The piece may be tagged ‘humor’, but Kotaku’s BioShock Infinite: The IGN Review: The Kotaku Review” has a serious point at heart.
The international review embargo for 2K Games’ BioShock: Infinite doesn’t lift until Monday, the day before the game’s release. However, IGN has been given the nod to run its review early.
This practise is worthy of discussion for two reasons.
Firstly, IGN scores the game 9.4/10, which in itself poses obvious questions. Would 2K have given IGN the jump had the outlet awarded it a 6/10? 7/10? Even 8/10? Did 2K Games grant IGN permission to go early because of the high score? Or did IGN award a high score so as to gain permission to go early? Or was the deal pre-determined, and IGN is simply scoring a great game deservedly strongly?
The reliability and impartiality of an exclusive review is always open to question.
(Note, though, that Bioshock: Infinite IS expected to receive high scores, meaning that IGN’s is unlikely to be unnaturally generous. Far bigger questions have been asked in the past when infamously poor games like Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness and Driver 3 received tremendous praise in their exclusive reviews.)
Secondly, as Kotaku openly states it has been playing the game. It has an opinion and it would very much like to share it with you. But instead it must remain shtum while a rival outlet reels in the clicks. In the modern age of social networks and ubiquitous data connections, forced silences are feeling increasingly redundant.
For the record, Kotaku’s verdict of IGN’s review is a big green ‘Yes’. As in, you should read the review. Because it’s the only review of BioShock: Infinite right now.”