In yet another case of massive divide between the game review community and users, Devil May Cry remake DmC received an 86 Metascore at the time of this article’s writing, a score in stark contrast to the user score of 3.6.
Metacritic’s aggregate scores for reviewers and users seem to disagree more often than not when it comes to mega-hyped triple-A titles in particular. Assassin’s Creed 3 earned a 84 for the 360 based on 81 reviews, with 685 users chiming in with slightly less approval at an aggregate 6.9. Madden NFL 13 scored an 81 from 36 critics while users fumbled the game around at a 5.9. Call of Duty: Back Ops II for the 360 scored an aggregate 83 on the 360 from 71 reviewers, a far cry from the 4.4 of 1,327 users. But, speaking of, the somewhat under-the-radar Far Cry 3 scored a 90 from 36 critics while shining with a user review score of 8.6 based on 436 ratings. So what’s going on here?
Some will cry sensationalist journalism, while others will yell of trolls and fanboyism. One user rated Black Ops II a 0, saying:
The game is extremely weak, repetitive. The campaing (sic) is awful, the multiplayer is boring, every year a Call of Duty game is release and every year it’s basically the same thing: tedious and awful.
while another gave DmC a 0, saying
“This game spits in the face of any fan of the previous games especially the 3 and 4 ones. I cannot imagine what anyone can see in this waste of time and money. The main character was replaced, the gameplay was dumbed down, the store was retconned. Had this game been released under a different name then no one would really be so mad about such a mediocre title.
Apparently you can’t win whether you’re trying the same thing as before, or trying something new.
Giant franchises are going to attract giant amounts of love AND hate alike. Likely, the fault for this extreme divide in opinion doesn’t stem from either party being “wrong,” but from some poor dogmatism from all sides. Games like Far Cry 3 skate low enough on the radar that it’s not as fun to hate on them (plus that game is fantastic). But whatever way you look at it, we all lose out as a result of this kind of sandblasting of big titles.
Companies predict sales and make decisions based on review scores, and the more that they get penalized by gamers for trying new things (like DmC), the more we’ll see franchise-derivatives become the norm (talk s*** all you want, we all know there’ll be a new CoD this year and you’ll probably still buy it). I haven’t gotten to play DmC myself, but I’m going to guess that the truth of its quality likely lies somewhere in the 6-7 range, which means that though it’s not going to take any Game of the Year awards, you could still have a really great time playing it.
The moral of the story: if you’re interested in a game and want to know how good it is, read some reviews and some comments, but if it’s a franchise or character you really care about, you should still go and find out for yourself. The opinions of any individual or group of individuals doesn’t have to dictate how you feel about a game. I mean, many reviewers hated Final Fantasy XIII (particularly in retrospect), and it’s one of my favorite games. And besides, that’s what Redbox and Gamefly are for, right?