Who would have thought we’d be having this conversation? Not me but here we are now talking about it! According to some game critics, you don’t need to be good at games which I disagree with and have talked about it here, however, the main topic is finishing them in order to release a review for it! Let’s discuss.
So there’s a discussion raging on right now that suggests that one does not need to complete a game to be able to adequately review it and score it. Truth be told, I 100% disagree with this sentiment fully. It goes without saying that, you can’t review something you haven’t finished, as you don’t have the full picture or experience to properly represent the product. It’s also quite problematic as that kind of sentiment leaves room for manipulation and even creates a completely different outlook on the game. Not to mention that it’s disrespectful to the developers who feel that their game deserves a full evaluation, and the gamers who need to trust these critics to see if a game is worth picking up.
A perfect example was Returnal. When you think about it, how is it that not a single review commented on the game’s crashing issue? Many outlets had the game likely weeks before the public, yet most never seem to have brought it up. The only assumption I can make is that these critics did not play the game far enough, or even long enough to have encountered those issues. So what then is the point of game reviews, if games are not being completed?
Some critics might play a game up to 90% and start writing up a review, while others might just play it up to 60% and begin writing up a review. Both critics already won’t have the same outlook on a game, but the difference in competition rate will greatly affect a game’s review. Take Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for example. If someone were to only play 20% of the game, they might say that the game takes too long to get good, whereas if another critic plays further on, they would begin to see the game open up in ways that might actually change how the game plays, changing the outlook of the critic. Completing a game from what I’ve always understood as a necessity to give the most authentic review possible. It’s not the same like getting five episodes of Games of Throne season 8 and saying well, the last few episodes are going to be great, so let me go ahead and start reviewing.
If you do not take in the totality of a product, you can’t possibly review it. Yes, I understand writing up reviews is tough, but just cutting it short just cause you don’t have time is in my opinion, not an excuse but rather highlights the problem with this space and how getting your review out first, rather than making sure you’ve completed the game is why we’re here in the first place!
I’m going to be honest, there’s need to be a way to check if a reviewer has actually completed a game. We have trophies/achievements. There’s too much fraudulent and dare I say, laziness going on in this space! It’s the only space where everything seems to be a shortcut and it’s ridiculous.