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#1 Edited by chiablo (847 posts) -

Remember when Polygon backpedaled on their review of SimCity? Looks like they're at it again: http://www.polygon.com/2013/10/29/5040656/battlefield-4-review

Review scores for the XBox One and PS4 versions have been dropped to 4. This time it feels a little more justifiable, but it still seems really sketchy to have review scores be variable like this.

Update: The score has been returned to 7.5. The SimCity review looks on in bewilderment.

#2 Posted by Ramone (2931 posts) -

As much as it's admirable that they are trying to keep their reviews relevant what has actually changed with BF4 since it launched? Wasn't it just as borked at launch as it is now?

#3 Posted by Itwongo (786 posts) -

What will happen when it's fixed?

#4 Edited by EuanDewar (4513 posts) -

They actually do it pretty often its just BF4, Simcity and Arkham Origins have been the only examples of a noticabley big difference in score after the change.

#5 Posted by believer258 (11043 posts) -

That's a shitty thing to do.

#6 Posted by Aerobie (95 posts) -

I think this makes perfect sense if they raise the score back up when (if?) things eventually get fixed. Unless it was broken when they reviewed it and still gave it that score, it wouldn't be fair to change the score when it broke then not change it when they fixed it. If a user goes to check a review score, it doesn't matter to them if the game USED to be broken, but of course people can't go back to re-review every game after every patch.

#7 Posted by Pie (6936 posts) -

@ramone said:

As much as it's admirable that they are trying to keep their reviews relevant what has actually changed with BF4 since it launched? Wasn't it just as borked at launch as it is now?

"Battlefield 4 was reviewed at an EA-hosted review event at EA Redwood Shores on provided PCs with AMD 8-Core CPUs and crossfire'd AMD 7970 video cards. Additional time was spent in singleplayer and multiplayer on Xbox One and PS4 development kits. You can find additional information on Polygon's ethics policy here."


Really dumb

#8 Posted by Grissefar (2843 posts) -

Wow, BF4 actually came out more than a month ago. Ha ! Ha ! That's just hilarious.

It's DICE as we know them, I guess.

#9 Posted by spraynardtatum (2125 posts) -

Good. The game isn't finished, they're already releasing DLC that is compounding the issues, the PS4 patch was just delayed.

Even if the game is improving bit by bit it is still broken and the score should reflect that. Better late than never.

#10 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4905 posts) -

That's a shitty thing to do.

It's really not, it's a good warning for people who haven't picked up the games yet. If i was a less informed individual i would like to know if i was buying a broken piece of shit or not. And BF4 is a broken piece of shit, so it deserves the score change.

#11 Posted by LucidDreams117 (343 posts) -

Hmmm. It may have been shit at launch and by the way, playing it now (Xbox One) this game is still broken but I think Polygon was going for a "we'll give is a pass now and hope patches fix this this otherwise it's changing"

It hasn't been fixed. I still get the occasional crash to dashboard. Server issues are good once you actually found a game, I'm hoping that's because of thru dedicated servers. Can't speak for the PS4.

I like the idea of updating reviews. Only problem is how long can a site keep up with it? In 6 months when someone get's a One/PS4, and they look up the review, is it out-dated? Have there been patches that fixed the issues? Then again, is it really the fault of the reviewer if post launch patches are so desperately needed?

#12 Edited by Chumley_Marchbanks (63 posts) -

@chiablo: I think if a publication absolutely must have it's review out as early possible then being flexible with the score is probably a good idea. As SimCity proved, games can perform very differently between pre-release and post-release, so being able to convey those differences is pretty important. This all being said, I really wish more sites would just review the games based on the final product even if that means a late review.

#13 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3595 posts) -

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

#14 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (360 posts) -

I wouldn't call the review updates sketchy, just kind of misguided.

Typically, the games that would be worst after a launch would be online games-- like Sim City and Battlefield. What they should be doing instead of reviewing the games under those controlled conditions, and then updating the scores once the game is released to the public and issues persist, is not review the games prior to release at all.

I understand why they do that-- it's hard to compete with an IGN, or similarly large review site when you don't have a review on day one-- but it seems contradictory to what they're trying to achieve.

#15 Edited by MonetaryDread (1955 posts) -

@pie: What is dumb? The fact that the games review changed, or the fact that all sites who want to review a game before release have to go to a review event?

I am glad they have updated the score. The game is broken in its current state and Polygon seems to be the only site that is holding EA accountable for it.

