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MGS Phantom Pain reviews potentially compromised

Jackpot

Banned
Nov 8, 2011
11,466
0
0
http://www.gamesradar.com/metal-gear-solid-5-phantom-pain-review-progress/

For fear of spoilers, Konami invited journalists to review the game at five-day 'boot camps' tied to strict NDAs (non-disclosure agreements). We played between 9am to 5pm, with no unsupervised play outside these hours. That's a maximum play time of 40 hours, assuming no stoppages for eating, drinking, stretching… or reality. So you're trying to complete a 35-50 hour game (or longer, depending on your play style and the nature of your 'completion'… I can't say more), that you've been anticipating for five years, in a realistic window of 30-35 hours. On one hand, you're finally immersed in one of the deepest, most experimental, open-worlds in history – overwhelmed by side-missions, upgrades and secrets – on the other, haunted by a tick-tock race to reach the 'end' without knowing when that is.

Konami's conundrum is clear. Sending out retail review copies would lead to ruinous spoilers, but the alternative is no pre-release reviews. Extended access under duress is better than none but, twinned to our NDA, makes this a 'review' of what I can't and won't say. So with some fairly major caveats laid bare – is MGS5 everything we were all hoping for?
Based on the UK boot camp, I know of only one reviewer (who was able to play for six days) who has seen enough of the game to deliver a meaningful perspective… and I can't even explain why for fear of spoilers. In my boot camp, reviewers were charging through missions wearing the chicken hat (which makes you invisible) almost completely ignoring Mother Base and all the side-ops in a race for the 'end'. Will it score high? I mean, duh, but I don't feel the boot camp was sufficient basis to offer my views on Kojima's intentions and MGS5's abiding legacy.

At times, the boot camp felt like being gifted a bottle of Macallan 1946 whiskey in a frat house and being told to chug, chug, chug.
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/08/24/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pc-review-code-and-news-of-microtransactions/

Many (if not all) of the reviews that are already online were written by journalists who were forced to play MGS V for eight hours every day, in regimented timeslots, while under instructions to share only the information that was deemed necessary by Konami higher-ups. Far from being a work experience course, this was a four-day review event, in which writers attempted to complete a sprawling open-world stealth game within a strict time limit.
Controlled review events and journos bingeing video games like they're working shifts at a coal mine are nothing new, but they really aren't suited to sprawling open-world games like this.

This isn't going to 180 MGSV's impressions. As the Gamesradar guy says, of course it's going to score high, but it informs the consumer how aspects of the reviews can be inaccurate or missing entirely. The cassette tapes are MGSV's replacement for the CODEC convos, and you can imagine how skipping those would have changed your view of past MGS games.

This also isn't a reason to discount every negative factoid about MGSV because it's your beloved. Whilst reviewers skipping Mother Base management may mean that most player won't even run into the instance of not being able to progress because they need to develop some item, it also means they might be unaware of just how much grind is spent micromanaging it.
 

Boke1879

Member
Apr 25, 2013
22,006
0
0
Illinois
I found it weird that some sites say there is no story but Gamespot and others say it's interesting and ever wraps up.


First thing I said was a wonder if the reviews that had issues listened to the tapes and even got the TRUE ending.
 

bananafactory

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
26,336
1
0
That's odd, Greg Miller said he played from 10 am to midnight some days, and he was also playing the game on Saturday and Sunday up until he posted his review.

I wonder if Kinda Funny had extended access for some reason?
 

epmode

Member
Jun 7, 2004
28,470
0
0
Yeah, that RPS article was amazing. These review camps are always crazy.

I'm honestly a bit worried about the grind in the full version. Can't trust Konami at all.
 

Deacan

9/10 NeoGAFfers don't understand statistics. The other 3/10 don't care.
Nov 24, 2006
2,108
0
1,075
Great Britain
Be nice if reviewers would put disclaimers indicating they attended the review event.

*edit* I am aware that some reviewers have put a disclaimer, still think these events are a really shitty way to review a game.
 

Roronoa

Banned
Jun 12, 2015
105
0
0
Why didn't reviews mention this? Was this part of the NDA as well?

You're supposed to play a game, not meet a deadline. These types of reviews are very toxic, regardless of scores.

Possible that we might get "pacing" issues. Well, of course, since you are being forced to play it for 10 hours all day every day.
 

