Critics sometimes have no idea what they're talking about.

Critics really piss me off sometimes. I don't mind if they critisise a game fairly and mention fair points, like generic gameplay or a poor story. But the thing that really annoys me is when they don't take a game for what it is.
 
For example, 2008. Alone In The Dark comes out. Torn apart by critics complaining that all off the cool features are too clunky and the last half of the game becomes too much of a grind. But all of these so-called "clunky" features was what made it unique. Like swinging your analogue stick to use melee weapons was somewhat rough. I've never seen any game since that one attempt anything like it. It was a really memorable game for everything it tried to do and had some really cinematic moments, like the driving sequence early on in the game (many said that it was too hard but somehow I managed to finish it first time). Even if some of these attempts didn't work too well. I'd give it maybe a 7.5 or 8 out of 10.
 
And now, the exact same thing is happening with Duke Nukem Forever. Critics are destroying it, calling it awful with it's clunky shooting, dated design and poor visuals.  While I can agree that the shooting is somewhat clunky, this can be remedied by simply turning up the aiming sensitivity, and while the visuals are bad, they are just dated. There is nothing really awful about them, it just looks a few years old. All of these issues are expected for a game in development for 14 years. I think the problem is that people have inflated expectations because of this rather than sensible ones. I never had this as I knew a long development time usually meant a worse design philosophy, not a better one. So I expected a 6.5/10. And what did I end up with? An 8.5. Feel free to read my review to see why. 
 
Anyway, tl;dr: Critics are pissing me off and have no idea what they are talking about because they approach games with what they should be aiming for and not what they are actually aiming for. For example, AiTD just aimed to be a cinematic ride with some cool mechanics, not a third person survival horror with amazingly in-depth melee combat. And now with Duke Nukem Forever, the game just aims to be a really fun and enjoyable return to the world of Duke Nukem, not a FPS with fast, sharp controls and a emotionally moving story.
 
Critics need to learn to take a game for what it is, not what it should be.

Because if they don't, the consumers won't either. And they won't even give these great games a chance.
 
P.S: Don't keep going "shut the fuck up bad game is bad game". It gets old fast.
 
And on another note, I ended up in a Gametrailers gameplay video for DNF multiplayer. Check it out here if you want: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2011-duke-nukem/716273

48 Comments
49 Comments
Posted by GunGraveTZA

Critics really piss me off sometimes. I don't mind if they critisise a game fairly and mention fair points, like generic gameplay or a poor story. But the thing that really annoys me is when they don't take a game for what it is.
 
For example, 2008. Alone In The Dark comes out. Torn apart by critics complaining that all off the cool features are too clunky and the last half of the game becomes too much of a grind. But all of these so-called "clunky" features was what made it unique. Like swinging your analogue stick to use melee weapons was somewhat rough. I've never seen any game since that one attempt anything like it. It was a really memorable game for everything it tried to do and had some really cinematic moments, like the driving sequence early on in the game (many said that it was too hard but somehow I managed to finish it first time). Even if some of these attempts didn't work too well. I'd give it maybe a 7.5 or 8 out of 10.
 
And now, the exact same thing is happening with Duke Nukem Forever. Critics are destroying it, calling it awful with it's clunky shooting, dated design and poor visuals.  While I can agree that the shooting is somewhat clunky, this can be remedied by simply turning up the aiming sensitivity, and while the visuals are bad, they are just dated. There is nothing really awful about them, it just looks a few years old. All of these issues are expected for a game in development for 14 years. I think the problem is that people have inflated expectations because of this rather than sensible ones. I never had this as I knew a long development time usually meant a worse design philosophy, not a better one. So I expected a 6.5/10. And what did I end up with? An 8.5. Feel free to read my review to see why. 
 
Anyway, tl;dr: Critics are pissing me off and have no idea what they are talking about because they approach games with what they should be aiming for and not what they are actually aiming for. For example, AiTD just aimed to be a cinematic ride with some cool mechanics, not a third person survival horror with amazingly in-depth melee combat. And now with Duke Nukem Forever, the game just aims to be a really fun and enjoyable return to the world of Duke Nukem, not a FPS with fast, sharp controls and a emotionally moving story.
 
