Are Game Reviews Going Through Change?

Many a player have relied on a review from their favourite publication help decide whether or not a game is worth picking up and playing, and to some extent even now that still remains true – but game reviews have been changed somewhat in recent years particularly with the rise of third party direct reviews on the biggest platforms like Steam, and across other markets like mobile in certain genres as some casinos here available away from regulation like Gamstop often rely on good user reviews to pull in new players – but for many, the big reviewers have become less trusted in recent years, as many now rely on big influencers instead, is this causing game reviews to go through a major change?

The issue with the big major reviewers comes three-fold – the first problem is that for a while many didn’t disclose whether or not they were being paid to leave a positive review, there was a huge deal made of online content not disclosing sponsored posts for example and this was one area that certainly suffered as many of the big publications would consistently give positive scores to sub-par yearly releases, having a negative impact on user trust.

Secondly, the issue doesn’t necessarily rely on just the reviewer, but in some part on the game developers – recent titles like Cyberpunk showed this off in the worst instance as no pre-recorded reviewer footage was allowed to be used in reviews, only the pre-supplied footage, and given the game had a whole host of bugs amongst other issues, this has soured the expectations for many too.

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The third comes down to just poor reviewers – many games have a mode specifically created for the journalist to experience the game but in a very watered down version, and with many relying on this difficulty level it provides very skewed reviews that sometimes are indicative of how the game rely plays or performs, and much like the first point leads many to be unable to trust what a reviewer has written as it may not correctly reflect what a real player experience will look like.

On the other hand, you now have the big content creators, particularly live streamers, that may have access to a new release a day or two earlier and are able to provide a realistic and live view of what the game actually is, they’re able to provide an unfiltered look at what the game actually is for those who don’t mind spoilers, and often a much more well-rounded approach than the big review publications. Could this signal a more permanent change in the review industry? Not entirely likely, but could cause a big change to how the bigger publications approach their own reviews moving forward.