May 7, 2009

Investigating the Darkfall Incident

So in my last post I briefly mentioned that the creators of Darkfall Online felt that Eurogamer gave them an unfair review. You can read that review here, and Darkfall's complaints here.

My first reaction? What the heck do other reviewers say? Well the only thing I could find was this one at the vault at IGN, and the reviewers response can be sumurized as "Not perfect, but you can still have fun." That's just one other review to compare with Eurogamer. Though, it definitely went into a LOT more detail than the Eurogamer review. You can definitely tell the guy did a good amount of play to figure out his character and the game.

Eurogamer is doing a fair thing by offering to review the game again. We'll see if this new person agrees with the original assessment, but until then we can only speculate if the orginal reviewer, Ed Zitron, actually played the game for a substantial amount of time.

What's a fair amount of time? More than the three hours that the Darkfall team alleges Zitron played. They also claim that 2 hours of that was character creation. Really? Two hours on character creation? If that's true he better play a good amount more time in the actual game, because the only reasons you spend that much time in character creation are becaue you're a developer testing something, so invested in the game you plan on playing it every day for a while, or a really detailed reviewer who likes to examine EVERYTHING from EVERY ANGLE.

Zitron claims he played nine hours. Is that a fair amount of time? Well, if he did spend two hours in character creation, then I'm going to say no, because then that's just 7 hours of gameplay in a game that is skill based and has its own working economy. 9 hours if you spent 20 to 30 minutes in character creation... then I could possibly see. But then I would expect a general review of the game, not anything in detail. For all I know Zitron looked at the IGN review and used that, because all of his talking points are based on the negatives things that the IGN reviewer pointed out (and then proceeded to think was no big deal overall).

Darkfall has every right to be defensive. 2/10 is failing. However, from reading some of the other things I've seen from their site and the other review I found, Darkfall seems to be at mid-range quality. It has some unique stuff, but it looks like some people are suffering from glitches and some of the features are a little lackluster. Maybe Zitron just got tired of the glithes and that anger pervaded his writing. Or maybe Zitron is tired of MMOs, and he wants to play something more exciting.

I'll try to keep up with this, because in the end I want to know who's going to concede the point: Eurogamer or Darkfall.

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