So I was studying for my network administration class and had a thought when I stumbled into one of The Last Of Us’s promotional pictures showing its insane review scores. For those who don’t know, which I find hard to believe that you haven’t heard of The Last of Us, TLoU was claimed to be a video game masterpiece. With 10/10 scores across the board and being heralded as “the Citizen Kane of gaming,” it makes me wonder if any of these reviewers can be trusted to have an honest opinion on anything they review. No, I’m not bashing The Last of Us in any way since I haven’t played it, but paid review scandals HAVE been a thing before, so why are people buying into this so easily?
So over TWENTY review sties say that this game is the best thing since sliced bread and streaming porn? Isn’t that a little, I don’t know, ridiculous as all hell? This doesn’t look odd to anyone else? Sure, it might be a good game, hell, it might be the best game of the generation for all I know, but the fact is that no game is perfect; it’s impossible. Sure, Naughty Dog did the Jak, Crash Bandicoot, and Uncharted series, but those games had flaws too. Fuck, Super Metroid, which is universally acclaimed as one of, if not THE best Super Nintendo game AND best games of all time has its share of problems. If someone asked me for an example of a perfect game, I couldn’t answer them honestly because every game has a weak spot. I’ve never seen an exception to this rule, and I doubt I ever will.
I’ve heard a decent amount of both good and bad criticism about TLoU and, while my personal thoughts are invalid since I haven’t played it, the fact that there’s negative criticism at all is enough to tell me that most normal people can pick up the flaws that reviewers claim not to exist. The possibility of Sony/Naughty Dog paying off reviewers for perfect scores exists, but sadly, the uneducated video game player buys into the seemingly perfect game and all of its sky high scores. Polygon was the only website off of the top of my head who weren’t as honest (or paid-off) with their score and handed Naughty Dog a 7.5, which was quite a slap back into reality for the elated studio. Of course, Polygon received plenty of flak for bashing on “Gaming’s Citizen Kane,” but they stood by their score adamantly.
Since when did people use mainstream game reviews instead of personal experience to determine if a game was good or not? Are people really more attached to a number instead of personal interaction, especially when these numbers have a history of corruption and manipulation behind them? People are seemingly becoming more and more accepting of the idea of being spoon fed an idea and repeating it like a drone. If you want my advice, just play the damn games and form an opinion on them. After all, aren’t video games, yknow, GAMES? Personal experience is the best review you can get, and with all of the behind the scenes action these days, it’s hard to find a site that’s willing to say it like it is to a game.
So can big name reviewers be trusted? Well, in my opinion, kind of. If you read a review for a game, don’t read more than one, as bias towards like or hate will always be in the writing. Read several reviews, and be don’t be afraid to question their opinions. And of course, make sure you play the fucking game before you pass judgement on it. A first impression and a review are NOT the same thing, much to many people’s amazement.
I still need to play The Last of Us, but I keep forgetting to ask to borrow it. Fug.