To Critique a Critic

At first I was a bit skeptical of the Resident Evil 7 review on techradar, by Steve Boxer. To put some pretext to this, I was on the hunt for a typical subpar to mediocre reviews. Although, I was definitely surprised by how much I enjoyed his review. Boxer’s critique felt very straight forward and to the point. I felt like he captured the game experience fairly well as well put this game in to perspective with rest of Resident Evil franchise. Though there are a few other things that I would like to point about in this article:

No review score: Quite often people tend to write barebones no substance reviews which center around this granular idea of a grading scale. Reviews can vary from a 10 point scales to a 5 star reviews, and most news outlets have their own unique criteria. Though this doesn’t stop metacritic and other sources from attempting to compile all of these scores and build a final transcript for the game. In most cases the numbers don’t say much about the game. The grading system just falls under the same inherent problem that we all of different tastes.

But that is not to say review scales are useless. They can provide a quick an easy streamline for consumers to get an idea of whether they might be interested in a game. Though I for one generally prefer game reviews without a score. I like to read about peoples’ experiences and get sense of how the game feels can adapt to a variety of players. In the case of Boxer’s review, he does just that. Knowing that the game is “disappointingly short” or that “the cut-off arms that your character has in VR” can create cause a bit of disconnect from the otherwise immersive experience gives more insight to game’s feel and design choices, then an idle 86%. Personally reading a review should feel more like a suggestion from a friend rather than SAT statistics.

Multiple perspectives: Though it can be hard to find time to review a game especially if it appears on multiple skews. It’s always helpful to have different perspectives and things to compare when deciding which platform offers the best experience. Resident Evil is no exception to this, since it launched with both a VR and television experience. Knowing that there is a performance difference between these two version makes a big difference in deciding how you should engage the game. VR games tend to have a bit a lower graphical fidelity and occasional frame rate issues due to how relatively early the technology is. As a result players can have a bit of a harder time adjusting to the game’s environment or potentially suffer from dizziness.

Boxer’s reviews offers insight to both the standard and PSVR experiences of the game. Though it’s not a complete extensive breakdown. This review by no means perfect and there are quite a few different thing that he could have commented. One thing that wasn’t present in the review was how the enemies know as the molded for the most part function as minor distractions and are there most of the time to eat away at your ammo reserves. I also would have like for him to have gone into a bit more detail about the game environments and how the different zones help to ensure the game “doesn’t feel too linear.”

Though there are countless things you can say about game and deciding what’s most important discuss will vary from writer to writer. Though video game reviews should typically give their readers a sense of what the game is about and what we are getting ourselves into by playing it.

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