I think all of the hypothesizing over whether people actually read the reviews or not is largely irrelevant. As has been said many times on the podcast, a review is primarily a means for which a consumer can make an informed decision. Metacritic and the like just aggregate a large sample of opinions. If someone is just looking at the score and making a call based on that - who cares? Hypothetically if someone gets burned too many times making decisions in this manner they will stop.
I think largely this is an area of focus for people who want to look at reviews more as an academic exercise. I think that looking at it that way is fine, but review sites have largely had trouble justifying going this route because of lack of interest (see: Polygon long-form articles). I think the way that scores are prevalent today proves out that those who don't want scores are a vocal minority.
Heck, even if scores did go away, that doesn't necessarily take away the need or want for numerical aggregation. Look at Rotten Tomatoes.
The reason I don't go there anymore is because of where it ended up. In the beginning they made some really great, really funny video content. I liked the daily Speed Run content and the Cooperatives, and all the other silly videos. The Besties was at times a brilliant podcast and really funny. It felt like Polygon was building up personalities. Then one day they just dropped all of that and it's turned into Ben Kuchera crappy sensationalist click bait articles. That combined with other people's complaints about the full-of-themselves moderators just all adds up to an unenjoyable experience. It seems less like they are changing the world and more like they are forcing us all to accept theirs. Rather than fostering new viewpoints, they are berating those who don't share theirs.
Hey if that's what it takes to get them clicks and keep some people employed, I wish them all the best. I don't begrudge anyone for looking out for their own best interests. I just have no future there if this is the type of content they produce.
While I partially agree with you, Nintendo spaces their marquis sequels out a lot more. Annual franchises are what fatigues a lot of people. However, I was DEFINITELY on the Call of Duty train for a long time and totally OK with the annual releases. Ghosts was the first game that finally broke it for me. Even Black Ops II was probably one of my favorite in the series when it was the newest.