Starfield proves there is something very wrong with video game reviews

A reader is disturbed by the controversies around the launch of Starfield and what it means for the reliability of game reviews in general.

Jin_Sakai14d ago

Glad someone called out this BS practice by Microsoft and Bethesda.

“It’s very obvious that the reason they withheld the copies is to try to get the Metacritic review as high as possible before launch, and in fact the Xbox Series X/S score was somewhere around 87 at that point and is now down to 83 with the Eurogamer review and presumably set to go lower once Edge’s is out – and anyone else that was left out.“

darthv7214d ago (Edited 14d ago )

Seems this BS practice has been around a lot longer than MS and Bethesda.

purple10113d ago

Bethesda softworks started 1986
Metacritic started 2001.
So not literally no,

Care to expand on the viewpoint though?

NotoriousWhiz13d ago

^ Are you implying that there were no reviews before metacritic?

r2oB13d ago


I believe his argument is that Bethesda was around before the practice of manipulating metacritic review scores, which was the OPs comment. If you wanted to bring video game reviews into the argument, MS has been around before them. Video game journalism geared towards consumers didn’t start until the early 80’s, Microsoft was around before that. However, I agree with darth’s sentiment, although technically his wording is incorrect. This practice has been going on for years, but that fact doesn’t make it any less BS when a company does it today.

Old McGroin13d ago

@ purple101

He obviously meant the practice was around before what has just happened with MS, Bethesda and Starfield. He didn't word it well but...still not sure how you could possibly think he meant Metacritic number massaging was going on since before 1986??

Godmars29013d ago

Since the beginning of the industry sadly. Probably even before Nintendo Power.

JackBNimble13d ago

I agree with the statement that reviews are bullshit.
Reviewers only score a game on opinions alone, and have completely ignored what the word objective means.

We get subjective reviews not objective reviews, which could very easily be done and would probably be an instant money maker in this industry if any ( so called ) gaming journalists decided they had the balls to do it.

But all these journals are bought and paid for and are about as trustworthy as Unity.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 13d ago
14d ago Replies(1)
Reaper22_13d ago

You know what else is BS? The hypocrisy that comes from gamers who only see it as a problem when Microsoft does it.

Reviews are just opinions. Why are you so emotional about a game that you obviously have no interest in? If the game was only 50 on metacritic would you be saying what you are? I don't think so. It's time you guys get over this Starfield thing. At the end of the day it's just another game. I'm glad the game is having some success. Why would any true gamer want any studio or Publisher to fail?

anast13d ago

"It's time you guys get over this Starfield thing."

We have found the new general of gaming. Standing by to take your orders sir.

crazyCoconuts13d ago

You're right that some people hating on Starfield is a thing.
But the point of the discussion around bad practices around how reviews are handled is also right - it's obviously a thing.

Obscure_Observer13d ago

"Why would any true gamer want any studio or Publisher to fail?"

Because in the minds of some people, only a gaming company is allowed to shine.

Fortunately, actual numbers show they´re minority and just bunch of sad losers.

darthv7213d ago

To be fair, it is the petty fanboys who want games/platforms/companies to fail. The gamers just play the games and enjoy themselves regardless of what anyone thinks.

crazyCoconuts13d ago

In terms of wanting a company to fail, there is nuance in everything. If Microsoft succeeding involves them buying up all the biggest publishers/game companies, then I want them to fail.

ravens5213d ago

U mean like Forspoken lmao. Ima say it every thread. Talk about hypocrisy.

ChronoJoe13d ago

I think they’d see it as an issue when anyone did it. But who else does? As far as I’m aware Nintendo and Sony don’t. When I used to write reviews they were always easier to get codes from than Microsoft. The only others I can think of were Japanese companies like Square, but I just found them harder to communicate with rather than actively blacklisting me. Activision we’re the easiest, even when writing for a small publication they used to send me everything, even when it wasn’t requested.

