Naughty Dog’s highly-anticipated game – The Last Of Us Part II – was inundated with hundreds of negative user reviews – on Metacritic – upon its release. Despite the game only officially being out for a few hours, news of the spoilers had left people displeased and those people bombarded the game’s Metacritic page with scathing reviews. It was clear that many people had barely scraped the surface of the game, yet decided to leave a score based on the full game. Metacritic have now responded with a delay on user reviews. This appropriate counteraction will now see a brief period of professional reviews coming through, and allowing users at home – that haven’t been able to get early copies – to experience the game a bit more before casting judgement.
On Superliminal’s Metacritic page, you can see that under the user review section, it instead says “Please spend some time playing the game”. This message is also accompanied by a specified time and date that signifies when user reviews can commence.
It’s a very bold statement from Metacritic as The Last Of Us Part II is certainly not the first game to receive the review bombing treatment. Pokemon Sword and Shield, Death Stranding, and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) are just a few recent examples of this practice taking place. Irrespective of the game’s content, people are using the Metacritic platform as a means to voice their discontent, rather than provide constructive criticism as intended. We recently discussed the problem with metacritic user reviews.
Will Metacritic’s delay of user reviews work? Only time will tell. It may discourage the kind of negative behavior that Metacritic has become associated with, or it may only delay the inevitable.