The gaming industry is quickly evolving into one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world, and the market is getting flooded with a wide variety of video games that cater to every genre and niche that a person might be interested. However, quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality, and gamers need to be smart about the purchase they're making lest they risk spending money on a game that doesn't live up to their expected standards. This is where the concept of video game reviews come in — video game experts that play and critique a game (hopefully before release) and rank it according to its perceived level of quality to gamers can get a fairly unbiased opinion on how good — or bad — the game actually is.

However, the current state of video game reviewing and journalism is laughable at best. There are just so many things wrong with the gaming industry that it boggles the mind as to how some reviews ever get printed. In fact, there are numerous instances in the video game community where video game reviewers have said something so unbelievably stupid that the industry as a whole would prefer if you simply forget that something so comically stupid was even said to begin with. Here are 25 of the biggest and most shocking secrets that video game reviewers don't want you to know.

25 The GameSpot Review Of Alien Resurrection That Is Absolutely Shambolic


Alien: Resurrection was a pretty underwhelming movie, but the game is much, much better by comparison. In fact, this title is believed to have given birth to the dual-stick gameplay of modern shooters, where the left analog is used solely for movement and the right analog controls the camera. You know where this is heading.

The game was reviewed by Steven Garrett at GameSpot, who lambasted the game with unfair criticism, including two whole paragraphs dedicated to ranting about how unplayable the game was due to the odd control system, and suggesting them to use Medal Of Honor's control system instead (where you used the shoulder buttons to strafe).

Quite ironic indeed, that Medal Of Honor decided to adopt the very same control system for the rest of their games.


24 Bribing YouTubers


Shadow Of Mordor is arguably the greatest game in the Lord of the Rings universe, featuring crisp visuals and satisfying gameplay the likes of which was missing from other games in this particular setting. The game would've garnered positive reviews no matter what, but for some reason, WB Interactive (the publishers of the game) took an absolutely boneheaded decision to sway this opinion nevertheless.

The publisher allegedly contacted notable gaming YouTubers, providing them a free copy of the game in advance in exchange for publicised positive reviews. Obviously, this backfired spectacularly when YouTubers like Jim Sterling and TotalBiscuit blew the lid on the whole campaign. The FTC got involved, and rightfully reprimanded WB for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act.

23 Review Score Numbers Are Comically Flawed


Normally, when a product is given a score of 5 out of a possible 10, most people would assume that said product was simply average. However, in the gaming community, a 5/10 for a game means that it's a horrible game, which makes no sense at all. In fact, the entire scoring system that's prevalent in pretty much every video game review makes absolutely zero sense.

Most of these scores range from a 7 to 9, with 7 being considered a game of average quality. This is baffling and completely destroys the whole point of rating anything — not to mention the fact that this inane system makes review scores nothing more than meaningless decimals that won't reflect the actual quality of a finished product.

22 Indie Reviewers Mostly Do It For The Free Games


While the majority of independent video game reviewers might actually be passionate people who wish to share their view of video games to the rest of the world, the sad truth is that there are still a sizeable chunk of indie reviewers who have lucked out with a large fanbase and can now demand games for free with the excuse that they'll be reviewing them as well.

This has led to a bunch of collectives who have successfully scammed a ton of hard working indie developers into giving them a game for free, just so they can play the entire game with ease and release a half-assed review that doesn't encapsulate what the game is all about to begin with.

21 IGN Predicted That The PS Vita Would Sell More Than The Nintendo 3DS


IGN is not exactly famous for their in-depth analysis on the video game industry — in fact, the company has been known for propagating shallow standards for the industry at large.

One such piece was written by one of the editors, Colin Moriarty, who declared that the PS Vita would outsell Nintendo's 3DS and conquer the portable market for the first time. This prediction fell flat on its pompous face when the 3DS ended up selling almost 4 times more than the Vita, cementing Nintendo's dominance in their niche. Obviously, opinions are just that, opinions. But the declarative nature of the statement shows a complete lack of understanding for the industry. Your bias is showing.

20  Edge Magazine Declared That SEGA Would Dominate


Edge Magazine is currently being hosted on GamesRadar (after all, gamers wouldn't sign up for print media if everything's available on a digital platform). Way back in the early 2000s, however, Edge was actually a pretty influential and popular video games magazine that had a sizeable fanbase... which makes this particular entry on the list all the more insane to begin with.

