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Driv3r Reviews. Were PSM2 & XBW honest? (Part II)
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GwiDan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SillySprout wrote:
Perhaps the PS2 version is better than the xbox counterpart. I dont see why PS2 gamers would be more willing to accept an unplayable game than Xbox gamers.


There was an interesting letter in Edge a few months back, which went along the lines of this... A lot of PS2 gamers are the so-called casuals that only ever buy into marketing hype, and basically end up buying only EA games. To these people, the seal of quality is so much lower than to a Halo owner, for example. Why? If they've only ever bought EA games, then in the FPS genre, Medal of Honor Frontline will be the best FPS they'll have ever played - it'll be the pinnacle of the genre, for example. It's all comparative. Experienced gamers that have played a massive cross section of what the industry has to offer know better - we really do know what makes a good game because we're able to compare with actual Triple-A titles instead of licensed pap.

This is why casual PS2 gamers - not all of them - will be satisfied with Driv3r: they haven't played a better game in the genre so won't know better. If you don't know better, you just accept what's given to you and ask for more. Of course Driv3r is a notable exception for the casuals, because of GTA III/VC - everyone has some experience with these games, a series that Driver is up against, so if Reflections' latest offering isn't up to the standards of GTA, it'll get noticed. And has.

When the general gaming public learns that EA aren't the be-all and end-all of gaming, and start experiencing true classics, crap games will ever-so-slowly stop getting bought.
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phAnt0m buRn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eighthours wrote:
Who wants to see a real car-crash?

http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=310

The Atari forums are full of deluded fanboys. Have a look and read some of their amusingly retarded comments!! Cool


We should all go and spam that forum. I mean, fill it with threads about how bad Driv3r is, but call it Driver 3!

Just looking on it then. Is bypassing the swearing filter in such a way necessary:

Driv3r42391 wrote:
Fuc|< ign they dont know what the he!! theyre doin... They make you pay Just for a membership???????????

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im tempted to go and spam atari fanboys i really am....
anyone else?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamiej wrote:
Im tempted to go and spam atari fanboys i really am....
anyone else?


Oh yes, fabulous idea Rolling Eyes

It only needs someone to mention this place and theyíll spam here. Do me a favour, donít bother.
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Eighthours
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No invasion squad. If you want to do it, be a lone operative deep deep undercover, and don't mention GR.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's sad, given that most of us have grown up alongside computer magazines, but I really don't think you can trust reviews.

I'm a qualified journalist - a 'proper' one, not at a games mag. Several times I've seen good stories pulled because of board-level decisions.

There was one in particular when one of my paper's major advertisers had seriously mistreated a female member of staff. We couldn't do the story because of the financial implications.

To paraphrase Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, trade mags are nothing more than whores for the advertising industry. The idea of a mutually benficial deal between a softco and a magazine is a fairly run-of-the mill concept.

The only thing that surprises me is that this fact surprises anyone.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

poser1929 wrote:
The only thing that surprises me is that this fact surprises anyone.

It's annoying because the likes of Future Publishing, a company that you want to trust, allegedly lies to its readers that are keeping them in business in the first place. All their magazines promise honest articles & sensible buying advice, with that they should deliver. I donít spend £5 to be fobbed off with a load of old bollocks that I could of read, for free, on the net.

Another thing that has greatly surprised me is the reviewer at PSM2, Andrew Kelly Ė apparently a normal reader of PSM, who reviewed the game only joined the mag 2 months beforehand. Iíd put money on it that he didnít do this under his own free will. I bet he was, Ďallegedlyí, forced too. I mean you donít lie unless you have to right?

*Rings up BBC so they can go undercover*
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well then. Our review score for Driv3r seems to have created quite a stir and with half of you baying for blood and demanding a response from XBW, I thought I'd brave the forums. Ulp.

First off I'd like to totally refute the suggestion that magazines, and specifically XBW, take bribes - monetary or otherwise - to inflate review scores. Sure we might get the odd T-shirt sent to us or a pint bought by a PR but never, in 4 years of working at Future, have I ever given a game an inflated score because a/ I've been ordered to or b/ I've been thrown a bung. Sure I've over marked games - 9/10 for MOH: Rising Sun in OPS2 I will freely admit was a grave error of judgement but an honest mistake. But that's another story entirely.

