the game is getting ruined, the players are angry
Forspoken hasn’t had a week when it has been crushed by most of the angry players. The pill was difficult to pass.
Forspoken was available on PC, and console exclusive on PS5, since last January 24th and clearly failed to woo players, worse yet, disappointed and angered them. Initially known as Project Athia, we were still impressed during its first presentation. Stunning graphics, stunning art direction, insane animations and much more. Unfortunately, since its release, the soufflé has fallen and unspoken failed to convince. Player anger had run high and the game had been subjected to a real bombing review for several hours.
Forspoken disappoints and takes it seriously
On Metacritic, the game has been a total wreck for a few days and the bad reviews are growing. At the time of writing, the game is struggling to maintain its 3.6 average rating for over 800 opinions (whatever) from players, of which more than 510 are negative. On PC, it doesn’t even exceed 2 points. On the press side, the game has an average rating of 66 for less than 100 reviews, which isn’t big either. Same story on Steam featuring an “average” rating. Here, positive and negative opinions compete with each other.
The players are angry. On PC, many fans had major optimization problems and some blamed Denuvo’s famous DRM, effective according to studios, but too greedy according to players. Others pointed to the fact that the game was “blank”, “ugly”, “too short for the requested €80”, or simply “not finished”.
When notes used to be heard
This isn’t the highly anticipated AAA’s first time unspoken shot down with “review bombing”. Not so long ago, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet paid the price, or even recently from The Callisto Protocol. A game that is both appreciated and hated, which also fell victim to review bombing shortly after its release. Especially because of their major technical problems. Other titles, but highly appreciated and even praised, such as Gran Turismo 7 for example, have experienced a similar attack. Here anger is often directed at things parallel to play. Review bombs are then very often used to sow polemics or to protest unsavory choices.
For several years now, free rating systems, such as Metacritic, which allow you to give your opinion on a product and even rate it, have become real means of expression in their own right. A way of making noise to text occasionally, or simply to express someone’s annoyance. While it can sometimes be difficult to sort and differentiate between free negative reviews and constructive ones, the fact is that sites like Metacritic are becoming increasingly important. Already for consumers, who should be able to get an overall picture of the quality of a product at a glance, but also for professionals. Because yes, even in the industry, ratings and reviews matter. Some publishers and/or studios sometimes even give their teams a goal to achieve, a minimum score to earn and some groups don’t hesitate to award bonuses (or not) based on those goals.
And that, players know it and are now using it to be heard. Here again with unspoken. Now, in this particular case, it remains to be seen if they will be heard. But very often, whatever one may say, this is the case and the studio then redoubles their efforts to raise the bar. This is for example what’s happening right now with the big redesign of Battlefield 2042 or what’s happening with Cyberpunk 2077, which has improved significantly since its release.
And you, did Forspoken let you down? What do you think about rating systems like Metacritic and ranking influence?