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Eurogamer has stopped giving out review scores


Nick R
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its a bold move and Edge discussed it for years, I do wonder how it will pan out for them as would have thought that Metacritic drives quite a bit of traffic to them (but maybe not)

the other bit they say is that they will only review games post release, to ensure they are reviewing what you play.

I'm not sure if this is a desperate roll of the dice from a site struggling, or a good brave move from a position of strength to influence the wider industry.

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Sounds good to me. Better than the ambiguity of a 7.

The following stated approach is a more welcome change IMO:

We are also changing (or firming up) other areas of our reviews policy, with the intention of ensuring that we always review the same experience that you get when you buy a game. This means that we will only review from final retail versions and online games will be reviewed after they've launched.

This might encourage Dice and other FPS developers to actually build a game to work at launch rather than release a disk with promises of day one (and several months of) patches.

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Nothing really changes as far as scores go. 7 and 8 are recommended, 9 and 10 are essential, and avoid is just for Ellie Gibson's reviews of pointless joke games. It's a noble goal, trying to get people to read reviews, but this won't achieve that. If anything, their one-sentence summary makes it easier for people to not bother reading the text.

The rest of the changes are shit they should have been doing anyway. Like reviewing retail copies of games instead of the "hey we promise that'll be fixed before release" versions. And reviewing online games after they're out.

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Nothing really changes as far as scores go. 7 and 8 are recommended, 9 and 10 are essential, and avoid is just for Ellie Gibson's reviews of pointless joke games. It's a noble goal, trying to get people to read reviews, but this won't achieve that. If anything, their one-sentence summary makes it easier for people to not bother reading the text.

The rest of the changes are shit they should have been doing anyway. Like reviewing retail copies of games instead of the "hey we promise that'll be fixed before release" versions. And reviewing online games after they're out.

Check out Johnny Positive over here. They're doing a good thing.

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Reviews are pretty pointless in this day and age, a huge bulk of games out there are service driven things that constantly change (or indie Early Access, which works the same way), like how many League of Legends reviews accurately describe the game today?

They're basically there for AAA hype validation at this point, and everyone just watches a video for impressions anyway.

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Check out Johnny Positive over here. They're doing a good thing.

They're almost doing a good thing, but if you're going to have these ratings (essential, recommended, no rating, avoid) then you're effectively still just scoring games out of four.

I guess we see how it plays out. There are a bunch of 7/10 games Eurogamer have reviewed which are flawed but still ultimately essential, and such things will continue to be released. If they're awarding stuff "essential" ratings when they're not genuinely a 9/10 game then I'll admit they're on the right track. Same as how not every 10/10 game is truly essential, really, like for example if you've played the same game last year. At the moment though it does look a bit like "convert score to award" looking back at what they've re-rated.

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The kind of games that cause scoring arguments were already scored out of four: 7, 8, 9, and 10 are just degrees of "it's good" that the kind of people who use comments sections want to bicker over. Rolling them together into a high and a low recommendation is a great idea.

The interesting but flawed games with lower scores were always going to need you to read the review. So no loss there.

Some games are just garbage. Might as well flag those.

I like it. The publishers who want quantitative metrics to drive developer bonuses and save themselves from actually having a relationship with their staff won't but screw them. The objective review quacks wrote off EG as an SJW stronghold already anyway.

Can't find a downside.

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I've always liked review scores as I'm able to separate the score from the accompanying text, but it's clear from pretty much every comments thread over the past few years that scores are unhelpful when it comes to debating a game's merits. Many people are unable to make a similar separation and argue vociferously over what amounts to a single number rather than the many hundreds of words of analysis before it. Debate becomes about a number rather than the game itself.

It is also clear that the nature of modern videogames - with their Day One patches, Early Access and constant DLC - no longer supports a single definitive score given before they come out. The use of Metacritic as a factor in game design decisions and (terribly) as a yardstick for dev teams to receive their bonuses (remember Fallout New Vegas ending up 1% below the payout score?) has been a terrible unintended result of the initially useful aggregation of scores.

So while I will miss review scores on a personal level, it is clear that they cheapen debate and are no longer fit for purpose. As such, I wholeheartedly support Eurogamer's decision, and I hope that it leads to both better discussion about games and the beginning of the end of Metacritic as a guide for game design and reward. May other gaming sites and magazines follow suit as soon as possible.

