Ah, this is a subject I could rant on for hours on end. Kotaku’s magician-writer Brian Crecente has written an editorial piece about “The Rush To Review”, asking why people get reviews for games out so fast. His main case concerns Little Big Planet, whose reviews came out two weeks ago, even though the game wasn’t fully playable (the servers STILL aren’t running).
I felt this way about GTA IV and I totally agree that this question needs to be asked more often. To me, a game that relies on user content needs to be reviewed a few weeks after the game ships, to see how the game holds up. Sure, you can review the solo stuff, and it sounds like LBP’s is still great, but don’t tell us the whole game is perfect if you don’t know.
In addition, he brings up MMO’s, saying it shouldn’t be ok to review an MMO until perhaps a month or more after launch, for similar reasons as stated above.
The whole thing is definitely worth a read, and the issue’s been on my mind a lot lately, mainly because I’m playing Saint’s Row 2 and enjoying it so much more than the heralded “greatest game of all time” Grand Theft Auto IV, which early reviews raved over. The thing is, I think more and more reviewers are reviewing games before they’ve even finished them these days, and if you played the first 5-10 hours of GTA IV, I can see how you’d call it a gaming masterpiece. The next 20, however… not so much.
Hell, I saw a Dead Space review the other day where the guy didn’t even know how to heal himself (calling it clunky), when it only requires the push of a button. Made me wonder if he’d made it very far into the game at all.
Personally, this is why we haven’t reviewed a game yet at GamerSushi. We’re trying to decide on the best process still, because we want to lead people the right way, and only once we’ve finished the game. Hopefully we can have some good ones for you guys over the next few weeks.
What do you guys think? Are you ok with the rush to review?