Critics need to learn to take a game for what it is, not what it should be.

Because if they don't, the consumers won't either. And they won't even give these great games a chance.
 
P.S: Don't keep going "shut the fuck up bad game is bad game". It gets old fast.
 
And on another note, I ended up in a Gametrailers gameplay video for DNF multiplayer. Check it out here if you want: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2011-duke-nukem/716273

Posted by commodore64

How dare they have a differing opinion. 
I disagree with your opinion. It doesn't and shouldn't "piss me off".

Edited by DeeGee

Critics took this game for exactly what it is, dated. Nothing different about it, it's what games used to be like 12 years ago.

Posted by buft

we get it you bought the game and liked it, no need to come on here make the same freaking topic thats already on the board, critics judge the game on its merits and do so supposedly unbiased. you need to fucking understand that.

Posted by Brendan

ugh...

Posted by BrainSpecialist
@GunGraveTZA: Unique doesn't mean good. 
 
Alone in The Dark wasn't torn apart because it was clunky, it was torn apart because it was broken. Duke Nukem Forever has dated graphics, but it's being sold as a new game. If those games were sold for half the price, maybe critics would've been kinder because they had levels of quality akin to budget releases. 
 
If you sell a budget title as a blockbuster, there are sure to be people who complain.
Posted by RVonE

Critics that don't justify my purchase decisions piss me off!

Posted by valrog

Obligatory Best of GameTrailers video. 
  

Edited by GunGraveTZA
@buft
Whoops.

@BrainSpecialist:
Well I never found AiTD broken. And I was playing on the 360 version, the apparently worst verison of it.
And the thing that pisses me off is everyone expected a blockbuster. It was a sequel to a game from the late 90s, where you played an 80s action hero parody. It was in development for 14 years, where they scrapped it every few years for being too shi- for not being "perfect" enough. When gameplay of it was finally shown, it looked dated and rough. 

Yet people still had inflated expectations of it. And by inflated I mean they expected it to stand up to modern day games, which it obviously can't. And all critics would naturally compare it to modern day games because it's their job. So if you take it for what it is, it's great. Which is why I'd give it an 8.5/10.
 
But now a good chunk of people won't thanks to the awful reviews.
Posted by HubrisRanger

I'm reminded of that APB quote. "Remember APB for what it was supposed to be, not what it turned out to be." I think that the vast majority of the criticism of both of the games you've mentioned were valid. Yes, Duke Nukem Forever is a throwback to a forgotten era of shooters, but it also has a bunch of design elements that aren't in games anymore for a reason. To say "This game would have been top of class about ten years ago" and then give it a score that isn't consistent with how you rate everything else that comes down the pipe is dishonest and does nothing for the consumer who is trusting you, as a critic, to give your honest impression of the game.

And as others have said, it is all subjective reaction. People need to get out of this mindset that critics have a shared agenda against specific games, and that the game press Illuminati targets certain titles to ensure their failure. Plus, game criticism just like all other criticism shouldn't affect your appreciation of something. If you really like old-school shooters with extended campaigns and first-person platforming, don't let anyone else's opinion sway you to think otherwise. But always be prepared for your opinion to be in the minority.

Case in point: I fucking love Alpha Protocol. While certain mechanics of that game are broken beyond repair, the way it progresses its narrative is so fascinating that I can't help but hold a flame for it. But when people talk about it with such disdain, I don't allow that to change my opinion or perspective on that game; I just recognize I am in the minority for seeing that game as a great example of where RPG narrative can go, and live on my little lonely island. If you feel that the general consensus always needs to match your personal perspective, prepare for a life of disappointment because you'll eventually be on the outside looking in.

Posted by GunGraveTZA
@HubrisRanger: Great argument. :)
 
I'm just pissed because now about 20% of people considering to buy DNF won't thanks to the reviews. And most of them probably haven't even tried it for themselves.
Posted by Jams

@GunGraveTZA: I pretty much agree with everything you've said. But unfortunately it isn't going to happen. We have to be the ones to look past reviews and see for ourselves if it's a game we'll like. What that means is though games are going to progress more and more in a direction that we won't like. Jeff was complaining in the DNF:QL about 1st person platforming and how we've evolved away from that for a reason. I find that to me so untrue (for myself) that I was flabbergasted when he said it. I think the platforming in DNF is great and I think that we evolved in the wrong direction. Now it's all straight running door to door. At least in duke I have to figure my way around a map.

