Change.org has been home to many a noble venture, but perhaps this is the most heroic of all.
Washington Post’s review of PS4 action title Uncharted 4, which was titled This four-part series should have ended after Part One”, was not very positive. It ended: A Thief’s End is less a conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story than an affirmation of the inconclusive wreck it has always been.”
Which is harsh, for sure, and certainly at odds with other critics. Although of course it would be even more bizarre were all reviewers to feel precisely the same about something.
While the site doesn’t award a score in its reviews, Metacritic interprets the words and assigns scores for its aggregate system accordingly. It judged the review as being a 4/10. And people are furious.
Im sorry but when having too much detail became a bad thing , this reviewer is out of his mind.”
That’s the opening gambit of a new change.org petition urging Metacritic to remove the score from its rankings. Here’s the rest:
I believe U4 is one of the greatest games ever created and it is my personal favorite for sure , although i can justify some reviewers giving it a 9 or an 8. But this is a utter disgrace. Gene , because you were the only respectable staff that responded to this nonsense , you should remove this review fro the metacritic , and post a new , sensible one that can justify its existence. You’re Washington post for Christ’s Sake , not a 12-year-old’s diary. Treat the game with professionalism and respect.
Also , he never gave the game a rating in his review , so the 40/100 should either be removed from the metascore or added to his review. Things must be cleared. It’s about the respect that the developers deserve for all the amount of time and money put into this game. Even the editor of the Washington post is confused with this piece of biased journalism. Something needs to happen. Just look at the track record of this guy , Dark souls 2 worst game ever? One of the most acclaimed games in recent memory?
Im okay with the guy expressing his opinion , but as i said , when its an official review it must be treated with professionalism and respect , and rules must be applied. This guy doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously by big , crucial sites like Metacritic. It harms the Flawless reputation of the game for absolutely no reason. A review is not about what you think a game is , its about what a game is. Objective measures are applied.”
Sadly the petition, which astonishingly has been signed over 6,000 times, has even won itself the endorsement of voice star Troy Baker. Which is all a bit of a far cry from more reasoned approaches towards editorial freedom that we’ve seen from the likes of Paradox recently.
Videogamer came in for similar stick over its Uncharted 4 review. Which was an 8/10! An eight! That’s great. But not great enough, seemingly.
At the heart of all of this is the apparently new belief which keeps cropping up online that a review should not reflect an opinion. Despite by definition being exactly that. Instead reviewers are increasingly being hounded for not blindly reflecting the views of both the general critical consensus (which itself is just a body of opinion, no?) and, perhaps more tellingly, the opinion of the agitated reader (which, you guessed it, is also just an opinion).
Furthermore, who cares? If someone likes a game they’re free to buy it and free to play it. If they don’t like a game, they’re free not to do those things. Think Washington Post is wrong? Great. Buy the game and enjoy it anyway. Nobody died. The world has continued to rotate. What one reviewer somewhere felt is absolutely beside the point, as is a Metacritic score.