[Arkham] City is a sandbox game, with a story that is confusing from the get go, and I have no investment in. I've played 3 hours of the game, and I'm selling it off tomorrow. I don't see any point to playing this.Clearly there are multiple issues with this review (and many like it across this and many other games). Arkham City, specifically, as a long game that doesn’t really come into its own for a few hours. There’s a lot of set up in the beginning, the map becomes more open as you go, and the story doesn’t really start to actually come together until a bit later. Reviewing the game based on three hours of play is simply not an effective way to convey a true assessment of the game.
Secondly, the very nature of sites such as Metacritic, that averages reviews, makes it very difficult to make an impact on the overall score. For most reviewers working for various websites, this isn’t a problem. This is because the metascore (the rating a title gets, being an average of the submitted ratings) isn’t what they’re trying to impact. Reviewers write reviews to be published on their respective gaming magazines, where they are viewed and valued on their own merit. The metascore is simply a secondary place where the score can contribute to an outside resource for people, meaning that most reviewers aren’t bothered by the fact that their score may not carry much weight on the overall average. User reviews on these sites are a bit different. These reviews or ratings only exist on the average site. Therefore I think that a lot of people give extreme scores (0s or 10s) just so that they can have the most impact on the overall score. If a gamer believes a game to be a 5 out of 10, but the metascore is a 9 out of ten, entering a score of 0 instead of 5 will carry the most weight in moving the user average to where the reviewer really thinks it should be. It’s an unfortunate side effect, native to a system that can make user reviews very confusing for people looking to them for legitimate information, as it’s not uncommon to see numerous 0s and 10s listed right next to each other when in all likelihood neither extreme really meant it.