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Should Campaigns And Multiplayer Get Separate Review Scores?

On the surface, this seems to be an easily answered question.

After all, we're issuing an overall score for the entire product, and that product often includes both single-player and multiplayer entertainment. Hence, both must be considered, and it's up to the critic's discretion as to how heavily to weight each side; for instance, the multiplayer might be more heavily weighted in Medal of Honor: Warfighter than it was in Resident Evil 6.

On top of which, there's a general assumption that the majority of those who buy a game will play both the campaign and multiplayer. However, as time goes on, I keep running across people that almost exclusively buy titles for one reason or the other, and I've also heard of people only reading the parts of reviews that deal with either the single-player or the multiplayer. Furthermore, it really is true that the two experiences are extraordinarily different; quite separate and distinct beasts, in fact. Therefore, maybe it's not such a bad idea to split the two up and deliver two scores for certain games.

Some may say this could pose problems because readers might get confused, but it's not like we have a standardized form of reviewing games. The classic is still a 10-point scale but that's hardly the only system used by major sources, and some - like Game Informer - hand out multiple scores (from different critics). So it's not like we'd be breaking some sort of cardinal rule and besides, it could really help consumers make easier purchase decisions. It also doesn't help that reviewers approach the analysis process very differently; some spend a lot more time talking about multiplayer (or the campaign) than others.

What do you think?

Tags: game reviews, video game critics, game scores, multiplayer

10/17/2012 9:52:38 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

Yukian
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 10:58:40 PM
Reply

I don't mind having 2 reviews but there could be some negative things that may happen:

First, not ALL multiplayer look as good as the single-player counterparts.

Second, the Blind Sheeps WILL bash on the reviewer if the multiplayer scores higher than the single-player and vice-versa.

Third, it may not be the same person reviewing both parts since it's so time-consuming and could be seen as flawed reviews for that exact matter (although, to be honest, it could be more thorough reviews.)

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SmokeyPSD
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:03:03 PM
Reply

I'm starting to like the idea actually of paying less for a single player game... If they're going to use up so much resources on a component which I don't care about (online) I want the option to pay less.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:47:14 AM

^ ^ ^ This!!!!!

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chilker
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 2:01:32 AM

Ditto.

I think you can have different scores for Single Player and Multiplayer, and then just have a final average (overall) score at the end. Something I love about psxextreme is that you have many categories in each of your reviews. By adding Single Player and Multiplayer categories, you'll just be giving more information to gamers to help us decide where our limited money supplies would be best spent.

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Jed
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 2:32:16 AM

As great as that would be, I'm sure the quality of SP would only decrease further in most games. Even when games are being traded and used games are being sold two and three times over, devs get craploads of money from MP DLC. That makes the SP portion of these games even less lucrative, meaning they would get less and less attention until devs stopped making them altogether.

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xenris
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 9:38:20 AM

To the poster above me, if they make SP games digital only this solves the used market problem. If they make the SP campaign 15-20 bucks they would end up making more money in the long run.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:13:38 PM
Reply

I say no for a simple reason. I don't buy games for one or the other (mp/campaign) I buy the game for the whole experience. So I like to know what the overall quality is.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:27:14 PM
Reply

I say write 1 review and have 2 scores. I tend to skip the multiplayer parts of reviews anyway since I don't play them.

I think Ben is right that people are getting more and more divided, and what if some bad multiplayer brings down the score on a game with great SP? That's gonna hurt the sales.

Off topic but must mention: I just beat Dishonored, what an epic game all around. Awesome conclusion. Had no idea Arkane worked with Quantic Dream. If anybody knows the song that played at the end let me know, Shazam couldn't ID it.

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matt99
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 12:18:46 AM

I just beat it as well with low chaos, I'm now going through it as a total maniac and it's loads of fun. One of the best games of the generation for sure.

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Qubex
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:30:22 PM
Reply

Actually Ben, this is a brilliant question. Something that should have been discussed amongst us many moons ago. I believe there should be score separation between campaign and multi-player theatres of play.

Both theatres of play are distinctly different in game play style and approach, and therefore should be score appropriately. For example, for the Uncharted series of action adventure games; we know the multi-player component suffered initially, whilst the single player campaign theatre was far more enjoyable played as an interactive story and the score should have reflected this.