#16 Posted by punkxblaze (2878 posts) -

I think it's okay to do this if a game has just recently come out, because people will still be looking to these reviews for purchasing advice. If a game becomes horribly broken soon after the launch window, or something happens to otherwise catastrophically damage that game, the review should not still indicate that the game is worth a damn.

That's just my opinion, though. It's happening more often these days. Gametrailers, for example, updated their Forza 5 review when Drivatars became functional. And then you've got Gamespot's second take reviews, but those have been about games that are long past that acceptable launch period and have come across more as attention grabs than genuine concern for the consumer's well being.

#17 Posted by Ramone (2931 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

What if someone bought the game at launch based of the 7.5 review only to find that the game was fucked up and that the "real" score was a 4?

#18 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (360 posts) -

I like the idea of updating reviews. Only problem is how long can a site keep up with it? In 6 months when someone get's a One/PS4, and they look up the review, is it out-dated? Have there been patches that fixed the issues? Then again, is it really the fault of the reviewer if post launch patches are so desperately needed?

Well presumably, they would update the review again if patches were released that improved stability of the game.

What they did with Arkham Origins was bump the game down to a 4 when it became plagued with bugs after release, but after it was patched and fixed the score was bumped back up to a 7.

#19 Posted by chainreaction01 (173 posts) -

@itwongo: Looking at the SimCity review again probably nothing. Their last update was months ago and everything that they complain about has been long since been fixed yet they still haven't restored their original review score.

#20 Posted by XChairmanDrekX (265 posts) -

I see nothing wrong with letting consumers know about the current state of a very multi-player focused videogame. I don't care how good it is, if it doesn't ever hardly fucking work for over a month, it deserves a shit score.

As much as I usually dislike Polygon, props to them for doing this.

#21 Posted by Wuddel (2057 posts) -

@ramone: I mean they keep the conditions of the review transparent, which is admirable, and not even GB takes the time to do this.

Also guys relax about scores.

#22 Edited by jimmyfenix (3682 posts) -

@ramone said:

@artisanbreads said:

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

What if someone bought the game at launch based of the 7.5 review only to find that the game was fucked up and that the "real" score was a 4?

Yeah Simcity getting a 9.5 then changing it to a 4 after the fact was probably the worst.

#23 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Worst site, worst layout, worst reviewers, and worst click baiting since Kotaku. Going back on reviews is just wrong. They should stand by their reviews.

#24 Posted by talibanchic (73 posts) -

Games are dynamic now, no reason the reviewing of them shouldn't be. Anything that puts pressure on developers and publishers to not release broken content should be applauded.

#25 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (360 posts) -

@ramone said:

@artisanbreads said:

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

What if someone bought the game at launch based of the 7.5 review only to find that the game was fucked up and that the "real" score was a 4?

The "real" score isn't a 4. The current score for the game in its current state is a 4.

They reviewed the game under ideal circumstances and never had online issues. That in and of itself could be a cause of criticism. But anyone buying an online focused game on day one shouldn't be looking to reviews for information on whether or not the game will perform well when hundreds of thousands of people are playing it.

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (34610 posts) -

This is how I react to any news that Polygon has changed a review score:

#27 Posted by punkxblaze (2878 posts) -

Incidentally, I think this also comes back to the discussion of video game reviews vs traditional media reviews. A movie doesn't change once it comes out, barring a director's cut, an album doesn't change post release, a book doesn't (usually) change post release, and when these things do change, they're generally treated as separate entities from the original release. With games, the same game that came out on such and such a date can change dramatically via a patch or DLC. Look at, for example, Team Fortress 2 now vs release. The reviews of release day TF2 from however many years ago would be grossly inaccurate now.

#28 Posted by Hunter5024 (5173 posts) -

I think their variable scores are dumb because no one reads the same review multiple times, and because it makes their reviews feel like they have less conviction. However if you are going to have variable scores, this sounds like a pretty justified reason to bump it down. The Sim City one only felt weird to me because it never went back up to the original score, despite being the exact same game a few months later. Almost as if they changed its score just to reflect the opinions of the masses rather than how the reviewer actually felt. Especially because it's a well known tendency for reviewers to never touch a game again after they're finished reviewing it, which makes it kind of hard to believe that the review is indicative of the reviewers experience.

#29 Posted by ILikePopCans (713 posts) -

I like the idea of this, but it seems a little to late for this don't you think? The game has been out for both platforms for close to 2 weeks or more now.

