The Bigger the Source, The Less They Like Destiny

The smaller the source, the more they like it...the bigger the source, the more disappointed the critic is.

The smaller the source, the more they like it…the bigger the source, the more disappointed the critic is.

As you might expect, given our name, we at VGRHQ love to spot interesting trends in the world of video game reviews.

Right now, everyone is talking about the recently released Destiny. We’ve already selected our favorite review, courtesy of the excellent tag-team of Arthur Gies and Philip Kollar at Polygon. Once more reviews arrive, we’ll dive into the available evaluations and come up with another honored review. After all, a game this huge deserves a couple nods, right?

However, what’s currently more intriguing is that thus far, the larger sources and publications seem to be much less impressed with Bungie’s new blockbuster. For example, long-time industry leader GameSpot weighed in with a 6, as did the aforementioned Polygon. Then there’s Giant Bomb’s merely average 3 out of 5, EGM’s 6.5, and The Escapist also gave the game a mere 3 out of 5. These are shockingly low scores, especially for a game that was supposed to blow the roof off the new generation.

The scores are sort of all over the place for Destiny, but there is one clear trend.

The scores are sort of all over the place for Destiny, but there is one clear trend.

Now, of all the sources thus far, these are arguably the biggest, although many haven’t yet weighed in. On the flip side, some of the smaller sites (including PlayStation LifeStyle, Digital Chumps, Worthplaying and Post Arcade) all really like the game. If you compare the average review score of the heavy hitters versus the small fry, you come up with very different numbers. Normally, this doesn’t happen. So, we wonder why it’s happening with Destiny.

Some could argue that the larger outlets received the game earlier, and were under strict orders to put enough time into the game. This would be bad news for Bungie and Activision, because it means the more thorough critics are scoring the game significantly lower. This runs counter to Bungie’s continual claims that the game gets much better over time. The other issue is that one can spot a common thread in all the negative reviews: These critics are just underwhelmed with the overall depth and variety. It just feels like the same ol’ same ol’ over and over again; a veritable chore.

Not everyone agrees, of course. It’s just interesting to see such a discrepancy between the larger sources and the smaller publications. And as always, such a discrepancy is well worth discussing.

8 thoughts on “The Bigger the Source, The Less They Like Destiny”

According to various websites no one received a pre-release copy of the retail game for Destiny. As for the discrepancy in larger websites not liking the game as much as smaller websites I would suspect the issue there is thoroughness. If you have a larger staff you can be more thorough and throw more resources into the review process. Every review site probably feels to the pressure to come out with a review very soon. Many of the smaller sites seem to concentrate in a few areas, but from what I can tell Destiny has at least 7 areas: PvE, PvP, RPG aspects, Loot Aspects, Character Customizations/Distinctiveness, Story, size of open world, and FPS shooter mechanics. For me the only area which Destiny doesn’t FAIL is the FPS shooter mechanics.

“According to various websites no one received a pre-release copy of the retail game for Destiny.”

Except that isn’t true. I know several people who work for websites that got their copy the week before release.

Actually, I’ve been hearing that many sites felt pressure from Bungie NOT to put up a review early. They felt everyone needed to spend more time with it, so I don’t think any major site wanted to go live too early.

I think the larger sources just had higher expectations, that’s all. They were covering the game forever and that hype must be subconscious at that point. 😉

It’s an intriguing observation and it tells me critics are finally starting to take their jobs more seriously. If we demand more from the developers and just ask them to deliver what they promise, everyone benefits.

That’s true, if critics stopped letting devs slide on these things, those same devs would have to step up.

Leave a Reply