This is something ive noticed about games that are hyped/anticipated alot. Whenever a game has ALOT of anticipation and there's alot of hype around a new game thats coming, does it seem like reviewers rate them harshly? Some games I can understand, but some others as I read the reviews I just don't understand how they can be so harsh.
For example, Halo 3! One of the most hyped games ever in the history of gaming. Their was so much hype that it was basically impossible to live up to it. No one could! I think the biggest "Let down" people seem to have with this game is the fact that its alot alike it predecessor Halo 2. Now the reviews were generally favorable. Almost all of the reviews loved the game. But some made complaints about certain things I found odd. One reviewer admitted to scoring the game based on Ads. The ads were so "epic" that he scored the game a 7 out of 10 because it didn't live up to it. Im not bashing the fact he gives it a 7, just the reason... This is just one example mind you, im not going to keep going into just Halo.
Assassins Creed, another great example. One of the most disturbing reviews had to be from IGN. IGN talks about how repetitive it is, AI problems and also claimed graphics weren't that great. When I read this my mind was basically saying "Did this sucker play the same game as me?!" Also I would like to point out the comments were saying the same thing. Some things he said I understood, for example the repetitiveness of the game. Its true, there are some repetitiveness, like when you have to find flags all over the game, I think the kingdom alone had 100? Im not sure. For those of you who have not played it, think Grand Theft Auto and collecting packages. Also when you have an a job you need to "scope" the place out by climbing some of the tallest buildings in the game. This allows you to see side quests to help scholars, citizens, pickpocket information, beat information out of someone or eavesdrop. This can get repetitive as its basically the same thing over and over. But why is this necassarily a huge problem? This I can vouch is in ALOT of games. Take for example one of the best games of 2007. Super Mario Galaxy, any unbiased player can admit to the fact that the game is quite the repetitive bunch. You basically have planets which you go to where you collect a star. How do you collect these stars? You basically jump, run, flip and fly your way to it with some occasional bosses. Granted it does have some wacky level designed its still in essence the same thing. You do this basically all game with a laughable plot (if any real plot). But do people care? No, because its still fun to do it. So why... when a game as hyped as Assassins Creed and so talked about recieve huge deductions in points because of the same type of repetitiveness or even such minor things?
IGN scored Assassins Creed as follows:
8.0 - Presentation - The historical setting is brilliantly recreated. The story is slow-paced and has some uninspired elements.
8.5 - Graphics - The world is beautiful except for the pop-in and framerate issues. The animations are top-notch.
7.5 - Sound - Every voice actor is fantastic save one -- the lead actor. The ambient noise could have been a lot stronger.
7.5 - Gameplay - Go anywhere and kill anyone. These are Creed's strong points. The game gets bogged down in repetitive tasks too often.
7.0 - Lasting Appeal - It could take anywhere from 10-15 hours to complete depending on how thoroughly you explore the world. There's no reason to come back for seconds.
Lets go in order shall we?
Presentation - I give them this, the story was slow yes, but uninspired elements? What does that even mean? The story was fine. Granted it was nothing spectacular, but how many games even have spectacular stories? Not many...
Graphics - Graphics should in no way shape or form drop below 9.5 in this game. The game runs perfect! I don't now if someone spilled coke on his Xbox, but I had zero framerate problems and I saw no problems at all from videos either. I will admit their are pop-in textures, but its so minor why even take so much off for that? We aren't living in the far future, this happens in alot of games, especially BIG ones like this.
Sound - Probably the worst thing about Assassins Creed yet, not even that bad. The worst thing was the fact that alot of the voice acting was the same for the "bystanders" in the game. They criticize the lead characters acting which was mildly off, but still better than most games out their. Also his accent in the game is off from everyone else, but once you play the game you know why.
Gameplay - Why does a game that still does more than most games out there be scored a 7 because you can't do everything imaginable? By this review, you would think he wanted to go inside houses, sleep, play games, get married. The game wasn't meant to be that way. Lets not forget Super Mario Galaxy? Who decides what repetitiveness is fun or boring?
Lasting Appeal - What makes collecting flags, killing all templars, and overall running around assassinating give less lasting appeal then doing similar things such as collecting stars?
The fact is, because the games look so good and interesting must they suffer in reviews because it didn't do things you thought it would? Nothing in the presentations or interviews was said that they did not deliver. Why must collecting stars be more fun than collecting flags, helping citizens, and assassinating people?
Its like someone said at Game Informer. When he first started playing the game, he loved it. He was having a blast playing the game and as soon as he decided to hurry up because he started to see other reviews, his view of the game began to diminish. He realized that instead of trying to speed run the game he would take his time and have fun. Does hype give such high expectations that can never be met causing it to get bad reviews? Why does a game such as Super Mario Galaxy be forgiven for its repetitiveness? Is it because no one expects Mario to grab on to the edge of things? Imagine if Altair did not have the ability to grab on to a window ledge to climb on to the roof and instead had to jump as Mario did. Assassins Creed brings new innovative gameplay yet isnt rewarded because he could not buy new weapons or change clothes. Why must hype have such diminishing returns?
Anyway, thats just my 2 cents about the awkward world of reviews and what people think of games.