Seraphim13d ago

and there is the problem. Reviews are not just opinions. At least professional reviews. They need to be matter of fact based, on the games own merits, strengths and weaknesses. It also leads to bad reviews of otherwise good games. As does it to bad reviews simply because the reviewer does not like the genre of the game they are being paid to review. Professional reviews need to get back to matter of fact, not opinions, those are what user reviews are for; opinions. 2 cents

neomahi13d ago

Xbox are ones that generated the hype, they were in over their heads, it's not the peoples fault, they just listened to Xbox and what Xbox told them repeatedly and wouldn't shut up about, consumers just ended up being smarter and called their bluff. It's not the people, Xbox generated the hype

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 13d ago
Petebloodyonion13d ago

So how come PC Metacritic didn't come down?
Let me guess they aren't truthful.

But surely the media never protest by giving a bad score to the game when they are not happy about a situation
like IGn 3/10 score for Prey and Gamespot 6/10 for HP Hogwart.

anast13d ago (Edited 13d ago )

"So how come PC Metacritic didn't come down?"

The PC has more modding options. The game needs to be modded drastically.

crazyCoconuts13d ago

User reviews in Metacritic are in the 6/10 range for both PC and Xbox.
Steam reviews (PC only) are in the low 70's.
It's a broad recognition that the game is just ok, which makes it more obvious when you come across the 10/10 reviews.
That and the vocal journalists that were not given review copies makes for an interesting case study of what's wrong with the system I guess

Petebloodyonion13d ago

Didn't know that PC reviewers now included the notion that users will mod games when establishing if the product is good or not and more importantly when they have received early copies before mods are out.

I'm sure the same logic could apply to TLOU2 on PS4 with a 5.8 user score (that's after the removal of some negative reviews asked by Sony) vs. the 9.4 critics review right?
As for Steam, I'm pretty sure that 76% are positive reviews do not equal a low 70 and are higher compared to the true honest review of the main UK media outlet.


I’ve seen you in almost every starfield article I’ve clicked on, why are you so triggered by other people enjoying a video game?

Zeref13d ago ShowReplies(2)
PhillyDonJawn13d ago

Honestly doing that only shoot themselves in the foot. Cause now those reviewers will give it a lower rating out of spite. I know I would.

Obscure_Observer13d ago

"Honestly doing that only shoot themselves in the foot. Cause now those reviewers will give it a lower rating out of spite. I know I would."

That´s is nothing but a valid reason for you to never get a review code again from any publisher or studio which values professionalism.

It might be news for you, but Sony has a list of blacklisted sites or/and reviewers which will never get a review code from them.

A quick research will get you up to date.

dumahim13d ago


Are you saying blacklisting reviewers is the same as cherry picking who gets one early enough to get a review out on time, but still getting them a code?

Obscure_Observer13d ago

"Glad someone called out this BS practice by Microsoft and Bethesda."

It was a BETHESDA decision to give review codes! And I think they´re right!

Eurogamer´s 6/10 was nothing but expected, since they got jealous because Digital Foundry got a copy while they don´t.

There´s lots of reviews that come out later and still gave Starfield great scores.

So you´re in some conspiracy BS here.

shinoff218313d ago

And there's alot that called the game on the issues it has.

Zeref13d ago ShowReplies(4)
lelo2play13d ago (Edited 13d ago )

The opinion that matters is our own opinion. For me Starfield is a great game, and it's my GOTY so far... yes I played Baldur's Gate 3, it's a great game but I prefer Starfield.

If you base your opinion on other people, you let them define if a game is good or not... then I feel sorry for you.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 13d ago
14d ago
shadowT13d ago

8/10 is still a very good game

Profchaos13d ago

Sure is however if all the usual outlets got review copies over fan sites and streamers who gave ratings and had them contributed to the total would it have been a 8 still is the question.

There's a element of bias that needs to be discussed when Xbox fan sites start handing out perfect scores that's questionable also to low scores are questionable to.