Also, scores

#30 Posted by Pie (6936 posts) -

@monetarydread: The game sounds like it has been on fire since launch which was just over a month ago now

#31 Posted by erhard (347 posts) -

Who cares about Polygon? They are no better than Kotaku or IGN.

#32 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (360 posts) -

Worst site, worst layout, worst reviewers, and worst click baiting since Kotaku. Going back on reviews is just wrong. They should stand by their reviews.

So in the case of Arkham Origins, when it was initially reviewed and no bugs, or game breaking save issues had been discovered, they should have continued to recommend the game to people?

Seems kind of like a shitty, anti-consumer thing to do.

#33 Edited by project343 (2807 posts) -

I've been playing BF4 with minimal issues. It's probably the most satisfying multiplayer experience of the year. Can anecdotal experience really justify a 3-point drop?

#34 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@rockyraccoon37: That's what people have been doing for years prior. Consumers can think for themselves and it's not like the reviewer is to blame for actually liking or disliking a game. They aren't owned by publishersAt least some of them still aren't., therefore they have no responsibility if some users experience bugs and not them. They're just opinions, not gospel.

#35 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (496 posts) -

I have had VERY little issues with this game, so weird to me to hear people having so many issues. I turn it on and play multiplayer just fine.

#36 Posted by Pr1mus (3514 posts) -

Yeah..... BF4 isn't worse today than it was at launch.

This is just them again messing up and using that policy to fix a review that was shoddy to begin with.

Polygon, once again proving they are the fucking worst!

#37 Edited by cloudymusic (919 posts) -

It's sort of a shitty situation all around. If Polygon wants to be able to have a review of a game up on launch day, by definition they can only base that review off of experience they had playing the game prior to its release. In this case, pretty much the only opportunities they had to play it early were at tightly-controlled press events. Depending on what sort of audience they're shooting for, those launch-day views can be vitally important to a review publication, but publishing a review written under those conditions introduces some very obvious potential cause for concern.

On the other hand, if the goal of Polygon's reviews is to tell readers whether the game is actually worth playing, it's difficult to justify posting a review without even having had a chance to play the multiplayer in the wild, especially for a game that's almost entirely built around multiplayer. These sorts of incidents also illustrate how Polygon can review a game glowingly at release, make the publisher happy (due to the way Metacritic works) and then adjust their score downward days or weeks later once much of the usefulness of that review score has already passed and tons of readers may have already purchased the game, only to find it unplayable.

Maybe publications will start to push back on this stuff and refuse to post reviews based entirely on tighly-controlled play conditions. ...Nah.

#38 Posted by Milkman (16228 posts) -

I'm not sure what's sketchy about this. Whether you like it or not, this has always been their policy.

#39 Edited by MildMolasses (3194 posts) -

@nekroskop said:

They should stand by their reviews.

No, they should do their reviews properly the first time. Maybe after getting burned on big EA review events twice they should wise up and not post reviews for online focused games until they can test them out in a real world setting

#40 Edited by TechHits (1353 posts) -

@itwongo said:

What will happen when it's fixed?

the score will go up

#41 Edited by Ravelle (1049 posts) -

@counterclockwork87 said:

I have had VERY little issues with this game, so weird to me to hear people having so many issues. I turn it on and play multiplayer just fine.

You're lucky then, I had 8 crashes in one session. Starting with a freeze and soundloop crash, then I wasn't able to reconnect and when the game did finally launch I got "BF4.exe stopped working." crashes to desktop. I didn't get to finish one game.

A friend of mine who's playing the campaign even reported that crashing a lot and can't continue because the level won't even load anymore.

#42 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

Yes there is because they don't do it all the time. Even patches and huge updates should influence the score then but it does not. So yeah it was just another clickbait.

#43 Edited by Snail (8470 posts) -

It's dumb to change your review score over a temporary issue like this. There's hardly any point to it, and feels like an attention-getting gimmick.

#44 Posted by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

@pie said:

@ramone said:

As much as it's admirable that they are trying to keep their reviews relevant what has actually changed with BF4 since it launched? Wasn't it just as borked at launch as it is now?

"Battlefield 4 was reviewed at an EA-hosted review event at EA Redwood Shores on provided PCs with AMD 8-Core CPUs and crossfire'd AMD 7970 video cards. Additional time was spent in singleplayer and multiplayer on Xbox One and PS4 development kits. You can find additional information on Polygon's ethics policy here."

