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Do You Even Care About Review Scores For The Witcher 3?

Yes, the game is currently scoring off the charts. Or if not "off the charts," certainly very high indeed.

Praise is everywhere. But will it really influence a ton of people to buy the game? I mean, those who weren't already planning on a purchase?

Thing is, despite its wider appeal, this remains a hardcore role-playing game, and those interested in such a genre are typically very educated. They follow gaming news on a daily basis and they do all sorts of research before making a purchase. It seems to me that this really is the audience for The Witcher 3 and if that's the case, they don't need reviews. They really don't.

As important as reviews continue to be, for both consumers and developers, there are times when the demographic simply won't be too heavily swayed by the critical reception. In my experience, just about everyone I know had either decided to buy the game well before the reviews came out, or they'd decided against a purchase. And it wouldn't matter if the game got fifty perfect 10s; if it isn't your thing, it isn't your thing. I'll never play an RTS, no matter how great a new Civilization turns out to be.

Then again, one could argue that hardcore gamers might be more influenced by review scores because they actually check scores and read reviews, as opposed to casual fans of the hobby. I don't know...what do you think?

Related Game(s): The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Tags: the witcher 3 wild hunt, the witcher 3 reviews, the witcher 3 review scores

5/18/2015 9:41:01 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (44 posts)


Temjin001
Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 9:57:03 PM
Reply

If I had known the embargo was lifting a week early I probably would've waited, but even not knowing that I went ahead and pre-ordered it anyway.

Anyhow, I loaded it up to see the title screen. It shows a cool scene of Geralt.

I might get some time tonight to play it. School has me so bogged down right now so I can't really dive in.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/18/2015 9:57:29 PM

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FAREEZ
Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 11:54:29 PM

School? You still in high school or something?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:00:47 AM

Why would you assume high school?

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:23:27 AM

So what school? I just want to know, seriously...

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souljah92
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:03:04 AM

i don't know where you're from but there is such thing as school after high school lol

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:41:11 AM

He's probably in college, or graduate school, Fareez. Lots of people do both, and that kind of schooling can last well into your 20s.

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:45:14 AM

We only have ninja school here...

Bio: u probably right, at my place people don't called college school, that why I'm confused...

Last edited by FAREEZ on 5/19/2015 11:48:54 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:55:12 AM

school is school, college, trade, elementary. Temjin is becoming some sort of big shot 3D artist or programmer or something.

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 12:01:21 PM

He probably making a game someday...

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 4:50:10 PM

I'm just finishing up my BS in CS with a 3D graphics minor.
I'll be all done in August. Maybe someday I'll go for a master's degree.


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Bio
Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 10:55:40 PM
Reply

People have, for the most part, been making purchase decisions without review scores for a long time now. They mostly just exist, at this point, as things to argue about.

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matt99
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 8:13:45 AM

I disagree, I think games are the one entertainment medium where review scores actually make a difference. Games are too expensive to just buy and hope they are good. I know reviews make a difference for me, (of course there are some games I get no matter what) for example dying light was a game that I bought based off of reviews and boy was I glad I did.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:01:37 AM

A review from a reviewer I trust is worth more to me than cool box art.

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:31:03 AM

Who said anything about looking at box art? These days we have extended previews, developer diaries, hundreds if not thousands of screenshots, gameplay trailers, launch trailers, Twitch, 'quick looks' etc.

This isn't 1996 where the only way to learn about a game was from a review. If you follow a game at all these days you know exactly what it looks like and what it plays like and sounds like long before anyone gets their hands on review copy.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 3:05:27 PM

Yes, there's plenty of media out there.

But many would rather read a review from some sources they trust as opposed to spending a huge amount of time researching gameplay videos. On top of which, there's no way to tell how a game really functions unless you get your hands on the controller. Take Toren, for instance. The game looked fantastic; there's no way to determine the serious control issues and other glitches (which also never show up in promo videos, of course).

The idea that reviews only exist for people to "argue about" isn't even remotely accurate.

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 4:13:06 PM

Did I say 'only'? =
Even back when reviews were pretty much the only source of information, they were only utilized by a minority of people. They're utilized even less today, especially when things like Giant Bomb's Quick Looks can cover the things you mentioned with Toren.

