If Uncharted 4 Averages Below A 9, People Will Say It Sucks
This is actually about two ongoing pet peeves of mine.
The first is a result of the seriously skewed 10-point review scale that most sources use, and the fact that way too many consumers see anything below an 8 as "garbage," as if that makes any sort of mathematical sense.
But it's partly the fault of the critics as well, as too many - myself included - have treated the bottom half of this scale as a no-man's-land of sorts, where only the worst of the worst games reside. That's not accurate at all, given the numerical values in question, and I've been a little stricter in the past with my scoring. In my view, 7 is still a pretty strong game with only a few minor to significant flaws, and I think I gave out 5 9+ scores in all of 2015. But I still feel shackled by the general consensus, and I don't want decent games to get kicked aside because I gave it a 6.5 and everyone saw it as trash.
And when it comes to high-profile titles with huge expectations behind them, like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, this problem is magnified. If a critic gives the game less than a 9, people will absolutely lose their sh** and start asking questions like, "what went wrong?" and "did Naughty Dog totally blow it?" Damn, the game got a 8.5, guess it royally sucks, right? This is one issue; the other involves those aforementioned expectations. Not only has this game experienced a couple delays, but many see it as the PlayStation 4 game for which current owners have been waiting.
On top of it all, there's the legacy of the IP; the previous two entries (not counting Golden Abyss on Vita, which also scored exceedingly well) are two of the best-received games in history, and both garnered many Game of the Year Awards. Then there's the fact that Uncharted 4 will be Nathan Drake's final adventure, so the pressure amazingly rises another notch. All this means that if we're not seeing mid-9s from most critics, I swear we'll see articles about how Uncharted 4 "flopped." That's my second pet peeve: The crazy hype this industry can create affecting our perceptions and, potentially, affecting reviews and scores.
Related Game(s): Uncharted 4
4/3/2016 9:53:18 PM Ben Dutka