Fellow gamepass subscriber here and reviews are definitely still of great value to me. For me time is as much (if not greater) an investment as the money I would spend on a game. Reviews help guide me to which games are worth my time (and which aren’t). I suppose I would have given Infitite a go regardless as you say but for smaller (or bad) games the reviews definitely have value.
But totally agree with your point about the second half of 2021 - its great!
I think the 85-90 segment is right, the game would have had a shot for 90+ only if it would have been a complete package (coop and forge, plus listening about progression ahead of time after the summer alpha). It’s a great accomplishment nevertheless, I think the only shooters which scored so high in the last decade were Doom and Titanfall.
I overall prefer Opencritic over Metacritic because it brings in more reviews, no weighted scores and doesn’t give different scores based on the version of the game
That being said, some of the reviews included are pretty weird…like this review from Altchar or whatever it’s called gave the multiplayer an 8 but didn’t review the SP, but the 8 score for the MP is being calculated into the OC review average
Whelp regardless I’m satisfied, I expect at least an 85/100 Metacritic. Now Xbox has 3 top tier FPS devs with 343/Id/Machine Games under their belt. Really the only other FPS dev that can compete with them is Respawn and maybe Dice if they fix 2042…maaaaybe Sledgehammer if they get to make a new COD with a 3 year dev time and not a rushed game. Because IMO Advanced Warfare is the best COD in the last decade.
For a game to break 90 these days, it realistically needs multiple ‘masterpiece’ perfect score reviews.
There are two reasons for this:
1. Five point scales
There are several outlets now using five-point scales. While a 5/5 feeds into Metacritic as 100%, same as a 10/10, the next rung down – 4/5 – is 80%. A game might get, for example, five 9/10 reviews and five 4/5 reviews – and all ten reviewers might have the exact same view that this is an excellent game – but the end metacritic score is 85. That’s just how the maths work.
2. Low ball outliers
Metacritic now seems to accept review scores from a lot of very small and unknown outlets. The smaller an outlet is, the more likely it seems to be that they will post up a low ball score for a big-name franchise, knowing it will drive more traffic to their site than a score that falls among the pack. Using the same formula of ten reviews as above, if nine reviews give a game 9/10 and just one gives it 7/10 as a clickbait low ball, the end metacritic score is 88. Now factor in the five-point scale. Let’s say we get 5 4/5 scores, four 9/10 scores and one 7/10 low ball – 83 is the outcome.
Bottom line is, with the way metacritic is today, getting a game in the 80s is a major achievement, and anything over 90 signifies a masterpiece.
Did any of the reviews talk about the main mission flow? Basically, does the story indeed take us to closed off, linear areas where 343 controls the action for you? Basically like Borderlands really? No spoilers of course, but what is said about this?
I was wondering when Jason would chime in with his article and as I suspected a lot of what we learned about Anthem can be applied to Halo. The big difference I feel is that the extra year was crucial for the game turning out as it did.
The moral of the story is that AAA development is hard and is rarely the smooth linear process that a lot of us imagine it is.