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coolbeans

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Tired of this Schmidt Episode IX: Rise of the Meta-Squawker

“Are you kidding me?!?! Absolute nonsense!”
“This joke of a review has no right to be posted here!”
“Could you be any more desperate for clicks? I can-“
“…are we even playing the same game? This is-“

*continued bleating of angry fans echoing throughout the cosmos as a new PS4 exclusive isn’t universally considered the next masterpiece to grace consoles.*

The next entry into one of N4G’s longest-running blog series is upon us! And not a moment too soon! Because just when you think more people would utilize the hyper-democratized internet to spread good news about a game they’ve played, build bonds discussing said game with like-minded peers, or simply anything productive, a cluster of the community act like bad-tempered babies at the sight of something running contrary to their expectations. So what’s caused such a commotion that’s sporadically distracted people from playing and enjoying said game in question, you may ask? Today’s victim is Days Gone receiving less-than-stellar review scores accumulating to a 72 on MetaCritic (with a similar enthusiasm displayed on other aggregate sites). Oh the humanity.

Since I’ve expunged some derisive urges up above, it’s fair to add a couple of considerations:

• No, none of what’s to be stated should be considered a disincentive to challenge critics on their consistency, reasoning, and/or honesty when push comes to shove.
• As I’m sure you’re all aware, that doesn’t grant permission for caustic members to act like they’re free to harass critics. Contentions on where to draw the line on engaging with them acknowledged, I think we can all agree it’s a bad look when someone like Gamespot’s Kallie Plagge is having a heart-to-heart with the mom of someone who hurled insults her way for giving Days Gone is a 5/10 (1). Obviously she took it with gusto, yet there’s still something so cringe-worthy in seeing that attitude. Thumbs up for that guy resuscitating gamer stereotypes too.

Bloated qualifiers out of the way, I need to stress that the arguments I’m going to be posting here don’t mean I’m in agreement with Days Gone’s harsher critics; in truth, I’m not fit to pass judgment on its quality when I’ve only put in about eight hours. How’s it treating me thus far? Pretty well. After getting over the bad first hour-and-a-half, I’m surprised with how easy it is to get into ‘checklist mode’ of destroying nests and earning trust with the two camps. It’s hitting those same strides as a solid Ubisoft open world game thus far. I have criticisms to plaster at some gameplay mechanics, characters, and godawful framerate issues (on base PS4); having noted these preliminary opinions, I’m still at this stage where I’m moderately enjoying myself—and who knows how much more/less I’ll enjoy later on.

All this said, let’s weed out review-rage and get to the actual arguments that apply to the wider context of our current review culture.

1.) “The problem is the general audience would’ve only experienced the 1.03/1.04 version onward, so game journalists describing technical issues that would’ve been cleared after their playtime impairs scores to an extent. If that’s the case, perhaps they ought to go back to reevaluate.”

While I grasp the notion of giving the release-date version of Days Gone a fairer shake when an alleged plethora of software bugs have been cleaned up so quickly, reviewers weren’t given a version that was more agreeable to Bend Studios’ & Sony’s score interests; they experienced the 1.0 state because that’s what the publisher approved for shipping. And reviewing a work based on one’s initial experience has been the precedent set since games reviewing has been a thing. Why should the consumer public need to sympathize with a publisher’s deliberate action of pushing a game out instead of doing more QA testing and delaying? It’s true that Day-1 patches have become a norm; at the same time, Days Gone should be a clear lesson that such a mindset is risky. Leaving in too many “known shippables” (2) to fix in version 1.02, .03, etc. can come back to bite you.

There’s also another aspect attached here which causes me to question anyone’s intentions: ending review copies altogether. Little mental effort is required to see what complications may entail. For starters, skepticism in one’s own product is implicitly communicated to the consumer when aggregate sites show no entered reviews upon arrival. Some didn’t appear to pay much heed when I warned about it with Bethesda’s review policy on no early review copies (3), but needless to say the…*cough*…fallout from Fallout 76 has vindicated my worries; furthermore, it’s not shocking to see Bethesda pirouetting from that previous position with their coming releases (4). Next, this idea places a newfound pressure on reviewers having to get through the game, jot down some notes during play, and write their review as quickly as possible. How much value will you put in a critic when deadlines are calling for him/her to hurry through the game? Not to also ignore the fact of how negligible reviews would be anyway in this system.

