Knack and Ryse: Why I’ll Never Trust A Review Again
Remember the good old days when you browsed your local games store, picked out a game that you liked the look of and took it home to try it? Hell, remember when you had a local games store?!
Somewhere between then and now, the concept of trying a game yourself before passing judgment on it has been cast aside. Instead, these days we spend a large chunk of our time checking websites like IGN, Eurogamer and Polygon, waiting for their “professional reviews”.
What’s funny of course is that once these reviews are out in the wild, what typically follows is a gigantic flame-war in the comments section, while people frantically cancel their pre orders and write death threats to the reviewers. God I love the Internet… read on sports fans.
While I don’t doubt it can be useful at times to get another person’s opinion on a product (which is all a review is I hasten to add, it’s not gospel or anything like that), ultimately the only person’s thoughts which matter are your own. I know, mind blowing, right?
Its common sense when you sit back and think about it like that, but it’s interesting how we as gamers are all guilty of checking these websites from time to time and get passionate about what we find there. Whether it’s rejoicing that a game has reviewed well or getting furious that a game hasn’t reviewed as well as we were hoping, we’ve all been there at some point.
Better still, the boundaries of what makes a good game seem to have moved over the years. In the past, a 9-10/10 meant the game was basically essential, a 7-8 meant a great game but not for everyone, a 5-6 meant a good game despite some rough edges and a 1-4 meant the game wasn’t all that great. These days however, if a game gets anything less than an 8, it’s typically considered garbage by gamers and one to avoid.
Queue the whole purpose of me writing this article (if you can call it that). Out of all the next-gen titles I’ve played so far, the two titles I have enjoyed the most may surprise you. No, not Dead Rising 3, not Killzone (though that is pretty good), not Forza 5, certainly not COD Ghosts. At the time of writing this, my favourite two titles are Ryse on X1 and Knack on PS4. Their Metacritic scores? 60 and 54 respectively, ouch.
While I don’t doubt both games have their faults, I absolutely loved Ryse’s cinematic storyline and had a great time playing through Knack’s challenging, nostalgic adventure. Both games are generally considered to be terrible by the gaming community, largely due to the professional review scores they were issued.
Conversely, Battlefield 4 has a Metacritic score of 86 and the bloody thing still doesn’t work properly 5 months after release! I appreciate shooters are very popular but it’s getting a little ridiculous when an online FPS which doesn’t even load most of the time is awarded a higher score than 2 titles which are lacking a little when it comes to variety.
In an attempt to prevent this becoming a rant, I suppose all I’m saying is to give some of these supposedly “poor” games a chance. Review scores are but one person’s opinion, which may or may not agree with yours. Personally I cannot stand the GTA series, does it therefore deserve a poor review? Of course not, it just reinforces the point that no one can predict whether you are going to enjoy something or not.
I must admit that is something I am absolutely loving about PlayStation Plus at the moment. Each month I am being treated to a new game to try, which isn’t costing me a penny. I don’t need to read reviews for it or go in with certain expectations, instead I can just fire it up, play it for a while and see if I get into it. It’s a refreshing change of pace and one I wish I could experience with every new game I play.
If you have any thoughts on this I would love to hear them in the comments section below! =)
Dave – NGXN