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Captain Pants
Killed by a goddamned Dredgeling
(03-11-2008, 10:20 PM)
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So I realize that Gamespot has become a laughing stock when it comes to their reviews, but their review of Army of Two in particular doesn't sit right with me.

Originally Posted by Gamespot


This better than average shooter is fun to play with a friend, but it's best not to think about the subject matter.

Army of Two is a decent third-person shooter that unfortunately sticks its boot in its mouth. It does so by belittling volunteer armed services and selling a power-but-no-responsibility mercenary fantasy, part of which takes place in the modern-day Iraq war...

...Neither Rios nor Salem engages in any dishonorable behavior, aside from making fun of the Army for being so slow and ill-equipped. That would be fine if the Army they were making fun of were the Venusian Army. Or conversely, if Blackwater mercenaries in the real world hadn't been asked to leave Iraq for flipping out and massacring its civilians. But in Army of Two, there's no such thing as a civilian. If they aren't good guys, they're terrorists...

...Army of Two is a better than average shooter that roughly treads on a political landmine when it should have stormed some future battlefield. It features cool co-op mechanics and is fun to play online, with or against friends. But even its title mocks the Army, literally one-upping its slogan while glamorizing a sector that, if anything, deserves scrutiny--not macho fantasy. If you're the type of person who would rather shoot first and ask questions never, by all means, pick up Army of Two. But if you like to think--and the fact that you're reading this review suggests that you do--be warned: Army of Two is less than the sum of its parts.

I don't know about you guys, but I don't want reviewers getting up on a soapbox when they review games... I also don't like being encouraged to 'not think about the subject matter'. The whole review is laced with this guy's opinions on the military and PMCs. While I can understand and respect that the reviewer, Joe Dodson, must be a patriotic person who agrees with what the US is doing over in Iraq, I don't need that information when I'm reading a professional game review.

I think the industry is in a sad state of affairs if our own journalists are encouraging games to not take on modern issues... I mean, he actually states that the game would be better if it took place on some future battlefield instead of taking place in Iraq.
Seiken
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:25 PM)
Gamespot :lol
GauntletFan
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:26 PM)

Originally Posted by Seiken

Gamespot :lol

Why even post? this is as annoying as trolling, tbh
Perdew
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:26 PM)
Yea, it seems unprofessional, but subject matter IS part of the game. I don't want to hear his political ideas while I'm reading a game review, though, and if he wanted to take that route there should have been a separate section for that; it shouldn't be mixed in with the closing comments.
Salazar
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:26 PM)
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I just thought the review was oddly, perhaps a touch dismissively, short for a big release.
McBradders
NeoGAF: my new HOME
(03-11-2008, 10:27 PM)
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I'm flip flopping between "Right on" and "shut the fuck up".

More the latter because it has no place in a review, really, it should be its own article.
Seiken
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:28 PM)

Originally Posted by GauntletFan

Why even post? this is as annoying as trolling, tbh

Calm down.
TheDuce22
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:28 PM)
The army IS slow and ill equipped. Sounds like they nailed it. I didnt know this game took place in Iraq instead of some fantasy conflict with Russia or Mexico. Gonna have to rent now.
Anerythristic
(03-11-2008, 10:29 PM)
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Wow, has there ever been a more political review?
RobertM
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:30 PM)
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Originally Posted by GauntletFan

Why even post? this is as annoying as trolling, tbh

Because they are irrelevant at this point.
AppleMIX
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:30 PM)
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Nobody should take Army of Two's plot seriously.
SlasherJPC
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:30 PM)
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I just love how certain people find this game offensive. These guys are mercenary contract killers. They get paid to go in an area swarmed by terrorist and kill them all. What more do you want? :D And while the game has political overtones due to the setting, it never gets uber political and thats a good thing. I personally don't like politics in my games, there is enough of that in real life I have to deal with everyday. Save the games from it.
rollingstart
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:30 PM)
I dont know if this guy played the game or not, but a lot of things he wrote are incorrect about the game.
Kosma
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:31 PM)
1. Reaaaaaaaalllyyyy

2. GS :lol

3. Fin
Aske
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:31 PM)
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I agree with you. So many people argue that a gaming review should be nothing but personal opinion, but I'm of the camp that feels it should remain as objective as humanly possible. Obviously that generally applies to the content of the game, but it goes double for personal takes on the morality of a title's plot. Talk about depth of story, and feel free to express a personal interest or lack of it; but don't try to pass your philosophy off as fact. Those last two sentences you quoted are grotesque attempts to manipulate reader opinion - "if you're smart, you agree with me". How pathetic.
Zer0
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:31 PM)
i dont understand all the hate army of two is getting from the press,its a very good coop game,a bit on the shorter side but the game have some very good moments,good enemy AI and excellent gfx its a 8 on my book
Captain Pants
Killed by a goddamned Dredgeling
(03-11-2008, 10:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by McBradders

I'm flip flopping between "Right on" and "shut the fuck up".

