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Are you more or less interested in a game if the critic consensus is a split mix between love and hate?

chaobreaker

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,092
Please don't post on this thread if you're just gonna say you don't care what critics say about a game

Death Stranding has made me wonder about this rare phenomena: Those rare highly-anticipated games that has a near decidedly split in positive and negative reviews/word-of-mouth from game critics.

How kind of reaction does that get out of you? Does it make you want to try the game even more? Does it just turn you off from playing it as if it's critically panned?

Personally this makes me more intrigued than any sweeping high scores. How about you?

EDIT: To be specific I mean games with both really positive and really negative reception. There's a difference between a game with a mixed metacritic score because the majority of reviews said it was okay but not amazing versus a game getting a score like they because there are publications giving it both extremely high scores and middling-to-low scores as well.
 
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Dec 21, 2017
10,640
It makes me think the game is unique and doing something really against the grain. So yeah, I'd say it's intriguing and makes me even more interested in trying it myself.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,698
Not particularly. I'm only more likely to be less interested in a game if it critically underperforms as that's usually a sign that the game may not be particularly good. Anything else doesn't affect me too much as I usually go off of what the game looks like or demos or off of similar games (previous entries, etc.)
 

Gilver

Member
Nov 14, 2018
2,647
Costa Rica
Makes me want to play it more because its for someone specific that might be me or may not be me but thats better then a generic 8/10 Ubisoft game where the game is made for everyone so its made for no one.
 

BasilZero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,115
Omni
I look more into content , length and if the game has bugs or performance issues moreso than the overall scores to determine a purchase.
 

Ubik

Member
Nov 13, 2018
625
Canada
If it's a game I am anticipating it doesn't really effect me either way unless it's some big bug/technical issue that is the causing some of the negative split reviews.

I am much more likely to notice a game that wasn't on my radar if the reviews are overwhelmingly positive though. Disco Elysium for example.
 

RingRang

Member
Oct 2, 2019
654
I think there is a lot of psychology that goes into this stuff. Some people can watch a single well made game trailer/demo and be sold on a game.

So for me the more hype there is behind a game the more credible the negative reviews become, because they’re going against the prevailing wisdom, which a lot of people are uncomfortable doing.
 
Aug 28, 2019
275
Hmm... I'd say more. When I'm looking up reviews, I always look for positive and negative reviews. With different perspectives and often different information, I get a fuller picture of what to expect. Plus, the more niche you go, the more likely you are to end up with love-it-or-hate-it reactions, so a spread like that in a subgenre I like can sometimes be a good sign.

On the other hand, I tend to dismiss breathless gushing. I find a review more credible if the author can still take a critical eye to the game's flaws and rein in their hyperbole. When a game gets nothing but breathless gushing across the board, it usually ends up being... not to my taste. I haven't played a game in my life that deserves the kind of worshipful praise that some reviewers and fans carelessly sling around.
 

Bran

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33
Makes me even more curious to play it.

Safe games are usually either forgettable or comfort food depending on how you approach them, but discovering a game that speaks to you on every level is priceless. (On the other hand, finding out something isn't for you can be devastating...)

I just think that a game designed for everyone is less likely to be a game designed for you.*

It is important to give things a chance regardless of what others think and also to be honest with yourself about how you feel. Sales are great ways to minimize the risk of not liking something.

*Unless you're easy to please, then you're just lucky and enjoy basically everything... 😅


edit: Meanwhile, a universally positive reception can actually make it harder to find criticism relevant to me if I'm unsure about something I may dislike.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,853
Arkansas
Sometimes I get curious about a game if I hear really bad things about it. That's what inspired me to go out and buy Sonic 06.

Spoilers: it's bad.
 

Duxxy3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,927
USA
I have a good idea of what I'll like and what I won't like. High scoring reviews can get me out of my comfort zone somewhat, and low scoring reviews can delay a possible purchase until much much later in the games life.
 

Stat

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,440
Less interested. $90 is a lot to spend on a game. And Im not going to spend it on something that I may absolutely hate.
 

JCHandsom

Avenger
Nov 3, 2017
4,201
Whenever I check an aggregate review score it’s for a game I’ve already decided to play based on footage, previews, premise, pedigree, mechanics, setting, aesthetic, etc. Even if it’s not a 10/10 that is absolutely enjoyable/thought-provoking/“fun” all the way through, I‘m still going in for it, warts and all.
 

AZ Greg

Member
Oct 27, 2017
210
Less.

The higher rated reviews tend to be hype sellouts in hindsight. In 6 months, these mixed reactions games are usually seen for what they are, mediocre at best.
 

Sulik2

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,995
The consensus doesn't matter at all to me, how the reviewers who have similar tastes to me is what I care.
 

Dremorak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,127
New Zealand
Sweeping super high scores > mix > consistent 8s
Yeah I didn't come in here to say this, but I think in my heart this is true.

If its 8s across the board, that tells me most people think its just OKAY.
I'd probably follow my heart on these ones. If I was already into it, then I'll get it eventually.
Otherwise I'd skip it.