In essence, your capricious call to either end review copies or fundamentally change the review process can have stifling effects on the industry. Worry about how polished the 1.0 version is instead.

2.) “And I would’ve received a better score too if it weren’t for you meddling SJW’s!”

Now, granted, the way I’ve mockingly presented #2 goes against my usual method of steelmanning these arguments. And I’m fine with that. Because there’s few other criticisms against game journalists that’ve become so insipid and downright insulting to my cranium. The key reason quite simply comes back to the lesson of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” It’d be one thing if said scores would be influenced by the importunate amount of manspreading throughout the game, but I’ve yet to come across that level of reasoning here. And although I can’t speak to all low-scored reviews, I did peruse Gamespot’s and Polygon’s to see if those banal accusations hold water here. Maybe the label gets hurled at me for not seeing the liberal bias, but you’re free to take a gander yourselves (5) (6).

Acting so vociferously towards Plagge’s 5/10 is still one that leaves me confused. Well…not towards the rough score. That’s easily understood. And though I think there’s a dearth of positive sentiments I’d personally give to counterbalance her negatives, the ways in which she reached a conclusion aren’t disharmonious with her praise of another open-world shooter: Red Dead Redemption II. You can look at the pro’s and con’s from those two side-by-side and realize what she values from these games. Within various paragraphs there’s scrutiny given about how Days Gone handles character development, story structure, game structure, and what the open world has to offer. An interesting dichotomy has been made in my head parsing out the enthusiasm between the two, which leaves me worried for Days Gone’s progression. After escaping the snow in RDR II, there’s so many opportunities for interlocking engagements to occur that breath life and meaning into various interactions. I haven’t been sucked into Days Gone quite the same way but am curious to move forward. As with Days Gone, I haven’t completed RDR II but a similar kind of worry is there for the writing of Deacon St. John compared to Arthur Morgan.

If these are the types of ‘SJW criticisms’ that you think are poisoning review culture then I’m not sure if there’s any helping you. I’ve been open about politics in games and considering it within reviews before (7) (8) (9), of which I’m open to criticism and challenge, but such hardly even applies here. We’re talking about a reviewer getting flak for—momentarily—broaching the issue of how this story-heavy game doesn’t do a good job with story. And, yeah, storytelling does include the framing of the main character: motivations, challenges, and more. Theming, tone, characters are all things worth examining and have been occurring far, far longer than any argued soy infiltration of games media.

The same type of surprise occurred to me when checking out Polygon’s review too. The closest thing to identity politics inserted would be describing his scruffy beard and winsome persona. Maybe that’s considered a leftist dog-whistle for the whole ‘white male protagonist’ controversy? I don’t know. I can’t stand such a bad-faith consideration (regardless of which side does it). To reiterate: I haven’t read all of Days Gone’s negative reviews; that said, when two of the most constantly castigated examples contain more noteworthy analysis than the mundane YouTuber criticizing them (10), ‘tis time to reconsider how you approach critics you so despise.

To be honest, these diatribes strike me as a snowflake’s attitude. Speaking of which…next point!

3.) “The problem comes down to a disparate qualitative standard placed upon Sony exclusives. Critics are overeager to jump on sour spots of their 1st party titles, rather than remain objective and even-handed.”

Out of all the obnoxious qualities fans can have towards their favorite company, this is one of the most unpleasant. It’s one thing for you to personally find the track record of a publisher to be rock-solid; it’s another when your modus operandi for what other people may be critiquing is to just consider it in bad faith. This nowise suggests there aren’t biases found in every reviewer; that’s how opinions have always operated. But it sure is convenient how you’re able to narrow said biases down to “reviewers like to go after my favorite system on occasion” right after an exclusive doesn’t hit your perceived scoring threshold.