More the latter because it has no place in a review, really, it should be its own article.

Exactly. It doesn't really matter whether or not you agree with his stances, it doesn't belong in a review. Imagine the backlash if someone used their COD4 review to write either a pro-war or anti-war review. Subject matter is an important part of a game, but he is implying that anyone who reads his review would find the subject matter to be objectionable.
Odysseus
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:31 PM)
games do not warrant professionalism

i don't see the problem
witness
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:32 PM)
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I don't see whats wrong with it, the writer was offended by the content presented in the game. Why shouldn't he say that? Its a review after all.
Cheeto
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:32 PM)
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I play games for good gameplay not story, and everything this "review" said about the gameplay seemed positive. I guess I'll give it a shot.
SuperPac
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:32 PM)
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If this were a movie and the reviewer didn't like the slant of the film would you feel differently about the critique? I see no problem here. A review is an opinion, and if that's the way the reviewer feels about the game's story given the current climate (it's not really tainting his opinion of the gameplay from what I gather), then fine.

Now if he's wrong and the game actually ISN'T belittling the army, then you might have an argument.
Costanza
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:32 PM)
...
jvm
Gamasutra.
(03-11-2008, 10:33 PM)
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The videogame media are a bunch of parochial idiots for just mechanically praising games on graphics, sound, sex, and violence in reviews, instead of being more mature and evaluating games as an entertainment medium with storytelling, characterization, and a cultural context.

The videogame media are also idiots for evaluating games as an entertainment medium with storytelling, characterization, and a cultural context instead of just telling me how the graphics are and whether the game is worth playing.

Or something like that.
MrHicks
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:33 PM)
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whats the score
SlasherJPC
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cyan

Man the comment these guys made about Army of Two on their sitemade me laugh so hard. I couldn't believe they were serious. I mean, are you freaking kidding me? There reaction over the way these guys go about their business in the game was a little over the top. They needed a Whaaaaaambulance for sure. Maybe EA can buy em out :P
Patrick Klepek
furiously molesting tim burton
(03-11-2008, 10:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aske

I agree with you. So many people argue that a gaming review should be nothing but personal opinion, but I'm of the camp that feels it should remain as objective as humanly possible.

I feel like I'm walking into a thread prone to disaster, but I must ask.

How does one write a review and remain objective? Opinions are inherently subjective.
border
wears the band's shirts to the band's concerts
can't comprehend the origin of terms
(03-11-2008, 10:34 PM)
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I think the industry is in a sad state of affairs if our own journalists are encouraging games to not take on modern issues... I mean, he actually states that the game would be better if it took place on some future battlefield instead of taking place in Iraq.

He says that Iraq is a bad setting because the game inaccurately and unfairly depicts a real-world situation. Not because he discourages games from "taking on modern issues." The problem is that the game takes on a modern issue in a very stupid and one-sided way.
AltogetherAndrews
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:34 PM)
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Er, aren't most military games pretty damned one-sided? That was one thing I was hoping we'd see some alternative to (with Haze, lol), as it gets pretty damned tiring to be the good guy against a world of bad guys, aka gun fodder. When I'm asked to man the turret in the Blackhawk and take out scores of gnarly terrorists hanging out on rooftops, is that any less one-sided than what Army of Two presents? Only of course Army of Two does it in a way that I have insofar considered satire.
TrueReligion
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:34 PM)
People still care about Gamespot? I don't even glance at their reviews any more.
Teddman
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by Captain Pants

So I realize that Gamespot has become a laughing stock when it comes to their reviews, but their review of Army of Two in particular doesn't sit right with me.

As messed up as Gerstmanngate was, I don't really see why Gamespot is considered a laughingstock when it comes to their reviews when you actually examine the scores and text. They're seemingly as tough as ever. Even this thread is about a negative review of a game by a major publisher.

