Metacritic Changes Review Policy to Limit ‘Review Bombing’

/ 2 years ago

Following the release of The Last of Us Part 2, Metacritic has (rather ironically) fallen under some criticism due to the user reviews submitted for the game. While official reviews have widely praised this highly-anticipated sequel, the reviews submitted by ‘users’ have certainly been more of a mixed bag. In order to attempt to prevent the perceived ‘review bombing’, however, a report via Engadget has confirmed that Metacritic has introduced a new policy that means user reviews can not be submitted until at least 36 hours after a game’s release. Specifically, so that people can actually play a decent portion of the game before giving their opinion on it.

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Metacritic Changes its User Review Policy

Now, I think many reading this will be aware that the user review section for The Last of Us 2 has been (and still remains) a rather contentious battleground. Putting some of the more ‘troll’ aspects to one side, however, the honest reality is that there are a lot of unfair reviews (on both sides of the fence) from both the user and professional reviewer community.

With most aspects of the negative reviews largely hinging on one major plot point regarding a character from the first game (no spoilers here), a significant portion of the anger from the ‘negative’ aspect of the fans has, at least in my opinion, undoubtedly been aimed at the fact that the vast majority of official reviews have been handing out 10/10 scores like candy over a game that is probably, in a more sane world, somewhere around an 8 out of 10. This doesn’t, and shouldn’t, however, cover up the fact that the ‘review war’ started at a point where most people simply couldn’t have pumped more than 8-hours into a game that (arguably) takes around 30 hours to complete.

While the change in its user policy will likely not stop this particular problem, it will at least open the doors to people actually being able to play a significant portion of it before rushing to the internet to give their ‘final’ opinion of it.

What Do We Think?

Metacritic has a very flawed review system, but not largely due to any fault of its own. The biggest problem is that it (specifically in regards to the user system) allows various aspects of the gaming community to attempt to take over review scores (for good or bad). Not a problem that is, incidentally, only limited to this platform.

If you want an idea as to how divisive this has become for The Last of Us Part 2 on Metacritic, however, you can check out the user scores here (be warned though, it doesn’t make for pretty reading).

Metacritic may not be the cause of this problem, but it’s review system merely highlights how, in the grand scheme of things, just how divisive it can be. So, will this policy change make any difference though? Probably not. People will be willing to wait for 36 hours to give out their reviews, no matter how misguided or ill-informed they are. What would undoubtedly help the situation, however, is if professional review companies would perhaps be slightly less willing to wax-lyrical with scores that many would perceive as being vastly overly-generous. Will that happen though? Well, don’t hold your breath!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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