Every review for DNF starts with. Back in the day this was great, but we've all grown up. Even though they were all in their 20's when D3D came out. DNF feels like a game style that should have never been left behind. I find it more enjoyable than some modern games I've been playing. I haven't even been able to finish L.A. Noire because I find the game so fucking boring, the driving TERRIBLE and the textures are extremely low res. But it seems to get raving reviews from everyone. I don't know why.

Posted by Jaqen_HGhar

Still waiting for my Balls of Steel... Edition, so I have only played the demo so far. It didn't play as well as I wish it would. Seeing all of these critics saying it sucks, seeing all these other people saying it sucks, do I care? No, not really. I bet I'll have an enjoyable time with it, even though it's not the best game in the world. Do I regret pre-ordering it? No, not really. Even if the game sucks so hard I can't finish it, I will get an awesome bust of The Duke. That's something at least.

People seem to forget that every review is someones opinion. Something one reviewer thinks of as clunky or dated might been viewed as something revolutionary or nostalgic by another.

So it's the same old song and dance. Opinions are like assholes. They all stink.

Posted by Milkman

Whatever helps you justify that $60 purchase, dude.

Online
Posted by Gre

Jeff's review of Duke Nuke'm is very fair.  He straight out says that some people, especially those who have followed the Duke saga for years and really want to see what came out of all that, should play the game.  But he can't recommend to anyone just looking for a good, compelling shooter.  You can only "take it for what it is" if you know its history and are interested in it.  If you don't care about 14 years of development or the experience of opening a time capsule and finding 1990's gameplay, it is not going to be cool to you, it's just going to be a mediocre game.

Posted by theoldhouse
@valrog said:
Obligatory Best of GameTrailers video. 
  
The uncharted to modern warfare bit is amazing 
 
Shane is the biggest moron on any video game related website
Posted by Popogeejo

Critics need to learn to take a game for what it is, not what it should be.

 
But then every game would be considered perfect. Critics look at what a game tries to do and then asses whether or not that worked. If could be better then you say so. Remember, game reviewing is still partially Consumer advice. For Alone in the Dark it was looking at the new control method and deciding it was clunky. That it was unique doesn't really matter because they didn't feel good and this is likely why you don't see them anywhere else. 
 
For DNF just because the dated issues are expected doesn't excuse them. Times have moved on and Duke doesn't get a free pass because of it's unfortunate history. A game released today is held to today's standards.
It's as simple as that.

Posted by shinigami420

Yeah so true even gaintbomb

Brad: Hurp a derp its a kiddy game and its linear and is like 6 hours long

When in fact its open world its gets pretty challenging and the game is like 15+ hours long fucking bullshit

Fucking pathetic

RIP GAMEREPUBLIC

Edited by DeeGee

@shinigami420

I don't think you understand the difference between a Quick Look and a Review.

Posted by shinigami420

@DeeGee said:

@shinigami420

I don't think you understand the difference between a Quick Look and a Review.

Hes misrepresenting the game

Posted by Tennmuerti
@GunGraveTZA said:
 
Critics need to learn to take a game for what it is, not what it should be. Critics need to learn to accept a game that's different.  Because if they don't, the consumers won't either. And they won't even give this great game a chance.
You should take your own advice.
The game IS poor and dated. This game came out now, and costs $50-60. Just like every other game. The critic's job is to tell the customers if the product is worth their money regardless if the game has been made in half a year or 20 years. Taking a long time to make the game is no excuse for shitty quality.
Posted by Cloudenvy

This thread makes me legitimately sad.

Posted by DeeGee

@shinigami420: Well the video makes it pretty obvious that he hasn't played the game, as is usually the nature of quick looks. The section seen in the video is linear and kiddy, so I can't blame him for saying that based on his experience with the game at the time.

