Are you a fan of fan-reviewed games? Do you believe what you read from user reviews on Metacritic? Well now there’s a way to find out what purchasers of Steam games think about their products with the newly-announced Steam Reviews, which is entering beta today.
They expand beyond traditional Metacritic fan review manner. You can write about a game you have launched from Steam, either by purchase, played on a Free Weekend event, played through Family Sharing or were gifted. At the moment they are not weighted by score (to come later), but the community can rate each review to see whether or not it was helpful. An interesting addition is that each review will show how long the reviewer has played the game. It is a great way to weed out astroturfers who are paid to give games positive (or sometimes negative) reviews.
Metacritic scores will still be visible when looking through the Steam store, as Steam Reviews look to work as supplemental data.
As with any medium in which mob mentality can rule, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Games in the past have been given overly-harsh (sometimes, unfair, but not always) scores by the community because the current game in a series had either strayed from the original or had been rebooted. However, the internet community are also not afraid to speak out about microtransactions and Day 1 DLC when discussing their games, and are more likely to know the history of the game in which they are discussing and critique within context.
Time will tell how well this will work out for Valve. I can’t wait to see what happens to Dota II reviews from League of Legends fans!
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