Why Has Halo 4 Brought Out the Worst in Everyone?
Big games and attention seeking behaviour
by Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
When Halo 4‘s embargo lifted, reviews from sites such as IGN, Stevivor and Destructoid flooded the internet with praise and it seemed that 343 Industries’ entry into the Halo franchise, and the first of the new Reclaimer trilogy, was on the right track to be one of the best console exclusive games.
A triumphant return for the Master Chief and Cortana who have been out of commission since 2007.
That was until other journalists coming in after the flurry of early reviews posted theirs.
Some of them weren’t nearly as approving as the those that came before it.
Worse still, other sites were quick to jump to criticise Halo 4 for the silliest of reasons.
Sites such as Quarter to Three awarded Halo 4 one star out of 5 (note: Tom Chick seems to have scored other exclusive console titles quite poorly I’ll let you read his reviews and base your judgment from them).
EGM awarded Halo 4 a 7/10 while GameArena gave it 5.5/10 for their own valid reasons.
I’m not here to analyse each review but it does give you a good into the diversity of opinion that Halo 4 has elicited within the media.
Media either loved it or downright hate it and that’s perfectly fine. Journalists are expressing their (hopefully) un-biased opinions regarding the game, again giving valid reasons as to why they have decided Halo 4 deserved such a low score.
Big AAA titles = Big scores?
There have been a few big title games that not everyone has been fond of as much as others, but the scores were never drastically different to the point where controversy ensues: is the review just trying to get attention with low scores? or is the journalist getting paid to write the review, awarding the game with a perfect score?
Gone are the days where a website wrote and published a review and healthy discussion ensued. Now it’s just a battlefield of insults, derogatory comments and questionable credibility.
What happened to the time when gamers would walk into a store and purchase the game because they themselves wanted to based on their own interests and readings of previews and reviews?
Now, with reliable internet access everywhere, even from phones, it’s apparently all about Metacritic and review aggregate scores on the net making the decision for them.
I know plenty of people who have purchased games and enjoyed them despite the low scores from multiple outlets. So I’m not sure what the whole fuss is about; Metacritic much like Rotten Tomatoes for movies should be looked at as a guideline.
I enjoy reading reviews even if they offer a different opinion to my own; it’s a learning exchange of ideas and it’s always a treat when it’s well written.
Free-for-all on Halo 4!
Traversing N4G earlier today I noticed a story on the front page stating how “Halo 4‘s Mandatory Install Is An Outrage” (Which has now been removed from ‘Approved’ to ‘Failed’ status on the site).
It was an article (if you can call it that) criticising the mandatory install of Disc 2 of Halo which includes all the Multiplayer components.
The author of said article from Padinga.com has now gone as far as removing the article from his website.
Which brings me to question why this article was written in the first place. Was it solely published for the site to get attention? Was it purely for the fact that it’s Halo 4 and so any related thing people NEED to read?
Anyone who has been looking forward to Halo 4 will know that back in July of this year it was reported on multiple websites such as Gamespot, Kotaku and GameInformer to name a few that for “optimal experience” players would need 8GB of HDD space to install Halo 4.
Heck it was originally posted on the Xbox website stating:
At a minimum, you’ll need at least an 8GB USB Flash Drive or an Xbox 360 Hard Drive to play Multiplayer mode in Halo 4. For an optimal experience playing with an Xbox 360 Hard Drive is highly recommended. For Xbox 360 4GB, Arcade and Core consoles, the Xbox 360 Hard Drive is sold separately. See below for more details on the storage device options available for Xbox 360 and Halo 4.
What possessed Padinga.com to publish the post, submit it to N4G only to seemingly delete it? After reading the flurry of negative comments that resulted, I began to understand why the author would have taken such action.
I haven’t read nor seen a gamer backlash about the mandatory multiplayer install that Halo 4 requires. It takes roughly 10 minutes to install the content from Disc 2 and once you pop Disc 1 back in you’re ready to go.
Big game, big target
Why does a game such as Halo 4 bring out the worst in media and gamers? More so that Call of Duty even it seems?
Why do websites take it upon themselves to report on such trivial matters as the mandatory install that was explained multiple times prior to its release and are the odd scores we are seeing really justified or for attention?
Is it the fact that it is an exclusive Xbox title, and much like some PS3-only games has suffered for it?
The internet is a great place to have a dialogue over differing opinions, but it seems to me that it is being used all too often just to court attention.
What do you think?