheme of things? This gen in gaming is especially controversial, more so than any gen before it. We’ve seen more emphasis on how games function, for example, MTs and Loot Boxes, as well as how games are typically developed in 2018.

It’s a very tricky subject to tackle, one would argue, but one I want to tackle head-on nevertheless. We game in a time where it seems widely acceptable to release a broken game and fix it post launch. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a prime example of this. I fully appreciate that certain developers have the stress and strain of publisher demands resting heavily on their shoulders, but should that grant them a free pass?

Perhaps we’re steering off topic. My point here is that yes, review scores and opinions matter more now than ever before. Press outlets, YouTube and Twitch/Mixer personalities, as well as the all important consumer, is now being heard in a way that they’ve never been heard before, and developers and publishers are hearing us loud and clear. Hell, you only have to look at EA DICE and Battlefront II to see that point proven.

We live in a very accessible age, an age in which it’s all too easy to step on up and have your voice heard. This is a good thing because it has a lasting influence and it’s that very influence that keeps lazy and greedy developers and publishers in line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should place all of your chips into the basket of a reviewer or online personality, but these do indeed help to deliver all important intel regarding the product or title players are interested in.

Here at Xt, we utilize the full depth of our scoring system, which kind of leads me to my next point. There’s a silent belief floating around that if a game doesn’t score 7.5 and above, it’s garbage. This, my good friends, couldn’t be further from the truth. Take for example Sea of Thieves. This game received polarizing review scores upon release, typically ranging from scores 5 through 7. Though, does that make it a bad game? Not in the slightest.

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I personally scored it 7.3, but still play it religiously several times a week. Mathematically speaking, a score of anything over 5, even if it’s just 0.1 higher, is an above average game. That’s how we see it and that’s how we’ll continue to see it. If a game is truly not worth the space on your hard-drive, we’ll score it below the base average. Though with that to the side, a game that scores anything between 5.1 and 7.4, can still be a decent experience. Sure, the respective game could be much better, but games that receive this score should not be written off entirely.

What I’m trying to say is that scores and opinions are important, but they shouldn’t completely reflect on your decision to purchase a game. It’s also important to keep in mind that there’s much more to a review than a score. Good reviews will offer constructive feedback and make you aware of a games pros and cons. Metacritic is a fantastic site to access heaps of swift reviews on the fly from a wide range of different outlets, all of which offer unique opinions and scoring. Though, stopping at just the score of a review, or even just the excerpt, wont do you any favors.

I know that I’ve played games that receive well below the base average and have gone on to thoroughly enjoy them. On the flip side I’ve played games that have been scored highly and have been left feeling robbed of my time and money. The bottom line in all of this is that I will always fully encourage our readers to invest in a game if it interests them. Furthermore, it pays off to read more than just one review and listen to a singular opinion.

Visiting Metacritic and YouTube will typically pull up a plethora of differing scores and opinions, giving you quick and easy access to the overall consensus. Reviews and opinions will help you to form your own opinion before spending your hard earned cash. This, more than anything else, is why they’re more than necessary. In the end, a game’s most important audience is its consumer. That’s not us, that’s you.

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Written by
I was born to win, well, or at least try. I review games, post news and other content at Xbox Tavern. When that's not happening, I'm collecting as many achievements as possible or hitting up the latest FPS / RPG. Feel free to add me - Gamertag: urbanfungus

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