When SEGA launched the Dreamcast, Edge released an article on its magazine that boldly claimed that Nintendo would soon be overtaken by SEGA as the most dominant power in the gaming market. In yet another wild (and ridiculous) prediction, Edge burned all of their credibility on one of the most asinine assumptions of all time.

19 The Fear Of Online Harassment


Some video games are so beloved by the majority of gaming audiences that they will simply refuse to face any criticism regarding their favorite games and/or series. Games like Final Fantasy XV and Uncharted 4 are certainly quite amazing — there's no doubt about that. However, these games still have some glaring flaws that need (and should) be taken into account before purchase.

Unfortunately, most game reviewers have chosen to put these games on an undeserved pedestal simply because they're a part of an established franchise with a rabid fanbase that will eviscerate anything (and anyone) who might seemingly criticise these games. This leads to a poisonous environment where critics are intimidated, and willfully decide not to enrage these gamers lest they wish to suffer undue harassment online.

18 Out Of Touch (Re: Polygon And DOOM)


When your job description is to play video games, you would think everyone would give it their all and focus on creating the best results imaginable. After all, it's not the highest paying gig of all-time. It's a burning passion that you're communicating with the community at large. However, sometimes your team isn't firing on all cylinders.

Polygon's Arther Gies gave DOOM (2016) a respectable 8.5/10 when reviewing the game. However, whatever intern was forced to record and capture the gameplay footage for the game's first half hour, had almost certainly never played a first-person shooter before. Suddenly the whole body of the review was called into question. Why have such a miserably juxtaposition between video and text?

17 Corporations Aren't Honest


Most video game media companies like IGN and GameSpot have a large number of staff in the form of editors, writers, and whatnot who have wildly differing opinions, all under one roof. Trying to follow their train of thought can be exhausting since there are so many people, and it's hard to keep a track of what each person's opinions might be when it comes to various aspects of gaming.

There are so many individual video game channels which provide reviews as well, and while your opinions of these people might be differing the one constant when it comes to all of these YouTubers is that their train of thought will stay the same no matter what game they approach. This helps you look at the game getting reviewed from the individual's perspective, letting you relate with a certain point-of-view and rolling with it.

16 Major Outlets Are Always Contradictory

via by mariotehplumber

Since we were just speaking about the large number of people present in such media companies, it feels like a great way to lead off to this entry. There are just too many differing opinions rolling around regarding certain games in various video game media outlets — even the video and text reviews are sometimes handled by two different people altogether.

If that wasn't enough, major companies also have different outlets in other countries around the world, and sometimes opinions and views on certain games can wildly vary in different regions around the world — even if the parent company might remain the same. This can lead to a huge information gap that is contributing to the problem that most companies are facing nowadays.

15 Exclusive Coverage is ALWAYS Untrustworthy *Cough* IGN *Cough*


Exclusive coverage is a widespread plague in the gaming industry. Not only do you need to hear the opinions of people that you barely even care about, but there's also the blatant product placement you need to bear through before the event even starts. At this point, you're better off just not watching the event at all.

These disguised attempts at trying to surreptitiously market products can get really old when the coverage provider starts showcasing games that have 'sponsored' them. So when you look at the latest Assassin's Creed gameplay or the newest trailers on these 'exclusive coverage' events, do keep in mind that these videos are placed strategically to appeal to you, and make you follow the media outlet that provides this footage as well.

14 Stealing The Spotlight


Embargoes are like gentleman agreements in the world of media, and this is no different for video games either. After all, you do need to spend a certain amount of time with a particular video game before fleshing out thoughts and opinions that can fairly reflect the quality of the final product.

So if a gaming media outlet decides to take the unethical route and release their reviews earlier for the most clicks, this can lead to a situation where an outlet undeserving of the attention ends up influencing a large number of gamers. This is plain wrong, especially when the review itself will — more often than not — be of sub-par quality.

13  Intentionally Ruining A Game's Reputation


Sometimes, video game reviewers view themselves as the paragons of the industry who have the power to sway the sales of video games if they feel that they're doing it for a just cause. This sense of entitlement is so blatantly misplaced that one must wonder exactly what pedestal these video game reviewers think they're on when they decide to carry out such a vile act.

