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MGS4 Review Score Discrepancies?

It may not catch Grand Theft Auto IV due to some abnormally low review scores, but there's no doubt that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is dragging down a hell of a lot of critical acclaim in the early goings, here.

Perhaps most interesting about the current feedback revolves around the contrast seen in some of the earliest reviews for the game, and some of the most recent. For example, sources like Eurogamer and GameDaily have awarded the game an 8 (on the low side, of course), while the recent reviews from GameSpot and IGN have been perfect: 10. According to GameRankings, the average review score for MGS4 thus far is 92.6% (GTAIV ended up at 97.4%), and there do seem to be several statistical outliers, as we just said. OPM and Game Informer have handed out the perfect 10 score as well, bringing the number of recorded perfect scores to 6. At the same time, 4 sources have given the game a flat 8, which means there is a significant degree of critic interpretation involved, here. With GTAIV, there seemed to be more of a consensus, certainly.

So the question we have is, what might be that determining factor that is causing the larger discrepancy in scores? There's a larger gap in final scores for MGS4, and perhaps there's a reason for it... We're not sure what that reason is, but we can tell you our review is coming shortly. No hints, either...sorry. ;)

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

6/13/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Fabi
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 1:01:54 AM
Reply

You can tell the difference when you read the 8 reviews. The reviewers are clearly turned off by the story. They should let someone who is a MGS fan, but not a die-hard fan review it. Not someone who clearly doesn't care for the story.

Regardless of anything though, you cannot justify giving an 8 to a game like this. Even if it's not your cup of tea, it is clearly visible how much time and effort went into it. On that alone it deserves a 9. If all games had this much put into making them, then we would never go outside.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 1:41:37 AM
Reply

It's simple really MGS4 is almost impossible to fully appreciate if you haven't played the other games. It is very difficult for newbies (like myself) to get into it.

@Fabi- If a reviewer needs to be a fan just to "get it" then the game doesn't deserve 10 simple. Basically you're saying someone who isn't a fan can't review the game. That completely ruins the point of the review process.
You're also saying that any game that involved a lot of time and effort deserves a 9/10. This isn't 12th grade English, there is no A for effort.
I'll quote you for a moment "you cannot justify giving an 8 to a game like this. Even if it's not your cup of tea." Excuse me? It is a reviewers job to give a game a rating that represents how much they enjoyed the game. If a reviewer doesn't like the game, for any reason, he should tell his audience that.

Im not saying MGS4 is bad I'm just saying your logic is severely flawed. I'll never understand why people care about review scores of a game that they own and like. YOU like it. Why do you care about other people's opinion of the game?

Last edited by SHADOW on 6/14/2008 1:42:06 AM

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eba101
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 2:22:08 AM
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dude this is my first mgs game and i think deserves a 10 for graphics gameplay and the story even though i dont know it all thos game is atleast a nine if ur not into the story but is alot fun got me more addicted than gta4

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Cttun
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 2:32:31 AM
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@SHADOW: If a reviewer don't like a kind of games it shouldn't affect the score. If you don't like football games that doesn't mean they worth 8/10 just because you don't like it. They must be impartial to it.

For an example: GameDaily gave a 8/10 for MGS 4 and gave a 8/10 to Echochrome (the little game you can download on the PSN). Theses two titles can't have the same score. MGS 4 have much more to offer. I'll quote the reviewer on that: "...and some of the cut scenes are unbearably long..." "At times, you'll watch a long cut scene, play for a few minutes and then watch another." This is what make MGS a beautiful game, you play in a movie. Well if you don't like then don't play but please don't bash it.

That doesn't mean MGS 4 deserved a perfect score too. No game can be perfect! But this is an amazing game! it would a least deserved a 9 like Fabi said.

"I'll never understand why people care about review scores of a game that they own and like. YOU like it. Why do you care about other people's opinion of the game?"

Well, I'll reply to that with this quote: give to ceasar what belongs to ceasar. They make a great game and spend a lots of time on it. They should a least be thanks by the gamers community! Not a lot of studio give games of this quality.

Oh, and by the way this is my first post here.

Last edited by Cttun on 6/14/2008 2:34:06 AM

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:58:32 PM

Impartial? A review is an honest personal opinion. A reviewer should be fair (ie: don't give a game a low rating because it's made by EA or something) but if a reviewer is willing to give a game, they didn't enjoy a good score because everyone else is, WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT? When I read a review I want to know what a reviewer thought of the game. If he didn't like it his score and review better damn well show that. If the reviewer felt that the length of the cut-scenes detracted enjoyment from the game then his review better damn well show that too.

