Game Review Score Inflation

InflationIt seems that there have been an awful lot of high review scores for video games of late. I scan internet gaming news sources and it doesn’t seem that a week has gone by without someone announcing, "(fill in the gives {fill in name of game) a 10 out of 10!" or other high score in the high 9’s.

I don’t know about you, but handing out high scores like this seems to be making more news than the actual games themselves.

What I’m trying to say here is that either video games have really gotten that much better than say, three years ago, or our standards for what constitutes a great game have gone through an inflationary stage–the value may not really be there.

A perfect score or near perfect score used to be reserved for the cream of the crop–games that would be talked about for years to come as either ground breaking or history shattering. But now, the frequency of these high scores seem to be more pronounced than ever before, and I really have to wonder about this.

Yes, there are games out there that do merit high scores, but scoring a 10? I just don’t see it justified in many cases. Giving out a perfect score is saying, "There is virtually nothing wrong with this game and it is basically perfect in everything it does." That’s a tall order to fill by anyone’s benchmark.

Some gaming site gave the PC version of Gears of War a 10/10 the other day. I’ve played Gears on the 360, and enjoyed it. It wasn’t necessarily ground breaking, but it did a great job of doing a shooter right. The PC version has some extras and such, but saying that Gears is better than other shooters in its category is not only hard to believe, but it just ain’t so.

I know reviews are subjective by nature, but it seems that, all of a sudden, giving a perfect score to a game is becoming all too common and it makes me pause in wonder.

If scores are actually inflated, as I speculate, then review scores will lose value over time and mediocre games will get better scores than they actually deserve.

The final result won’t be more sales for the game industry, but a bunch of gamers who will be sorely pissed off that their "perfect" game is far from it.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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