The Hypocritical Nature Of The Gaming World

With recent events concerning reviews given to Resident Evil 6, it has been brought to my attention that gaming world and gamers in general have become too hypocritical. Now, everyone is a little hypocritical in one way or another and nothing is wrong with that but when it comes to people’s conflicting and hypocritical opinions stop making sense and start hurting the industry.

The game in question, the game that brought all this to light, was Resident Evil 6. Let’s take a look at it’s scores (for the Xbox 360) on Metacritic:

  • Metascore: 67 out of 100. Mixed or average reviews based on 61 critics. (Critic scores; Positive = 27, mixed = 28, negative = 6)
  • User Score: 1.5. Overwhelming dislike based on 2361 reviews.

Interesting seeing as the game wasn’t that bad, at least not in my or most other people I have seen around the internet and talked to in person’s opinion. What is the problem? Here are a few excerpts from a few of the user reviews:

Shinji-Mikami: “It is a game that has no identity, chooses to be so much that it ends up being nothing. But many are still on time to NOT BUY YOU THIS NEW RELEASE, DO NOT BUY SUCH AN INSULT TO THE SERIES.” (Score = 0)

mourad1111:  “The just fails to fulfill its promises in many levels.” (Score = 3)

Lokizarro: ” An absolute mess of a game, you call this “Resident Evil”? what a horrible, HORRIBLE joke, this is nothing more than a cookie cutter, linear scripted third person shooter with HORRID controls, a HORRIBLE aiming system, a MASSIVE over reliance on crappy Quick Time Events, a LOAD of boring endurance rounds (hold out until the chopper arrives!) and the list goes on.” (Score = 0)

BADS:  “By far the most dissapointing game of 2012. This game isn’t RE. Its Gears of Evilfield 6. Instead of fallowing the traditional RE formula, Capcom decides to spice things up a bit by adding QTE’s to everything and dumbing down the gameplay.” (Score = 5)

A few of these complains seem very logical and, although poorly written and/or worded, make a few valid points. There is nothing wrong with not liking the game for it’s obvious features and changes. Here is where the hypocrisy comes in though: Resident Evil 5. Resident Evil 5 was widely viewed (before Resident Evil 6 came out) as the worst Resident Evil game to date. This is mostly because almost every shred of the survival horror genre was striped from it and the game was made into an action game. Whereas I have nothing wrong with that, I find it weird that Resident Evil 6 is being called “horrid”, “an insult to the series”, “disappointing”, and a “joke” for changing it up and going back to the basics.

Survival horror is characterized on Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia. I know it’s a bad source, but it was a great description of the genre) in this way:  “Although combat can be a part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less powerful than in typical action games, because of limited ammunition, health, speed, or other limitations. The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas, and solve puzzles at certain locations.” Sound familiar  If you have played Resident Evil 6 it does to an extent, but not if you have only played Resident Evil 5.

This doesn’t really characterize survival horror…

Regardless of what a user might say, Capcom tried bringing survival horror back in Resident Evil 6 while still keeping the good things about Resident Evil 5 in the game. Say what you will about Resident Evil 6’s gameplay being dumbed down and bad, but I have to say as a game reviewer, a gamer, and a human being that is was a vastly improved version of the gameplay in Resident Evil 5. So if Resident Evil 5 had good gameplay, how can the gameplay in Resident Evil 6 be bad?

Let’s take a look at the scored given to Resident Evil 5 (for the Xbox 360) on Metacritic:

  • Metascore: 83 out of 100. Generally favorable reviews based on 91 critics. (Critic scores; Positive = 75, mixed = 15, negative = 1)
  • User Score: 7.5. Generally favorable reviews based on 306 reviews.

