Should Critics Issue New Reviews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?

Does the game deserve another look?

Does the game deserve another look?

So, here’s the dilemma, and it becomes more and more relevant with each passing day:

As more unfinished or unstable products come to market in the videogame industry, the question continues to arise: Should critics issue new reviews after a game has received the proper TLC? If the product in question is indeed significantly better after various patches and updates, does it make sense to produce a fresh analysis?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had, by most accounts, a terribly compromised launch. There were a myriad of problems documented across the Internet; some were minor while others completely wrecked the game (rare, of course, but definitely in existence). This was just another in a growing string of games that come to market in this new generation with serious problems. Some reviews reflect these drawbacks while others don’t harp on them too much, likely because the critics in question didn’t experience too many game-altering flaws.

Or, it’s feasible that critics, in knowing the industry, are willing to overlook even critical flaws because they know such flaws will be repaired? It’s the age of the patch. It was once only a problem in PC world; now it has gravitated to consoles, as those consoles are, of course, very much like PCs you put in your living room. On the one hand, it’s nice to have the option to fix games after they release; on the other hand, does it not allow for a bit of laziness on the part of the designers? “It’s okay if it comes out with a few bugs; we’ll fix them very soon after,” they might say.

Consider the product now and the product then...but only one review for both?

Consider the product now and the product then…but only one review for both?

The question persists: What to do about a game like The Witcher 3, which, for all intents and purposes, will be a very different game than the one that launched when CD Projekt Red is done with all the updating. Here’s one school of thought: No. If critics re-issue reviews, it’s basically telling developers and publishers it’s okay to keep producing broken games. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the product that originally arrived? Isn’t that the fair and just thing to do? Perhaps.

The other school of thought seems just as logical, though. Contrary to hardcore gamer belief, not every human alive bought the game within the first few months of launch. A great many will buy this title – or considering buying the title – a ways down the road. And when these consumers go looking for reviews, will they not find inaccurate and outdated analyses? They will. Reviews published for a game that is not the game one would experience six months from now? Seems to be a problem for future consumers. Or, are we not caring about them?

This seems like a never-ending argument. What’s your take on the issue?

5 thoughts on “Should Critics Issue New Reviews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?”

I would’ve said no but this article makes a good point. Is it really fair to only have reviews that reflect a game that was only in existence for a few months? It really will be a very different product when someone goes to research it later this year and beyond.

I guess I’m torn.

I think it’s important to hold developers to the product they initially release. Because if critics do issue new reviews, it basically erases the blunder.

And I don’t think that’s right.

I say yes. Or maybe just update the original review with some new text and a score, while leaving the old content, so gamers can see what was improved?

But I know that would screw with Metacritic. 😉

I’ve seen some places doing that. Adding to the original review or basically just overwriting. Not sure that’s the right thing to do though……

It’s not right. It’s like saying the foul-up never existed.

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