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It seems like I'm in the minority but I hate it when sites/magazines get all pretentious and suddenly think the medium's above scoring. Reviews are exactly that, a review. People have been marking things out of ten for years, whatever they are. People just instinctively understand what you mean by 7/10 in a way that can't always be conveyed in reams of text.

I accept that things like 92.7% was a bit ridiculous but a mark out of ten is the whole point. I don't like it when sites do star ratings out of 5 like GiantBomb either. All this no score business is just a wanky attempt to stand out and be different or to get some attention. Pisses me right off.

I do, however, fully support the other bit about reviewing what we get. I'd like it for reviews to point out all the flaws in whatever code they have and leave it up to us to decide how much faith we have that the issues will be fixed.

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I bet most things will

The problem is that their writing staff, in fact 90% of game "journalists" aren't good enough to go without a rating system.

They retroactively applied it to last year's games and the full current gen catalogue. 115 are Recommended or higher, 15 are Essential. Hard to say how many reviews EG has done but they're pretty comprehensive, so let's say about 400 games total.* A quick scan of their archive suggests about 1 in 4 games merited either flag so this looks about right.

*The PS4 and 360 have about 400 games in their catalogue each, but heavily overlap; call it 400 total. Add 100 for WiiU, and last year's PC and mobile.

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As others have said, all they've done is replaced a score out of 10 with a score out of 4. You've now got Essential, Recommended, Can't Be Bothered and Avoid. There's no way they're going to pass on giving a rating to a genuinely great game so you can pretty much assume that anything that doesn't get a score is in the old 5-7 range.

In fact they've already tacitly admitted this by fudging their system for the benefit of Google so Essential gets 5 stars, Recommended gets 4 stars, Avoid gets 1 star and everything else gets 3.

It's a stunt. I give it three months before they decide to rate games according to phases of the moon or the reviewer's favourite vegetable.

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I think lumping in 7,8,9 & 10's is a mistake, personally. I think that truly exceptional games deserve a distinction. The Last of Us deserves to be separated from Remember Me. I think excellence should be recognised.

That's what Essential is for, no?

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People just instinctively understand what you mean by 7/10 in a way that can't always be conveyed in reams of text.

Except all the evidence points to the opposite, because the second anyone deigns to give a big hyped AAA game a score less than 9/10 a jihad is declared by neckbeards who parse 7/10 a 'Worst game EVER!' instead of three points off the top of the scale.

For instance this was the reaction from some here when Eurogamer gave Uncharted 3 an 8/10.

Screw you, EG!
Yeah stupid cunts. Scunts if you will!
Eurocunter, the fucking pleasure vacuum.

This was tame compared to the reaction at NeoGAF.

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A Recommended award for <insert game here>?! What a joke, clearly deserves an Essential award!

This is in all likelihood what will happen. Most high profile anticipated AAA releases will get either two or three stars, and that's how people will convey the message.

I approve of the intention but it's half arsed.

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Most people just go on "what were the previous iterations of this franchise like", I mean, people who like Assassins Creed like Assassins Creed and fully said they were going to buy it this year even though it was buggy and a bit pump, same with people who buy Call of Duty every year or every other year. There's so many staid franchises and so few new ones, you can safely never need to read a review.

And if it is a "new" AAA series, it's guaranteed to have developer pedigree or an open beta that's basically a demo anyway (Destiny, Evolve). It's almost like the companies involved have been reducing the need for reviews for years!

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Well, no. As I said, Remember Me scored 7, The Last of Us scored 10. I wouldn't lump the two games together under one "essential " banner. As a buyer, I want to know if one is significantly better than the other.

But they have two categories - Recommended, and Essential. TLOU got the latter, Remember Me would've got the former.

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Except all the evidence points to the opposite, because the second anyone deigns to give a big hyped AAA game a score less than 9/10 a jihad is declared by neckbeards who parse 7/10 a 'Worst game EVER!' instead of three points off the top of the scale.

And how will they be different when they merely recommend it as opposed to saying it's essential? There will always be idiots, saying that getting rid of numerical scores will change that is unrealistic. If someone is unable to realise that a review is an opinion and nothing more then that's their own issue, I don't see why you should change the very basis of what almost everyone accepts and understands to accommodate people who can't get that a review isn't an attempt at a statement of fact that you must agree with.

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