Sweeping high scores means it must be doing something right, so I'll probably get it at some point.

I don't think theres been a game as divisive as Death Stranding, but I was super intrigued by the spread of high and low scores.
FYI: I'm about 6 hours into Death Stranding and loving the hell out of it.
 

Kurtikeya

Member
Dec 2, 2017
230
I’m more interested in the depth of a critique. For instance, what pushed me towards trying Death Stranding out was Ehrlich’s read on how the game expresses its sentiments on communication. Instead of just leaving it at “it’s an immersive cinematic experience that makes you think about how you relate to others” or whatever, he illustrates that, and it pushed me to give it a chance despite my concerns regarding slog and chutzpah. He didn’t score the game, but his review was more impactful to me than any 10.

On the other hand, Sony’s superheavyweights, despite being among the highest-rated games of all time, just don’t sway me towards them. Critics usually point towards their insane level of polish and how they’re blockbuster cinematic experiences, and while that’s all true and while they may be the best games of their kind, it’s not the kind I have a particular affinity for.
 
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Aug 27, 2018
1,138
If reception is mixed I tend to look for reviewers whose opinions usually align with mine while also checking out more media about the game to see if the things people like are also things that I like....basically mixed reviews make me do more homework before I make a decision. (I'm still on the fence about Death Stranding, but I'll probably pick it up at a lower price)
 

balgajo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
684
Curiously in this decade the only game that had an almost perfect consensus and I agree that it's a masterpiece is Mario Galaxy 2. Most of my other favorites lies in a range of 80~90 of MC. I think that games like GTAV, Witcher 3, BOTW, SMO are great but they don't do much for me. I think that my taste is not aligned anymore with critical consensus like it was in Oot decade(My GOAT and 99 MC).
 

Liquid Snake

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,102
Typically a mix of very high and very low will turn me off of a game, but not as much as all 7’s and 8’s because that’s become such the de facto rating for mediocre games. Obviously a game in the mid to high 90’s on Metacritic screams for my attention, but those are so incredibly rare that it’s a non factor to me.

I’ll say Death Stranding is an exception though, mostly because I saw tons of people on ERA throughly enjoying it and my curiosity peaked that I had to see why camp I fell into.
 

dmaul1114

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,530
Pretty indifferent. I know my tastes pretty well so reviews don't have much sway with me.

It's mostly:

1. Game I was planning on buying at/near launch that reviews good to great--still buying.

2. Game I was planning on buying at/near launch that reviews ok to mediocre--probably still buying, but will wait on impressions and watch more gamplay.

3. Game I was planning on buying at/near launch that bombs in reviews--will wait on impressions and watch some gameplay, but probably a skip unless the reviews are slamming it for stuff that's a non-issue for me.

4. Game I wasn't interested in that gets glowing reviews, I'll check impressions and watch some gameplay. May or may not buy, more likely not. Again, I know my tastes and few things that weren't on my radar that review well are my cup of tea (since I follow a lot of news and mostly know what's coming out in genres I enjoy.
 

Pyro

Member
Jul 30, 2018
3,039
United States
More interested for sure. Despite pre-ordering Death Stranding back in May, I wouldn’t have gotten around to it till the holidays or next year if not for the reviews (20 hours in and loving it thus far).
 

dasu

Member
Aug 2, 2018
138
It usually makes me interested enough to read literature about the game, but it's rarely enough to convince me to subject myself to buying and playing the game.

And honestly, the only game that I can think of that was as divisive as Death Stranding is Deadly Premonition. It's not common for mainstream games. I mean, honestly, what divisive games are you guys thinking about?
 

RestEerie

Member
Aug 20, 2018
7,592
i buy games based on my own interest of the subject, regardless of general and critical reception.

example: RDR and RDR2 are both 2 of the most critically acclaimed games of its generation and i wouldn't buy it or even try it even if someone gave it to me for free because i have negative million interest in the spaghetti-western cowboy genre.
 

Hoa

Member
Jun 6, 2018
1,001
Mixed critiques usually make me curious to catch it on a good sale if I wasn't planning on getting it before. I have to be a little bit curious about it beforehand though too.
 
Nov 3, 2017
2,220
I don’t specifically seek them out, but historically, I tend to prefer divisive games that have a really strong sense of identity. This has been the case since childhood, before I even knew about game aggregate scores - some of my favourite games on the PlayStation were SaGa Frontier and Azure Dreams

Similarly, it’s very rare for me to love a game that was universally acclaimed. I think the last ones were the Mass Effects
 

Kasey

Member
Nov 1, 2017
5,071
Boise
It really depends. What do the lower score reviews mention in their critique?

As always, only looking at a number tells me almost nothing.
 

GamerJM

Member
Nov 8, 2017
3,002
Depends on context, I wouldn't really say there's a consistent thing. I will say that I don't have a high tolerance for game mechanics that are artistically interesting conceptually but annoying in practice, which is often what causes games to be divisive. A lot of my favorite games are crowd pleasers in a way, even the ones that are slightly more niche are IMO mostly that way due to lack of exposure to a wider audience (stuff like the earlier Fire Emblem games and Super Monkey Ball come to mind).
 

