Game reviews have been all over the place lately. There was a time when scores were in a range that gave gamers a fair idea of how a game will be. On a scale of 100, games in the low 60s were trash and the ones in the high 90s were godly. Seeing a game get a 95 on multiple sites was a pleasure to watch. Most gaming sites these days are split on the review parameters. For instance, take a look at Alien Isolation. IGN gave the game a 5.5/10, while Gamespot gave it a 6. Yet the game has a Metacritic user average of 84/100.
Metacritic users are extremely unforgiving when it comes to games. Even a single bug can garner a lot of unwarranted ratings that can bring the whole score down. But 84/100 is solid however you look at it.
The giveaway is that gamers loved it, and reviewers didn’t. The question is, who would you give more credibility? I played Isolation and loved it. The game is more terrifying than it had any right to be. And that set it apart from any other game of 2014. The Evil Within was supposed to be THE horror game to make you defecate your pants, but it ended up leaving just a slightly uneasy feeling in my stomach. And yet it got an 87/100 from IGN. Which brings me to my point about parameters.
Reviewers should define a set of parameters, and should keep changing them with the changing trends in the market. You cannot review Killzone 3 and Half Life 1 with the same reviewing standards. In the same way, a person who does not love slow paced strategy games cannot possibly give an unbiased review of a slow paced action RPG like Dark Souls. Every Gaming publication should define personas and then only allow people to review games who fall under a particular persona. That way, at the very least we might start seeing realistic reviews.