It’s also mind-boggling when this defense is utilized. The most prominent example of this used before Days Gone was The Order: 1886, a bad game critics mistakenly thought was mediocre. I’ve got to ask: what’s with this inane defense of Sony’s most typical exclusives of this generation? Third-person corridor & open-world shooters are the most populated genres within the AAA space, so it’s already a contentious market to say the least. It seems more rational to understand Days Gone on those terms. The overall sentiment shouldn’t even strike anyone of it being a bad game, just following in line with recent releases of Just Cause 4, Far Cry New Dawn, and other 2nd-tier open-world games. And if review-copy woes were as annoying as I’ve heard along with quality-of-life issues, design frustrations, story complaints, and more, I’ve got news for you: that low-70 is artificially buoyed, not deflated, by it being an exclusive 1st-party title.

Conclusion:

What’s most frustrating about all of this noise is that there are nuggets of potentially interesting conversations to be had within those numbered arguments listed above. Questions about how & when it’s conducive to your audience to check certain biases or developer/publisher ethics in this ‘patch culture’ have sturdy legs. But nothing gets anywhere when the petulant Sony Apologencia gets to have the most say while disparaging virtually anyone’s thoughts when it’s underneath a certain point threshold. If you’re one of those people who have issues coming to terms with others’ perception of a game you like and need to conjure up the more spurious of the claims I’ve listed above, I hope you consider the counterarguments. And try to grow up.

Links:
1.) https://twitter.com/inkydoj...
2.) https://wolfsgamingblog.com...
3.) https://n4g.com/user/blogpo...
4.) https://www.vg247.com/2018/...
5.) https://www.gamespot.com/re...
6.) https://www.polygon.com/rev...
7.) https://n4g.com/user/blogpo...
8.) https://n4g.com/user/blogpo...
9.) https://n4g.com/user/blogpo...
10.) https://www.youtube.com/wat...

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coolbeans10d ago

Hope everyone enjoyed the blog. Yay or nay, happy to see some dialogue over this--criticism or otherwise.

To reiterate: this isn't meant to disqualify other potential complaints made against Days Gone critics that I'm unaware of. Just like everyone else, I have a limited amount of time on my hands so I can't filter through ALL of them. As such, these 3 arguments I quote-posted above are limited to arguments I've seen. I'm clarifying all of this in hopes that I'm not expected to defend other game critics' actions & words that you disagree with about x or y game. Anyways...

DaDrunkenJester10d ago

I agree wholeheartedly. The incessant whining about lower scored reviews, and writing them off as some SJW or anti Sony agenda is silly. Plagge's review never once mentioned that the freakers are all white. She mentioned on her personal Twitter, but the review itself never had that as a point or a negative one. This is just one example of misinformed outrage that everyone is throwing around.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a game that has averaged a 7. I have enjoyed plenty of 7's. If you like Days Gone, then just get over it, and enjoy it.

CaptainOmega10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

She mentioned something to the regards that it should have been in her review, but she didn’t have enough time to mention it... (i think if you read between the lines, it’s how she really felt and she just didn’t include it in the review. She shot herself in the foot).

I think the consensus from the fans is the game is easily a 7-8.5.. and the reviews of the game being a 6, or anything lower may be coming from a place that isn’t quite accurate. Perhaps the review process needs to change... perhaps 3 people need to play the game and the ‘score’ for the game should be a result of this average. Perhaps a person who is interested in the genre, a person who is somewhat inerested, and someone who isn’t that interested.. Perhaps review copies should include versions of the game that have the necessary patches (idk how that would work)...

An IGN reviewer said ‘the game has another gruff white male protagonist’ as a point against the game... .. That’ the type of quality we are getting from ‘top’ review sites.

