What do you get out of watching reviews?



  • Do you watch the Allies' reviews (or other game reviews) more for 1) purchasing decisions/prioritization about current games OR 2) want to "listen in/keep up with the conversation" about current games.

    I realize these two reasons are related, but hopefully there should be a clear distinction of which one is the bigger reason. I'm more "2" than "1".



  • Definitely more 1 but I am looking for extremes to decide if I should even continue looking into the game.



  • I only watch reviews if I'm not planning to play that game anytime soon. I don't know which category I am. I follow review scores though.



  • I watch reviews sometimes for the score, sometimes to see the game action and sometimes for the insatiable critique. To answer your question though I think I listen for purchasing decision but I buy many of the newest games anyway regardless of quality. I bought The Quiet Man-yes I spent real-life money on that piece of interactive garbage.



  • In the Allies' case, I watch every review since they started as EZA as, at the time, I felt as being a Patron, the reviews were one of the, for lack of a better term, "pillars of content" EZA produces (Reviews, Main Podcast, Streams, etc.). I watch them for a few reasons:

    1.) I genuinely want to hear the reviewer's thoughts/opinions regarding the game.
    2.) If it's a game I have no interest in, that's where my interest will end once the review is over. However....
    3.) If it's a game I'm stoked for, I'll watch other reviews to get a more broad yet defined picture of how people are receiving it and if my hype is worth having.

    In many cases, if I'm interested in a game, I'm already going to get it, because I have few and particular interests. While it's rare, the only times reviews have made me come to a decision, most of those times are convincing me to NOT get a game I was interested in. The most recent example that comes to mind is Days Gone. I felt like I was more hyped for it than most for much of the leadup to it, but the day before it came out, the day before I was going to buy it, all of my trusted sources universally detailed all the issues they had, which when added up, was enough for me to pass on it, and in the years since release I haven't ever felt the need to pick it up after the fact.

    I personally don't care about keeping up with the general conversation regarding most games, so people enjoy something or it's being heavily criticized, it really doesn't affect me. More power to everyone liking what they like and not liking what they don't. For example, in this year, there has YET to be a game to come out that I'm interested in. So for the likes of Hitman III, It Takes Two, Nier Replicant, Pokemon Snap, Returnal, and several others, the EZA review (or coverage) is enough for me, but beyond that, I want to focus my attention on the games that jump out to me.



  • In my mind, "listen in/keep up with the conversation" has to do with closing the loop with games that get mentioned frequently on podcasts, or to some extent the gaming zietgiest as a whole. Podcasts tend to give lots of occasions spread out over a long period of time where a game that isn't out yet gets talked about. But once a game is out, there is only a brief period where maybe the first 5 hours gets talked about on most podcasts. And of course you only get audio discussion, no visual images.

    I like video reviews because it can provide something more substantial than those kind of brief impressions. I also want to see larger stretches of the game in video form, and in my mind a video review should be providing me better footage than just watching a steam/longplay/gameplay video.

    I actually started this topic because I find myself getting less and less value out of video reviews, although I'm not sure why that is the case yet. I'm starting to get grumpy about video reviews that have "embargoed" topics, and those that otherwise limit themselves too strictly to early game footage for other reasons. I also find myself craving more raw and unstructured impressions, not in a review form.



  • EZA is one of the only outlets still doing third person formal language reviews and I highly appreciate the sophistication that goes into that. I find the information is mostly lean, qualifies objective elements (i.e. platform, length, gameplay systems), and takes a position on the subjective elements (i.e. how effective is the art direction, is the gameplay fun, etc).

    I prefer to get someone's authoritative voice through third person writing without the usual hot take fake outrage review nonsense going on throughout YouTube these days. Likewise, I find the informal first person review to just have a bit too much subjectivity for my liking. Likewise, I have nothing against the comedic or "clever" reviews that are popular nowadays but they just aren't for me.

    So ultimately, I look for a authoritative voice and a clear stance/position about the game (criticized as both art and a consumer product) as opposed to viewing a review as something I am looking to be entertained by. So I lean more towards 1) purchasing decision. Some games I really just need to see being played and it's systems to be described to me before I bite or not.



  • Neither, I guess? I only watch/read reviews after I finish playing something to know what others thought of it, and compare them to mine. I do care about scores, I usually use them (by relying on my feelings) to decide whether I buy a game or not. Most of the time I already heard of many things about the games I'm interested in from various sources outside of reviews (mostly stuff like "hey look at this cool thing that this game has"), so I don't feel like I need to expose my self to too much info before playing something.



  • @bam541 said in What do you get out of watching reviews?:

    Neither, I guess? I only watch/read reviews after I finish playing something to know what others thought of it, and compare them to mine. I do care about scores, I usually use them (by relying on my feelings) to decide whether I buy a game or not. Most of the time I already heard of many things about the games I'm interested in from various sources outside of reviews (mostly stuff like "hey look at this cool thing that this game has"), so I don't feel like I need to expose my self to too much info before playing something.

    Wanting to know what others thought (and to compare) is very squarely in the second category. At least, in my mind that is what I'm trying to describe and I didn't know of existing labels to describe it with.