22 June 2007

Game Reviews

Shadowrun Game Sunset

I was listening to the Major Nelson's Podcast which had an interview with Mitch Gitelman (FASA Studio Manager). Major Nelson talked about Shadowrun's reviews. The fact that a lot of the reviews very much enjoyed the game but then down rated it based on the price point. He was obviously unhappy with this, that the team's work was being put down based on the price point it came it at rather than the content of the work. He also stated that a film critic will rate a film based on how good that film based on its own merit rather than against some $10 entry cost.

It's a reasonable point though games, unlike films, do have different pricing schemes and that's bound to be a factor in a review. Perhaps the review should be done independently of the price and then that weighted in at the end. After all, the price is a variable factor, invariably people are going to find this game cheaper later in its life cycle. If they glance at reviews then they might be off-put by the ok scores when it's actually a great game underneath.

On the other hand I see the value-for-money factor as important. If someone sees a 9/10 review they might rush out and buy a game when the reviewer actually states something like the game is very well put together but it just cannot justify its high price point. Definitely worth picking up when it gets cheaper though. The person playing the game is then disappointed at just splashing out on something they played for a couple of hours (say) and stop trusting that site for reviews.

Anyway as it stands I'm not overly interested in Shadowrun. I've got lots of single and multiplayer games to play through. After playing Enemy Territory and the objective based gameplay therein; capture the flag and team deathmatch just don't really interest me that much anymore.


Endie said...

To me, Arcade Live is an example. Geometry Wars is an excellent game, and probably a 8.8 or something at that price point. At full 50 quid price it would be a 6.7.

FASA have released a game that is fine for multiplayer, has no single player, and playability is rather restricted as a result. It's a bit overpriced, and the flurry of people playing it here (most folks got it) has quickly fallen away. It needs a Halo 3 beta to stay good value ;)

Should have been an RPG anyway. Feck FASA.

Gary said...

Good points, and that's the issue. If you separate the price from the product then people might well feel annoyed at the reviewer as they don't really feel that they are getting value for money. At the same time I get why a developer, who doesn't set the price point, would be annoyed.

As for the game after playing it it just doesn't really capture the ShadowRun feel. I would have loved an RPG from it too (in part just because we don't see that many dark future RPGs hit the shelves) though there was one publication that got the RPG reviewer to rate the game anyway which seems a bit wrong.