People aren’t caring that the game is getting low scores.. the problem are the REASONS for the scores not lining up with the actual quality of the game. Many Youtube channels are putting out better quality reviews than sites like Gamespot and IGN.. that’s telling..

Btw.. Kallie is the same person who said ‘Too much Water’ in a pokemon game is bad..

coolbeans9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

@Jester

-"Plagge's review never once mentioned that the freakers are all white. She mentioned on her personal Twitter, but the review itself never had that as a point or a negative one."

Ah, I see where that personal complaint has come about. I was only aware of her 'mom response' tweet prior to writing said blog due to a person I'm following retweeting it. I will say that that's...kind of a bad take. While it doesn't interrupt the review, that "all-white freaker" judgment distracts from something more interesting: the copy-pasting done with them overall. As I said: I'm not far into the game. But I am wondering if there's any variation in ability & looks beyond their sex & clothes. It's seems like there's 2-3 of each.

-"There is nothing wrong with enjoying a game that has averaged a 7. I have enjoyed plenty of 7's. If you like Days Gone, then just get over it, and enjoy it."

Absolutely. There are some 7/10 games burned into my memory moreso than certain 8's; they just had various issues that were tough to ignore.

coolbeans9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

@CaptainOmega (had to split up due to character limit)

-As I've already acknowledged it being a s*** take, I'm not buying this whole idea of reading between the lines of it. Random tidbits (<-her words) are really just that: small pieces of info that come to mind. Plus, she's put that issue in the form of a question, which just as easily gives an interpretation of being a bit flummoxed if whether or not there's a reason for it or something else. Not to mention, it goes without saying that responders provided a lore-based reason so...I figured that would dispel her ignorance about freaker mutations, maybe?

- "I think the consensus from the fans is the game is easily a 7-8.5.. and the reviews of the game being a 6, or anything lower may be coming from a place that isn’t quite accurate."

But the game's overall MetaScore rests within that window you've provided. So, what happens to the overly positive reviews above your designated window? Is there the same type of question of accuracy or quality of said reviews? Because one's like that popular || MBG || video in my provided links are among the worst I've perused thus far. I haven't read the IGN review (thus far) but you'll understand my hesitancy in considering the criticism valid, right? My "Boy who cried wolf" reasoning coming into play.

-"Perhaps the review process needs to change... perhaps 3 people ..."

I mean...I'm open to review site changes, but I have some reservations about this. For one, it's fair to acknowledge these ideas have a nasty habit of cropping up--coincidentally--when a game they really like gets too harsh of a score. So there's already a biased inclination of this in the hopes of it 'deflating' the harsher critic's opinion (from what I can tell). Second, how do the logistics work here? B/c in Days Gone's case, we'll now have 3 contractors and/or site employees writing up about the same 30-60 hour open-world game when said time can be used to pushed more varied content. Third, what happens if one of said 3 people puts out some "SJW" comment on his/her twitter feed, even when there's no such commentary within the review itself? If so, do we now designate the rotted apple spoiled the whole bunch and disparage the site's credibility moving forward? You could be compounding problems rather than easing them.

-"Btw.. Kallie is the same person who said ‘Too much Water’ in a pokemon game is bad.."

*Sigh*...this joke should've died a long time ago, when people could still be forgiven for ignoring the context. Bodies of water is NOT the criticism there. It comes back to the design of the remake:

1.) Incessant amount of water-based Pokemon within an area (apparently there's a superfluous amount of Tentacool encounters)
2.) Very little done to address the tedium of surfing from the original

Move on from this one, please!

DaDrunkenJester9d ago

@Captain

Having 3 people review 1 50 hour game would just not make sense financially. Imagine paying 3 people to do one job, plus an editor... that magical website couldnt last.

That's why Metacritic exists... so you can read through a bunch of reviewers and get an average score.

"People aren’t caring that the game is getting low scores.. the problem are the REASONS for the scores not lining up with the actual quality of the game."

