So About That Time I Gave Hellblade A 1/10…

Sometimes you don’t quite consider every facet of something until the thing is done. Unfortunately this was the case with a previously published review for Hellblade.

The review will be back, but given the personally unprecedented situation, I need to think about it more than I initially did.

Michael Wolfe
Guest
Michael Wolfe
Reviewing a broken product is a golden opportunity. For physical goods like what I’ve reviewed on Newegg/Amazon; I go through the whole user experience process before posting my review. I contact the manufacturer; troubleshoot/RMA as needed; and once I have a working-as-intended product I continue my testing and validation for review. I’ll then take the score I would give it, and deduct based on my customer service experience. Long hold times, department looping, requiring the customer to pay shipping, lengthy recovery times, and many other factors chip away heavily at my score and I make note of every detail along… Read more »
TemplarGR
Guest
TemplarGR
Well, i believe a 1/10 score for a good game that has a game breaking bug is unjustified, because unless the developer went bankrupt or has a total lack of ethics, the bug will most likely get fixed at some point. Still, a review should take into consideration the broken state of the game at release, there is no justification for releasing broken code to customers, and this SHOULD remove points from the overall score, in my opinion. If i were you, i would figure out what the game deserves regardless of game stability, then substract 2 or 3 points… Read more »
Elix
Guest
Elix
I just came from watching the Hell Blade video you posted and thought I’d put in my two cents. Hope it helps with your decision. I do fully feel that a player’s experience should be the major factor in deciding what the game is worth to them. The game breaking bug is undoubtedly a huge let down and it makes sense it would dramatically change the score you give it. It is a serious problem that damages the experience. However, I don’t know if a 1/10 is justified for a game you were enjoying, even if there is a game… Read more »
Alenonimo
Guest
Alenonimo
Do you want to play the game again? I think it’s okay if you want to play the game again, especially now that you know what went wrong. About the 1/10, I think you would do a disservice if the rating is just based on your personal experiences. Ratings are a form of recommendations, so just because the game suicided itself by accident on you (and only on you), giving a low rating It will stop other people from playing, even if they won’t get the same bug. Think of the rating as your way to guide the readers. Remember… Read more »
cas
Guest
cas

recommendations are subjective. there are no truly objective review sites being run by vulcans. you should read several and take it in the aggregate.

C00REY
Guest
C00REY

Jim has a duty to notify his readers that the game experience they get might be as bad as his. It’s not his duty to present the best case scenario, it’s his duty to present his personal experience.

Benj
Guest
Benj

Damn Jim. A Jimquisition about female representation in video games and then a 1/10 review on a generally well received game.

Looking for a nice quiet week, are you?

In all honesty, I really like that you have the integrity to reconsider this, even if the original 1/10 review goes back up exactly as it was.

Lord Jaffa Cakes OBE
Guest
Lord Jaffa Cakes OBE
Jim, im really on the fence about buying this game. Guys i really trust like you (we have a similar taste – god bless Metal Gear Solid 1) and ACG saying the game is really good despite not being for everyone, but the gameplay looks very bland in contrast to the awesome imagery and, supposedly, story. If you answer me this one question i will know its worth to buy this game, please entertain my curiosity. Do you think “The Evil With” is a good game? (sorry about the bad english, im PT, that is im Portuguese not a Playable… Read more »
ChrisTX
Guest
ChrisTX

Jim, could you mark which version of the game you’re playing in future video reviews as you do in written ones? In Hellblade’s review, you just listed the platforms but did not indicate whether it was the PC or PS4 version you’ve been playing. Especially when your review is impacted by technical issues like this, I always felt that was a good thing to know.

Concubinary Code
Guest
Concubinary Code

Jim usually has (reviewed) next to the system he played it on in the info section before the review if it’s on multiple formats.

Berky
Guest
Berky
When I was a kid, I recieved a hotly anticipated game for christmas (Metroid Prime : Echoes). I loved the world, the systems, the lore, and several other facets about the game as a package. Late in the game there is a condition you can get yourself into, where you are stuck and cannot progress. A door is forever locked, and you have no means of continuing the game. As heart breaking as that situation was to be in, Nintendos response was very accommodating. They offered users that experienced the bug a free memory card, with a save file to… Read more »
Spurious K
Member
Perhaps simply going with ‘unscored’ would be worthwhile? If the review does your usual work of pointing out all the bits of note anyway, and still comments on the game breaking problem, I think you could very easily justify saying that you simply can’t score the game given your experience with it. Even if they patched it, it was still your experience with the game, it may well be the experience of others, and is clearly down to a flaw in the core of the game’s design that allowed for a very simple user-error to completely halt gameplay, multiple hours… Read more »
James
Guest
James

Jim, I was already a big fan, but goddamnit this increases my respect for you tenfold. Well done.

