The issue of review bombing has grown exponentially in the last few years. What started out as a way for disgruntled gamers and movie-goers to have some kind of tangible effect on products that left them annoyed or somehow took advantage of a community has rapidly degraded into what is more often than not a way for trolls, shit-heads and insignificant people to whine and negatively impact sales of something (or try to, at the very least).
This most recently occurred with the incredible The Last of Us Part II, which was sitting at a Metacritic user score of 3.0 an hour after the game’s release. For the record, The Last of Us Part II took me 32 hours of committed play to finish so how those “reviewers” were getting through it in sixty minutes is nothing short of a miracle.
In order to combat these cases of unfair criticism, Metacritic has now implemented a system that prevents users from publishing reviews upon launch, requiring a game to have been out in the hands of the public for 36 hours. The first two games to experience this treatment have been Ghost of Tsushima on the PlayStation 4 and Paper Mario: The Origami King on Switch, both of which launched towards the end of last week.
When a user now wishes to publish a review of a game, they’re greeted with a message saying, “Please spend some time playing the game”, followed by the date that reviews may be published.
Whether or not such a system will prove effective in battling those that seek to sour a game’s reputation due to pointless factors remains to be seen but it is nice to see Metacritic actually take steps to solve what has become a pretty major problem. It’s also unclear as to whether this feature will be used for movies and TV series, yet given that both of those productions often take less time to complete it makes sense that Metacritic would be less strict on enforcing some kind of scheduling policy.