If one had a dual scoring system it would be easier to split out the strengths and weaknesses of both components that make up the whole package. It could be that people may not purchase a game if they felt part component was weaker than the other; it could be that people would make different purchasing decisions if games had a dual scoring system.

Don't know if it would have made a huge difference to popular games past that have sold well without an applied dual score; anyhow if single and multi player components were scored differently it would certainly influence the sales dynamic in some ways I think - but not drastically, not now anyway.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:41:15 PM

You sir get a cookie for spelling "theatres" the way I like to :)

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La_Bete12
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 12:17:07 AM

I'm thinking of being a theatre arts major, and I always get a smile when I see people still using the older fashioned version of the word :)

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Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 11:59:19 AM

Silly 'mericans, changing words just for the hell of it :p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:07:46 PM

Yeah we own language, it is our b*tch.

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tes37
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:50:36 PM
Reply

I think they should be reviewed and scored separately, but the total score of both should be combined to get an average of the two.

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daus26
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 12:31:39 AM
Reply

If we're talking about CoD, it won't matter. It will average a high 80 plus rating on Metacritic no matter how bad either are.

If we're talking about the other 99.9%, then no. The day we see separate scores for online/sp is probably the day when they will be sold separately, and I don't like the idea of that. Even if SP is bad, I still would like to play experience it, and vice versa.

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:14:27 AM
Reply

Sega's newly announced Model 2 PSN games would all get 10 out of 10 for both single player and multiplayer in my book :)

It's my book and I love it ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:27:15 AM

What's a model 2 PSN game?

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 9:41:28 AM

You haven't heard of Model 2? It made the Kessel run at 60fps. It doesnt just outrun local Wii games, no Im talking big PS3 games, like Uncharted. She's fast enough for you, young man. =p

Sega's Model 2 arcade hardware redefined the standard of arcade games(the video game tech standard bearer for the time) This hardware debuted before PSX or Saturn hit the scene and nothing on those looming consoles could come close to pushing as many texture mapped polygons or consistently as fast or high res as model 2 games. Rock solid 60fps is something I grew very found of at the time. I still do feel that way. Games running at that speed simply can control better and feel smoother(latency reasons makes this a fact) Virtua Fighter 2, Virtual On, Sega Rally, Daytona and more never saw proper release on consoles. I've been waiting for arcade code ports of Sega's model 2 games forever, hopefully soon Model 3 games too, but now the days are finally almost here and I can put on my TMNT t-shirt, pump up my Walk-man, grow a mullet and relive the golden days.
=p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 11:37:48 AM

ooooh. What's the Kessel?

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 12:18:04 PM

The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si'Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel's mines.

source: star wars wikia

=p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:09:07 PM

All I know is Dreamcast has the best arcade ports and emulations evar :) 60fps all round!

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Jed
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:29:49 AM
Reply

You're right, that seemed like an easy yes. But now that I think about it more its hard to say. I'm like many of the others on this site, I just don't do multiplayer.

Personally, if I am considering purchasing a game I will read through the reviews. I always want to know the reasoning behind a review score. I don't mind seeing one aggregate number for both experiences, as long as the review tells me how good (or bad) the SP is and why.

But I realize that review scores don't have as much of an influence upon me as it does others. Like I said, I read through the reviews, and I also consider their sources. I know which websites and reviewers have different tastes than me, so I tend to stay away from them. But I realize that many people just look at the number scores or meta scores to make their decision, and that can have a huge effect on how a game sells.

The way reviews are written and perceived these days, I just don't see a two number system being adopted by many reviewers.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:46:21 AM
Reply

Hmmm,
Actually IMHO, I think that a 3-way scoring system would be a much better, and the most fairest, way to score any SP/combined games....

1. Use a (big-sized) MAIN score for the combined SP/MP modes.

2. One (smaller sized) SUB-score for just SP mode.

3. One (smaller sized) SUB-score for just MP mode.

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Jed
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 2:38:29 AM

That's actually what I was thinking before I got all into "deep thought" mode. I think I try too hard to sound smart on here sometimes.