AJ Dubs
Member
If you thought having the review down was the best course of action, I’m 100% with you on it, but I don’t think the original decision to pan it was outside the bounds of reason, considering outside circumstances created by Ninja Theory. While I don’t recall it being mentioned in the review (as it was likely considered a spoiler, which I will respect here as best possible), due to a game mechanic, Ninja Theory had a responsibility to ensure the sort of game breaking bug was not present before any code left their hands. While I could see the situation… Read more »
Ben
Guest
Ben
Just wanted to chime in with my support for the reconsideration. Its really nice, especially when too often people either post something in anger or without thought and then refuse to change it, to see Jim not only rethink something but explain why. And I do think its an interesting question. Personally I am replying a good older game, but one which has legions of bugs, some of which can be game breaking unless one find solutions online. Fortunately those all exist, but at the time of the release, they would not have. So how would one ‘rate’ a game… Read more »
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
Guest
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
The thing is when you say “great game but has a game breaking bug” I immediately think of VtM:Bloodlines, but I also remember you mentioning on the movie boys podcast that when you played one of the Max Payne games you hit a game breaker of some kind. So the question is, how would you rate those, for posterity where they’re 8/10 games or in the immediate sense that these are fun games but unfortunately broken in a fundamental way? (would have gone with a 6/10 or 5/10 personally for just one game breaking bug, maybe 2-3/10 at worst? how… Read more »
Darron Perry
Guest
Darron Perry
Hmmm, yeah 1/10 for a game you were enjoying up until a game breaking bug may be a little extreme. I mean, wouldn’t all Bethesda games need to get 1/10s then? I’ve never had one of them not do that to me when I bought them on day 1. Haven’t you given better scores to games that you disliked so much that you couldn’t finish them? I’d say, if you got far enough that the fact that you were enjoying the game so much was what made the bug piss you off enough to slash and burn the review, maybe… Read more »
Anton Caligari
Member

Sounds like an early access/unfinished game should be critique/reviewed until you feel such time that it deserves a final score.

dyscode
Member

Thanks Jim, for the communication. You did the right thing – both times. Eagerly awating whatever update comes to this.

Drake Warnock
Guest
Drake Warnock
Honestly, if it were me I’d make a one time exception to the rule of not waiting for patches, but I would mention how long it took the bug to get patched. It seems like an unfortunate oversight in the auto save system rather than a bad design choice. It isn’t like those old point and click games where you had to know to pick up some random coffee cup on the second screen of the game or you’re screwed. But because it IS a game breaking bug how quickly it is fixed says a lot about the developer and… Read more »
Ohms
Guest
Ohms

Where’s the original review?

Kato
Guest
Kato

Stick to your guns Jim. At the end of the day that was your experience. Feel free to update your review after a patch but like you said you’re giving people a window into the experience of the game as it is not how it should/will be.

I had a similar experience with the PC port of Nier Automata where the game was amazing but so badly broken as to render it unplayable. All the great game in the world doesn’t matter if the thing won’t let you play it.

Camilo Fernández
Guest
Camilo Fernández

I think you made the right call.

Not about the 1/10, Maybe it was overreacting, maybe not, that’s up to you. But giving this explanation, informing Metacritic of your the particularity of this score, and waiting on it to see how the situation evolves was probably the best course of action post the review’s publication.
That shows a degree of respect for your work that is usually kept behind the scenes on other
creators (if it even happens) in some cases).

Keep it up, Jim!

Simon
Guest
Simon

This is only based on my very limited understanding, but when I read your guide to how you score the games you review, I feel like there is a slight disconnect between the 1/10 and what you told us about the game.

“Either way, there is NO potential for a good time, even a meager one. There’s no talent, no skill, no depth, and no hope.”

I respect the fact that you are willing to rethink a position, and I hope that you find a solution which you find satisfactory.

Left4Coragem
Guest
Left4Coragem

I think the review score of 1 is valid if you got into any game a bug that just breaks it, and you have no option but to start all over again.

Still, review scores are completely subjective, so if you think the game doesn’t deserve a 1, for that bug, that’s fine too.

Amy
Member

You owe us no explanation imo, but I appreciate that you gave it. So far I love the experiance of the title (as a movie it would be a 9 or 10) but I think as an actual game it’s just alright (6 or 7). Maybe now I have got into the meat of the game it will open up a bit and give me a little more control of the character.

BAH!
Member
BAH!

In regards to the update video:

This is why I love your work, Jim. You’re not afraid to admit when you screwed up, or to just take a step back and reassess something. It’s nice, and I wish more people did it.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

This is why manual saving should always be an option with multiple save slots.