Posted by DonPixel

@GunGraveTZA: I really recomend you to go read Ben Kuchera´s Ars Technica review of Duke Nukem:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2011/06/duke-nukem-forever-review-barely-playable-unfunny-and-rampantly-offensive.ars

He makes more sense in a few lines than all the dumb shit you just wrotte.

Opinions are fabrications of a person, In such case it shouldn´t be rare to no one you can ¨Improve¨ or ¨Get Better¨ at opinions - Based in your education background, Experience in a subject, or Plain and simple Above the average skill.

Posted by Gamer_152

Sorry but I agree with pretty much none of your points. Just because reviewers have a differing opinion to yours doesn't mean that they don't know what they're talking about, while I may disagree with a lot of reviewers I've found pretty much no big-name reviewers in games journalism today who don't have at least an adequate knowledge of the medium.

In a case like Alone in the Dark it sounds like you enjoyed the game mechanics a lot more than the critics did, that's not a bad job on the part of the journalists, that's a differing opinion, and if you are saying the game should genuinely have been scored highly entirely based on the uniqueness of the game then I'd argue that while uniqueness should always be encouraged, the thing that should take presidence is how fun the gameplay is and I think critics would agree. Again though, maybe uniqueness is just more enjoyable for you than it is for them, that's another differing opinion.

In the case of Duke Nukem Forever, the reviewers were judging the game based on how fun the game really is as a 2011 FPS game, despite the development history that it went through. The reviewers were all aware of how long DNF had been in development but it was their opinion that the game should be judged as a game of modern times, not one of fourteen years ago, again, this is not a problem with the knowledge of the reviewers, you and they just have a differing opinion on how the game should be assessed and how much its problems can be overlooked.

You say that critics need to judge a game for what it is and not what it should be but when you judge a game on what it is, you unavoidably end up judging what it should be. If you judge a game as ugly then you end up judging that it should be better-looking, if you judge a game as boring then you end up judging that it should be more fun, and so on. Reviewers on the whole are absolutely ready for games that are different, they always have been, and many of them are even clamouring for more originality in the games industry, but it's the opinion of the large majority, including the critics, that a game should not be applauded just for being different, a game should be applauded for playing well. Once again though, that's an opinion.

We all have differing opinions and when it comes down to it, a reviewer's opinions will always differ in places from those of their readers, but a reviewer isn't there to try and say that their opinion is law, they simply provide their opinion and it's up to the reader to judge, based on what they have written, whether the game would be suitable for them. For this reason the big-name reviewers in work today have opinions which generally reflect those of the large majority of games consumers, it just seems that you are in the minority, you have a unique opinion, and there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't make the reviewers any less competent at their jobs. If the reviewers didn't give Duke Nukem Forever a chance then this will obviously be reflected by the fact that their reviews are full of invalid criticisms of the game. Read through the reviews again, are the views expressed ignorant and uninformed, or are they simply based on a system of values which differ from yours?

Moderator
Posted by BrainSpecialist
@GunGraveTZA: Why should someone give something different ratings because of its history? If either game wasn't supposed to be a blockbuster, it shouldn't have been marketed as one. 
 
People shouldn't have expected as much? They expected a game that matched up to modern standards because that's what every other game has to do. LA Noire was in development for seven years, that didn't end up with dated visuals or gameplay. Why should DNF get a free pass? If its going to be sold as a dated game, it should've been sold for half the price.
Posted by theoldhouse
@DeeGee: Shinigami is actually right here. It paints a bad picture of a great and overlooked game and that sucks.
Posted by Make_Me_Mad
@shinigami420
Oh man, that quick look was terrible.  Brad must have been having a bad day, or just felt like shitting all over a game for no reason or something.
Online
Posted by Ramone

During E3 Jeff said that when he writes reviews he puts the consumer first and I honestly believe that he and most other reviewers do this. When he gives a game 2 stars he is taking into account the fact that a lot of consumers can't just buy every game that comes out and that when they purchases something it should be comparable to it's contemporaries. DNF clearly isn't. It's also not fair to say that critics shouldn't have expected it to be great. If before game X came out a PR person said 'We know this game isn't going to compete with your Uncharteds and Arkham Asylums so please score it appropriately' it wouldn't be right for critics to change their scores because they're still charging the same amount for it and it's in a box and to the average consumer it should be able to compete with these games.

