|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Darkfall Online - Review @ Eurogamer

Default Darkfall Online - Review @ Eurogamer

May 7th, 2009, 16:45
I'm not saying whether this particular review/reviewer is good or not.
I'm arguing that:
A. it's possible to write an honest and factually true low score review of a game after only a few hours if and only if:
1. the bad elements are present from the start,
2. they are factually true (for example: the reviewer didn't notice that an option in the control panel easily fixes it)
3. they remain unchanged throughout the game (for example: high level abilities don't dramatically improve the inaccurate controls encountered at low level),
4. they are fundamental issues which affect every other aspect of the game to the point where later good elements would unfortunately not make up for it and thus increase the initial score.

B. conversely and unfortunately for game developers, it's impossible to write a high score review after so little playtime, as you have described it perfectly with AoC.

Now if I had to judge the quality of this specific review, it'd have to pass the 4 tests I've described in A:
1. true
2. Since I've never played Darkfall, I can't tell. For the purpose of this discussion I'll assume true. If a Darkfall player proves otherwise then indeed it's a sorry excuse for a review.
3. That's where I'd have to agree with people who believe it's a bad review. But it's not totally impossible to determine in a few hours of play. Depending on the issue, asking veterans in game or looking at the list of features might be enough. For example, if the reviewer complains about distances and time spent running around, you don't need to play till the end to find out whether you get mounts at higher level.
4. Given the nature of the issues he complains about, I'd tend to say it's true.

Now I'll follow your advice and wait for other opinions. But if they confirm what has been said in this review, I'll have to admit this reviewer managed to write a valid review after only a few hours of play. A rare and unlikely feat indeed, but definitely doable in theory.

I think the comparison with books is relevant to illustrate what I'm trying to say. If the style is so unbearable from the start and doesn't change throughout the book that you can't even read/understand it no matter how interesting the story and characters might be, does the critic reviewing this book commit a professional crime if he doesn't read it to the last page? What would be the point/benefit of reading it to the end? Again, I'm assuming here writing style remains identical.
Last edited by Hedek; May 7th, 2009 at 17:11.
Hedek is offline

Hedek

Hedek's Avatar
Watchdog

#21

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 203

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 17:00
I think you misunderstand.

I haven't claimed it's impossible to write a factually true and honest review and give a low score - in a few hours.

I have no reason to doubt his honesty, and I have no reason to care how many hours he spent playing. It doesn't matter how many facts you bring up - because those facts in themselves don't make the game good or bad. It's how you present them and especially about whether you understand them and why the game is like that. Furthermore, if you can't present a single fact in a positive light - then maybe you're not being as honest and fair to the game as you can be. Even the worst games have some positive aspects.

The reason we have reviews in the first place is that facts in themselves aren't enough - because otherwise we'd have lists of them and nothing else. We need someone who understands gaming and who can look at a game from more than one angle.

I'm saying the review is all but useless, because the reviewer is totally ignorant of what the game is trying to do, and obviously he has little or no knowledge of the genre in itself. Beyond that, he's very obviously being purely subjective and he's biased in the extreme. Whether that's positive or negative bias is irrelevant, it's simply a problem when your bias is that evident and you blatantly ignore what kind of game it is, and fail utterly look beyond your own particular tastes.

I'm not trying to say that what he did isn't possible. I'm saying the reviewer is horrible and in my opinion should be fired on the spot, or at the very least reprimanded and handed games for review that don't require any kind of understanding of the history of gaming - like Tic Tac Toe. Though I'm sure he'd bitch about the UI all the same.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#22

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,180

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 17:51
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's how you present them and especially about whether you understand them and why the game is like that. Furthermore, if you can't present a single fact in a positive light - then maybe you're not being as honest and fair to the game as you can be. Even the worst games have some positive aspects.
Indeed he openly expresses his disgust for this game. Does that necessarily make a bad review? Yes if you expect reviewers to refrain their true opinion and offer a moderate version instead.
His inability to present a single fact in a positive light could mean two things: either he's intellectually incapable or he really didn't like anything about the game. I agree with you, it's hard to believe, but it's possible.

If anything, the 2/10 score is surprising, from the text alone I would have expected him to give it a 0/10. In that regard, his review makes no sense because he doesn't explain what the 2 points were awarded for.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
We need someone who understands gaming and who can look at a game from more than one angle.
I'm saying the review is all but useless, because the reviewer is totally ignorant of what the game is trying to do, and obviously he has little or no knowledge of the genre in itself.
He seems to know MMOs in general: based on my own experience playing EVE and SWG, the things he said about these 2 games in this review are true. He obviously understands the concept of "sandbox pvp MMOs" and how we should expect different things from such games compared to LOTRO or WOW.

In this regard, I disagree that he "blatantly ignore[s] what kind of game it is" but agree that he "fail[s] utterly [to] look beyond [his] own particular tastes".
That's where we apparently differ: I don't mind when a reviewer clearly judges a game based on his own tastes, as long as he openly expresses them. Again I don't expect any reviewer to be able to write something that fits all types of gamers unless it's in the "if/then if/then" structure I've mentioned before, and which leads to no score.

