After a few miss haps, and miss steps by gaming news outlet, Polygon. Most notably the cringe worthy 30 minute gameplay footage of DOOM. Poli Games host, Joseph, asks the tough question. Do You Have To Be Good At Games, To Review Them?
So what do you all think? Do you need to be good at games in order to review them? Does your ability or lack there of, have the ability to skew the score of a review?
No, I'm not good at making movies but I like to think I'm qualified to review them based on what it did right or wrong. The same can be said for games.
That is such a great point! Awesome comment man! Totally agree with ya!
Horrible analogy. One does not have to interact with a movie to appreciate it. But games, like supercars take some level of skill to be able to fully appreciate. I dont want some 16 year old new driver to review the next Bugatti!
@fatsodubmo So I have to interact and know how to skillfully handle a Bugatti to know that it's a top quality car compared to a Honda Civic? I think even a 16 year old with a new fresh license out the gate could appreciate the difference and make those judgement calls appropriately. Games take minimum amounts of skill, as long as you have some type of reflexes I think anyone will be okay.
@gangsta Is that what you expect from professional reviews? Review of the all new Bugatti Chiron: "Better than a Honda" lol
I am becoming fully convinced you either ate lead paint chips as a child, lived under high voltage powerlines or your mother dropped you on your head's soft spot a dozen or so times.
@fatsodubmo I don't expect anything from a professional reviewer because I use my own judgement. But I don't expect them to be a world class experts to know if a game is good or not. You guys are putting too much stock in game reviewers and holding them to some kind of godly standard in order to assign a number. @Oschino1907 Well hurry up and pick one so you can become 100% convinced and then comeback with your results. @Xi "To review movies, you have to know how to judge Writing, Acting, Scripts, and Pacing," So I have to know all this to figure out Sharknado is garbage? Even with all that knowledge it will still come down to a person's opinion. Even a person who is not good at games could play it and still have enough fun (or not) to make their own judgement call on the design, the look, or the sound and anything else that deals with the game they're playing. What it ultimately comes down to is which reviewer do you trust? I'm sure there a plenty of people that don't like Angry Joe's reviews even though he's good at games. I personally go to Redlettermedia, they're gamers but not hardcore but they have an interesting take on the games they play. IMO, some of the best reviews would come from a person who really doesn't have a vested or biased interest in games. That is where the real honesty comes out. @Kev You're right, I should have said I'm not good at making movies...but I can still make 'em.
To review movies, you have to know how to judge Writing, Acting, Scripts, and Pacing, it is not as easy as to say just to say it did this or that... it's too easy to be distracted by flashes and CGI and say a movie is good because of it. No! Same with games. You have to be good at them to review. Or else every Souls game would have got a 0/10 This is just embarrassing for Polygon. yet another fk up by them. i was right to blacklist them after that TLoU review complaining about difficulty and weapon sway... yeah right!
We aren't asking reviewers to make games.
So someone watching someone else play a game,, without ever touching the controller ,, should write a review?
Horrible example. Sharknado is garbage because it is a low buget Internet thing, but you sure must know all of what I mentioned to review blockbusters like Gone Home
No that's not even close to correct and the disagrees in you comment show your opinion is widely considered wrong
There has to be some level of skill for a reviewer. Not saying reviewers should be pro level, if anything just a common average skill level would be the most indicative of the average player. That said, if a reviewer is horrible at playing games, how can they review something like Dark Souls 3 if they can't even complete it? Virtually anyone can complete watching a film, but completing a game takes some level of skill. Understanding its systems & how refined or not they may be also demands at least some level of familiarity or skill. So yeah, you kinda do have to be at least decent at games to review them.
I believe that people that are paid for writing articles on gamesites or to create videos for them don't have to be great at them but..they should be able to play them through and don't look like someone who barely knows where the right buttons on the game controller are. I also read a lot of reviews where I wondered if the reviewers even played the game or based their reviews on let's play videos. It's difficult to "trust" the big sites anymore, I rather look up not so known gaming sites now for reviews + threads on gamefaqs to see what people write about the games. In short...you don't expect a wrestling show announcer to be a great wrestler, but you expect him to know details about the history of the show. Stuff like how the Montreal Screwjob impacted the scene in 1998. An example is how a game writer didnt know the Nintendo 64 was not using a cd rom. Stuff like that is just embarassing. I think the often missing knowledge about video games and their history is a bigger problem for paid game site writers than being good in games.