I'm surprised at how much the "toughest site out there" vibe has been unchanged by the departure of pretty much the entire editorial staff.
GauntletFan
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:37 PM)

Originally Posted by RobertM

Because they are irrelevant at this point.

Obviously they aren't as there's a discussion going on, and they were relevant enough for you to click on the thread.

Also, I don't think this has anything to do with Gerstman's departure, nor do I tarnish other GS journos with the actions of their parent company.
Slavik81
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by SuperPac

If this were a movie and the reviewer didn't like the slant of the film would you feel differently about the critique? I see no problem here. A review is an opinion, and if that's the way the reviewer feels about the game's story giving the current climate (it's not really tainting his opinion of the gameplay from what I gather), then fine.

Now if he's wrong and the game actually ISN'T belittling the army, then you might have an argument.

My understanding is that he feels that games should not make political statements. He recommends that the game be based in a fantasy setting solely because it makes one.

"...Army of Two is a better than average shooter that roughly treads on a political landmine when it should have stormed some future battlefield."

The further implication that political statements are null and void when they are told as an allegory is also disturbing.
AltogetherAndrews
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by eXxy

I feel like I'm walking into a thread prone to disaster, but I must ask.

How does one write a review and remain objective? Opinions are inherently subjective.

Why should the reviews focus so much on opinions? How about delivering true buyer's guides, and leave the more opinionated material out of the overall rating? I mean, obviously this stems from critics being massive gasbags and as such incapable of separating their own egos from the reviews to a degree that would allow them to rate a game based on its qualities, objective strengths and weaknesses, but shouldn't critics want to better themselves?
GDJustin
stuck my tongue deep inside Atlus' cookies
(03-11-2008, 10:38 PM)
I think the review brings up a good point, in light of the current political climate? I'm literally the opposite of the "PC Police" but it seems like common sense to me that this game should have been set in an unfamiliar setting/time period...
kbear
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:39 PM)
I think it's refreshing to read a review like this. The story is a part of the game... I don't see why it shouldn't be critiqued as well. A review is that person's opinion, nothing more. He does review the gameplay as well, so the review isn't just about the story.
fatigues_gasolini
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:39 PM)
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I never felt anything of the sort playing through AoT. In fact, the game really points out what can happen when a private corporation gains power and how it corrupts and how that can harm innocent people. It never disses the Army or anything like that.
arne
(03-11-2008, 10:40 PM)
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so wait, some game reviewer actually bothers to write something more insightful and deep than a rote review, you know, actually inject some critical thinking that journalists should have and now it's a bad thing?

make up your goddamn f'n mind gaf. do you want video game journalism to be equated with the bush league or do you want critical thinking and an actual opinion on all aspects of the game (beyond gameplay and technical)?
Death_Born
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:40 PM)
News flash: private mercenaries are paid more than US Army troops! Thank you Captain Obvious for restating your paranoia about PMCs taking over the armed forces. I don't exactly expect a game reviewer to whine about how a game "mocks the army," which, in my opinion, has a stupid slogan.
minor effort
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:40 PM)
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If a game is going to use contemporary political themes such as the use of PMCs, why should the reviewer be forced to stand above it and give only his dry, clinical analysis of the gameplay? He can't call the game out for it's "vision"?

It's as though people here want to take games as a serious medium, but are still afraid of something resembling a politically charged videogame review.

I admit I don't know much at all about the game being reviewed here, but it's refreshing to see a reviewer challenge the game's theme instead of being too afraid of sounding political.
GauntletFan
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)

Originally Posted by arne

so wait, some game reviewer actually bothers to write something more insightful and deep than a rote review, you know, actually inject some critical thinking that journalists should have and now it's a bad thing?

make up your goddamn f'n mind gaf. do you want video game journalism to be equated with the bush league or do you want critical thinking and an actual opinion on all aspects of the game (beyond gameplay and technical)?

Agreed.
probune
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)
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Opinion has no place in a review? Really?

Why are video game reviews different than everything else in that they need objective product reviews?
Musashi Wins!
FLAWLESS VICTOLY!
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)

Originally Posted by AltogetherAndrews

Why should the reviews focus so much on opinions? How about delivering true buyer's guides, and leave the more opinionated material out of the overall rating? I mean, obviously this stems from critics being massive gasbags and as such incapable of separating their own egos from the reviews to a degree that would allow them to rate a game based on its qualities, objective strengths and weaknesses, but shouldn't critics want to better themselves?