Well that's false. Vast majority of the reviews have PLENTY of valid criticisms of the game. There are only a small handful that I'd even consider had some sort of bias or "SJW" feelings in. And if everyone agrees it's a 7-8.5, why aren't the 9-10's being questioned? Because it's certainly not a 10...

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 9d ago
nucky649d ago

it's hard to enjoy something as pompous as this.

coolbeans8d ago

And here I thought that was part of my charm. ;)

TopherMan10d ago

"But nothing gets anywhere when the petulant Sony Apologencia gets to have the most say while disparaging virtually anyone’s thoughts when it’s underneath a certain point threshold."

I guess you've established your bias. Not sure there is much else to say.

coolbeans10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

You could say I have established my bias against a specific collection of irritable people that seem to take interest in derailing conversations that don't suit their opinions. What of it?

tekiz9d ago

Why didn't you write this article back when State of Decay 2 or Crackdown 3 was getting bad reviews and xbox fans were saying much the same types of things about reviewers?

The thing is, your quick to write these blogs when you can throw Sony games or gamers under the bus but I can't remember ever seeing you give the same scrutiny to xbox games or fans.

coolbeans9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

@tekiz

1.) With such terminology as flimsy as "xbox fans were saying much the same types of things about reviewers" I'm not sure you even buy your accusation. Understand that I want a firm definition on what you mean by this. Because my blog has addressed three types of arguments I've PERSONALLY witnessed across this site and elsewhere from a hardcore Sony fan or multiple fans:

-A disregard of reviewers' experiences with bugs, broken missions, etc.b/c those would (supposedly) be patched away on Day 1. If not disregard then at least temper their criticisms of technical issues.
-Screeching "SJW! SJW! SJW!" at sub-7 scores from prominent sites, even when the TEXT of said review doesn't support that.
-Saying "well, you see, the problem is these critics just don't understand the complexity or beauty of an Xbox exclusive. It's b/c they yada yada yada..."

Granted, my time on here can be limited; but I've yet to see such vociferous and petulant behavior over Crackdown 3's and SoD2's review scores by sizeable clusters of the Xbox Apologencia as I have with the other side and Days Gone. You're free to show me those cases that compare. Perhaps even of an Xbox fan personally messaging a reviewer calling him/her an "SJW ***t" over a harsh score. If you can't, though? Then you should my intention is about tackling the bigger problem.

2.) As stated, my time here is limited. I haven't personally experienced so many contentious arguments bottled up in such a short amount of time since...well...the cross-play stuff I blogged about last year. Just like with that instance, I'd anticipated several other points to get across but the article was failed. Plus, the SJW false flags sealed the deal with how motivated some bad-faith actors were in poisoning the well.

Christopher8d ago

My what of it is that it's not just one group. It's a subset of every group and typically the most vocal of those groups.

***but I've yet to see such vociferous and petulant behavior***

I think it's just as vociferous, but maybe not petulant. It's typically just more hypocritical in nature. But, it's still people doing the same thing, trolling to annoy others, just not calling out specific things like SJW. But there are definitely people who claim reviewer/site bias.

Is it as many as Sony fans tend to be? Nah. But, there's also a much smaller market share of those people in general. But enough pop up when the time arises.

Also, I think rather than blame specifically the users, we need to recognize the journalists who spawn constant criticism articles aimed at getting people who are arguing over one thing (Da Scores Are Wrong!) when the article is really addressing something else. Journalists know what will get the hits and when sides are warring over one thing or another. It's why there are a plethora of Days Gone opinion pieces.

Also, you should notice the people who post many of those negative articles that get high amounts of heat. Let's not act like certain 'fans' aren't doing it on purpose to annoy the other side because they can. It's not against our rules, but I don't ignore what people do to get a rise out of others.

The "SJW" thing annoys me to no end and I can't keep up with moderating such things that really have nothing to do with most topics discussing the game. I get people think it's on-topic, but it's not and it becomes a lazy way to bring in politics into something that's merely a difference of opinion and it opens discussion into things we don't normally allow. It's so hard to deal with it being brought up in every review submission when the person in the review could even be praising the game's protagonist and other social representations.