When I said MOST people don't use reviews, it was entirely accurate.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 4:27:34 PM

Then I suppose you have an explanation as to why developers and especially publishers put such a giant premium on review scores, and why there's very often a direct correlation between those scores and sales numbers.

Especially in an industry that now consists of about 80 percent casual participants, who absolutely do not spend their leisure time researching video games, and would much rather take a quick look at Metacritic. Speaking of which, how exactly did Metacritic get so huge? "Mostly" because people just like to argue over the scores?

Most people DO use review scores. In fact, it's pretty much all they use, as MOST people don't read and MOST people don't consider gaming to be a primary hobby, even if they do play games every now and then.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/19/2015 4:29:19 PM

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 5:06:42 PM

That review scores often, but not always, reflect the general quality of a game simply means that most people reviewing games are not blind, deaf and dumb. Good games are good games.

That publishers 'place a premium' on them isn't something to be proud of, or to use in justifying their importance. They're often used to give publishers leverage over developers, withhold salary and bonus, or otherwise screw over the people who actually make the game.

Look, I'm not trying to scrag you here or anything, and if I was I'd have to be doing the same to myself not just for the time I spent here but other outlets. The fact is most people who buy games will never come to a site like this, or Gamespot, or IGN. Even the biggest sites get 'mere' millions of hits per month, which sounds impressive until you realize hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people buy games now. Most people buy games like they buy everything else - marketing and word of mouth.

So we're down to the people who actually do frequent sites like these, and the comments here should speak for themselves. Some people here read reviews, some don't. I figure it's the same elsewhere as it is here. Ultimately that means that, statistically, a very small number of people overall actually use reviews as a purchasing tool.

Outlets like these are more valuable today for news, previews, multimedia and discussion. It's just the evolution of the industry.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 6:20:55 PM

"A good game is a good game."

The same can be said for movies, music albums, books, etc. And yet, very often, the worst-reviewed products in those industries break sales records. In fact, when it comes to movies, one could argue that the dumber and flashier it is (ala summer blockbusters), low review scores are both inevitable and irrelevant. Same goes for books (50 Shades, anyone?).

I don't think any other entertainment medium has such a direct correlation between positive critical reception and sales. There's really only one explanation for this, and it's that the gaming community absolutely does look at reviews. You say people mostly use them as arguing points but even if that's true, it still means people are USING THEM. The review scores are still being seen. Some reviews are actually even being read. Multiple reviews for big new games dominate the top-trending stories, the most popular stories at N4G, etc. This doesn't happen because people don't care.

And there's a positive side to the publisher reaction as well. They offer bonuses to development teams that break a certain Metascore, for instance, which encourages the team to produce something of high quality. And as BOTH critics and gamers tend to reward high-quality productions, it seems obvious to me that there's a connection. And a big one.

And again, there's a reason Metacritic is what it is, and it's certainly not because consumers are ignoring reviews. Quite the opposite, of course.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/19/2015 6:22:15 PM

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souljah92
Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 11:42:56 PM
Reply

Don't care about the game, period. lol

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 1:22:47 AM

Wow, you say it out loud...

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 1:17:52 PM

^He didn't use caps, no exclamation point.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 5/19/2015 1:18:19 PM

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TrueAssassin86x
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 7:00:38 AM
Reply

F reviews i never cared about reviews and never will.

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:07:15 AM

Yet you are on this site. Hypocrite much

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PS3_Wizard
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:36:02 AM

This site offers A LOT more than just reviews, Sawao...

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:44:04 AM

I come here for the news and read the comments...

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:32:48 AM

sawao I haven't read a review on this site (or any site for that matter) in years. I come here for news, commentary, and discussion, all things this site does a good job of providing. In fact, reviews make up a minority of what makes it to the front page.

No one is a hypocrite.

Last edited by Bio on 5/19/2015 10:33:16 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 10:40:08 AM

They are useful to read though. So you know what you are buying.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 1:25:04 PM

You know like WorldEndsWithMe said, reviews can help as a guide on what particular game to buy, but don't definitely judge before seeing with your own eyes on whatever the game plays like.

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PS3_Wizard
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 1:44:08 PM

It's my opinion, World, that reviews this day and age should only consist of whether or not a game should warrant a day one purchase, or if bugs/glitches plague the title and you should wait for a patch.