A few excerpts from the user reviews:

gamesreflexoes:  “Amazing game, the best Resident Evil ever, the best action game, horror game…” (Score = 10)

Ps3blaze22: “Resident Evil 5 is without a doubt one of the best games this gen! The mix between Horror and Action is spot on in this game.” (Score = 10)

doodlerman: “They vastly improved the graphics, they amped up the action, they have a great story, but sadly they forgot to put in the horror.” (Score = 9)

I had a hard time finding legitimate reviews that were below a 6 for this game, and most people failed to mention the lack of the horror aspect (except doodlerman and a few others). Overall, the game was rated well and the flaws were pointed out but seemingly overlooked whereas every little flaw and problem was racked over the coals in the Resident Evil 6 reviews. Another thing I noticed was that a vast majority of the 2361 user reviews of Resident Evil 6 were poorly written and poorly put together. They also were unnecessarily hateful, as if the game had hurt them on a personal level making sure everyone who reads them will get a negative feeling about the game. The majority of the user reviews for Resident Evil 5 were well written and factual, pointing out the pros and the cons of the game, not just the cons. They were written with what seemed to be honest and a general liking of the game, but admission to the fact that it isn’t perfect. It’s a pattern I’ve seen a lot in user game reviews lately, the “I don’t like it so I’m going to make sure everyone else thinks it’s awful” instead of being honest, giving an opinion that isn’t one sided, an opinion based on facts of the game. There was more survival horror in Resident Evil 6 than there was in 5 and whether or not people chose to see it, it’s a fact. Not my opinion, a fact. This fact wasn’t properly addressed in most of the reviews for Resident Evil 6, nor were many facts at all. Reviewing is mainly about opinions, sure, but what are opinions if they are one sided and make little sense? Nothing.

This does.

Why is the action loved and praised in Resident Evil 5 yet berated in Resident Evil 6? Why was the lack of survival horror ok in Resident Evil 5 but when it was brought back in Resident Evil 6 it wasn’t enough or was too little too late? It comes down to gamers wanting what they can’t have, knowing that they aren’t getting it, yet getting angry that it’s not there for them. Capcom stated shortly after Resident Evil 6 was announced that the survival horror market was too small and that the Resident Evil series was being moved in the action direction, away from survival horror. So why did people expect Resident Evil 6 to be purely survival horror when it was never advertised that way? I think it’s because human nature makes us want what we can’t have. When Resident Evil 6 turned out to be more survival horror than Resident Evil 5 it gave people what they wanted, thus making them upset that the struggle was over.

Back to the hypocrisy. It’s funny that a series like Call of Duty is talked about negatively for not changing, but a series like Resident Evil is in the same boat for changing. It’s hypocritical to give Resident Evil 6 and a bad review and Resident Evil 5 a good review for the same reasons: “Not enough survival horror, too much action”. I saw that sentence and others resembling it in both game’s reviews. Something cannot be bad for the same thing that makes another thing good, in this scenario at least. I am aware that the Resident Evil series isn’t what it used to be, but you have to admit that if it was the newest games would be getting negative reviews for not changing, not growing, and being the same tired old games over and over.

I bring up the Resident Evil series mostly in this article, but think about it: What other series is getting this same treatment for different reasons? Share your answer and opinions with me and let me know what you think about this issue.

14 thoughts on “The Hypocritical Nature Of The Gaming World

  1. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I know the game has many flaws: RE has always been a clunky game, and the QTE having only a micron to react to certain of them, like counter-attacks. I had a talk with a friend yesterday about how in just about everything, music and movies even, are just like this: it’s what happens when the masses join a media – they complain, whine, and share it with the world in a poorly written fashion. Seems as though even if people want change, they don’t want to be taken out of their comfort zone with something new.
    I thought RE5 was good for what it was, and RE6 with its flaws still stood on it’s own. In RE6 I really felt as though they did a good job bringing back the basics, I was running out of ammo and had to make use of every single weapon my first time playing through the game. One last thing: this whole “monster that keeps regenerating” thing is becoming a trend in horror games; I don’t mind them, but I would like something else after all this time (Since RE4).
    Wonderfully done again. Bravo.

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    • Thank you. I agree with you, this isn’t just about gaming it’s everywhere. I don’t think RE6 was perfect, not do I hate RE5 but the ratings for both of them make no sense when compared. I watched a video in which a guy described the mainstream reviews done by GameSpot, IGN, and the like were “irresponsible” and I agree. I think that if the mainstream reviews got their heads out of their asses for a moment and reviewed the game objectively there wouldn’t have been such a problem. They need to remember that people hang on their every word and make their opinions based on the reviews.
      Thanks again for reading, I’m glad you liked it!