Posted by Ramone

@shinigami420 said:

@DeeGee said:

@shinigami420

I don't think you understand the difference between a Quick Look and a Review.

Hes misrepresenting the game

In a way, yes he is, however this is more coverage for this game than any other site is going to give also Vinny seems to like it and finally if I know the person talking about a game hasn't played it all the way through I take their opinion with a grain of salt.

Posted by mikey87144

The critics are protecting us from having to play this pile of garbage. If you really want to know what their main sticking point is listen to the Bombcast. Brad says that a game such as this has no business being offered for $60 when superior experiences are available for the same or less. Why shouldn't they rip it apart? Plus they've been saying for months that the game is bad.

Posted by President_Barackbar

Jeff said on one of the E3 Bombcasts that something he wants to see happen as a game reviewer is to give a game a bad score, only to have people totally disagree with him, buy the game anyways, and have a lot of fun with it because it was more to their taste than his and they were able to recognize that.

Posted by Jams

@President_Barackbar said:

Jeff said on one of the E3 Bombcasts that something he wants to see happen as a game reviewer is to give a game a bad score, only to have people totally disagree with him, buy the game anyways, and have a lot of fun with it because it was more to their taste than his and they were able to recognize that.

I loved when he said that. and to Jeff; it totally worked on me. Now that I know how he judges a game, I can't adjust my comprehension accordingly.

Edited by RelentlessKnight

great another person complaining about their favourite game being bashed. Just keep whining, NO MORE CARES

Posted by CL60

The only thing that makes me mad about reviews is how many people trust them all 100% If you've avoided buying games that haven't gotten great reviews, you have missed some awesome games.

Posted by EvilTwin
@shinigami420 said:

@DeeGee said:

@shinigami420

I don't think you understand the difference between a Quick Look and a Review.

Hes misrepresenting the game

I agree to some extent, but the problem is that people want it both ways.  They want to see the next hilarious joke filled Harry Potter or Dragonball: Evolution quick look, but they get upset when they perceive that a game they like isn't given a fair shake.  The least informative quick looks are usually the most entertaining and the least entertaining ones are usually the most dry and informative ones.  The fact is that they don't have time to play through every single game that they do a quick look for, so, they're going to play through what they can and give their impressions.  That's what quick looks are.  You're just going to have to accept it and take the good with the bad.
Posted by laserbolts

I know its more than likely already been said but the reviews are opinions so fuck off getting all butt hurt over it. As for duke nukem if the game is as bad as it looks they shouldn't be charging 60 bucks for it. Just play the game and enjoy it based on your own experience not what some stranger on the internet says.

Posted by DeeGee

@EvilTwin said:

@shinigami420 said:

Hes misrepresenting the game

I agree to some extent, but the problem is that people want it both ways. They want to see the next hilarious joke filled Harry Potter or Dragonball: Evolution quick look, but they get upset when they perceive that a game they like isn't given a fair shake. The least informative quick looks are usually the most entertaining and the least entertaining ones are usually the most dry and informative ones. The fact is that they don't have time to play through every single game that they do a quick look for, so, they're going to play through what they can and give their impressions. That's what quick looks are. You're just going to have to accept it and take the good with the bad.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life.

Posted by OneManX

If the game was like 20 bucks... I bt it would be a WAY easier pill to swallow. considering it's around the price of BLOPS, BFBC2 and cheaper than Halo: Reach... it just doesnt stand up to stronger FPS titles.

Posted by Feigr

@jams said:

@GunGraveTZA: I pretty much agree with everything you've said. But unfortunately it isn't going to happen. We have to be the ones to look past reviews and see for ourselves if it's a game we'll like. What that means is though games are going to progress more and more in a direction that we won't like. Jeff was complaining in the DNF:QL about 1st person platforming and how we've evolved away from that for a reason. I find that to me so untrue (for myself) that I was flabbergasted when he said it. I think the platforming in DNF is great and I think that we evolved in the wrong direction. Now it's all straight running door to door. At least in duke I have to figure my way around a map.

