Should Critics Waste Their Time With Updated Games?

Grand Theft Auto V is coming to next-gen consoles and PC...but need it be reviewed again?

Grand Theft Auto V is coming to next-gen consoles and PC…but need it be reviewed again?

They’re quite common these days: Tomb Raider: Definitive EditionThe Last Of Us: Remastered, Grand Theft Auto V for PS4/Xbox One/PC, etc. Updates of year-old games with better visuals, more content, etc.

However, here’s the question: Should already busy critics waste their time reviewing such productions? Is it even a waste or time, or are such reviews critical?

On the one hand, the games aren’t any different in terms of story, basic mechanics, etc. However, there are some instances where core aspects of the gameplay might be tweaked, and other technical elements could be improved that have a direct impact on the gameplay (such as the better draw distances in the newer iteration of GTAV). It’s different for each update, so it’s difficult to really examine.

The Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was indeed "definitive," but do we need critics to tell us that?

The Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was indeed “definitive,” but do we need critics to tell us that?

Then there’s the issue of how to review such games. Do you take into account the fresh competition around it? Or do you simply acknowledge the upgrades and give it a slightly higher score than the original title? Most reviewers seem to do the latter and in reality, there’s nothing wrong with that. Most gamers know exactly what they’re getting: A slightly better version of an already great game.

Well, so if that’s the case, do we need the review at all? What is there to say, really? A critic could note all the positive changes and improvements, and then simply say, “yep, they make the game better.” The score might be altered to reflect that but again, there won’t be any surprises, right? Has there ever been an updated version of a game that was somehow worse than the original effort? We can’t really think of one. So, how to approach this? What should critics do?

Tough questions all; what do you say?

3 thoughts on “Should Critics Waste Their Time With Updated Games?”

Here’s my take:

Yes and no. If there are GAMEPLAY improvements, than we should get a new analysis because that’s what matters. If it’s all just cosmetic upgrades, than no, we don’t need another review.

^^ This.

It depends on how long it has been between the original and the upgraded version. It’s always important to examine the “test of time” and all that.

That’s why I think the FFX/X-2 HD Remaster reviews were very important.

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