Those user Metacritic reviews are fake right?

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DrBroel

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TLOU2 has over 60k user reviews after only 3 days. Two-thirds of which are 0s.

Breath of the wild has 17k reviews

Mario Odyssey has 5k review, both after 3 years.

Clearly there are bots at work. And people creating multiple accounts to rate the game low. Who is doing this and why?

I see reviews saying the game shoves its progressive politics down people throats. What?

Cuz there are lesbians and one minor character is transgender male?

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finaldasa

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#2  Edited By finaldasa

I mean it's pretty clear there are people bombing the user score for that game.

But there is more to the criticism than assholes who think lesbian and trans characters are bad. I've seen several trans people upset by the portrayal of the trans characters, people upset over the writing, people upset over the labor practices used to create the game.

I'm sure whatever shitstorm is creating the bulk of those user reviews is just your typical reactionary asshole who has probably already bought the game. However, don't let it drown out real criticism from the same groups the game claims to help promote and represent.

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Sweep

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#3  Edited By Sweep  Moderator

Naughty Dog has been labelled a "SJW Studio" and the internet has reacted accordingly. This was exacerbated by the fact that the script leaked and many people, including those who weren't intending to play the game, felt they were able to weigh in before it had even been released.

There's also a bunch of people out there who are review-bombing the game because of the expose on the shitty studio conditions over at Naughty Dog, and I expect a bunch of people reacting negatively to the way Druckmann has been presenting himself on social media.

The whole thing is kind of a mess, honestly. Kotaku did a nice write up on why metacritic scores are now essentially redundant.

EDIT: also I'm not kidding I played through that entire game and had no idea that Lev was trans until right this second. I'm having a phoenix-down moment... Suddenly a bunch of things make so much more sense.

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BisonHero

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@drbroel: As Sweep mentioned, Kotaku's recent article on Metacritic scores covers what you need to know. In this case, there were already 5,000 user scores when the game had been out for less than a full day.

Things that are improbable:

  • Metacritic has a dedicated userbase that diligently speedruns a 25-30 hour game nonstop the instant it is released so they can submit informed user reviews
  • Metacritic users have access to thousands of copies of the retail game from stores that broke street date, and have an informed user review ready to go when the game is officially out
  • Metacritic users are secretly also the professional games-reviewing press, and received early copies of the game and on top of writing for their normal publication, they are also dying for their opinions to get lost in a faceless mass of user reviews

Things that are probable:

  • People that spend their internet time on a certain flavour of insular subreddits, Discord servers, forums, etc., all convince each other they should attack this game for forcing its "progressive agenda" on players, and attack it by just submitting 0/10 review scores without having played the game
  • People that spend their internet time on a certain flavour of insular subreddits, Discord servers, forums, etc., all convince each other based on leaked spoilers that the writing is bad/inconsistent, so they attack the game by just submitting 0/10 review scores without having played the game

The sheer volume of TLoU2 user reviews on Metacritic in such a short time span is ridiculous. You'd never know the exact the numbers, but even now, probably <5% of those user reviews are from people who have ever touched the game.

User reviews on any website where you can't prove you've actually interacted with the work are just such a lost cause. You're not putting the accountability of yourself or your publication on the line, so user reviews have absolutely no integrity as people without a shred of ethics just make up accounts to give stuff either 0 or 10. It's 0 or 10 because the nuance of a score is meaningless; it's more important to those people to affect the average score as severely as possible with bad faith uninformed bulk user reviews than it is to just give one good faith informed user review and move on with your life.

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DrBroel

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@finaldasa: can you link the criticisms people are having about the portrayal of trans characters? I'm curious about what they are saying.

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NeverGameOver

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#6  Edited By NeverGameOver

I hate how everyone speaks purely in extreme hyperbole these days. It's a shame because the game -- mostly the story-- appears to be genuinely polarizing for legitimate reasons and I would be super curious of the real breakdown in scores without the nonsense.

Personally, I'm >25 hours in-- nearly done, and I still have no idea how I would score this game. My feelings on it are very complicated and very mixed. Maybe a 3/5 that feels like it should be lower due to expectations (TLOU was one of my favorite PS3 game)

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plan6

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I just want to remind everyone of the classic “As a repressed minority, I agree with all these Straight, white boys about the video game being bad” tactic of fake posting. If folks are interested in criticism of Levs character, I’m sure there are more reliable places to find it than the turd blossom that is metacritic.