Gamers: "We don't want politics in our games!"
Also Gamers: "Politics politics politics in the comment section!"

coolbeans8d ago

@Christopher

-"My what of it is that it's not just one group. It's a subset of every group and typically the most vocal of those groups."

While I know the beginning and conclusion of the blog take specific aim at the hoopla surrounding Days Gone and SOME angered Sony fans, the 3 contentious points brought up can be universally applied to any gaming fanbase. That's why I wrote the "wider context" portion before discussing the issues of patch culture. Though I did fail to edit this into my previous comment to tekiz. I don't want to suggest ONLY one vocal caste of Sony fans are capable of doing this; it's just that all of the points fell into my lap b/c I just recently bumped into a lot of them either saying this or approving someone else saying it.

-"Also, I think rather than blame specifically the users, we need to recognize the journalists who spawn constant criticism articles aimed at getting people who are arguing over one thing (Da Scores Are Wrong!) when the article is really addressing something else."

Even when that's the case, parsing out some blame over that seems like peanuts compared to what specific users are doing. The thing is those 'criticism analysis' articles (let's call them) are common for high-profile games anyways; it only becomes 'angering' if readers let it. When considering the petulant things certain fanboys have done over this DG's fiasco, I think the focus ought to rest on them.

-"Also, you should notice the people who post many of those negative articles that get high amounts of heat. Let's not act like certain 'fans' aren't doing it on purpose to annoy the other side because they can."

Fine...but this is getting into submission dynamics, which I feel detracts from the point anyways. It's easy to see both sides doing this but, regardless, that content is more than likely going to make it onto an aggregate one way or another so I think that comes with the territory.

"Hello Google how to ban moderators that poorly photoshop your avatar onto game images you have yet had the time to buy or play?"

That's funny because it's actually a poor photoshop of RetroGiinthir's avatar. Hmmm...(ಠ.ಠ)
The plot thickens.

Christopher8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

***The thing is those 'criticism analysis' articles (let's call them) are common for high-profile games anyways***

This is the thing, what makes something high profile? Is Days Gone really more high profile than Rage 2 or Far Cry New Dawn?

I think that's a situational element where things become high profile not because of their content or quality, but because of the potential for response to them for one reason or not.

I wouldn't consider CD3 or DG high profile games, they're literally AA-quality games from AAA studios IMHO. But, perhaps that's just me?

***When considering the petulant things certain fanboys have done over this DG's fiasco, I think the focus ought to rest on them.***

Absolutely not in disagreement on that. I only addressed an element of your post but don't disagree with placing the blame where it belongs.

I'm kind of glad I don't own or have played the game yet because I can't actually offer an opinion on the actual game and my opinion before release was that I predicted it to get around a 75 metacritic score when others were claiming 90+. I can only imagine how my opinion on actual gameplay would be taken...

***(ಠ.ಠ) ***

https://i.imgur.com/spsXoV2...

coolbeans7d ago

-"This is the thing, what makes something high profile? Is Days Gone really more high profile than Rage 2 or Far Cry New Dawn?"

As you state, some context/situational elements do apply and I don't think I'm the guy to provide a clear definition. But my best effort would be considering these points:

-pre-release anticipation/reception (posted previews, press events, etc.)
-developer profile(s)
-marketing (I think one article submitted on here disussed Sony's cost of marketing DG's release/not limited to pure $$$ either)

There could be other qualifiers, but I think these factors are mentally considered whenever we're discussing this about popular titles from indie to AAA. I don't think those 3 other games hit the same mark imo. Most people knew New Dawn was just an expansion a la Uncharted: Lost Legacy style. RAGE 2 and CD3 are strange territory b/c they both failed to register in disparate ways; some people involved in games media didn't even know of R2's release. CD3's AA-quality may apply but not to Days Gone. This is a AAA studio putting out AAA technical stuff. I can vouch for that. It's one of the most impressive examples of Unreal Engine on the market.

