Despite the successful launch of The Last of Us Part 2, it didn’t take us long to see how Metacritic, the most recognized review and analysis collection portal currently in the video game sector, saw a huge flurry of negative criticism from thousands of users who, in many cases, only joined the current trend of review bombing.
Not at all new, this practice seems to have been gaining strength in recent years, with quite notable cases such as Nintendo Switch’s Astral Chain, where the website itself had to proceed to eliminate a large amount of criticism with the minimum score; Killing Floor 2 or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, where paid bonus content pissed off players; or some more recent and controversial releases like Death Stranding or Valorant, the Riot Games shooter.
And it is that although Metacritic follows a dual model that separates analyzes and scores from the media and professional press, for which the rigor and pertinent ethics of their position are presupposed, of the opinions of users and players, where absolute freedom of opinion is allowed.
In fact, although luckily there is still a large majority that remains under the rules, because anyone can contribute criticism anonymously, the platform still continues being vulnerable to manipulation in the form of bombardments.
However, it seems that the web has finally taken its first step to alleviate this recent trend, since as they point out from ResetEra, Metacritic no longer allows adding user reviews on the same day that new games are released, forcing to wait 36 hours to give the players «the time necessary to test and finish the game before leaving your comments«.
Although perhaps it is a mere dilation of the inevitable, the web hopes that this measure will help reduce interest in review bombing. In this way, for the moment it seems that the company will stay out of applying more extreme measures such as direct elimination of negative reviews, something that despite proving its effectiveness, caused a great rejection among users.
Other platforms are already fighting review bombing
In addition to Metacritic, another of the most affected platforms recently has been Steam, where a controversy generated as a result of a confrontation between the well-known youtuber PewDiePie and a developer, led fans of the content creator to initiate a wave of negative evaluations with the intention and real result of harming the developer.
In the beginning the company considered applying a temporary locking system to send the analyzes and evaluations of the users, so that in the event of detecting this type of «attacks», they could be stopped beforehand. However, given their spontaneity and the enormous flow of comments on their platform, a less restrictive and much more informative solution was finally chosen.
With the simple addition of being able to see some time lines as graphics In which review bombings can be easily identified, rather than trying to avoid them, Steam has created a way for users to go through them and maintain a more realistic view of other players’ actual ratings.
Criticism vs. Self-criticism
Unfortunately this problem still seems to be far from over. And it is that the great freedom and anonymity that the Internet supposes, continues to draw one of the worst facets of our societyTherefore, beyond changes or restrictions in this type of systems, the change must be made in the individuals themselves.
While we must fight to maintain our freedom of expression, we must know how to respect that of others, as well as learn the difference between criticism and opinion, and the value of constructive contributions.