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Sweep

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#8 Sweep  Moderator

@drbroel said:

@finaldasa: can you link the criticisms people are having about the portrayal of trans characters? I'm curious about what they are saying.

I also wasn't aware this was happening. I've already admitted in this thread that I didn't realise one of the characters even was trans until this was pointed out to me just now. That, if anything, should tell you that they're not explicitly shoving it down anyone's throat, so I'd be interested to know what the beef is?

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Intradictus

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#9  Edited By Intradictus

@sweep: The one that I've seen pop up a couple times (don't have links, I saw them pop up on a news article somewhere though) is that the trans characters life is depicted as being miserable because of their identity. A criticism i understand, but also not how I thought of the way that the character was portrayed (being vague because I don't know how to do spoiler tags on mobile lol)

The way I saw that character being treated by the people of the faction they belong to reminds me a bit of how i saw a couple of trans women being treated in the church i was made to attend growing up, minus the whole fungal apocalypse anyway. If anyone does have a critique by someone with a bit more insight I'd love to read it

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bigsocrates

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@intradictus: I think it’s more that the trans character’s suffering is portrayed in service to a cishet character’s emotional arc. Rather than be explored itself or having the trans character be the protagonist he is there to show how the cishet character changes and matured as a person and his suffering, directly related to his being trans, is appropriated for this purpose.

I can see why this rubs some people the wrong way. Trans characters are still rare in video games and this is one of the highest profile examples, but he is not the focus of his own story, which again relates directly to his being trans. Instead his story is in service to someone else’s emotional growth.

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Intradictus

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@bigsocrates: that makes a lot of sense, thanks, that does tie in with my main complaint with the game is that I wish they had done more with the side characters, I liked all of them but they don't spend as much time with you as they should have imo

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Sweep

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#12 Sweep  Moderator

@intradictus: I think it’s more that the trans character’s suffering is portrayed in service to a cishet character’s emotional arc. Rather than be explored itself or having the trans character be the protagonist he is there to show how the cishet character changes and matured as a person and his suffering, directly related to his being trans, is appropriated for this purpose.

I'm confused by this, mainly because I'm not sure how him being trans is at all related to the growth of the protagonist? It's not like she starts out being like "fuck all trans people" and then because he turns out to be a good kid she learns to accept him. I'd actually argue that the trans character is normalized pretty well. Him being trans is only really addressed in the context of the weird religious cult he belongs to, and they're.... y'know, a weird religious cult, so fuck those guys?

Having said that, I think having an Asian-American trans protagonist would have been awesome, and I'd have loved to explore those issues in the game properly rather than only alluding to them. But... it still feels like progress to me? Unless I'm being extremely obtuse?

There might have been a conversation I missed in the game that expands on this in greater detail, in which case I reserve the right to retract my opinions here!!

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navster15

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There are major concerns from trans and non-binary voices online that the overbearing embargo left no room for content warnings about gender related trauma being present in the game. This is a very fraught thing in a community that experiences more trauma than most and people are rightfully taking Naughty Dog to task for it.

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Sweep

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#14 Sweep  Moderator

There are major concerns from trans and non-binary voices online that the overbearing embargo left no room for content warnings about gender related trauma being present in the game. This is a very fraught thing in a community that experiences more trauma than most and people are rightfully taking Naughty Dog to task for it.

Alright, that's a more valid criticism that I can fully understand.

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Seikenfreak

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While it seems like there is some portion of the typical 0 for the sake of it crowd, everything I've looked at in terms of video reviews or a lot of the metacritic ones have been pretty negative on the game because of the story. And they don't even bring up any gender or SJW or labor practices etc.

It sounds like it's just bad, I guess particularly when compared to the first. I've never played the first one and didn't have any expectations to play Part 2, so it's interesting to sit back and watch all this play out. What I expect to happen is that any post-release press coverage are just going to dismiss any negative reviews of the game because they haven't looked themselves, assuming its all just bigoted assholes crying, when it seems to me like it is definitely not.

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Giant_Gamer

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I guess this huge impact is happening because of many reasons and i guess that some are just pure lies. For example, i read somewhere that Naughty Dog have been firing people based on politics?

When angry mobs have more reasons to hate you then the imapct is going to increase as reasons keep piling up.

