1.) Do you think it's a good idea to hire with a metacritic requirement?
No, because it helps create an insular community and makes it harder for people without such high metascores to break in. Besides, metacritic isn't entirely reliable, and scores are often skewed towards graphics
as opposed to, say, gameplay, which is why AAA games tend to score better than other, equally good games. So if I had worked on Tropico 4, which is a brilliant game, and applied for work at Irrational, they might not want me.
Part of Tropico 4's low score stems from the fact that when you play it, it seems identical to Tropico 3, but if you go back to Tropico 3, you see just how drastically different it really is. Tropico 4 is like the Age of Empires II of Caribbean dictator simulators. The people who worked on that were awesome. Should a metascore affect their reception? No!
Then you've got AAA games. Fallout: New Vegas, for instance, is simultaneously better and worse than Fallout 3. While it gets the RPG stuff a lot better, it completely fails to pick up on the fact that Bethesda's games are all immersive sims in nature, so it's got this dead, dry world with predictable enemy spawns and excessive amounts of flatness (and anyone who says that the "real place" is flat can fuck right off--fire-breathing, giant ants aren't real critters). The game was simply boring to traverse and explore, despite having more interesting characters and quests. So it got an 84.
New Vegas, in other words, had a massive success and a massive failing. A game developer should want to hire the person who worked on the good parts of game, but not the bad parts.
Oh, and then you've got bugs and things that are the result of bad engines and a lack of good QC. Those can negatively impact an otherwise great game.
2.) So, their multiplayer component is sounding larger than originally expected (or it's very large in their next title). Any thoughts on what it is?
None. I don't really care for multiplayer unless they're making SWAT V. I mean, if they show something inventive and unique and interesting, I'm all for it, but of what we've had in the past, I'm not all that interested.
Originally Posted by bandresen
Jackob Minkoff's previous work before Naughty Dog was being the lead designer on Damnation which currently stands at 36 on Metacritic.
This goes to show how great visuals can overwhelm people and convince them that terrible games are a lot better than they really are. Naughty Dog is so bad from a gameplay perspective, but it's offset by witty banter and great visuals, so nobody really cares. That's how a lot of bad games get away with great metascores.