Easy as 1,2,3: Review Scores Should Disappear
Review scores are the bane of most writers out there today. To spend time crafting your thoughts and emotions on the game to only have to tack on a score that reflects what you just wrote is heart-wrenching to me. As a writer myself, I would hate to have all that hard work I put into what I think is a well written review of a game to have people skip to the bottom where the score is and proceed to berate me about how it didn't deserve the score it received. Seeing as how even producers of games are getting a little irate when getting a review score not to their liking makes me wish more people would do away with them outright. In an interview with VG247, Cliff Bleszinski showed a little disgust with the 8/10 score that Eurogamer gave Gears of War 3. Here is a quick quote from the interview:
VG247: Were you pleased with the review scores this morning?
Cliff Bleszinski: Doing great, apart from a couple of haters.
And who are the haters?
A certain gamer of the Euro.
And what was their problem with the game? I haven’t read the review.
You know, I didn’t quite gather it. I don’t want to come across as defensive. How do I phrase this properly? When people rated Gear 2 higher than Gears 3, it kind of upset me because I know Gears 3 is a better game on every level.
I understand wanting every sequel you make to be better than the last and most game reviews seem to agree that Gears of War 3 is the best in the series. What I don't understand is how Cliff Bleszinski can "hate" on a publication for their review/opinion on his game. As long as Eurogamer can back up why the score was given, there should be no hate whatsoever. What Cliff Bleszinski should have done instead of publicly hating on Eurogamer's review is reached out to them and try to get a better understanding of why the writer, Johnny Minkley, gave it the score he did that Cliff Bleszinski couldn't fully get from reading the review.
In light of all this, I think this just shows even more so than ever that the industry needs to rid the reviews of scores altogether. Sure, most publications will suffer traffic to those reviews and lose ad revenue if they deploy ads in print or online. I want to believe that if the review score system is taken out of the equation, maybe people will actually get back to reading a review to understand how the game made the writer feel during his/her time with the game and get a sense of what their likes/dislikes are when it comes to them. What a shock, people actually reading words instead of an arbitrary number that is meaningless.