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finaldasa

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@sweep: @drbroel: Mainly I've seen it on Twitter from friends.

The main point I've seen is using the trans character's deadname and misgendering them is crossing a line because the trans character is only used as a prop for violence. You don't get to see the characters living a normal life, being happy, or anything. You just see them struggling with violence and being oppressed.

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bigsocrates

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@sweep: The protagonist character doesn't start out as transphobic but she starts out as sort of selfish and obsessed with her own grief and need for revenge. Then she meets a trans character who is suffering because of transphobia and identifies with him, at which point she starts to grow more protective and eventually changes as a character. His experience with transphobia is a catalyst for her growth as a person. Meanwhile his story is pretty much ignored. He loses his mother and his sister during the course of the game and we never get to really hear about how he feels or processes that. By the end of the game he's basically literally just a thing that she carries around to show how she's changed as a character and his life is threatened in order to get her to do something she doesn't want to while he just lies there mutely.

His story, which again is directly tied to transphobia and the suffering it inflicts, is emphasized almost purely in terms of how it affects her, while we don't even see anything about he feels at the end when he's rendered mute for the big finale.

It's also worth noting that it seems like anti-LGBTQ sentiment is the only prejudice remaining at the end of the world. All these groups of fascists and religious fanatics are multi-racial with no hatred. It's very unrealistic and super weird that they choose to go into anti-LGBTQ stuff while leaving racism and misogyny and the like mostly alone. That is not at all how things would actually work. As a Jewish person I thought it was almost funny when Dina and Ellie break into the synagogue and surprise the Torah is there untouched. In the real world if there was an apocalypse and a synagogue had to be abandoned there would be swastikas all over that stuff and a lot of blame towards Jews for everything that happened. Anti-semitism, racism, all of that stuff would be extremely common in the world of The Last of Us, as would terrible treatment of women and all the other real world prejudices. None of that happens in the games. Instead everyone is totally harmonious despite being despicable people, except for their anti-LGBTQ prejudice, which is still in effect.

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navster15

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@bigsocrates: Naughty Dog’s treatment of race always feels like it gets sidestepped nowadays and I find it kind of infuriating. Yes, they did get shit for Uncharted 1 for having white protagonists gun down the uncivilized brown hordes, but it seems like they never learned from that. From hiring white actors to play people of color, to only including speaking roles for racialized characters who almost always end up dead for the white protagonists’ emotional growth, it’s something that’s pushed me away from their games over the years. I can’t speak to TLoU 2 specifically, but so far I’ve seen nothing that would change this perception for me.

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The zeros mean about as much to me as the 10s. Suggesting this game is completely unplayable or perfect is just silly.

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Deathstriker

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#21  Edited By Deathstriker

From what I've seen on Reddit, Youtube, etc. the main reason for the hate/backlash is for the golf club scene and making us play as a character that most people don't want to play as for hours. I'm sure there are some bigots out there, but that's not most the people who dislike or hate the game.

Ellie has been gay since the first game and that game is beloved. Most the people getting the hate are Abby who is straight and the game's director who is a guy. Much like The Last Jedi, this game has serious problems and tries too hard to subvert. It's not all or mostly because "oh no, it's a girl" lol.

Obviously the game isn't a 0/10, it's the best looking console game ever and the gameplay is good, but I think giving it a 10/10 is crazy too. Those high reviews won't age well, like the TV critics who reviewed the last season of GoT highly.

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#22  Edited By Arcitee

Someone giving it a 10 can make sense to me since the game is technically proficient enough and beautiful that if the story and or accessibility features really connect with them it could be a 10.

The 0s make no sense and are clearly from people that did not play it and hate it for political reasons.

0 to me represents a game that bricks your system on install. In a world where Anthem and Andromeda get 5s, 6s and 7s a 0 is a nonfunctional wreck of an experience.

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plan6

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Personally, I can’t wait for the hype cycle and backlash to end so that good critically discussion can happen.

Except the labor stuff. Drag them for that shit.

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bigsocrates

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@arcitee: I don't know that the 0s are necessarily for people who hated it for political reasons. People give 0s to games that make them unhappy for all kinds of dumb reasons.

It's not a rational score for this game, though. I think it's fine not to like it for a bunch of reasons (obviously not bigoted reasons but like because it is very slow paced or because you dislike the story) but it's absurd to say it's a 0.