Why can't Echochrome and MGS4 get the same score? To say that shows complete ignorance, a game doesn't need to take 3 years and millions of dollars in capital to be good. A good idea that is executed well deserves good scores. Our level of enthusiasm for games should be based on our likes and dislikes. Apparently Game Daily likes puzzle games and value. If they enjoyed MGS as much as they enjoyed echochrome then the games deserve the same scores.

"Well if you don't like then don't play but please don't bash it." When did giving one's opinion become bashing? If you don't like what he wrote don't read, but please don't bash it.

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Cttun
Sunday, June 15, 2008 @ 1:30:21 AM

Then what's the point of reading a review from someone who don't like this kind of games? You know he will say all bad thing about it. Personally, I rarely read review because of that. Once in a while I get curious and check some reviews but that's it.

"A reviewer should be fair (ie: don't give a game a low rating because it's made by EA or something"

That's exactly what I said, been fair by not giving lower/higher score just because you don't/do like that kind of games.





Last edited by Cttun on 6/15/2008 1:30:49 AM

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 2:40:05 AM
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who gives a crap about thier scores, we all know that MGS4 and GTA4 were excellent games, thats what I care about.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:59:13 PM

that's what im saying. If YOU like it who cares if others do?

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aaronisbla
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:08:46 AM
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I think they would have rated it lower, but they couldnt find too much of anything to hate on. From those reviews, clearly it seems like they went in thinking " im tired of this damn hype, i cant wait till this blows over"

The reviewer made it seem as if it was a chore to play it, but as we can see, he is clearly in the minority

I think in the coming weeks, fans and critics alike might be hesitant on admitting that this game is a true masterpiece of gaming, dare i say the best damn title out for this new gen and its gonna be extremely hard to surpass this one.

Just like CoD4 raised the bar for MP fps games for the consoles, this does it for gaming in general.

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Fabi
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:27:14 AM
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@Cttun - Thanks, pretty much exactly what I was going to say.

@Shadow - You're taking everything I said and using your own logic to disect it in a way it wasn't supposed to be. You're the basic one.

If I were to review a click and point strategy game like Starcraft, I would give it a real bad review. Why? Because I simply don't appreciate the genre. Does it mean it's a bad game? Of course not.

But if I play through it and realize how much went into it, and how much of that makes the game awesome for fans of the genre, then I take the game and compare it to other games in the same genre, then I either say I'm not apt to review this game, or take all that into consideration, but not just say something like "the real time strategy genre is too slow"

And by the time and effort comment, it's real hard to say that "any" game that involves a lot of time and effort deserves an automatic 9, because not too many exist. And guess what? The ones that do, are always great games.

I'm not talking about a developer like Free Radical saying they poured their heart and soul into making freakin' Haze.

I'm talking about Rockstar SHOWING how much thought and attention to detail they included in their game, the same goes for MGS4.

I'm talking about those special developers that always stand out and show how much thought they put into making their game stand out, the ones that advance videogames with every release.

You're making it seem like these games are released all the time. Think before you type so much.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:06:51 PM

Sorry Fabi. I can't climb into your head and read your comment. I HAVE to use MY logic to disect things its my only option. That being said, you bring up good points. A big company probably shouldn't put someone who doesn't play RPG's in the position where he has to review an RPG. But if your job is as a reviewer and you get an assignment you should write what you feel. If you think a game is bad IT IS YOUR JOB to write that. As consumers we don't have this problem because we don't play games we don't think we'll like. Reviewers don't always have that option. They have to go in with an open mind but if they come out underwhelmed that is what they need to get across in their review.

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Fabi
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:39:29 AM
Reply

And I do care about other people's opinions of the game. Why? Because I love the franchise, and I want as many people as possible to enjoy it.

A bunch of people that had never played a MGS game were getting turned off by the early reviews claming that it was a glorified movie, and a lot of them weren't sure if they wanted to purchase it anymore (thank Lair and Haze for that) because of the list of PS3 exclusives that had underwhelmed before it.

The better the reviews, the more it sells. Simple as that. It's not going to effect my thoughts on the game, but like it was said before, give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser.

I would feel the same way about anything I'm a fan of. Whether it be music, film or a videogame.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:10:29 PM

Maybe i just think differently, maybe i was raised to just not give a fu** what others think, maybe i got too much sun this morning, maybe im used to other people not liking what i like. What ever the reason I simply cannot understand that. I cannot and will not ever understand why people care about the reviews for products they already bought and have formed an opinion over.

