Friday, 7 June 2013

The Last of Us - Critical Reactions and Why People Need to Chill the Fuck Out

This just in: people get mad at other people on the Internet for ... having opinions that are different from other opinions! Startling, I know.

Okay, here's the brief rundown on this situation. The Last of Us is a Playstation 3 exclusive title; made by Naughty Dog studios it focuses on life after a near apocalyptic event. The game has been hyped for quite a long time, winning awards where it was shown off and garnering a lot of attention. The game isn't out yet, and won't be out until next Friday, June the 14th (this is important, pay attention to that last part).

Despite the game not being out yet, Naughty Dog has lifted the review embargo on it quite early, much earlier than most games do these days, with some only allowing reviews to be released on the day the game actually goes live. So, how have the reviews been so far? Well, let me run down a list for you.

IGN 10/10
Eurogamer 10/10
Eurogamer IT/Sp 10/10
Edge 10/10
CVG 10/10
Destructoid 10/10
Machinima 10/10
Adam Sessler 5/5
thesixaxis 10/10
Gamereactor 10/10
VideoGamer 10/10
ibtimes 10/10
PS-Lifestyle 10/10
Digital Spy 10/10
Digital Fix 10/10
Post Arcade 10/10
speciogames 10/10
Gamingbolt 10/10
Godisageek 10/10
OPM 10/10
Pushsquare 10/10
PS-Nation 10/10
Giantbomb 5/5
Techdigest 5/5
Gamesradar 5/5
TheMirror 5/5
Guardian 5/5
Telegraph 5/5
Gameblog 5/5
CheatCodeCentral 5/5

Okay. Are you ready to hear something? Really ready for it? I need to make sure that this comes across crystal clear here, that there's no mixing of my message.

None, I repeat. NONE. Of these scores actually means anything in terms of whether or not you will actually enjoy the game. None of these scores are assurances that the game is of good quality. None.

I will admit, that with so many reviews coming down on this side of perfect that there seem to be good odds that if a person purchases this game that they won't be disappointed in it. However, I think that it needs to be said, over and over and over, that when it comes to reviews, they aren't the be all and end all of a game, and should be used as a tool, in combination with many other tools at your disposal, when judging whether or not to purchase something.

Perhaps my apparent anger regarding this matter is a little misplaced. I'm not angry that the game is getting good reviews. That would be sillydumb. No, what I'm angry about is that there's already a growing shitstorm over the idea that any site, would dare to give the game less than a perfect score.

Again, I ask, with barely restrained ire mind you, are we really not past this shit? Seriously?

These reviews apparently have the audacity to give the game good (not great, but still solid) scores, and thus they deserve to be burned to the ground, the people who wrote them called hacks, accusations of pay-offs from whoever the fuck abound, and all this other garbage? What the fuck does it matter if a couple of sites don't give the game a perfect review? Will your personal enjoyment of the game be diminished by this very fact to the point where you resent the reviewers for it? If you answered yes to that then you have some growing up to do, and I don't care how old you are. I may get all sweary sometimes but come on for Christ's sake, show some actual maturity.

Really, the only person in the end who can determine how much you will like or enjoy a game is yourself. Reviews can help the process, but if all you want reviews to be are an echo chamber that reflects your own thoughts and feelings on games then why the hell read them at all? I've learned more about the reviews that have honest dissent in regards to games I don't like than I have for reviews that mindlessly praise absolutely everything. I don't know what individual feels that they need to have their choice validated by outside sources rather than their own thoughts and feelings, but I can't help but feel that's why people are getting riled up over this.

And of course, getting back to something I pointed out earlier: you know who hasn't played this game? A massive majority of people! The reviewers represent far, far less than one percent of the actual gaming population that will pick up this title. That's not to say that their assessment is worthless, but as I said and as I try to keep hammering home what they have to say is not the be all and end all of the game.

Story time, I promise it will be short. There was a game out once upon a time that had rave reviews; nearly every magazine that reviewed it loved, had huge amounts of praise for it, and has actually gone on to be one of the best selling games of all time. That being said, when I bought the game I actually found that I really didn't enjoy it. Was it the fault of the reviewers? Hell no. We just had different tastes. I didn't blame anyone for the fact that I didn't like the game, turns out it just wasn't for me. That game, by the way, was Grand Turismo 3: A-Spec also known as the second best selling Playstation 2 game ever.

Basically, what this all amounts to is something rather simple. If you buy a game and have a good time with it, then good on you. However, don't go fucking bonkers if someone else doesn't enjoy it as much as you, whether or not they're someone in a position to actually influence you or other people's decision making process. Relax, it's literally just a game.

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