First we need to establish that people have differnet tastes and have differnet experiences before we can have a meaningful discussion. There could be people sick of Elden Ring but not sick of Horizon.
Okay, I can acknowledge that, but this isn't about me questioning people's tastes for liking or even loving Elden Ring as the GOAT or what have you. I don't think me asking about the consistency (or lake thereof) in the review process from some reviewers is suggestive of that.
Elden Ring changes enough to make people happy. And the inherent qualities that people like in Souls games tend to age better arguably. People like the souls games for things like difficulty, secrets/exploration and clever level design. I don't think people really get sick of hard games, finding secrets or clever level design. Same way people don't get sick of Mario when it's the same essential game but the level design just gets crazier/more-clever every time. But what people might get sick of is clearing icons off the map to complete checklists and choose your own dialogue. There's not much that really heavily rips off the souls games either (at least not one that are likely played).
Right, and all of these things can be true. However, again, this isn't about questioning people's tastes or really even questioning design choices in specific games. It's about why some review outlets seem to have inconsistencies in either applied logic between reviews where certain standards are held for one game but not for another similar game in areas of performance that can be quantifiably, objectively measured against a baseline standard. And related to that, where certain games seem to get a very heavy clustering of super-fans (who are going to be more forgiving of certain flaws or design trends than a more casual or non-fan) to review them while other games get a more normalized spread of super-fans, casual fans, and non-fans.
Lets look at Gears of War as an example, back then it was crazy for how it shook things up for third person shooters with its cover system. Everyone copies that so new Gears games can't ride on being the inventor of that system because everyone else has great 3rd person movement/cover or whatever too. Similar to COD with its tactical and precisiony gameplay elements. Similiar to Uncharted with it's overly cinematic single palyer experiences. Everyone starts doing the same shit you don 't get that wow anymore.
In the whole spread of the console gaming market, how many games do cinematic single-player narrative-driven experiences like Uncharted? At the level of Uncharted? That particular genre slice is nowhere near as saturated as FPS games so I don't necessarily see where the analogy has merit here.
The reality is, people need to stop looking at pastreviews and comparing them to today. People try think of the scores too logically when they are subjective scores. They don't write a review going back at every other game they've ever reviewed or their colleagues ever reviewed and try to make the score numbers be relative to that. Review scores are subjectives scores of what an individual person thinks at the time of reviewing
You're missing the point of my argument; it's not about past reviews for previous iterations and thinking sequels need to score better just for the sake of being a sequel. The issue is that some of the more middling reviews, at least for a string of recent releases (mainly Elden Ring, Forbidden West, Sifu, and now GT7), have highly inconsistent logic in rationalizing/explaining why those scores as supposedly merited.
More than a few reviews for Sifu weighed the average down because the game was "too hard", yet Elden Ring gets near-perfect scores across the board because of its difficulty (among other things)? Where's the logical consistency? It's nonexistent. Is there a "right" type of being too difficult? Do they expect linear games to be less difficult because you can't procrastinate as much time running away from the challenge before moving on, like you can with an open-world game? Why does that weigh against a game like Sifu as much as it does? What makes Elden Ring's challenge refreshing in a way that doesn't hurt the experience, by comparison?
And I'm not even going to get into the technical side of things. On that metric alone, a certain recently-released game most likely shouldn't have a 97, considering that even the version with said score (PS5) has notable technical issues. How were none of these technical issues mentioned in the vast majority of the reviews? Wouldn't that have been important to communicate to the customer who's going to go spend their money on acquiring the game?
I do understand that the same review outlet is not going to have the same individuals review each game, more often than not, so subjectivity of how a game is viewed will change depending on the individual reviewing the game. However, that's also why a review can't, and shouldn't, be based on 100% subjective readings, because that's a quick way to bring in random conjecture that can lead to bad optics showing logical inconsistencies. You need to have some constants that can hold true across reviews regardless of the game, and those should factor into the final review score in at least some notable way.
That's not a contradiction. My first post is saying that standards change. Elements that make it special don't stand out anymore over time people people copy (or in other words rasie the bar). Whereas what you are doing is comparing how much has changed between sequels of a "franchise". It's not about change for the sake of change. It's that over time people change expectations and so review/critisize differnetly.
Okay, so what set of standards does Elden Ring employ, that a game like Horizon Forbidden West does not employ? And more importantly, are any of those supposed standards able to be proven to have been equally considered in OTHER games and were THOSE games fairly judged during their review phase by their critics in a way that is logically consistent with a title such as Elden Ring (as an example)?
EDIT: Not trying to make this into an Elden Ring discussion, FWIW