Further to this, the allegation that there is some grand conspiracy between ourselves and Atari - 'you give it a nine, we'll lob a sticker on the box and a page in the manual' - is again wrong. The sticker was agreed on only after the review had been written and sent to press.

So to Driv3r. It's a great game and we stand by the review. Our staffie played it to completion and loved it, as did the man who wrote our tips guide. However, with regard to the technical issues raised on this forum then you may have a point. Because of the long lead times for magazines and the fact that it was an exclusive review, the code we reviewed from was not final. We were made aware of some bugs in the game and were promised that these would be sorted by the time of release. I cannot comment on whether these were fixed or not but I have an unopened boxed copy of the game on my desk and will endeavour to check it out this evening - there's been too much footie on for serious gaming sessions at home! If it transpires that what was supposedly going to be fixed wasn't, then we will speak to Atari. But like I say, can't comment on that yet. That said, the old PS1 games were greeted with rapturous applause and they were pretty ropy technically in places - slowdown and pop-up aplenty - but had the killer gameplay that we believe has carried over to the latest Driver incarnation.

So with this in mind perhaps a 9 was a little too enthusiastic. Perhaps. But for gamescentral to score it a 3 is just plain rubbish. A 3, or even a 6, would suggest that the game is fundamentally broken and the gameplay offers little if anything in the way of enjoyment. This is simply not true, far from it. If we were to review from the boxed copy and found that all the technical issues had not been resolved then I believe we still would have scored it an 8 or 9 but again, this is pure conjecture and I'll comment when I've played it.

At the end of the day, Bob, much of this is surely down to personal opinion and taste. Can I point you in the direction of OXM's Shadow Ops review in their current issue? This is in no way a personal attack on Gavin Ogden (we'll leave the petty bitching to Xbox Gamer) but 8/10 is, in our opinion, a very very high score for the game. We've only just gone to print with our review so I wont give out our score but I only mention this to illustrate that games, like most things in life, are so often down to the reviewer's/gamer's taste. An another example - I'm currently having a heated discussion with the boss about Leilani and whether she's hot to trot or not. She is, he's entirely wrong, I am entirely right.

Right, I'll stop rambling on now. Hope this goes someway to answering your points. I await responses with extreme trepidation...

Please note this post is speaking for XBW and not PSM2.

Nick Ellis
Deputy editor, XBW
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phAnt0m buRn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nellis wrote:

At the end of the day, Bob, much of this is surely down to personal opinion and taste. Can I point you in the direction of OXM's Shadow Ops review in their current issue? This is in no way a personal attack on Gavin Ogden (we'll leave the petty bitching to Xbox Gamer) but 8/10 is, in our opinion, a very very high score for the game. We've only just gone to print with our review so I wont give out our score but I only mention this to illustrate that games, like most things in life, are so often down to the reviewer's/gamer's taste. An another example - I'm currently having a heated discussion with the boss about Leilani and whether she's hot to trot or not. She is, he's entirely wrong, I am entirely right.


I see what you mean about Shadow Ops, having just read your preview.

You know what? I think a great feature for a mag to have would be a reader's comments section where the last issue's scores are discussed. You'll probably get inundated with emails about this controversial review.

Just goes to show that exclusive isn't always the best.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nellis wrote:
So to Driv3r. It's a great game and we stand by the review. Our staffie played it to completion and loved it, as did the man who wrote our tips guide. However, with regard to the technical issues raised on this forum then you may have a point. Because of the long lead times for magazines and the fact that it was an exclusive review, the code we reviewed from was not final. We were made aware of some bugs in the game and were promised that these would be sorted by the time of release. I cannot comment on whether these were fixed or not but I have an unopened boxed copy of the game on my desk and will endeavour to check it out this evening - there's been too much footie on for serious gaming sessions at home! If it transpires that what was supposedly going to be fixed wasn't, then we will speak to Atari.

Well I think that about says it all.

How in the hell can you review unfinished code, it's giving totally the wrong impression to the reader. That 'review' should have gone under the preview section of the magazine. You've basically just proved that exclusive reviews are a load of old tosh. "But they said they'd fix it" - well what's the bloody point of reviewing it then if it wasnít even finished? If I had gone by your review I would of not only went into a shop & wasted 40 quid I wouldn't have even known about any of the major problems that plague the game whatsoever. That's the whole point of a review. You just so happened to ignore them all while playing the game & take the developers word for it. Your review, along with PSM2 was misleading, dishonest, left out all of the games main faults, which I might add affect gamplay to an unbelievable extent & basically was a total load of old bollocks. And you wonder why I don't trust early reviews....
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Last edited by KKLEIN on Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:07 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nellis wrote:
Well then. Our review score for Driv3r seems to have created quite a stir and with half of you baying for blood and demanding a response from XBW, I thought I'd brave the forums. Ulp.