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Arcitee

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@bigsocrates: That's what I mean it's absurd to say a game this technically proficient is a 0 (im sure some will say it isnt but compared to a lot other games it is superior) so if there is no rational for the 0 it must be for irrational reasons.

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bigsocrates

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@arcitee: It's just people angry for whatever reason and lashing out. You see 0s on just about every major game for all kinds of incredibly stupid reasons. People are immature. Of course some of them are literal children.

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Arcitee

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@bigsocrates: this time around a lot more people, including all the children, are home and bored too.

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DrBroel

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#28  Edited By DrBroel

@sweep said:
@bigsocrates said:

@intradictus: I think it’s more that the trans character’s suffering is portrayed in service to a cishet character’s emotional arc. Rather than be explored itself or having the trans character be the protagonist he is there to show how the cishet character changes and matured as a person and his suffering, directly related to his being trans, is appropriated for this purpose.

I'm confused by this, mainly because I'm not sure how him being trans is at all related to the growth of the protagonist? It's not like she starts out being like "fuck all trans people" and then because he turns out to be a good kid she learns to accept him. I'd actually argue that the trans character is normalized pretty well. Him being trans is only really addressed in the context of the weird religious cult he belongs to, and they're.... y'know, a weird religious cult, so fuck those guys?

Yeah, Lev is defiantly is not a prop. Abby isn't trying to save him because he's trans. She's just trying to save Yara and Lev cuz they are innocent kids. The game doesn't even reveal that he is trans until you have already spent hours with him. And the game just treats this reveal like it is just one of many character moments. Not for shock value. Which I was really worried the game would do.

If you want to talk about progress. How about a AAA that stars two fully formed female characters. And an extensive road following an inter-racial lesbian couple. All of which feels completely organic and not just checking some diversity checklist. I mean that is beyond rare in the AAA or even AA market.

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imhungry

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Why are we suddenly acting like user review bombing is a new thing?

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OMGFather

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#30  Edited By OMGFather

@bigsocrates said:

@arcitee: It's just people angry for whatever reason and lashing out. You see 0s on just about every major game for all kinds of incredibly stupid reasons. People are immature. Of course some of them are literal children.

The story is poor and a huge step down from TLOU1, that's a very valid reason to rate it low when it's such a story focused series. I don't blame people for lashing out at it. Rating it 0, while extreme, is the only way to get the review average down amidst all those 10/10 best game ever reviews which are equally as stupid. It's either one extreme or the other.

Obviously, it goes without saying those rating it low just because of character's genders or what not aren't worth talking about...

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chaser324

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#31 chaser324  Moderator

Metacritic reviews are the last place to go for any meaningful perspective on games.

That said, there's a lot of legitimate criticism to level towards both the game and Naughty Dog's development practices, and it really sucks that the feedback is also interspersed with inane homophobic/transphobic/misogynistic trash comments.

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Arcitee

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@omgfather: considering how many 0s went up in the first day and following few days its impossible to highly unlikely that they were from people that played it.

They didnt experience the story to judge it they saw the leaks and decided they hated aspects of it or characters.

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Intradictus

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@arcitee: I checked metacritic at about 1230 the day the game came out because I figured that there was going to be a review bomb and there were already a couple thousand 0 reviews up.

I don't understand the logic of review bombing the game, even if you have complaints about the story that aren't just because you don't like gay or trans people the game is not a 0 or 1, and all you're doing is lumping yourself in with those reviews and will likely get dismissed out of hand because of that.

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Shindig

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Metacritic reviews are the last place to go for any meaningful perspective on games.

It's my first port of call if I need a consensus on something. It directs me to opinions and opinions are what I need.

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north6

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Why did I read this thread, absolutely full of spoilers. This site is the worst sometimes, christ.

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plan6

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Metacritic is the place I go when I need the yahoo answers of video game reviews. Right up there with Yelp reviews, honestly.

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@drbroel: “cuz one is a lesbian and a minor character is a transgender male”

Personally the liberal bullshit line I had a problem with was both of the pregnant female characters having a line about how it’s none of a man’s business what she does with her pregnant body.

But yeah, there is some element of shenanigans with the reviews. But I would also say that TLOU is an INTENTIONALLY provoking game, social views aside, so it’s reasonable that people come away with stronger reactions than Zelda or Mario.