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faraga
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 7:43:16 AM

This is exactly what I was thinking as well. I also think that Ben should implementing this in his reviews right away and give an example for other reviewers this way.

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Vitron
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 1:57:04 AM
Reply

Yeah, I think they should since they provide different gaming experience. Well, like world said , 1 review and have two scores.

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Advent Child
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 2:20:05 AM
Reply

I would be so for having both scores and then a total because I don't touch the multiplayer on games.

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___________
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 5:28:06 AM
Reply

bloody oath they should!
BF3 a perfect example ended up getting much lower scores than it should of because the MP was brilliant, but the SP was craptacular.
same with COD.
why should one portion of a game be held back by another?

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berserk
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 7:36:30 AM
Reply

I would like it that way but only for certain games .No need to do 2 separate review if the MP was just an afterthought ( bioshock 2 , dead space for example ) .

I think games like COD , crisis , halo ,uncharted , socom , killzone and the likes deserve se9arate review because the MP is as important as the single Player in those .

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gumbi
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 9:41:19 AM
Reply

I really like the idea of separate reviews. With a combined average. I can't imagine how anyone would find this confusing.

Like many others here, I don't give a hoot about the online multiplayer portion of a game. It means nothing to me, I doubt it ever will. So the easier it is for me to ignore that portion of the review, the better.

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xenris
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 9:42:42 AM
Reply

I think its a great idea. There should be 3 scores given out, a single player score, multiplayer score and a complete score which would give the score based on how much value the reviewer thought the overall package was or something like that. So if SP was amazing and multiplayer not so much they could say the overall game was a 7, but the SP was a 9 and multiplayer was a 5 or something like that and that the game is worth it but maybe not right away. Unless the replay value for the single player is high then maybe the overall score would have been better?

But either way I think they should separate them.

And while they are at it, sell them separately like Starhawk is doing. I think this is the way it should be done.

I mean if I could JUST buy the zombies portion of Black ops 2 I would. But they are going to lose a sale because I'm just not going to buy it until its really cheap whether that is new or used. If zombies was 15-20 bucks digital I would be all over that.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, October 19, 2012 @ 2:57:39 AM

I am with you as I play both single and multiplayer games and if they were scored seperately yet still had an overall score I may actually start using reviews again. As of now I don't need the critics in anyway as I know what I like after playing games for 30 years, once in awhile I will read one of Bens reviews as he is one of, if not the only person I feel gives a good review(as in his tastes seem similar to mine).

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TheAgingHipster
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 10:59:40 AM
Reply

Please, please, please do this. I'm begging you. I don't think I've ever played a single round of multiplayer ANYTHING on my consoles, and I would love to see a score only for the single player experience.

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DjEezzy
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 11:27:20 AM
Reply

I think 2 reviews would be awesome because if a game is extremely good for multiplayer but ho hum for campaign and vice versa, an average score may deter some from actually experiencing one or the other. I think it would be awesome for you or any other reviewer to say that the campaign is amazing so it gets this score but the multiplayer isn't as great so it gets this score. That would give people who are on the fence more of a clear idea what they might like. Not that your reviews are lacking because they're not... I just think it's a good idea.

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 6:45:26 PM
Reply

This is gonna sound nuts but I'd like to see the whole grading system turned upside down and reinvented which includes the possibility of being kept off of a linear scale. While I visit it often, Metacritic, I wouldn't mind seeing hive mind aggregates being subverted more by a less generalized approach to game evals by the media.

I think there's many different ideals at play when people sit and evaluate games these days. I don't like this generalized "for every-gamer" sort of evaluation notion. The, "is it worth your money" notion. Times have changed and games can be had in so many ways and recycled or traded or happened upon more commonly than the 8 and 16 bit days. Furthermore, I think with how large the gaming market has become, and how diverse it is in markets, we can see a lot more freedom in assessing content.

For example, I really enjoy fighting games. I would consider myself a hardcore gamer who has more expertise in the area than a generalized critic. I would like to see sites have reviewers represent a rating system that is based on the epitome of that genres ideals, not the ideals of the homogeneous gamer. I pretty much don't read or care to look at fighting game reviews anymore. There's little for me to connect with.

... anyway, I have tons more to say but I gotta end it here. More home work to do ;)

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