First off I'd like to totally refute the suggestion that magazines, and specifically XBW, take bribes - monetary or otherwise - to inflate review scores. Sure we might get the odd T-shirt sent to us or a pint bought by a PR but never, in 4 years of working at Future, have I ever given a game an inflated score because a/ I've been ordered to or b/ I've been thrown a bung.
Quote:
Sure I've over marked games - 9/10 for MOH: Rising Sun in OPS2 I will freely admit was a grave error of judgement but an honest mistake. But that's another story entirely.

Further to this, the allegation that there is some grand conspiracy between ourselves and Atari - 'you give it a nine, we'll lob a sticker on the box and a page in the manual' - is again wrong. The sticker was agreed on only after the review had been written and sent to press.

So to Driv3r. It's a great game and we stand by the review. Our staffie played it to completion and loved it, as did the man who wrote our tips guide. However, with regard to the technical issues raised on this forum then you may have a point. Because of the long lead times for magazines and the fact that it was an exclusive review, the code we reviewed from was not final. We were made aware of some bugs in the game and were promised that these would be sorted by the time of release. I cannot comment on whether these were fixed or not but I have an unopened boxed copy of the game on my desk and will endeavour to check it out this evening - there's been too much footie on for serious gaming sessions at home! If it transpires that what was supposedly going to be fixed wasn't, then we will speak to Atari. But like I say, can't comment on that yet. That said, the old PS1 games were greeted with rapturous applause and they were pretty ropy technically in places - slowdown and pop-up aplenty - but had the killer gameplay that we believe has carried over to the latest Driver incarnation.

So with this in mind perhaps a 9 was a little too enthusiastic. Perhaps. But for gamescentral to score it a 3 is just plain rubbish. A 3, or even a 6, would suggest that the game is fundamentally broken and the gameplay offers little if anything in the way of enjoyment. This is simply not true, far from it. If we were to review from the boxed copy and found that all the technical issues had not been resolved then I believe we still would have scored it an 8 or 9 but again, this is pure conjecture and I'll comment when I've played it.

At the end of the day, Bob, much of this is surely down to personal opinion and taste. Can I point you in the direction of OXM's Shadow Ops review in their current issue? This is in no way a personal attack on Gavin Ogden (we'll leave the petty bitching to Xbox Gamer) but 8/10 is, in our opinion, a very very high score for the game. We've only just gone to print with our review so I wont give out our score but I only mention this to illustrate that games, like most things in life, are so often down to the reviewer's/gamer's taste. An another example - I'm currently having a heated discussion with the boss about Leilani and whether she's hot to trot or not. She is, he's entirely wrong, I am entirely right.

Right, I'll stop rambling on now. Hope this goes someway to answering your points. I await responses with extreme trepidation...

Please note this post is speaking for XBW and not PSM2.

Nick Ellis
Deputy editor, XBW



Why is that another story? Really - sod off and get a paper round. Useless ****
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Thanatos
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen wrote:
Really - sod off and get a paper round. Useless ****


Nice to see people are being constructive and backing up their arguments here.
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Stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - but anyone giving that particular game a nine ( and possibly parting anyone from their hard-earned cash) is a prick.
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Eighthours
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, don't flame the guy. I respect him greatly for coming on here and giving us an honest and detailed response.

At least we now know that it was unfinished code, and that there were no enducements offered!

One question I do still have: how was it arranged for Xbox World to get the exclusive review? Is it just a case of your staff schmoozing with the Atari PR? The only reason I'm asking this really is that Atari have asked other publications not to print reviews until after the game's release date, and I'm just interested in how the process of getting the exclusive works.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More and more I'm coming to forums like this first to get the low-down on new games, as opposed to magazines. I just can't trust them any more - and the post from the guy at XBW just backs this suspicion up (playing unfinished code and marking the game on that is just not fair to the readership to whom - especially the younger members - 40 quid is a large amount of money to gamble).

GR proves it's worth on this one issue alone - you wanna hear the truth about a game, hear it from real players, with real experiences of the game.
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