Game Reviews… Are They Even Worth Looking At?

by: 
hello world!
| May 24, 2022

Game reviews, I swear they can either prevent a person from buying a horrible game or keep them from buying something they might actually enjoy. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts right into my brain, dividing me on whether I should or shouldn’t buy a game that looks genuinely interesting to ME!

So, I want to provoke some thoughts and share ideas on why I don’t always follow game and user reviews. I’d also love for people to share their thoughts below on whether they rely on reviews before making purchases or not. So let me hear your thoughts, dammit!

Why don’t we take Elden Ring, developed by From Software, as an example? Let us be real here, Elden Ring is a particular game for a specific audience but had a solid release, with millions of copies sold!

Naturally, people who loved playing the Dark Souls series will, of course, love the game. One of many reasons why it came out so strong, in my opinion, is because of the name that is also attached to it, George R.R. Martin.

Don’t get me wrong here; George is a fantastic writer. However, that should not be why people look into Elden Ring or any other game. My reason is that this is a company that built a reputation in the past 10 years for developing games that are very difficult to play. One should think to research a game developer a bit more aside from having a prominent author attached to it.

Let’s talk about user reviews; Elden Ring has been getting review bombed by players who have a hard time playing the game or making arguments about performances. Look at MetaCritic’s user review scores. Many reviews show that critical reviews have given Elden Ring a score of the mid-’90s from PC to consoles throughout. However, the score sits at around 6.8 for PC and a high 7 for consoles. When looking at user reviews, there seem to be many people giving negative reviews for lack of performance. I shit you not; I saw a review that gave it a 2 because it didn’t support ULTRAWIDE…..really bro?

Lack of performance can be understandable but the ultrawide? C’mon man..

So how do we get through the white noise and figure out what is a legitimate opinion within those reviews? The short answer is that you don’t. Again people will always have an opinion on experiences that will differ from yours. How do we look for something that isn’t biased from one end of the spectrum to the other?

One idea I have (for now) to do legitimate game reviews is by using Twitch effectively! I have used Twitch on many occasions when new AAA games get released. You get the reactions from the streamer, how the game looks in real-time as they play it, and how the streamer plays it. Try going to a smaller streamer’s channel and ask them how they feel about the game, and nine times out of 10, they will give you their opinions on it that can be constructive. Straight from the horse’s mouth and no bullshit. In my opinion, Twitch can allow you to figure out if the game is even worth your time and attention.

YouTuber and Twitch streamer “Kruz” aka Kruzadar playing Elden Ring! (Not a small streamer but hey I enjoy watching her content!)

Of course, you can always say, “Meh, fuck it, I’ll buy it since it looks interesting.” Avoid everything that people say about the game and just play it. Take the chance and see if it’s your type or not (usually, I do that for early access titles or more miniature games).

I want to hear what all you gamers think of everything I have said! Do you utilize game reviews to determine what you buy? Or do you develop other ways to figure out if a game is worth your time? Again these are my words, not yours, and I cannot wait to see what your responses are in the comments below the article!

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10 comments on “Game Reviews… Are They Even Worth Looking At?”

  1. I only play like 2 or 3 games a year. But the ones I buy, I spend a good amount of time on! I absolutely loved The Last of Us 2, when everyone else seemed to hate it. So I don’t listen to anyone else. I don’t necessarily consider myself a “gamer” so other people’s opinions don’t tend to hold a lot of weight for me. I go almost solely off of game trailers and gameplay previews.

    The next one I’m looking forward to is “Stray”. Just because it looks cool, and I love cats. It might turn out to be awful, but I’ll be giving it a chance!

    1. See that’s the thing too about The Last of Us games. Some people like it, some people don’t. I loved the first Last Of Us, but not as much as the second, but the gameplay was really solid though! Not everyone will have the same opinion, and I am starting to drift to just looking at the game itself and ignoring most reviews. Be it positive or negative, I just can’t take them seriously anymore.

      I did see a trailer about Stray and honestly, it looks really interesting too!

  2. I believe a genuine game review is helpful regardless if it’s a negative or a positive one. (Not talking about the review bombers or Ultrawide hyper critic). As long as the review gives you a sense of what playing the game is like and you have the ability to digest what is being said then you can make an informed dev based on your own taste and preferences.

    Someone could shut all over a game but if they say it does X,Y, and Z things that I love in games. Then I am going to consider it further and look for hood reviews by people and why they liked it.

    1. That’s a good way of looking at it, Dan! In a way, you are looking for the “Gist” of what the gameplay mechanics can be about, good or bad?

  3. Honestly, I think it really helps to find a reviewer you know you can “trust.”
    Allow me to explain that, as it probably sounds pretty ambiguous!
    My usual medium for video game reviews is YouTube – I like the video format, because I can get a glimpse of the gameplay and see what’s in store for me if I buy the game. Well, when you watch enough game reviews, you get a sense for the particular tastes of certain reviewers. You’ll naturally gravitate toward the ones that share your own inclinations and likes, and I think that you end up trusting their opinion on games a lot more overall. For that reason, I think that finding these “trusted” reviewers on a personal basis is really important and is the TRUE key to using game reviews as a tool to help you be the most informed consumer you can possibly be!

    1. I never really thought of it like that Tyler! Most videos that I have seen on YouTube have been generally one-sided and never go in-depth on both the good and the bad with certain games. I’ll have to search around and see which reviewers I like and see! Thanks for sharing your insights man!

  4. I actively try to avoid reviews. Chances are I am not going to agree with what some middle-aged man has to say about a game since I am a woman in my late twenties. That being said I love what you said about going to Twitch to watch the gameplay. That’s going to be better than any review I could read.

    1. Thanks, Cass! Yeah, it’s a good idea to take everyone’s viewpoint and opinion with a grain of salt! That’s why I figured Twitch be a good way of figuring out if a certain game is for you or not, you’ll get that raw information as it happens from that streamer.

  5. I completely agree with you! I use twitch and youtube to find genuine reactions and gameplay rather than reading reviews but its honestly dependent on the game.

    1. Thanks, Amelia! I’ve been using Twitch more now when it comes to new releases watching smaller streamers play because they won’t hold back on what and how they feel. Of course, I won’t take everything they say until I play the game myself! YouTube I need to look more into that, most reviewers I find are always one-sided compared to Twitch streamers that I watch.

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