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ThePoetRazel
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 4:53:41 AM
Reply

An 8!? are they crazy?
I'm sure it's the amount of story that gets to most of these reviewers. There sometimes seems like there are more cut-scenes than gameplay. But how can anyone deny that the gameplay in this game is anything less than brilliant? And it's so varied. As for the story, most Hollywood movies don't even come close to this in it's brilliance. I know a number of people who cried at some points in this game.
Personally, i think those reviewers who gave this game 8s are just biased against any game with a lot of story to it. They need to realize that intricate stories are a part of many games now.

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ManaKnight
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:51:47 AM
Reply

It's a love it or kind of like it series. I love it and would give it a perfect 10. Doesn't bother me, since I just play what I like.

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karneli lll
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 8:32:47 AM
Reply

if a reviewer gives a game you love a low score,it probably means you and the reviewer are on two different wavelengths, so you should probably move elsewhere for your reviews. Or you could just ignore them, this is MGS, there is no need to read reviews (especially from someone who doesnt know snake); the game speaks for itself!

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LCF
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 9:55:39 AM
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I feel if a game is going to be reviewed a reviewer should:
1.Enjoy the genre.
2.Played alot of other games in this genre.
3.Review a game based on hype(good or bad)
Like a jurist who can't watch media hype to influence their decision on a case.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 10:27:40 AM

We don't always have the luxury of reviewing a game in a genre we like, just like any other critic (movies, books, music albums, etc.). However, background experience is always necessary, and every reviewer - regardless of how difficult it may be - needs to try to do a review with a completely blank slate.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/14/2008 10:27:59 AM

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LCF
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 9:57:33 AM
Reply

Ack for the post above number 3 is WRONG lol it should state
"3.Don't review a game based on hype."
Damn thing wont let me edit my post,sorry =.=

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Fabi
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 11:18:12 AM
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@LCF - Hehe, ok that completely changes it. I like your points though. Like Ben said, reviewers don't always have the luxury to do that. But the bigger reviewers sure do.

If anything, they should have had a second opinion from someone else who thought it was brilliant in their reviewing staff. And if there isn't any who thought so, then the publication or site is probably trash.

Not like GameInformer second opinions though, those things are so useless. I can't remember the last time I saw a significant difference between the first and second opinions. It's always a minimal difference.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:17:32 PM

You try to comment on reviewer bias without keeping your own bias in check. Do you honestly believe that if a publication doesn't have any reviewers that like a particular game it's trash. That's the most outlandish thing you've written.

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Mystearica
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 11:21:59 AM
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Well if I were to guess - MGS4 is not FOR EVERYONE...

Now I have only played the first one (did buy the bundle on the PS2 though).... but

1- Difficulty/type of gameplay - this game requires a lot of stealth and patience to some extent... not every person is into that

2- Sequel - I believe that MGS4 is not exactly a "stand-alone" game like GTAIV. In other words, you can start playing GTAIV without ever touching any of the older GTAs and still get the most out of it (you may need more time to get used to the gameplay though). With MGS4 to fully appreciate the game you need to be somewhat familiar with the previous games.

Just two guesses I have here... I haven't read any reviews so I can't tell what they supposedly did/did not like

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:19:18 PM

thank you. You pretty much put my opinion down in a much better way than i did. I agree one hundred percent.

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turenextgen
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 12:52:43 PM
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"If a reviewer don't like a kind of games it shouldn't affect the score. If you don't like football games that doesn't mean they worth 8/10 just because you don't like it. They must be impartial to it.""""

Exactly! And they lay back on saying "its opinion." Since when is getting payed to point buyers in certain directions, just an opinion. Its a professional review. Not an opinion. A review, is a look at the truth's of a project. And a professional reviewer is their to give that. Not have a opinion.

And with that first thing being said. Why??? Simple,, Its the easiest answer you can think of. It needs know 4 paragraphs, or a big article to answer why? It getting up and down scores for one reason. And one reason only. Its on a PS3. People just have to have the balls to start to state that fact. Its why it got a few low scores. Tell me im wrong. And if you do, Ill call BS. Im 37, And have seen enough to know what goes on in media these days. If this game was on the 360 it would be averaging about t .5 points higher. If not higher than that. Welcome to the US. Great place to live. Best place to live in the world "thats fact." But another fact is. Its also prides itself on BSing everyone. And yea I know the one score was Euro. But the bases of it come from the machine made in the US.