Every review for DNF starts with. Back in the day this was great, but we've all grown up. Even though they were all in their 20's when D3D came out. DNF feels like a game style that should have never been left behind. I find it more enjoyable than some modern games I've been playing. I haven't even been able to finish L.A. Noire because I find the game so fucking boring, the driving TERRIBLE and the textures are extremely low res. But it seems to get raving reviews from everyone. I don't know why.

You raise a lot of good points. I also reacted to Jeff saying that we evolved away from first person platforming. Yeah cause everyone hated Portal right! ;)

I really did not like the faux pretentious act from Jeff and Ryan in the Quick Look. They have to fucking decide if they want Quick Looks to be informative or entertaining. Hearing them sigh and complain about humor they don't like is neither entertaining nor especially informative. Have you also noticed how they always pick people for the Quick Looks who agree with each other? Maybe this is a product of most of them knowing each other for such a long time, and either being socially convenient or they have just gravitated towards having the same opinion. I really wonder what that Quick Look would have been like if Ryan for example thought that everything Duke said was hilarious.

The part about not liking the Duke humor anymore because you've "grown up" is bullshit. It has nothing to do with that. And them talking about how a Duke game today has to be some sort of post modern commentary or parody of Duke to work is just sad. Not everything has to be picked apart and spat out and be made into some sort of commentary of itself. You can make something that is just straight forward and its own thing and that perfectly fine too. And if it is dated and referential as all hell so what? Some people including me appreciate that sort of thing from time to time.

Also when it comes to the review it's the same thing as the Brink review, you have to understand who the reviewer is and what kind of games he likes. As far as Jeff is concerned I do not listen to him when it comes to non-CoD shooters or MMOs because he has no fucking clue what he's talking about, but when it comes to fighting games for example he knows his stuff and I'd trust any fighting game review he writes more than most others.

Posted by lusence
@GunGraveTZA: I agree I really liked Alone in the dark and never even bothered with the reviews. im fing shocked about some of the reviews this game got, made yahoo news... from the first scene, of the game to where im at i think its been really fun and cool, dont get these reviews they seem like they are just being mean and not really playing the game...
Edited by JTB123
@valrog: Thanks for posting that, I've never seen it before :)
 
On topic, I think the OP highlights one if things that annoys me the most regarding reviews nowadays, the fact so much importance is put on the score and not the content of the review. People only seem to care what score a game gets which is really bad, read the review and make your choice based on that, not the score.
Posted by Pibo47

"shut the fuck up bad game is bad game"

Posted by ChickenPants
@RVonE said:

Critics that don't justify my purchase decisions piss me off!

This.
 
The game is still 60 dollars and should be judged like any other game release. You don't judge games on their intent. That would be bullshit. It is not  really ''fun and enjoyable'' to the world of Duke Nukem, it's garbage. But, if you think like that man, that's cool. Just because you would of given it a 8.5(who fucking cares) doesn't mean the critics don't know what they're talking about.
 
You're also attaching way too much importance to scores - It's ridiculous.
 
There really should be some sort of term for this Stockholm Syndrome-like effect that gamers get when they feel the need to valiantly defend a product from a huge company from any form of criticism.
Posted by YoungFrey
Posted by UlquioKani

Firstly, a game needs to be judged against others on the market. Duke Nukem is 60 dollars. It has to be compared to others on the market because they are the same cost. Also reviewers were expecting the game to be crap because it had been in development for 14 years because it has switched development teams alot. Also, they if a reviewer expects something of a game and it doesn't deliver, they don't criticize it. For example last year everyone was expecting Assassin's Creed Brotherhood to a be a multiplayer focused game but it turned out to have a massive story and reviewers were not expecting this. They did not go and give a bad score for it because of this

Posted by HatKing

Horribly stupid jokes and misquoted movie lines were always horribly stupid jokes and misquoted movie lines.  The piss poor sense of humor has nothing to do with the game being old, and it is the sophomoric jokes that seem to be the killing blow for this game.

Posted by Binman88

I can't speak to the quality of DNF, but I absolutely agree with your thread title.

Posted by FreakAche