Take the case of Bethesda and their policy to not provide review copies at all. While there have been arguments made against this act, the fact is that these decisions still rest solely at the hands of the publisher (after all, Final Fantasy XV had its story leaked through review copies). Yet, it's hard to ignore the fact that ever since this marketing tactic was put into place, games published by Bethesda have had noticeably lower review scores.

12 A Different Coat Of Paint


Gamers tend to develop an affinity with certain video game reviewers who they feel provide the best opinions on the general scope of gaming. However, this can be attributed to simple projecting, since the truth is that most media outlets have started repeating facts in pretty much every review, no matter what the parent site may be.

This can get really exhausting since one might go read and/or watch different reviews of a particular video game in order to analyze the various pros and cons, only to realize they've entered a volatile echo chamber with the same phrases, problems, praises, and whatnot being repeated over and over again. After a point, this can get absolutely maddening.

11 Google:


It seems that reviewers are forgetting why gamers come to check out reviews and analyses, to begin with. Trying to make a smart purchase regarding the game you want to play is a logical course of action that most gamers make before spending their hard-earned cash on a particular product... but for some reason, reviewers are more concerned with proving the fact that their English is better than anyone else's.

Brevity is the soul of wit. This applies equality to clarify. Choosing fancy words in order to "woo" your readers is a ridiculous way to go about reviewing a video game.

10 The Terror Of Soured Relations


We've already talked about the high-profile firing of Jeff Gerstmann from GameSpot — a prime example of supposedly unbiased video game media sites bowing down to the financial power of gaming publishers. This act is prevalent throughout the gaming industry (and instances of such will be discussed as well).

The fact of the matter is that video game media sites are still stuck under the financial thumb of various publishers who realize that their games will sell well if the major review outlets give it a fair score. And these media companies won't dare cross paths with the game publishers, since souring these relations can lead to a lot of problems for these media outlets down the line.

9 Quality Or Quantity

via by GamesRadar

Speed is a crucial element in the world of digital media, and this is all the more important when it comes to video games. Before and after release, media sites need to capitalize on the ongoing buzz of the game by releasing reviews, opinion pieces, guides, lists and whatnot as quickly as possible to generate the most views possible.

Unfortunately, quantity does not necessarily mean quality (something we've stressed before), and hastily releasing content means that there will be times when reviews will fail to mention crucial things present in the game that are essential for someone thinking about making a purchase.

The early bird certainly does eat the worm — unfortunately, in this case, we're the worm. And getting fed on sucks.

8 Reviews And Final Scores Are Like Oil And Water

via by TheGamerTronShow

We've already mentioned before about the shambolic nature of review scores and how stupid the entire concept is, but if that wasn't enough there are also a ton of other problems in entire reviews that completely negate the whole point of video game journalism.

There are various instances where reviewers will point out a ton of flaws present in the game, only to baffle everyone when they end up giving the game a score of 8 or higher. Conversely, reviews will talk about how great a game is and how well it pulls off its core concepts... only to give it somewhere around a 6 or 7 (which might be good scores in the normal world had it not been for the twisted nature of these ratings to begin with).

7 Polygon's Disastrous Review Of SimCity


Ah, Polygon. The gift that doesn't stop giving, no matter how hard it tries.

SimCity was lampooned for having an unnecessary requirement to always stay online, which led to tons of people not being able to play the game on launch day since the servers were down. Oh, and did we mention that SimCity is a freaking single-player game?

4 days later, a fan-made patch made SimCity offline. 10 months later, EA announced that SimCity would be offline. And Polygon? Well, they changed their review of the game four times — from 9.5 to an 8, then a 4, and now currently at a 6.5.

6 The Absolutely Idiotic Review Of Football Manager 09 By IGN US


Football Manager is meant to be a game that appeals to the truly hardcore football fanbase — the one that actually give a crap about all the stats, man-to-man management, formations, tactics and everything else that a manager supposedly does. While IGN UK understood this game, it seems that its US counterpart was absolutely lacking in the common sense department.

The initial review gave the game a 2/10 for — and I kid you not — having too many players, lack of being able to control said players, bad graphics, being too complicated and (the best one of the lot) not being as good as FIFA 09 or PES 09. The worst part is that the reviewer — Avi Burk — was also IGN's sports editor at the time, which is just... yeah.

At least IGN had the common sense to take the review down and provide a fresh one — this time with a respectable 7.9 rating.

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