Which games do you think got the biggest free pass from reviewers?

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Oct 27, 2017
Chalk it up to franchise/studio legacy, pre release hype, or something else, but every once in a while a game comes out that gets good or great reviews, but is less well received from by the player base. For me, the biggest example recently is Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. IMO, the game's pretty buggy, and has a lot of derivative game mechanics that are sub par to the game's they're taken from. Overall, Jedi is not terrible, but not great. If I had to guess it got a bit of a free pass from reviewers for being a single player Star Wars game without the typical EA MTX bullshit, as well as Respawn generally having alot of good will from the gaming community at large.

What are some games that you feel got a free pass from critics? Either recently or in the past?
Oct 27, 2017
Melbourne, Australia
I really don't like this kind of attitude toward reviews or general opinion to be honest.

There are loads of people who have loved Jedi Fallen Order either in spite of its (significant) lack of polish or because they somehow managed to avoid some of those bugs and such. What if it's not about giving it a "free pass" because it's Star Wars/Respawn and it's just that those more positive reviews, shock, actually enjoyed themselves?


Oct 27, 2017
Sword and Shield got rated much more highly than they deserve to be. I can wrap my mind around Dexit, but some of those animations and graphics were just inexcusable. They really need to either stop annualizing the franchise or bring in a bigger team.


Apr 11, 2018
GTA IV the king of this. Just not a fun game with a dull, meandering story to boot. Not the 10/10 changing of the game so many had reviewed it as.


Oct 25, 2017
Long Island
I'm going to say Death Stranding

If someone else made that game, I don't think people would have been as welcoming to the core gameplay loop.

So obviously I'm kind of excluding the story(because no one but Kojima is going to come with that story), but that game play loop is just....not something that would get love if someone else did it.


Oct 28, 2017
Resident Evil 2 Remake is really good but not 90s MC good. Death Stranding too, like how is that boring game winning so many GOTYs?


Oct 26, 2017
Bioshock Infinite comes to mind. I think a lot of critics were high on love for the first game, the extremely exaggerated pre-release claims of advanced AI interactions (which were not present in the game at all), and the admittedly quite aesthetically pleasing visuals that they didn't seem to really notice that the story was terrible and didn't make any sense, the combat was extremely repetitive, the level design was not especially interesting, the harder difficulty said to make the game more interesting just turned bosses into bullet sponges, and it's politics were extremely questionable.


Oct 30, 2017
I came in with GTA4 in mind. I'm glad to see it mentioned already. Such a lackluster game when compared to its predecessors.


Oct 26, 2017
Both games treat women (and in GoW's case, kids) in poor ways and don't go far enough with the themes to properly explore the harm the main characters do. Plus how many people loved making the lol "boy" joke last year, like yeah, let's make fun of Kratos abusing and othering his son.
Are you joking?

You should definitely elaborate on how calling his son BOY is child abuse


Dec 2, 2017
I feel like Bioshock Infinite benefited from being a Ken Levine Bioshock game and from a climate where the community really wanted to justify the idea that games were art. The Roger Ebert quote, the Smithsonian exhibit, and Thatgamecompany running out of money just to finish Journey were all hot button at the time.


Nov 26, 2017
Red Dead Redemption 2. Even though I liked the game enough to buy it for both PS4 and PC, it has several flaws in its game design and controls which IMO are enough to not warrant it's near-perfect scores.


Oct 27, 2017
Pokemon Battle Revolution on Wii is one of the few times I think Pokemon reviews weren't too soft. Like, I'd almost always lop off a good 2/10 from the average when it comes to the franchise >.<


Oct 25, 2017
the Netherlands
Modern Warfare 2019
Why? The Campaign is an incoherent mess because you're constantly jumping from one character to the other, filled with controversial moments for the sake of being controversial while the MP is a pile of trash with insanely bad map design with seemingly every design choice being made to turn the game into a slow campfest favoring players who just sit in a corner or window all game, which is exactly the opposite of what Call of Duty is all about. Meanwhile the Spec Ops mode is so bad and barebones that it honestly feels like it was an afterthought which was quickly thrown together in the last months of development because they felt they couldn't ship with just 2 modes because every CoD in the last decade shipped with 3 modes. Meanwhile Activision has also decided to franchise the game with a league similar to the Overwatch League, yet even though 12 teams paid the rumored $25mil+ franchise fee the game lacks basic support for competitive play. Got to give props where due though, the improved engine was much needed and the MTX isn't even 10% as bad as recent entries, but that's where the thing they did right end for me.
I feel like Infinity Ward and Activision heavily bet on nostalgia by rebooting Modern Warfare, and based on how many people bought it, liked it and the reviews I guess that bet turned out to be the correct one in the end.

And a quick on Red Dead Redemption 2: the aiming with controllers is fucking pathetic and I honestly found the game to simply be unplayable with lock-on aim. I've tried many settings recommended on various websites but none of them turned the shooting into even something half decent, it's feel like something they threw together in the early stages of development and then for 5 years didn't bother improving, it's insanely bad and reviewers should have called it out.


The Walnut King
Oct 25, 2017
Washington, D.C.
We think that the framing of this thread, that reviewers aren't giving their honest opinions on games, won't lead to productive discussion. As such, we're locking it.
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