Perhaps over the years I got used to the poor quality of (most) game reviews and instinctively lowered my expectations. If true, then indeed you're absolutely right. At the same time I believe my current expectations and the way I read and judge reviews is the right method to extract useful information from current reviews, and not be constantly frustrated by their poor quality.
Last edited by Hedek; May 7th, 2009 at 18:02.
Hedek is offline

Hedek

Hedek's Avatar
Watchdog

#23

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 203

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 18:15
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
Perhaps over the years I got used to the poor quality of (most) game reviews and instinctively lowered my expectations. If true, then indeed you're absolutely right. At the same time I believe my current expectations and the way I read and judge reviews is the right method to extract useful information from current reviews, and not be constantly frustrated by their poor quality.
I don't have any expectations, though.

I just haven't forgotten what I think a review should contain, and what I think is most useful to the potential readers.

But, obviously, if reviews like this are accepted these days - then I certainly have no reason to ever start expecting anything like what I'd prefer.

But, ok, we just want different things from a review - and that's fine.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#24

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,180

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 18:24
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
So, it is - in fact - a 100% subjective opinion and the reviewer shouldn't try to investigate how the game might appeal to a certain audience?

.
I'd like to see reviews have the reviewers favourite & least favourite games listed at the bottom as standard so that one can get a context.
Benedict is offline

Benedict

SasqWatch

#25

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 2,348

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 18:30
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
I'd like to see reviews have the reviewers favourite & least favourite games listed at the bottom as standard so that one can get a context.
That might be a good idea - especially in this case. I'd LOVE to hear what kind of MMO he prefers, though I have a pretty strong suspicion.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#26

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,180

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 18:55
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That might be a good idea - especially in this case. I'd LOVE to hear what kind of MMO he prefers, though I have a pretty strong suspicion.
Apparently he liked Everquest 1: "Not even old-school EverQuest - which was actually graphically superior- felt quite as stiflingly slow and ponderous in its levelling curve." and later "there's none of the charm of old-world EverQuest".

He doesn't really say whether he likes EVE but he respects CCP: "Its skill system is like a twisted version of EVE Online's, without the intricacy or CCP's talent".

While he doesn't say anything bad about EVE or SWG, he doesn't praise them as much as he does EQ1, WoW and WAR. He seems to prefer non sandbox games. If true, Eurogamer probably should have asked Jim Rossignol to review Darkfall, author of their EVE Online re-review http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/eve-online-re-review
Hedek is offline

Hedek

Hedek's Avatar
Watchdog

#27

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 203

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 19:00
To be honest, I doubt he ever played Everquest seriously, and I suspect those are words he just threw in to seem knowledgable. Why do I think this? Because if he ever really did play Everquest, he'd be able to appreciate, at least partially, some of the appeal of Darkfall.

He might still loathe it with all of his heart, but he'd have an understanding which would enable him to see the game for what it is, which is a throwback to certain hardcore aspects of the old days. Some might think this is taking a step back - but then again, others think the current trend represents steps back.

He simply doesn't strike me as someone who has ever played a sandbox MMO and enjoyed it.

Also, there's the detail that Everquest is SIGNIFICANTLY less visually appealing in every single way. Even the horrible character models and their animations are superior to what you find in Everquest. So, he's either got a serious case of nostalgia - or he doesn't know what he's talking about.

If you look at the world of Everquest and that of Darkfall - side by side - you'd have to be a stonefaced liar to claim Everquest looks better.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#28

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,180

Default 

May 7th, 2009, 19:11
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
Haha, lovely how they owned the reviewer by auditing his accounts.
Yeah, that was good. Since there's no room for error there at all, and the numbers can easily be confirmed by the reviewer's ISP, that point can and should be made clear. If it's true, then how can Eurogamer stand behind its review?

If it's not, and the reviewer really did play the game as much as he claimed, then that's another story. But I'd like to know.

This is very interesting, I think. Reviewers should be able to trash something when they feel it's the right thing to do, but they also need to do their job in good faith. Right now, I'm siding with the MMO (just my gut feeling).

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Squeek is offline

Squeek

Squeek's Avatar
connoisseur of tidbits

#29

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,807

Default 

May 8th, 2009, 04:46
Aventurine refuse an additional review from Eurogamer.

Some quotes from an angry greek:
We don't need a re-review, we need a real review. We know for a fact that the original review is a fraud and yet Eurogamer stands by it.
The reviewer’s supervisor and MMO Editor for Eurogamer spent 2 minutes in the character creator but didn’t create a character. Ed Zitron spent 2 hours 33 minutes logged in the game and the character creator. In this time the reviewer tried 9 different characters. Much of the time was spent creating and deleting these characters. 14 minutes before the reviewer stopped playing Darkfall altogether he said in global chat: “how do I cast spells…..help”. During his entire time in the game he repeatedly asks: “what do I do?” in public chat. After less than an hour logged in the game he speaks in race chat and says “this game is awful”
The MMO Editor for Eurogamer should have checked up on the review when Darkfall received a 2/10. When your site instructs the public to avoid someone’s livelihood at all costs, and calls their playerbase morons, you should at least make sure you’re not pulling these things out of your ass
Ed is a fraud, there’s nothing to agree with here as far as we’re concerned.
hishadow is offline

hishadow

Level N+1

#30

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southern parts of Norway
Posts: 1,140
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Darkfall Online - Review @ Eurogamer
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:02.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch