While the whole idea of review scores is a contentious one, with plenty of heated debate, no one can deny that game reviews are even more important in a world with day-one DLC, game-breaking bugs, and a huge push for preorders through bonus incentives. Now there’s a new contender in the fight to help inform us gamers: OpenCritic, a slick site that pulls in game reviews for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC, aggregating the scores and review content into one at-a-glance page.
- Transparency. No hidden weightings. No black-box processes. All standards and calculations are publicly verifiable.
- Customization. Gamers can create their own personal score by customizing which publications they trust. And critics can submit edits to both their score and quote at any time.
- More than a number. We aggregate all reviews, not just numerical ones. We also want to show the human side behind the review and score, with our first step being to display the author.
- Gamers first. We are committed to continuing development in the review aggregation space and want to engage the gaming community to decide which features to build next.
Much of the controversy surrounding the original go-to place for reviews, metacritic, stems from the fact there’s a secret weighting algorithm that alters how much influence certain sites have on the overall score. This secrecy is likely to prevent larger outlets and publishers from influencing the scores, but also throws into question the legitimacy of how metacritic operates. OpenCritic not only hopes to remain transparent about how things are scored, but also that their focus on gaming only (as opposed to film, TV and games and music) will mean more value to gamers.
Overall, OpenCritic is a slick site, and the brief time I’ve given it a go was painless and it guides you through everything you’d expect from it. Ultimately, the site will live or die by its reputation and how much of a library it has. Regardless of the argument about review scores, the games industry does desperately need somewhere other than metacritic, if only to keep healthy competition going.
Do you use review aggregators to help choose what games you want? Do you think OpenCritic will be useful? Tell us in the comments!
Visit opencritic.com to check out their take on review aggregation.