What does this even mean? This sounds so boring, and adds a mythlike, platonic quality to game items.
Captain Pants
Killed by a goddamned Dredgeling
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by Teddman

As messed up as Gerstmanngate was, I don't really see why Gamespot is considered a laughingstock when it comes to their reviews when you actually examine the scores and text. They're seemingly as tough as ever. Even this thread is about a negative review of a game by a major publisher.

If you're actually looking at the tilt of their reviews, I'm honestly surprised at how much the "toughest site out there" vibe has been unchanged by the departure of pretty much the entire editorial staff.

For sure. They are definitely as tough as ever. The only reason I prefaced my thread with the laughingstock comment was that I wasn't creating the thread to trash gamespot, but rather this review specifically. If Gamespot was as biased and susceptible to corruption as people claim, they wouldn't be handing out the kinds of scores they hand out.

My issue isn't with Gamespot as much as it is with being told what to think.
SnakeswithLasers
If I want to pay a black man $20 to suck him off in a public bathroom, by God and Country, I SHALL.
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by Captain Pants

So I realize that Gamespot has become a laughing stock when it comes to their reviews, but their review of Army of Two in particular doesn't sit right with me.



I don't know about you guys, but I don't want reviewers getting up on a soapbox when they review games... I also don't like being encouraged to 'not think about the subject matter'. The whole review is laced with this guy's opinions on the military and PMCs. While I can understand and respect that the reviewer, Joe Dodson, must be a patriotic person who agrees with what the US is doing over in Iraq, I don't need that information when I'm reading a professional game review.

I think the industry is in a sad state of affairs if our own journalists are encouraging games to not take on modern issues... I mean, he actually states that the game would be better if it took place on some future battlefield instead of taking place in Iraq.

You don't want to be discouraged from thinking about games, but when a reviewer writes about a game's subject matter, it offends you.
SolidSnakex
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:41 PM)
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He seemed to take the games storyline a lot more serious than it takes itself.
AltogetherAndrews
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by arne

so wait, some game reviewer actually bothers to write something more insightful and deep than a rote review, you know, actually inject some critical thinking that journalists should have and now it's a bad thing?

This "critical thinker" is dogging on a developer for not being a sissy wuss and play it safe in a fictional land. I'm not sure how that could possibly be a good thing.
Kintaro
Worships the porcelain goddess
(03-11-2008, 10:42 PM)
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I have no problem with it. If his statements are incorrect as it relates to the game, that's one thing. But if he feels the subject matter in the game is stupid or insulting, that's fine. I know it's lolGamespot, but we can't seriously expect video games to start making strides into different, mature or controversial subject matter without expecting reviewers to approach it the same way.

We can't have it both ways. You can't want video games to be taken seriously without someone actually taking them seriously and having a strong opinion on the actions/subject matter/etc within the game. You can't then go back when you disagree and say "Whoa! Chill dude! It's just a game!"

Like one of the posters said before, if this was a movie review, would you feel the same way? It's the reviewer's opinion. Move along.
Patrick Klepek
furiously molesting tim burton
(03-11-2008, 10:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by AltogetherAndrews

Why should the reviews focus so much on opinions? How about delivering true buyer's guides, and leave the more opinionated material out of the overall rating? I mean, obviously this stems from critics being massive gasbags and as such incapable of separating their own egos from the reviews to a degree that would allow them to rate a game based on its qualities, objective strengths and weaknesses, but shouldn't critics want to better themselves?

Outside of technical achievement, what are the "objective strengths and weaknesses" to a game?
SlasherJPC
Banned
(03-11-2008, 10:44 PM)
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I think it boils down to this. Either you like the camaraderie and characteristics of the two main guys, or you don't. If you don't I'm guessing you tend to think the setting they're placed in requires them to be uber serious and dignified. I feel its a nice change of pace to be playing a game with some serious overtones yet pulled off with a videogame like nature. I mean the way these two act in battle is exactly the kinds of things I say to a buddy when playing a game co-op. EA made a game meant for two player, they knew this, and I think its the very reason they made the characters the way they are. Thats just my 2 cents on them.
probune
Member
(03-11-2008, 10:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by AltogetherAndrews

This "critical thinker" is dogging on a developer for not being a sissy wuss and play it safe in a fictional land. I'm not sure how that could possibly be a good thing.

Yeah, Army of Two is really thinking outside the box.

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