Reminds me of an article the other day about Black Ops 1 where the writer claimed it was the "first COD game to feature the now popular zombies mode". Or the one about Uncharted being a fraud yet he said at one point "probably since the start" implying they never even played them all while simultaneously bashing the whole series because of their perception of the series instead of using any factual evidence to back up their claims.
Yes because let's look at it like this if you suck at a game then that means you'll get frustrated and blow the game off saying it's eh, it's like when I first played chess I thought it sucked because I was really bad at it so I never saw the appeal then my bro thought me how to play it and boom loved it. Do yall see my point? And no @Gangsta knowing how to make a movie has nothing to do review because you know a good movie when you see it because everything flows and games takes a little skill to make everything flow and without the skill you'll never see what the game is trying to accomplish.
I think you need to ask yourself why someone that sucks at games wants to spend there life reviewing them? To me, the people who work at polygon have an obvious agenda and it's not to give comprehensive reviews so that their readers can make an informed decision on what games to buy, it's a social justice agenda aimed at trying to make video games all-inclusive for some idiotic reason. I think someone who loves games and loves to review them will just be naturally good at them so if you suck at them I gotta ask what the hell you've been doing all your life because it wasn't playing games.
I would certainly hope you'd be a gamer if you're going to be reviewing them so yes. It's like a bus driver applying to be an brain surgeon. I just don't see it ending well. Now having someone review a game they already don't like or of a genre they're not interested in is a whole different can of ethical worms.
Yes you should have some level of skill. People that say no are wrong. How can you tell if controls are clunky and it's not your lack of skill. How can you tell if hit detection works if your shots are all over the place. The only thing an unskilled gamer can review are story, sound and graphics . You can't review gameplay if you can't play the game
If you get to the end you are good enough. Plus it also allows for an everyman approach to the games.
Yeah, if you made it till the end, you're a good player and it (maybe) a good reviewer. If you didn't and reviewed the game 10/10 or 0/10, you're not really qualified.
You do not have to be good but you need to know your limitations and topic Like saying I really struggled online but others with more skill likely will not face the same issues I did.
Yeah, i agree
"You do not have to be good but you need to know your limitations and topic Like saying I really struggled online but others with more skill likely will not face the same issues I did." And that is something I feel is lacking with many players, not just reviewers, not admitting their own limitations and thus believing it's the game and that no one could possibly enjoy it or be good at it even though they don't...
I think it does help if the reviewer is experienced with different types of games (platformer, RPG, FPS, etc). I wouldn't want the reviewer giving a game a low score just because they found the game 'too hard' because they get dying and couldn't finish it. Also, if the reviewer wasn't a fan of the genre, I would hope that the reviewer would try to be objective as possible.
good on game play no, decent yes, good game player required for review on everything else about non game play parts of the game no. but if your good it does add credibility to you though, for better or worse. depends on the game, but if your really really bad, then you should not be to critical being how you never played games before.
Preferably, yeah. Or otherwise you'll be a reviewer version of DSP... *shivers*
*shudders* ...I think you don't want to know... You're better off without knowing - you may be able to save at least some hope for gaming and humanity in general... Leave this place, it is our place to burn, so that you may live in peace and joy.
No. Playing (and reviewing by extension) a game is all about the experience and the fun that comes with it. You can be totally awful at a game but love it. Reviewers can't and shouldn't look at a game they're bad at and review it based on that. Games should be critiqued on the flaws it has not the flaws of the player.
But then if he's a bad player and didn't finish the game then he can't review the full package..
'After a few miss haps, and miss steps' I think that's a bit of a understatement. They moved like my 60 year old father. You don't have to be good to review the game, but you at least have the be capable. What Polygon displayed was a inability to generally move analogue sticks. I don't understand how that makes it up as video content on their site. Plus it made the game look like it controlled awfully, which it does not.
