I enjoy reviewing games. I like being able to share my honest opinion with others, and I enjoy being helpful to others who may be considering a game but don’t know if it’s worth the plunge. For that reason, I’m going to try to review at least 2 games per month, especially considering I get one free on the PS4 every month anyhow. Not to mention, I’ve got a stack of games my dad bought for the PS3, and I’m probably about a third of the way through The Last Of Us, if I had to guess (great game so far). But, for all the games I’ve rated on My Opinion As A Gamer so far, there have been only a couple that I’ve had to consider skipping a review. The first is Battlefield 4, and you probably know why I’m not reviewing it if you’ve been following the saga. The second is a new, free game for PS+ members on the PS4; it’s a quirky little title called Don’t Starve.
I plan to download and play as many free PS4 games as I feasibly can, considering my slow download speed. Don’t Starve was only about 300MB, so it downloaded fairly quickly. By description, it sounds a lot like Minecraft, and it somewhat is. Basically, you’re dropped in a world where you have nothing except the clothes on your back. You craft items to survive. The differences are that Don’t Starve is a bit more hardcore, it focuses more on simply eating to survive, but there also seems to be some sort of a storyline as well. The art style is 2D/top down/Tim Burton/drawn characters/spooky, and it’s got quirky music to go with it. I haven’t played Don’t Starve for long, but it’s really not capturing my attention to make me want to play it.
See, it seems a bit boring to this point, and if nothing changes, I won’t finish the game. So far, Don’t Starve has been a slower, more monotonous, tedious version of Minecraft where you die instantly if you don’t have a fire when it gets dark. But that doesn’t mean the game is bad; if you’re looking for a hardcore, slightly different open world/Minecraft-esque experience, this is the game for you. It just isn’t suiting me, and that’s alright. We all have different tastes as gamers and game enthusiasts.
But to rate it would be wrong, especially if you don’t finish the game. I think that in most cases, you probably shouldn’t review a game if you don’t finish it. You won’t be able to comment on how the storyline wraps up, how long the game is, what mechanics are used or overused, etc. It wouldn’t be giving a fair review because you haven’t seen all the game has to offer. This applies mainly to a 1-10 or a 1%-100% score. On the other hand, if you couldn’t finish a game, you could possibly rate it on a Worth Playing vs. Not Worth Playing scale instead. It might not be worth playing because it’s too dull to capture the attention, but if that’s the only reason why it’s “bad,” then it’s not right of you to judge the (entire) game by the small portion you played and got bored with.
Other than that, I really don’t see how it would or could be fair to rate a game you didn’t finish. Of course, this excludes games like RPGs with dozens or hundreds of hours of side quests, or games with branching storylines that might have a dozen different endings. There’s no feasible way anyone could completely play review a game like that.
Whereas Don’t Starve is (as of right now) too boring to finish or earn a rating, Battlefield 4 was too buggy to rate fairly. At it’s core, it’s an amazing, fun, explosive experience. The launch was marred by bugs, my campaign progress was reset due to a bug, so I never finished the campaign and lost the desire to do so, and the multiplayer aspect was a disaster for a solid month or more. Even though the experience was fun when working properly, that rarely happened and it was unfair to rate the game because of this. On one hand, if the game is fun, it should be rated highly, right? But if a game is broken, buggy, and glitchy, it should be rated poorly, right? If a game is both… well, the lines blur; especially when the bugs are temporary and can be fixed.
But I can’t, and won’t, review a game that’s been patched up to look new, especially if it was a disaster at launch because it isn’t a true representation of what the game actually is. So, there’s really no way I could ever review a game like Battlefield 4. I faced a similar situation with Halo 3: ODST; I encountered a bug that reset my campaign progress. Unlike Battlefield, I actually did start over with the resolve to beat the game. The difference between the two is that Battlefield was marred by bugs; Halo 3: ODST simply had one, and it didn’t ruin the experience or confuse me as to whether or not I could really write a review on it. Granted, I never did give it a definite score, (I say 9 if you dismiss the bug, 6 if you take it into consideration) but I was able to definitively say what I felt about the experience.
So, there you have it. Basically, don’t review a game if you don’t finish it. If you don’t like a game simply because it’s too boring for you or because it doesn’t suit your taste as a game player, don’t review it. If a game is buggy enough to be ridiculous while still being functional enough to be fun, it’s probably not a good idea to try to review and rate that either. Anything I missed? Are there any games you couldn’t rate or review? If so, why? Thanks for reading! Hit the like or follow buttons if you’ve enjoyed, check out the LP channels in the “Links” tab, and I’ll see you later.
Off To Play The Last Of Us