It’s not really much of a secret anymore that some video game review sites are paid for skewing their opinions towards the positive when it comes to certain big budget games. I can’t really fault them for this, as on the business end it makes them money to keep their site going…..buuuuut on the other hand, it makes it really difficult for the reader to discern what information is credible and what isn’t.
Having been burned by IGN and Game Informer lately with their glowing reviews of Evil Within and Shadow of Mordor (which suckered me into buying both of those abortions), I’ve devised a new method for getting information regarding my $60, multi-hour, investments which is working really well. READ THE BAD REVIEWS FIRST.
Nine times out of ten, a bad review is going to tell you fundamentally what does or doesn’t work in the game. These things are important to know. I for one like having information such as “this game is in a 2:35:1 aspect ratio and the 3/4 camera view is 90% closer in this game than in others, so it makes it impossible to see what you’re doing. And it looks like a PS1 game” *cough, cough Evil Within. Or, “this game is just Assassins Creed set in the LOTR universe.” *Shadow of Mordor.
By examining what makes something NOT work on a fundamental level is a good base to decide whether or not you want to devote the next 6-20+ hours of your life wasting away in front of it.
Lately I find myself checking Metacritic for my sources. It’s sort of a culmination of other reviews, all put onto one site. That way you can get a better idea of an overall score. However, the trick is not to look at the high score, but to look for the reviews that give the game a lower score…these are going to be far more honest about problems the game may have and also give more praise to what it does right. Based on some of the information in the lower scored reviews I’m reading on the recently released Sunset Overdrive, I know that I won’t be spending $60 on it, but will instead wait until it’s a bargain bin title.
With so much information out there, it’s important to know how to sift through it all and find what is actually useful. My advice, start from the bottom and work your way up.
-Sock Talk Jon-