As Bio said above, their is far better alternatives to use other than relying on "archaic" word text to use review a game. Youtube and other media sites let us visual gather all the necessary info we need to make an informed decision. Ben himself even talks about this age of technology making everyone "dumber" and "less attentive".

With smartphones and PC with internet access making it easier than ever to find videos of gameplay and development progress, why anyone would READ about a game escapes me...this is all just MY opinion anyway.

I come here because its a Playstation oriented site and it features a good commenting community and often times great video game news.

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matt99
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 8:08:27 AM
Reply

"those interested in such a genre are typically very educated. They follow gaming news on a daily basis and they do all sorts of research before making a purchase"

I shall take this as a compliment.

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JackieBoy
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 8:18:18 AM
Reply

Not only Witcher 3, I don't care about any reviews.
If I know I want the game, I'm just going to buy it, no matter the scores.

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:06:46 AM
Reply

The more I play the game the more Geralt sounds like SOlid Snake/David Hayter and that's only a good thing since MGS is my favorite series.

It's almost like having Solid Snake in this "Game of Thrones" era.

Sometimes I wished the graphics were a little better and then there are times I roaming the lands and I am left in awe of the graphics and the beautiful environements.

I am in the same boat as Temjin: it's school Vs. The Witcher 3. School always wins.

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xenris
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:33:43 AM

Are you playing it on the PC or PS4?

My friend has it on both, wanted it digital on PC and got the collectors edition on the PS4 anyway, she said after playing with the settings the the game is running on about medium on the consoles and still looks this good.

While if you crank it up on the PC which her PC can't really handle it does look a lot better. But it is mostly because of a lot of little things, facial detail, shadows, anti aliasing, and some other things.

Geralt does sound like Snake a bit :) I've always loved his voice and never made that connection but after you saying it I definitely hear the similarities.

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:52:07 AM

Xenris: wow your friend is hardcore female gamer huh?

With white hair and white beard I think Geralt look like old big Boss...

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:14:08 AM

I am playing it on the PS4. Even if the graphics were not as good as they're I would still play the game because it's great.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 8:45:34 PM

Ha yea, I thought the exact thing about him sounding like David Hayter. I don't mind. This Geralt guy seems pretty cool.

If I do have one complaint. Hey PC devs learn to increase your HUD size for us TV playing folk. I can barely see my stats and inventory specifics from my couch. I have to really squint and focus to clearly decipher out numbers and stuff.




Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/19/2015 8:46:08 PM

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xenris
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 @ 1:19:29 AM

Yeah she is a complete nerd, it is fantastic. She works at EB and gets all the collector editions for games she loves.

Her room is a gamers dream.

Temjin I have the same complaints about HUDs being to small.

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xenris
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 9:37:12 AM
Reply

Reviews generally don't sway my opinion. If I was really interested in the game I'm going to get it.

The only time they do is if a game comes in under the radar and I haven't heard of it. Now the review might still not be a good review more the review brought the game to my attention and it looks interesting despite it being a 6 or 7 and I end up picking it up.

Otherwise I wouldn't have picked up the Order 1886 recently, not to mention a slew of games in the past that critically didn't do that amazing but that I really loved.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:56:50 AM

Dungeon Siege III is another one of those. I liked it better than Diablo III.

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Bio
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 12:21:00 PM

Dungeon Siege III is terrible IMO. I've tried playing it twice, and gave up both times after 5-6 hours. I put in about 120 hours with Diablo III.

And Torchlight II is still king of that genre. Damn shame Runic never brought it to consoles.

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xenris
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 @ 1:21:32 AM

@World

I liked Dungeon Siege 3 more than I thought I would. I think it was the worst of the three but it was fun to co op through.

@Bio

I agree Torchlight 2 is the best Arpg out of the bunch. I wouldn't be surprised if it made it to consoles at some point, unless Runic specifically said it isn't happening?

T2 crushes Diablo 3, I didn't really care for the direction D3 went.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:55:51 AM
Reply

I don't think I'll bother reading any because I expect to be enthralled in the game.

Today is the day!!!!!

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 1:39:32 AM
Reply

well tbh not really, i've seen enough to know i'll get the game at some point i guess the review scores will just solidify my position on get the game

happy gaming

Last edited by Rachet_JC_FTW on 5/22/2015 1:43:50 AM

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