ItsTonyB

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,340
England
I often find that I enjoy games more that score 70-85.

All of my friends agree that there's a huge disconnect between actual gamers & reviewers.

One of the highest rated games this gen (red dead). I'm the only one to have finished it and it took me multiple attempts. I only finished it because the Internet kept telling me it got better when in fact it got worse.

Probably one of the worst games I've ever played.
 

Faenix1

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,326
Canada
Depends on the game, but if critics find it "okay" then I more often then not love it. Dead Island is my favourite game and that got mid-7s, IIRC.
 

Betty

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
9,697
Far less intrigued, i'd probably cancel any pre-order and avoid if the scores were mixed.
 

Chettlar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,892
100% more interested.

But that really depends. If it's because some reviewers were harsher on bugs or online elements or microtransactions and other's didn't touch on those, well then no.

But my ears absolutely pick up when I hear some people love a game and some people hate it. Any game that's actually doing something interesting and unique always gets that reception.
 

Madao

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,383
Panama
they get me curious actually since i trend to like games that are panned often, like the black sheeps in many franchises.

i've been watching some streams of Death Stranding just because of curiosity and i almost never watch streams of games i didn't plan to buy but this one looks like something i might enjoy.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,725
It depends on why the ratings are mixed. If it's because there's a great story but the game is a jankfest, probably don't care because I don't like putting myself through dozens of hours of unenjoyable crap because the story eventually becomes good - in the same timeframe I could watch lots of movies or play a myriad of better games instead. In my mind, there's few thingsm ore baffling than games handwaving a gameplay that is simply terrible and performance that is unacceptable just because certain story elements are cool. However, if it's mixed because something I really like is something not everybody enjoys (eg. 90's shooter design elements as opposed to modern shooter style), I can't say I'm more interested in it because of the mixed reviews, but I certainly don't get put off by the negative ones.
 

roguesquirrel

The Fallen
Oct 29, 2017
2,711
It doesnt immediately make me more interested in buying it but if it wasnt on my radar it does make me intrigued enough to look into the game a little more and see why reception is so mixed
 

astro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,029
Scores are only a very, very passing consideration for me.

Far too many games have swept the board with high scores that I didn't enjoy, and the opposite.

Although, gaming at its core is still a niche. So "mass appeal" across video review sites is still mass appeal within a niche. I don't think that sweeping high scores indicate a game has lost something due to too much mass appeal.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,038
Death Stranding has proven to me that reviews shouldn’t matter at all when it comes to whether or not I should play a game.
 

Dogui

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,957
Most games with overwhelming positive reception tends to be safe stuff that i'll probably enjoy (or not, depending on the genre), but will never be a favorite.

The games that i really really like tends to be divisive, so yeah.
 

FreddeGredde

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,025
I feel like mixed always means it's the controls/gameplay that aren't great, but other aspects are.

So it really depends whether gameplay is the most important thing to you or not, and for me it is, so I'm definitely less interested.
 

Gelf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,877
It's amazing how often I have little interest in the so called essential games with 90+ metascores these days. I'm not doing it on purpose but I find that the stuff I like tends to have at least slightly less universal praise or outright does something that part of the gaming public just can't stand.

Numbers are meaningless, a good negative review can sell me on a game sometimes because what they are complaining about sounds like something I want.
 

Rizific

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,712
It brings my attention to the game. Then I use multiple sources to make my own judgement on if I want in or not.
 

Rosenkrantz

Member
Jan 17, 2018
1,864
Entirely depends on how I react on what I see. I have little interest in Death Stranding not because it has a mixed (by Kojima standards) reception, but because nothing I saw looked like something I would enjoy.

On the other hand, I knew right away that Alien: Isolation and Prey would be my jam despite neither game setting the world on fire in terms of critical reception.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,952
in the case of death stranding, yeah. i'd have been suspicious if it unanimously scored 9s and 10s across the board

most 90+ games are bespoke for the modern review cycle. review copy goes out "omg hype, GOAT".... 6 months later: "was it really, though?"
 

Chettlar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,892
Entirely depends on how I react on what I see. I have little interest in Death Stranding not because it has a mixed (by Kojima standards) reception, but because nothing I saw looked like something I would enjoy.

On the other hand, I knew right away that Alien: Isolation and Prey would be my jam despite neither game setting the world on fire in terms of critical reception.
Alien Isolation is that game that like, everyone loves. You bring it up and people rave about how good it is. It's used in countless game essays expounding on how to do various things. It's also gorgeous graphically.

But at the same time like, it seemed to come out and be forgotten instantly, and I never see it anywhere.
 
Jun 2, 2019
1,306
If anything, it makes me More interested. Some of my favorites are divisive games with mixed scores. At the very least I want to test them to know what the fuzz is about

Wich means I'm waiting for Death Stranding to come out on PC so I can play it. First Kojima game I'm interested in.