I am not one of those gamers to pay attention to game reviews written for gaming magazines and their online counterparts. However I am not that far out of the ‘Professional Reviewer Loop’ to know when something is amiss.
In this case it is the DIablo III reviews or the lack thereof. When highly anticipated games finally hit the market the reviews come out faster than rain during a thunderstorm. Yet in the case of Diablo III there is whole bunch of nothing. As of typing this opinion piece(May 19-20, 2012) I have found no real review of Diablo III.
“Yeah but the Reviewers just got their copy and it will take a few days to complete it to be able to give a proper review,” you may be thinking.
Only one problem. If what I have read is true, magazines get a copy of a game 3-5 months before the game is released to the public and for online publications is 2-10 weeks before public release of a game. Even if that is not true and the reviewers get a game like the rest of us, there is still no excuse to hold off this long get a review in, especially for an online publication. There are plenty of YouTube videos of people playing well into Inferno. If gamers are buying the game and marathon playing like that then would not most reviewers be doing the same thing in order to get their reviews published as quick as possible?
For the most part it only takes maybe two or three days for one of my TGV(The Gamer’s Voice) articles to be posted. In theory with the online resources that IGN, GamePro, etc. have, a reviewer can finish a game, write a review, and get an online article posted in a lot less time than it takes for a TGV article to get posted.
Another thing I have heard is that many reviewers are doing what is called ‘Rolling Reviews’ which are basically ‘featurettes’ instead of full on reviews. If I understand this correctly then the reviewers are reviewing Diablo III by Act instead of the game as a whole. This has to be one of the most stupidest thing I have heard in quite awhile. What kind of reviewer does something like that? Would a movie reviewer review The Avengers Movie in 10 minute blocks? Would a book reviewer do book by chapter? Would a song critic do a song by line? Not only no but heck no! Reviewing something is looking at the Whole first then breaking it down into Individual Parts and giving the negative or positive critique(s), not the other way around like with ‘featurettes’.
Also I am pretty sure that Titan Quest(a game with Acts) was not given this kind of review by the majority of reviewers and I very much doubt Torchlight II(upcoming game with Acts) will be given the same treatment. If I am wrong about Titan Quest then I am wrong and admit it now. If I end up being wrong about Torchlight II then I am going to think some reviewer read this and is trying to prove me wrong. This ladies and gentlemen is called ‘hedging my bets’.
Reviewers are also being a bit too forgiving toward Blizzard for the mess Diablo 3 is right now. There are two very nasty bugs you dear readers should have heard about by now. The Error 37 and Error 3006 which has messed up millions, that is right, MILLIONS of gamers were affected by this. When a brand new game has something as those errors right from the start and affect that many gamers then the game by default is a Broken Game. If Diabo III was any other game then the reviewers would be raging along side the gamers about what a clusterscrew the game is! Any legitimate reviewer would see the horrible mess and give the game the proper ‘Grade’: 1, F, Zero Stars, or whatever the Lowest Thing is on the reviewers’ Grade Scale.
As I try to wrap my brain stem around why reviewers are acting like this my first thought was about some kind of ‘intimidation’ from either Blizzard or the reviewers bosses. What publisher want to get on the bad side of a highly successful and influential gaming company? What publisher wants to be known for being the one magazine(print or online) to give Diablo III a bad review?
As possible as those things may be I do not think its those. What I think is happening is that too many reviewers turned into Diablo III fan girls during the magazine preview stage and do not want to have to give Diablo III a bad review. They cannot and will not admit that after waiting for roughly a decade for the game called Diablo III was not the game they thought it would be because of the game breaking errors, always online even for single play, and two or three other things no gamer OR reviewer should put up with. Instead they come up with things like ‘Featurette Reviews’ while acting like nothing is wrong. They will wait for Blizzard to fix the game breaking errors and other issues. Then the reviewers in their fan girlism crapitude will give Diablo III the kind of reviews that frankly it does not deserve.
And thus I reiterate the first sentence of this article. I do not pay attention to reviews and the reviewers mishandling of Diablo III is just another reason among many why I do not.