Bitmob Community Writer Tim Henwood: Ars Technica knows I’m excited about Brink. They’ve also taken the interesting step of not reviewing their Xbox 360 copy until it receives much-needed patches.
no that's a silly thing to even suggest
developers should wait till the game is done to release it.
i dont think last gen gave devs the ability to patch a game...doing this would only be another excuse and lame ass cop out by devs if they rush an uncompleted game to market
Except that in the real world, developers RARELY have any say in when they're products get released.
Wow, I used the wrong their/they're/there. I am ashamed of myself.
Reviewers should only review the retail copy of the game.
Reviewers should only be allowed to give reviews when they play the game till the credits roll... sometimes i think they dont play all the way through most games
You can't really blame some reviewers though I remember one N4g User who had his own game site told us about how much more difficult the system is than it seems I'll try to find it for ya'll But basically the gist of his comment was that they still work like your regular 9 to 5 person but unlike some bigger sites they won't be able to get enough time playing all the games they need to review to meet their quota that they end up reading some of the bigger sites reviews and adding those in their own words to their reviews.
Reviewers shouldn't wait for patches they reviewing this for potential consumers and that includes consumers who don't even have the option of going online. Yes in this day and age some people still can't go online. So if a reviewer waits for a patch to review a game than they'll be sending information that might trick offline users into buying it only to realize they were misinformed.
no they shouldn't but i don't see why they cant go back and update the review if a lot of problems stated are fixed. That will help anyone who is buying the game post release.
Should gamers buy unfinished game that needs patches ?
It's not a silly thing to suggest at all. It's actually a question that invokes an important discussion. It points out a huge difference between games and other forms of media that undergo criticism. Nowadays, it's common practice for games to come out and have a patch deployed on day 1. The question of how to deal with this is actually rather complicated. On the one hand, you've got a game that's potentially completely different from the one you actually reviewed, and thus your criticism likely no longer applies in a multitude of ways. Even without a day 1 patch, this can still apply for multiplayer games because the pre-release servers that reviewers play on may be -- and likely are -- a totally different experience than the day 1 public servers everyone who goes out and buys the game will experience. Waiting until a game is out could have the potential to positively or negatively effect critic's perception of the game under criticism. The real interesting and important thing to consider, however, is just how different games are from other media. Games are unique in that they *change*. When a critic reviews a movie, he's seeing the same movie you're going to see. That movie could play in theaters for weeks or months and it will be the same movie for that entire span. Games change. They change often and in sometimes significant ways via patches, updates, etc. The game that a critic played before it even came out is potentially a different game the day it's released to the public, and possibly a drastically different game 1 year down the line. When a movie "changes" it's because of something like a Director's Cut version, but this happens rather rarely and it doesn't change the original version which will still be available. It doesn't happen with the flip of a switch where one day at the movie theater they're showing version A of a movie and the next they're showing version B. And when it does happen, the critics will re-review it. Two separate reviews, one for the original product, and one for the new product. In the games industry, this process of changing the product is incredibly frequent and often the changes are significant. I don't want to cause any kind of rift in the attitudes towards this comment by bringing in a game that has incited a lot of arguments on N4G before, but you have to just take a look at MAG as a shining example of what I'm talking about here. There is an object truth to it when I say that the game that released in January 2010 is a significantly different game than what you play right now. The changes were numerous and frequent and began the day the game came out. Changes in performance, balance, stability, features, control schemes, etc. were all regularly implemented right from the start to the extent that the vast majority of criticisms that were levied against the game upon its initial release are largely or completely irrelevant and invalid today. But game critics don't revisit these games after they've undergone a bit (or a lot) of reconstructive surgery. And for that, we wind up with reams of outdated criticism that largely no longer apply to the actual game you'd be playing if you bought it.