Exactly this. There is this entire barrier of actually completing the game in question that is pretty vital. If a reviewer has zero skill, they have no shot at finishing something like Bloodborne. By the same token, for games that actually have difficulty levels, if a reviewer is bad enough at games to have to play everything on easy, he won't have the same experience that the typical gamer will have. Sometimes those levels eliminate entire encounters & completely change the pacing. There's a happy medium, a reviewer doesn't have to be pro level & he literally can't be awful, but decent is a good place to start if you plan on reviewing a game.
If a reviewer can enjoy a game to it's fullest, then they should be able to review it, regardless of their skill. Too many gamers (esp. pc elitists) believe that if you can't "git gud", you don't deserve to even enjoy some games. If you've paid for your game (unlike many of those same pc elitists), then you should be able to enjoy the full experience of the game, exclusive of the whys and hows of any other players, period. A well developed game should be giving the player the feeling that they are kick-ass even if by comparison to another gamer, they are not. That's why there's an easy setting on most games. If the reviewer still hasn't been able to play through the game and/or if they are unable to separate and differentiate frustration with a game that's due to their own inability, they shouldn't even be the one doing the review. The best reviewer is an average gamer. *edit: I watched a few minutes of the Polygon "Doom Gameplay - The First Thirty Minutes" video that Poli Games is referring to and the player does appear to be brand new to fps games. They don't seem to fully understand how to aim or even move properly at first... but least they're not reviewing the game.
Do you have to know how to drive to review a car? YES. You don't have to be a complete beast at games. But you do have to have a solid understanding of how games play.
Make sense to me! :D
I wouldn't say the best but no good asking a 90 year old who hasn't touch computer's what is their review. You need to understand how every game is played and be honest about it.
It all depends how terrible you are at games. I guess aslong as its known and stated in your reviews that you play games more for story than gameplay because you suck. You'll probly only get interest from casual gamers and get overlooked by everyone else IMO.
I guess you need to know the game type (FP, RPG, Drining etc ) if your going to do an informative review. If the game has subtle/complex control mechanics & you don't have the capacity to accomplish these actions. Then your review will be less informative & incomplete.
100% yes! Reviewers should at least be decent all around gamers but preferably awesome at all kinds. If they are trying to make money off gamers, then they should be able to pull their weight. It is their job right???? Take it seriously! How best to test a game than by owning it and seeing where it messes up? I know there are games of lesser difficulty or for younger audiences and they should be treated that way. There is just no way to compare one game to another if you aren't good enough to tell the difference. There are too many websites that are just trying to earn revenue by selling the image of their site... and too many that sites that are sold to big developers. You just have to vet out the bad ones and move on.
if you suck at video games then why are you reviewing games? My guess is that these people are terrible writers and couldn't get a job anywhere else. They are more than welcome at the tabloids of video games. Seriously, these sites are owned by gawker and vox. They are there for agendas not reviews.
The reviews are directed at casuals, not at professional gamers. There's no point having a pro reviewer for people who don't know the technical aspects of games beyond the resolution and frame rate (which they barely understand, if at all). Most people only pay attention to the final score anyway, that's why Metacritic is used so much by casuals as a reference when arguing the quality of a game.
You don't have to be good. But you shouldn't suck so hard that it seams you have never played a game either. You should have experience in several type of games so that you can do your job.
Of course you do.
You need to be an average player at least, you don't want an old man who doesn't understand movie-style storytelling to review a movie, and yes these people do exist.
You don't have to be a pro to be objective and find value in what a game provides. However I do believe one must have a basic skill set to know what is to be appreciated in the first place. For instance, as much as I like the Souls games, I pretty much give up after hours of banging my head against the wall...for every installment thus far. But I would still rate them high because I understand the principle and thought behind the series as is.
Same reason I dont ask bums for fonancial advice.
These comments are amazing! Keep them coming!! I'm loving the discussion!
Depends . As a early 20's top xbox live gamer to a shitty 36 year old doormat , id say the older you get the worst your hand eye coordination / reaction time gets. But the love never ends. If you completely suck being an English major with no sense of industry history , do everyone a favor and give no opinion. But mostly if you are bad in general
The rules should be that you have to finish a game in order to review it, the only time this should be excused is if the game is broken. Being good at a game isn't that important, being better at a game doesn't mean you're more qualified to analyse the technicalities of it.
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