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      • They could learn a thing or two from reviewers like you; you do a great job in reviewing and talking about things outside of prejudiced opinion. Words are indeed very powerful, which is exactly why it’s so important to cover as much as possible and bring everything you can into light. Opinions are opinions, but facts always stand solid. It almost seems as though – as much as I enjoy it – RE6 was too ambitious for its own good amongst the gaming masses.

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  2. Great article. Event though I didn’t play any of those two RE yet (5 still downloading on + ;-)). It’s a trend you can see in many games (e.g. Diablo III). It’s not only hypocritism, but sometimes pure hate. If a game with a bigger name doesn’t meer the expectation of some people they stricly hate it for not being perfect and let everybody know it by giving low scores. Cause if they don’t like it noboby else should. But it dosn’t even make sense to score a game zero points, every game makes something right, even CoD games. I just hate haters… And as Manuel already said, it’s it trend not only in games. Words like shitstorms weren’t even invented a few years ago, now they are like everywhere. Sick litte world.

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    • Thank you! I also found the abundance of 0’s to be strange. I mean even some of the worst games don’t deserve 0’s. And I agree with the idea that people are just determined to hate it no matter what. It’s really silly, but I suppose that is the world we live in now.

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  3. “One of the things that, on one hand, I love and, on the other hand, that troubles me tremendously about not only our fanbase but about the gaming community at large is that, whenever you share information, the perspective is, ‘Thank you, but I want more.’ ‘Thank you, but give me more.’ I mean, it is insatiable,”

    This was famously said by Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo’s NA operations and in many respects, he’s completely right. Resident Evil 4 was a pretty huge hit but when things started going more in that direction, more and more hate kept getting piled on.

    You also put it perfectly in your point about “what is a review if not an opinion?” As these are public opinions, it’s hard to see how they couldn’t ultimately be influenced by reading each other’s opinions. RE6 is a fun enough game with shortcomings but NO game is perfect and I definitely agree that the thing that everyone involved (Capcom, reviewers, players and the RE6 franchise itself) ended up being victims of their self-generated hype. RE6 is a wildly successful, LONG running series and it’s bound to be in the crosshairs of anyone who’s got something to say. At the end of the day, it’s still a video game that’s meant to be enjoyed. If you find yourself not enjoying it, I doubt you’ll have to look far for an alternative.

    Besides, I’m about 90% that the people who are complaining that it’s TOO different would be complaining just as hard if it had been the same all this time.

    — Evo out.

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    • I like that quote, it’s very true. I’ve seen other developers talk about that too, saying that it’s tough to make games anymore because it can never just be a good game there is always something wrong with it. Opinions are words, but they are strong and can move others. I just wish that some people would realize that and stop being so childish and unprofessional in their reviews. Especially these mainstream reviewers. Thank you for reading, I appreciate your input!

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  4. I totally agree with you. I was thinking about this actually, like, why RE5 actually have better reviews than RE6 since RE6 is way step forward in almost all the mechanics that RE5 has. Is better in the action, in the “blockbouster package cinema” better in “survival horror” better in almost all aspects of the game. Is a logical transformation, is not a perfect game, but that´s why I agree with you. “Hypocritical Nature of the gaming world”

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  5. Great read. Most mainstream reviews are BS in my opinion and I wish gamers didn’t take their word as gospel.

    I haven’t played the full version of RE6 so I don’t have much of an opinion of it, just the RE series in general. There’s almost always a divide created when a long running franchise tries to redefine itself to maintain relevance. RE has definitely struggled with it and making a Resident Evil variety pack may not have been the answer.

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    • Thanks for reading!

      The RE series has struggled with this, more than any other series since it’s genre is being decimated due to “poor sales”. In all honestly though, I think RE6 was a step in a better direction for Capcom. I was very pleased with the game as a whole.

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