The rest of my comment: Criticism of movies, music, book, etc. are practically timeless: the work that the critic is writing about is exactly the same now as it was, say 40 years ago, when it was first published. The critic's views on the work may be interpreted in different contexts as the world changes, but those views are still based entirely upon the same work that you'd be experiencing today, so the criticism is valid and you can interpret their views in perspective of a modern world. With games criticism, this is not the case, and it is perhaps what makes games criticism such a derisive issue: it is virtually impossible to actually have a solid opinion on a game in today's market, because what you experience as a critic today and what your readers will experience tomorrow may be completely different things.
I see your point but that in my opinion is what those "Look Back" reviews are for. The thing is patches over the course of a game's life end up significant but more often than not they present it bit by bit. A reviewer of games should take into account those that still don't have access to upgrading their games via patches. What say a game ships with an unavoidable game breaking glitch, if they wait for a patch to review and said offline gamer sees the review he will not be aware that he will encounter this glitch likewise the changes by these patch although significant will matter little to these people. If a game changes through the patches then by all means review it again but to wait for a patch to review a game it separates those who have with those who don't. Offline gamers maybe the minority but they still spend their money on games they should be informed on what they're getting identify the major flaws of the game then do a second look when a patch to said flaws could be made that way the information is much more clear and no one has to be misinformed and criticism will be placed properly. Plus if reviewers review patched games what's to say this won't encourage developers to rush development and just patch what they missed out.
Patches shouldn't be needed for launch and at all really, devs need to get their act together.
No that will only make developers more reliant on patches to fix problems after launch.
No. If you ship a game broken, then you review a broken game.
pretty much sums it up. If reviewers should wait for patches to release, then so should the consumers, and then so should the developers. In a nutshell they shouldn't release a game in a state which requires patching up and if they do, it's our duty to let readers know that the game's got issues.
no its simple really
no, but the way reviews work i dont really expect much from them
No way, I mean maybe if it's a launch day patch but that's still a pretty big maybe.
Nope. But some IGreviewers should wait to finish the game, at least.
Lol...I was about to say that they don't even finish the games in the first place: how can they be expected to have the patience to download a patch and play again?
if your game needs a day one patch your game is not finished and deserves to be crapped on by reviewers...apparently brink had a day one patch that made the game better but reviewers reviewed the game without the patch and it got crapped on....
Better for the developers to have a patch ready for gamers than for reviewers.
believe it or not but some people rely on the reviews so they can make their opinion on a game....if IGN or gamespot gives a game below an 8 some people just move on...
That's kinda besides the point I was making. After the game goes gold there will generally be a month or so until the game release. If issues arise between then the developer will try their best to fix it by release as in this case. But do they rush a patch out for reviews to suck up to them and get a better review or try to get it ready for the actual game release so that the actual large market gets a proper patch. It seems like a good decision of Splash damage to me rather than being obsessed with how well received their game is. No doubt plenty of people rely on reviews though, too many in fact. Brink is a prime example seeing all the comments on N4G the past few days with people saying they won't buy the game in reaction to reviews... even the 7-8 ones. I just think the game developers should be focusing on the actual audience than trying to woo the developers more if a situation like this happens.
better reviews means more sales so if you dont give that patch to the reviewers (rushed or not but i dont see why it would be rushed they do have a month or so after the games gone gold like you said to figure these things out) there isnt going to be a large amount of people waiting for the patch they are going to be too busy canceling their preorders lol.....people are going to see the 6 average on metacrtic and, like i said move on...
"believe it or not but some people rely on the reviews so they can make their opinion on a game....if IGN or gamespot gives a game below an 8 some people just move on... " This is unfortunate indeed, personally I would prefer reviews without numbers, then people would actually have to spend some time reading the reviews. Numbers can be so decieving.. "there isnt going to be a large amount of people waiting for the patch they are going to be too busy canceling their preorders lol.....people are going to see the 6 average on metacrtic and, like i said move on... " True. This is why I would prefer "second look" reviews, atleast on games that have developed. Gaming sites should be for gamers to get the full picture of the game, and if the game has developed a lot after the launch, the game should deserve new opinion from the reviewers, to inform us consumers and gamers.
