Game reviews, much like reviews for any piece of media, provide a great place to start finding games that players will love.
With every new game release there is an overwhelming amount of hype built up from advertisements and early-game builds. Falling into the trap of these advertisements can produce some lackluster results. Games like “No Man’s Sky” can have amazing advertisements and huge promises, but on release can prove to be a major disappointment. Now, customers often wait for early reviews of the game before putting their money into a sinking ship, but this can be dangerous in its own right.
The internet is constantly flooded with game reviews ranging from professional critics to amateur web designers who love to talk about whatever the newest topic of conversation is. Issues can arise, however, as all critics have different tastes in games and professional critics often have connections to the companies who make the games. So how can you find a review that you have faith in?
The second problem can be solved in a fairly simple way — avoid big name review companies. Reviews from companies such as IGN can be useful to the average reader as they sometimes summarize the main pros and cons of a game, but the scores are often inflated. It is rare to see a professional review give below 7.5 out of 10 in their review because they don’t want to lose their privileges to play these games early. Once again, this does not mean these kinds of reviews are useless, but the final scores should be taken with a grain of salt.
On the other issue, there is another simple fix. Finding a single reviewer can help enormously. You may not even agree with that critic on most games, but when you focus on one person’s reviews, you learn their tastes. Once you understand what kinds of gameplay mechanics and storylines a critic enjoys, you can compare their tastes to your own. If you enjoy JRPGs, which are Japanese role-playing games, with turn-based combat, but the critic you listen to has a natural distaste for those kinds of games, you have to take their review in a different way. This doesn’t make either of you wrong about the game but instead offers a separate viewpoint on each game.
There are other cases where a game transcends critics despite their natural tastes. For example, “Undertale” was beloved by critics and fans across the board. On the other end of the spectrum are the games that receive poor reviews from all critics. These are rare, as most games have something that appeals to some form of core audience, but they are not hard to spot when they appear.
When it comes down to it, game reviews will always be incredibly subjective. There is no single perfect critic, and there is no one perfect game. However, if you have your faith in a trusted few critics, you will undoubtedly find the kind of games for you.