First up is the new game from Creative Assembly called Stormrise. The first thing that sticks out to me is the very low score the game receives, 2.0, not very good. In fact that's just plain embarrassing to be honest. After watching the review, I decided to check out the review for Empire: Total War to refresh my memory. Needless to say, ETW is a better game, and the scores reflected that. But I did have one problem with the review, which is something I will touch on a bit later.
Another title caught my eye while browsing, a game called Men of War. As I'm reading through the review, I get the sense that I have played this game before, and then it hits me, it's just like an older game called Faces of War. Turns out they are developed by the same company, which I guess I should have know considering the whole 'of war' part of the title. The game itself sounds interesting, but nothing I think I would ever buy. But the part that got me wasn't the short gameplay video, or even the review itself. Nope, it was the little part at the end that went like this;
Editor's Note: The preceding review replaces the Men of War review that was originally posted on GameSpot, which was found to contain a number of factual inaccuracies. We regret the error.
Excuse me? You have got to be kidding right? The thing is, this is not the first time I have seen this, I just for the life of me can not remember the review that I had read before this one that had the same Editor's Note.
I can't tell you what was wrong with the original review cause I didn't get to read it, but there was obviously something wrong that it needed to be redone. What I'm not sure of is what's worse, that a reviewer would write something that is inaccurate, or that an editor decided to publish something that is inaccurate.
To be fair, I don't know what was wrong with the first review, but this only confirms something that I have been feeling for awhile, that is that there is no reason to review games so soon after launch. What does that have to do with a the Editor's Note you might ask? Honestly in this case it might not have helped but maybe to only give more time for the Editor to find what needed to be corrected before the review was published.
But earlier I mentioned Empire: Total War and how it received a decent score, an 8.5 to be exact. But no where in the review was there a mention of the numerous bugs that have plagued this game since it was released. CA has released a few patches to help with the stability of the game, including a patch to help fix an issue created by an earlier patch.
Now I don't know what kind of requirements Gamespot has for their reviews, but if the reviewer had spent any sort of time playing the game, he would have come across any one of the many bugs that can be found on the official forums including CTD's, the white screen of death, and my all time favorite, the Spanish Inquisition as seen here:
Do I hate ETW, not at all, I really want to love it. But the game has some serious issues that have kept me from playing the game at all, and if the reviewer had spent any real time with the game, he might have been able to put that into his review.
The fact is that game releases are much like movie premieres, the opening weekend is essential, so taking a few extra weeks to publish a review for that AAA title is unrealistic.