I don't think people are looking at this in the right way. Developers can do all the testing they could possibly do, but they can't test how an online game will run to all the people around the entire world who want to play it. Sure some developers release online demos and betas, but I am sure there is money and support that has to go into these and they usually are big games. Splash damage isn't exactly the most wealthy developer. But even in those situations I can remember severe lag issues on BC2 when it launched last year even after the MP demo that had over 2 million downloads or something along those lines. I got Brink yesterday because it only released in NZ yesterday. I have been loving it. No doubt there is some issues that can't be fixed that easily such as the lackluster story and terrible bots. But the online lag, amongst other things can be improved a lot easier. Ultimately the online technical issues are the only thing holding this game back atm since the gameplay is brilliant. Sadly the issues such as lag which have been taken hugely into account for a lot of the big reviews will forever stay with those reviews despite them being quite fixable. While I guess I can't exactly say reviewers should wait for patches, it does show a big problem with reviews when it comes to online MP. Even MMO's have these review issues since launches can go horribly wrong due to massive numbers on the servers. Personally I think the matter is more with reviews and how the system works and is viewed (people rely on them far too much) that is the problem here.
"Personally I think the matter is more with reviews and how the system works and is viewed (people rely on them far too much) that is the problem here. " Exactly, people rely too much on reviews. As I stated below, same as you did, many games develop after launch. +bub, good post.
No, and yes. If the game is broken in the time of launch, it should be reviewed as such, but.. These days games are getting more complicated, more bigger, and there's a lot of things that could go wrong, and online gaming (which everybody these days seems strangly expect from every title) is huge work of load too. From big publishers you expect a pretty solid game, but smaller teams don't always have the resources to get theyr games together as similar way. All developers have deadlines, publishers don't wait forever, it all goes to money and staying alive in industry, so not all can keep betas, test the game forever, and finish the game as they would want. It's unrealistic to expect all games to come without need of patches. Games aren't as simple as they used to be on earlier consoles, and even then some games came out broken, and unfortunately stayed as such becouse of lack of patching. Some games are totally different after the launch, let's say f.ex. after 6-12 months. What reviewers should do is take "second look". I'm one person who boughts games "late" often, who can blame, there really isn't time to play all the games that come out these days. Very often I find that the final product doesn't relate to the launch reviews, ofcourse forums and little search in the internet can help to see past these reviews, if the game has been changed. But in summary, review the game at launch, and if there has been changes later, make "second look" review.
No, and the only people who would say yes are developers of crap games or fanboys who thought their game would be gods gift.
The only patches that I understand on day one are for multiplayer and even then only for connectivity issues. If a game is buggy (frame rate and texture issues, for example), I don't see why a developer would miss these issues in the months it takes to make the game and then expect reviewers and consumers to accept them. I'd rather the game be delayed than come out buggy with patch after patch to fix it. The article brings up Alpha Protocol and makes a good point. I enjoyed the game a lot and hoped maybe Obsidian was going to try to improve it. Patches may have fixed the problems with the game but when the game tanked in sales, Sega didn't bother. They did the same thing with Aliens vs Predator, leaving the community that bought and enjoyed the game scratching their heads. I hope releasing broken games and then abandoning them when the sales aren't that high doesn't become a industry trend.
"I'd rather the game be delayed than come out buggy with patch after patch to fix it. " As I do agree with you, it would be nice to have more stable game at launch, but unfortunately this isn't possible most the times. Developing games costs huge amount of money, and publishers won't wait forever.
At the same time look at Brink. Sales will probably take a hit because many of the reviews are saying that the game is unplayable online. People may wait until the game is fixed before trying it or might not even get around to buying it at all. On the other hand, there's Modern Warfare 2. The game was buggy from the beginning but still sold exceptionally. IW was patching the game for months afterwards but still never got it completely right.
Have to say no too, if you release a game, you have to accept the criticisms as is of release, it doesn't matter if there was a day 1 patch to fix most of what was wrong, fact is the game wasnt ready if you had to do that. But thats publishers for you.
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