Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences president Joseph Olin has recently stated his belief that game reviewers are lazy, relying as they do on numerical scores, game comparisons and rushed play sessions to hit their mark.
“When I just see a score, whether it’s a Metacritic score or 5 stars or 4 thumbs, that doesn’t tell me anything,” Olin told Shacknews. “I am never surprised when there’s as much as a 40% or 50% variance between Metacritic numbers and user numbers.”
“My pet peeve is that game reviewers are lazy. Not all, but in terms of the reviews [something like] ‘This game isn’t as good because let’s compare it to that game over there and that game was great.’ Who gives a, you know, bleep?”
Olin went on to question how one can review a 40-hour experience like Grand Theft Auto IV with only a few hours’ gameplay under your belt. In doing so, he wishes to challenge the games media industry, and wishes for more “critical analysis” to go with basic criticism.
Speaking as a reviewer myself, it may surprise you to learn that I agree with the man (sweeping statements aside), and shan’t be tearing him a new arsehole this evening (something I’m sure comes as a great relief to Olin, as I am so mighty and scary and my words can kill men). I strive to be critical and analytical, but am still improving with every review, as I believe many of our review team are. The great reception that our month-late GTA IV review got provides evidence that a lot of gamers agree with Olin as well, and that people appreciate a review with the full gameplay experience behind it just as much, if not moreso, than a review that was rushed out of the gate just so it could claim to be “first.”