A bit of a hubbub exploded earlier this week, when Metacritic listed an Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End “review” from the Washington Post (don’t read it unless you want key points of the story spoiled) assigning it a 4 out of 10 score.
Many have found issues with that listing, that knocked the game’s metascore down to 93 from 94. First of all, it didn’t list a score at all, so it’s unclear where that score comes from. Secondly, the Washington Post published another review, which is actually scored four stars out of four.
That said, the one listed by Metacritic comes from Washington Post’s Comic Riff, which is where most of the reviews from the Washington Post listed on the aggregator site come from.
Fans have decided to take the matter in their hands, and posted a petition on change.org, requesting the removal of the review from Metacritic. Below you can read the original text from author Dimitris Xorikos.
“I’m sorry but when having too much detail became a bad thing , this reviewer is out of his mind. I believe U4 is one of the greatest games ever created and it is my personal favorite for sure , although i can justify some reviewers giving it a 9 or an 8. But this is a utter disgrace. Gene , because you were the only respectable staff that responded to this nonsense , you should remove this review fro the metacritic , and post a new , sensible one that can justify its existence. Your Washington post for Christ’s Sake , not a 12-year-old’s diary. Treat the game with professionalism and respect.
Also , he never gave the game a rating in his review , so the 40/100 should either be removed from the metascore or added to his review. Things must be cleared. It’s about the respect that the developers deserve all the amount of time and money put into this game. Even the editor of the Washington post is confused with this piece of biased garbage. Something needs to happen. Just look at the track record of this guy , Dark souls 2 worst game ever? One of the most acclaimed games in recent memory? I’m okay with the guy expressing his opinion , but as i said , when its an original review it must be treated with professionalism and respect , and rules must be applied. This guy doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously by big , crucial sites like Metacritic. It harms the Flawless reputation of the game for absolutely no reason. A review is not about what you think a game is , its about what a game is. Objective measures are applied.”
The petition also received the endorsement of Sam’s voice actor Troy Baker.
— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) May 15, 2016
While it started fairly slow, it has recently come to the attention of more fans, and it’s currently growing fast, having just passed the 1,000 signatures mark at the moment of this writing.
You decide what to make out of this. Personally, having read reviews of all kinds, from people from all walks of life in eighteen years in this industry, I can’t help but find the controversial review quite ridiculous and fairly juvenile in its content even more than in the score.
Given the fact that Washington Post’s Comic Riff is the source of most of the outlet’s reviews on Metacritic, it would be strange if just this one was to be removed due to its score, but maybe those who select the outlets that influence a game’s metascore (that often has weight on developers’ livelihood, even if it shouldn’t) might want to reconsider the inclusion of a source that provides this kind of content. That’s especially due the glaring spoilers and the lack of any sort of depth and analysis on anything besides whatever the writer felt like bashing.
It certainly sounds a lot more like an intentionally polarizing and provocative op-ed than anything I would call a review. Incidentally, intentional provocation and controversy seem to be what this specific writer is after in a lot of his production.
That said, that’s just my personal opinion, and ultimately every outlet is free to choose whoever fits its editorial line. Feel free to weigh in with yours.