Last edited by turenextgen on 6/14/2008 12:56:24 PM

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:23:28 PM

Reviewing isn't an exact science if it were we wouldn't need so many reviewers. Reviewing is an opinion by its very nature. If a reviewer were simply giving truths then he's not reviewing he's summarizing the two are VERY different.

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Ghosl
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 1:08:45 PM
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hey you know what while were at it we might as well go back and review older games and strip their 10s away at least you don't have to read though the whole game

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Jove
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 2:34:47 PM
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keep in mind that mgs4 is console exclusive which might put some people off just like that. also, some companies pay for reviews. thts a fact, so dont trust what you see out there. if the numbers were true, gta4 and halo would be the greatest games ever...

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:28:38 PM

The quadruple post: when three times just isn't enough. Calm down comboy. Give the site a second to respond before clicking the submit button again.

I don't think exclusivity had anything to do with the reviews, ya sure it turned off a bunch of 360 owners but i don't think it had anything to do with the reviews we're discussing. Also the paying for reviews thing has been discussed on many occassions here i don't know what that has to do with anything. And for the record GTA 4 just might be the greatest game ever.

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smotpoker420
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 3:14:05 PM
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Alright jove we get the point its an exclusive. That doesn't mean these dumbasses have a reason to give it a bad score. Its either the gameplay or the story because everything else is keen to the real snake and mgs history. Like everyone else said stealth is not for everyone, but its got a lot for everyone too guns,graphics, good story. Its a great game and I wish these upscale hollywood types could realize that.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:30:35 PM

When did 8/10 become a bad score? That is a great score as far as I'm concerned. And I don't know of too many game sites or magazines based in hollywood, but whatever.

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ThePoetRazel
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 5:37:25 PM
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Geez SHADOW, you've got a lot to say.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 6:12:25 PM

Haha. Or just way too much time on my hands.

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Schmitty
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 7:04:15 PM
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why dont we all stop thinking how bad an 8 is and think about how bad hazes reviews are then we could understand that an 8 is not that bad.

im joking of course MGS4 deserves a 12/10

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bamf
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 7:11:58 PM
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All I can say is if a critic reviews RPG game and they hated the genre and they had been reviewing these RPG games since say PS1. Then you will see low scores given to all RPG games for the past 15 years or so. Its like a critic hating horror movies and reviewing each one, everyone they see they'll think the movie will suck.
The fact is that games that get reviewed on sites like IGN and gamespot are usually reviewed by critics that are a fan of that specific genre. Will will not get a critic who is only a fan of sport titles on consoles to review a RTS game on PC.

For GTA there are people who don't happen to like sandbox games, would it make sense for them to review it for a game site? I think nt.

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bamf
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 7:19:51 PM
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All I can say is if a critic reviews RPG game and they hated the genre and they had been reviewing these RPG games since say PS1. Then you will see low scores given to all RPG games for the past 10 years or so. Its like a critic hating horror movies and reviewing each one, everyone they see they'll think the movie will suck.
The fact is that games that get reviewed on sites like IGN and gamespot are usually reviewed by critics that are a fan of that specific genre. Will will not get a critic who is only a fan of sport titles on consoles to review a RTS game on PC.

For GTA there are people who don't happen to like sandbox games, would it make sense for them to review it for a game site? I think nt.

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MistaJeff
Saturday, June 14, 2008 @ 10:42:51 PM
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Rockstar blacklists reviewers who give their games unfavorable reviews, therefore people who would be likely to give their games less than perfect scores aren't allowed to review them. Did anyone notice how Joystiq.com didn't review GTA4? That's because Rockstar didn't like their review of Liberty City Stories for PSP. Also, a lot of the pre-release reviews were only allowed to be done on the portion in Broker/Dukes, so basically they could only review the part of the game that existed before the story got watered down with awful filler and cheap ethnic stereotypes that are completely shamed by the high quality of that first portion of the game.

That's not to say that's the reason why every review gave it something near-perfect, but that definitely discredits the assertion that it was unanimously received as perfect. I couldn't even finish the game because the plot became so awful that I completely lost motivation. What else was there to do? Go bowling with my fake friends who only call me when I'm on the opposite end of the city, only to chew me out for being late when I take time out of my virtual day to pick their lazy asses up? I'd rather go real bowling with my real friends who don't care if I'm 1 virtual minute late.

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whodatt
Sunday, June 15, 2008 @ 9:17:28 PM
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just to point out...the reviewers who gave it the low scores, were the same ones who said the individual cutscenes were 90 min...which as you reported was stated as "a gross overstatment" by a pr rep. just a nod to thier credebility

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