Even while reading this I feel like my response is a mish-mash b/c I do agree on the situational element. I guess it's a similar situation to SCOTUS's famous quote regarding porn/art: You know it when you see it.

-"Absolutely not in disagreement on that. I only addressed an element of your post but don't disagree with placing the blame where it belongs."

Fair enough.

-"I can only imagine how my opinion on actual gameplay would be taken..."

Although I'm guessing you're currently preoccupied, I'd say you should rent it when having the chance. May be up your alley of an Ubi-world shooter w/ light RPG & survival mechanics.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 7d ago
Atom6669d ago

This is well written. I guess I've become numb to the screeching conspiracy and agenda cries overall. Personally, I've read a handful of reviews and simply decided to wait a few months for when this title goes on sale and gets more patches. Nothing unusual about that for me.

I especially appreciate the point about sending out review copies too soon. For me, 1st party games in particular should not release with a lot of bugs. I simply expect better. Sony should have held review copies to allow the patches to hit, or delayed for more time. They didn't, and it got dinged for it. Lesson learned, I hope.

The SJW stuff is just funny to me at this point. Boy who cried wolf is a nice way to put it. I am curious if people realize that these were the same agenda-pushing sites that universally praised games like RDR2 and God Of War a few months ago. I'd have to also go back and see, but I bet they're the same sites that awarded top scores to BotW, UC4, and even MGSV in years past. It's just strange that suddenly all of these sites would be so biased toward white-male protagonists, you know?

When these same sites dump on an exclusive from another platform, I'm sure all will be forgiven, and a new group will complain about them. This little war never changes.

coolbeans9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Much appreciated, Atom. Yeah, it's tough to pinpoint when the SJW conspiracy accusations starting sliding past me like water off a duck's back, but I'm now at that point as well. Needless to say, it's lost even more credibility when the examples referenced have what'd be considered circumstantial evidence to support the claim of "their review just being used as a political platform." It's one thing to discuss this when such is openly the case a la Feminist Frequency; I can't help but get annoyed when it's dinged against some other chick who clearly has a record of playing games and, by all accounts, paying her dues to remain in the industry.

-"Sony should have held review copies to allow the patches to hit, or delayed for more time. They didn't, and it got dinged for it. Lesson learned, I hope."

And you know what's the strangest? The SIE Bend announced the game went gold in early March. So, I can't help but consider the timeline of when it went to the time reviewer's got their hands on it. Why not just hold back on going gold a couple more weeks to handle those nasty bugs you purportedly knew about?

-" I am curious if people realize that these were the same agenda-pushing sites that universally praised games like RDR2 and God Of War a few months ago."

And for other examples: The Last of Us & the Left Behind DLC! ND's handling of social & relationship dynamics (among other 'politics') spurned on several, perhaps over 100, articles dissecting that stuff and how it affected them personally. Certain reviews were pretty clear that Druckmann's writing for Ellie and Riley's relationship elevated that DLC for them. "Nope, nope. None of these feelings-based platforms allowed here. Only objective details allowed," said no one.

-"It's just strange that suddenly all of these sites would be so biased toward white-male protagonists, you know?"

Well...I think it comes down to intention and development. I remember Jordan Peele getting some ire tossed his way over "I'll probably never a white main character in my horror movies." The way I've inferred most of the 'white male protagonist' complaints comes down to stereotyping and/or typecasting: another protag who's got some past wounds he's not going to open up about, typically has a scruffy beard or 5 o' clock shadow, and is trying to act method with the gravel-y Batman voice. But, again, it's best to take that on a case-by-case basis b/c some people really put no effort into explaining said issues. And even when I'm trying to understand that POV, it's still kind of annoying in this day and age. We're literally on the cusp of the most dude-bro shooters to ever dude-bro having a female lead so...it's not like that protag is as expected today.

Thanks for the comment.

Christopher8d ago

"Hello Google how to ban moderators that poorly photoshop your avatar onto game images you have yet had the time to buy or play?"