Hagi

Member
Jun 8, 2009
8,711
0
0
Review boot camps are fucking stupid and for games as big as something like Metal Gear totally unnecessary. If the only option is having a boot camp versus no pre release reviews it should be the latter.
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,437
1
0
This is a given with long ass games. It sucks, but getting that big hype review on day 1 is more important than a well thought out critique and always has been.
 

hodgy100

Member
May 3, 2011
6,600
1
0
www.resetera.com
Be nice if reviewers would put disclaimers indicating they attended the review event.
Why didn't reviews mention this? Was this part of the NDA as well?

You're supposed to play a game, not meet a deadline. These types of reviews are very toxic, regardless of scores.

Possible that we might get "pacing" issues. Well, of course, since you are being forced to play it for 10 hours all day every day.
i think the Game trailers video review mentioned it
 

Ricky_R

Member
Dec 28, 2010
11,969
1
0
Didn't they do something similar for MGS4? I remember critics expressing some grievance about the whole thing.
 

Luke_Wal

Member
Jul 27, 2014
1,597
0
0
That's odd, Greg Miller said he played from 10 am to midnight some days, and he was also playing the game on Saturday and Sunday up until he posted his review.

I wonder if Kinda Funny had extended access for some reason?
It's possible that he got extended access because of their Let's Plays. Also, I watched the review discussion this morning, and it sounded like he had a copy in the apartment? It's cool that such a small outlet can get expanded access, but I agree, it is a little weird that other outlets haven't made this very clear.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,414
1
0
Publisher-run game review events have always been disgusting bullshit and the fact that publishers continue to get away with them is yet another sign of how controlled all the major outlets are by said publishers.
 

bananafactory

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
26,336
1
0
Why didn't reviews mention this? Was this part of the NDA as well?

You're supposed to play a game, not meet a deadline. These types of reviews are very toxic, regardless of scores.

Possible that we might get "pacing" issues. Well, of course, since you are being forced to play it for 10 hours all day every day.
Reviews are a guideline to let you know if a game is good or not. Things like "is the story good and/or fleshed out" are up to the individual to decide.

And meeting a deadline is a reality for many gaming websites, for better or worse.
 

funkystudent

Member
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
0
0
The fact we have sites like IGN and Gamespot giving it 10's while admitting they haven't touched the online features all that much and have zero idea how microtransactions will work in the game was already telling.

I wonder if its a case of "if you promise to give us a 9+ you can release the review today. If not you have to wait until release".



I mean. Jeez. Why play ball with Konami this much? Its not like they are going to be releasing any more noteworthy games after this.
 

Floex

Member
Dec 17, 2011
2,968
0
0
And no one was surprised.

All the big sites trying to get their review out there first.
 

Blimblim

The Inside Track
Jun 8, 2004
17,966
15
1,750
We mentioned all this in our (French only sorry) review of the game. No one was forced to play one way or another, the only requirement was that there were only 6 days to do the review (2 days for the preview, then 4 days a few weeks later starting from that save).
 

tim_pkmn89

Member
Jun 24, 2013
1,719
2
340
Why didn't reviews mention this? Was this part of the NDA as well?

You're supposed to play a game, not meet a deadline. These types of reviews are very toxic, regardless of scores.

Possible that we might get "pacing" issues. Well, of course, since you are being forced to play it for 10 hours all day every day.
They always have to meet the deadline of release. Or in some cases simply before anyone else's review goes up.
 

foxbeldin

Member
Sep 9, 2013
3,744
0
0
Paris
We mentioned all this in our (French only sorry) review of the game. No one was forced to play one way or another, the only requirement was that there were only 6 days to do the review (2 days for the preview, then 4 days a few weeks later starting from that save).

And we're done here.

Can't comment on any other reviewers, but I didn't attend a review event and I haven't used the chicken hat at all -- in fact, I wind up suiciding just about every time I get caught, which is likely why I've been progressing so slowly.

Also, Konami has not tried to control anything I've written, other than requesting that we not share anything about the ending, which is totally reasonable.
re-done here
 

User 479360

Banned
Sep 9, 2014
20,932
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0
I thought about this when I heard about it being a review event. I don't feel they were given enough time, which is the issue.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
0
The fact we have sites like IGN and Gamespot giving it 10's while admitting they haven't touched the online features all that much and have zero idea how microtransactions will work in the game was already telling.

I wonder if its a case of "if you promise to give us a 9+ you can release the review today. If not you have to wait until release".