Really dumb

Exactly the same situation as with the Sim City review then. They also played that game at EA in a controlled environment, rated it a whooping "9,5", which is still the Polygon score at metacritic btw, and when the actual game came out, everything blew up.

You'd think they would learn at some point, but nope.

#45 Edited by chiablo (847 posts) -
@mildmolasses said:
@nekroskop said:

They should stand by their reviews.

No, they should do their reviews properly the first time. Maybe after getting burned on big EA review events twice they should wise up and not post reviews for online focused games until they can test them out in a real world setting

I agree. Posting a review a few days or even a week after release should be the norm. People who are going to buy the game day 1 would have already pre-ordered and don't care about the review score other than to justify the money they already spent. Protect the consumers who are patient enough to make informed decisions about the game based on review scores.

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

I hate to open up old wounds, but for the SimCity review, that was a true backpedal. They gave a near-perfect 9.5 review score to a game that is almost universally hated by the game's audience. They quickly dropped it down to 6.5 claiming that it's unplayable due to server issues. Except that they never returned it to 9.5 after the server issues were resolved, the glowing review is still 6.5 to this day.

Similarly (yet completely different), Diablo 3 was given a perfect 10 and the review score never changed despite the fact that the game was completely unplayable for the first week due to server outages. Nearly the same as SimCity's launch disaster.

If you're going to be changing review scores, at least be consistent about doing so!

#46 Edited by Marokai (2636 posts) -

I dislike just blindly quoting someone else, but a post from Neogaf expresses my own issues with this practice fairly reasonably:

Polygon reviewed SimCity three times. Their most recent reviewwas written on April 3rd and their main issues with the game were that "leaderboards remain inoperative and there's still a button on the UI that should trigger the fastest "cheetah" speed mode, but does nothing." Those issues have been fixed for months but they haven't found the time to issue a 4th review.

Polygon doesn't update reviews to keep them timely or relevant, they latch onto ongoing controversies and adjust their reviews accordingly in order to score more page views.

I'd be fine with their practice of updating reviews if they actually followed through with it and released a final, definitive review when whatever game in question is in a non-fluid state, but they don't do that.

Beyond that, BF4 came out, what, over a month ago? It's been pretty broken for people that entire time. They suddenly discovered this was a pervasive issue now? What the hell took so long?

Thanks for completely altering your recommendation on this product after millions of people have already spent their money on it. Maybe don't review multiplayer-focused games until you can review them under real-world conditions?

#47 Posted by Yillb (34 posts) -

@darji: Where exactly is the clickbait? The review isn't near the top and I don't see anything that says hey check out our updated score! Maybe the reviews page but it hasn't moved up.

If people didn't go looking for it would anyone complaining even know it changed?

#48 Posted by MildMolasses (3194 posts) -

@chiablo said:


Similarly (yet completely different), Diablo 3 was given a perfect 10 and the review score never changed despite the fact that the game was completely unplayable for the first week due to server outages. Nearly the same as SimCity's launch disaster.

If you're going to be changing review scores, at least be consistent about doing so!

The difference there is that that review was based on the live version. Nobody could even play enough to write a review until the dust settled. By that point the reviews were totally valid. Blizzard doesn't give early access to no one!

#49 Posted by chiablo (847 posts) -

@chiablo said:


Similarly (yet completely different), Diablo 3 was given a perfect 10 and the review score never changed despite the fact that the game was completely unplayable for the first week due to server outages. Nearly the same as SimCity's launch disaster.

If you're going to be changing review scores, at least be consistent about doing so!

The difference there is that that review was based on the live version. Nobody could even play enough to write a review until the dust settled. By that point the reviews were totally valid. Blizzard doesn't give early access to no one!

I stand corrected, good call!

#50 Edited by Hunkulese (2527 posts) -

@ramone said:

@artisanbreads said:

haha "backpedaled".... they can't win with some of you guys. Hilarious.

There is nothing wrong with this.

What if someone bought the game at launch based of the 7.5 review only to find that the game was fucked up and that the "real" score was a 4?

When they reviewed it it was a 7.5. When they posted the ps4/xbox one review the game had been patched and they didn't see any issues when they tried to play.

It's gotten worse instead of better since then so they changed the review to a 4. What exactly is wrong with what they did? People want their reviews as soon as possible and this is what can happen. If every review came out a month late so they could make sure they were posting the "real" score people would lose their shit.