When a game has a substantial amount of anticipation building like Mass Effect 3, the expectation is that there might be a small segment of gamers, barring any colossal failures, that will be left disappointed. Unfortunately, there exist a lot of gamers out there who like to judge a book by its cover, or its pre-launch news, and feel they need to punish.
Those gamers have struck once again, hitting the Mass Effect 3 Metacritic page, and dropping each of its versions to a cumulative score of less than five. This Metacritic page only just went live last night, meaning that a lot of the "reviews" that are being logged on the site are simply collections of complaints waged towards EA and BioWare, or the series in general.
Of course, it isn't like gamers don't have plenty of reason to feel anger towards Mass Effect 3 — after first this paid DLC nonsense and then being unable to import their Mass Effect 1 face — but judging a game's content before actually experiencing it is unfair to all parties involved. Being upset about this or that is understandable, but lowering the Metacritic score based on the experience of a demo or some story points that leaked earlier (which BioWare may or may not have changed) is pretty petty.
Currently the PC version of the game, the one with the only fix for the face import problem, has the lowest score (2.5) with the Xbox 360 (4.7) and PS3 (3.2) versions faring much better, but still not residing in a category that would be considered desirable.
This isn't the first we've heard of Metacritic users causing a highly anticipated game's scores to plummet — it happened last year with Modern Warfare 3 — and it certainly won't be the last. There are just those publishers/developers/properties that fans would rather judge based on the news surrounding them, rather than actually deliver an informed review.
Have you had a chance to check out Mass Effect 3? Do you think it is deserved of such poor scores? Should a practice like this be banned from Metacritic?
Mass Effect 3 is out now for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.