I mean. Jeez. Why play ball with Konami this much? Its not like they are going to be releasing any more noteworthy games after this.
No

http://multiplayer.it/recensioni/155031-metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-a-hideo-kojima-game.html

Jason Schreier from Kotaku has a review copy that he's playing through at his own pace right now. He could post a review at any time, but he's just choosing to play it differently from others. They could've done the same thing.
 

jschreier

Member
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
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0
www.twitter.com
Can't comment on any other reviewers, but I didn't attend a review event and I haven't used the chicken hat at all -- in fact, I wind up suiciding just about every time I get caught, which is likely why I've been progressing so slowly.

Also, Konami has not tried to control anything I've written, other than requesting that we not share anything about the ending, which is totally reasonable.
 

Deft Beck

Member
Mar 8, 2007
5,919
121
1,330
Space
This happens with many major game releases. It's not exclusive to Konami and this isn't the first time.
Why is it so important to have a review out on day one? All this guarentees is non-review that echoes what they have been conditioned to say, in lieu of delivering any meaningful criticism that contributes to the wider discussion.
 

Fury451

Banned
May 1, 2012
11,857
1
0
Cleveland, OH
Fascinating. I've always liked Gamesradar, but the fact that they just put it all out there about this I think is really insightful and important.

So basically the reviews in many cases aren't going to be comprehensive, and in some cases may even be incomplete- no surprise there. That happens a lot, and it's why I don't treat reviews as definitive when considering a purchase.

I recall the Silent Hill HD Collection getting a glowing review from a site that had clearly only played probably the first 10 minutes of both, then wrote the "review" based on nostalgia and the legendary status the games had, not citing the myriad of changes and technical issues once.

So this isn't new, basically.
 

Roronoa

Banned
Jun 12, 2015
105
0
0
Reviews are a guideline to let you know if a game is good or not. Things like "is the story good and/or fleshed out" are up to the individual to decide.

And meeting a deadline is a reality for many gaming websites, for better or worse.
It's stupid because consumers don't have a deadline, don't have to drag their asses to finish a game, don't have to play a game if they don't want to.

I don't know, I never give any attention to complaints about "pacing". We pace our playtimes the way we want/need to. Never did I have to complete Uncharted in one sitting. This type of event just reinforces the whole bruhaha over "pacing", which I really dislike. I assume most consumers can only game 1-2 hours at a time on a weekday.
 

bananafactory

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
26,336
1
0
Why is it so important to have a review out on day one? All this guarentees is non-review that echoes what they have been conditioned to say, in lieu of delivering any meaningful criticism that contributes to the wider discussion.
I think Jim Sterling has talked about this before - but launching your review after day one means no one will read it. That's just a fact. People look for them at launch and when every other site posts theirs, posting yours late will ensure it takes a massive hit in views which is how these sites and journalists make their money.

The onus is on the game publisher to provide review copies in a timely fashion so that people can review them properly.
 

raven777

Member
Jan 30, 2012
17,605
0
0
I feel this was a lot better than MGS4. I remember there were many things reviewers weren't allowed to say in the review for MGS4, like the install time and how long the cutscenes were.
 
It's very weird that Gamestop was the only one to talk about the FOB thing. They may have been completely wrong about it being microtransaction-only, but it goes to show that either they did not have enough time to fully explore the game, or that Konami purposefully deactivated or hid this feature for whatever reasons.

Though being forced to play a game in 8 hour blocks sounds awful. "You are allowed to have fun from 9-4. You get a thirty minute lunch break, where fun is optional."
 
Jul 22, 2012
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Can't comment on any other reviewers, but I didn't attend a review event and I haven't used the chicken hat at all -- in fact, I wind up suiciding just about every time I get caught, which is likely why I've been progressing so slowly.

Also, Konami has not tried to control anything I've written, other than requesting that we not share anything about the ending, which is totally reasonable.
when did you get your review copy?
 

Bubba_Sparks

Member
Mar 11, 2015
1,520
0
0
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
lmao!

That's why I haven't bothered paying attention to any of the reviews. I'll just play the game for myself and hopefully Giantbomb will upload a Quick Look once they get their hands on it. I don't trust reviews released in this manner and neither should you. It's extremely shady to review games under these circumstances with a bunch of restrictions on what you can talk about. If you aren't free to talk about the game, then don't bother reviewing it!