What is going on with gaming reviews as of late? Why are games like Titanfall and Dark Souls 2 getting reviews even though the full experience isn’t available to the reviewer? The question is somewhat rhetorical, I know why, you need those page views (read ad revenue) which wi;; decrease if the review isn’t there day one. But you’re hurting the people who rely on those reviews to inform their purchasing decisions.
It seems to me that waiting to see what the online is like for Dark Souls 2 is important for the reviews. You could easily argue it’s critical to the review because it changes the game experience (covenants, invasions, summons etc.). Just like how the having the servers working and stable are important for Titanfall (or Battlefield, or SimCity). But alas, most sites ran their reviews anyway.
I trusted Polygon when they said SimCity was a 9.5. Then they lowered the score, which really upset me. It was like an extra special fuck you for trusting them. EA got their money, Polygon got their ad revenue, and I was out $60 with an unplayable game. The same happened with Battlefield 4 (which is at least playable now but the “to be fixed issues” are still numerous. It’s kind of bullshit. They’re here to protect the consumers. They should be our advocates.
When reviewers attend review events, they take what the developer (or publisher) tells them about the server stability as fact, and relay it to us as though it’s a fact. And it’s wrong. It’s kind of like if Consumer Reports gave a safety rating based on what the cars manufacture said rather than testing it themselves. That wouldn’t fly, and neither should this. In fact the FTC says, “Advertisers are subject to liability for false or unsubstantiated statements made through endorsements, or for failing to disclose material connections between themselves and their endorsers [see § 255.5]. Endorsers also may be liable for statements made in the course of their endorsements.” http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-publishes-final-guides-governing-endorsements-testimonials/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf A review is an endorsement according to the FTC. " A film critic’s review of a movie is excerpted in an advertisement. When so used, the review meets the definition of an endorsement because it is viewed by readers as a statement of the critic’s own opinions and not those of the film producer, distributor, or exhibitor."
So, can we trust reviews of games anymore? Why can’t game reviewers do their due diligence and test the retail version of a game? Why not forgo the ad revenue and do what‘s morally right? Jeff did right by me. He had his initial impression but held off on calling it a review. Bravo Jeff, thank you! It’s like Jeff said, “Stop pre-ordering games so you can actually get some use out of the reviews as actual purchasing advice.” http://blog.jeffgerstmann.net/post/43215496882/game-reviews-embargoes-and-a-reality-check But the advice I’m getting is poorly informed and created solely for purpose of generating page views, that is, ad revenue for the site. Reviewers aren’t fighting for us anymore.