I know Waypoint’s not really a place for reviews, but I think this is interesting to talk about. I just saw Polygon’s review for Dead Cells and conversation on twitter that had me thinking about whether or not there should be proper reviews for early access games.
I mean I would say yes. And SBH’s video would do a better reason to explain than me so check that out if you’d like.
I think the biggest conflict for me is that I sympathize with the idea that early access programs should be some sort of platform for developers to get a game out, some extra funding, and let the most dedicated players try out the game as it gets developed and can understand not wanting bad reviews to make the game dead out of the water. I also feel that early access reviews to an extent wouldn’t be able to properly evaluate a game’s artistic merits and would be much more biased toward viewing a game as a product you spend money on, as often the last things to be placed in a game are major art assets and stories and the like.
But I also feel it’s unfair for games like ARK or DayZ (or almost any survival game let’s face it) to be able to stay in early access forever (while selling expansions too) and use it’s incomplete status as a shield to criticism. And given the more frequent use of early access programs, people should be given an idea of what the game is like, a review has a date beside it for a reason. And many games would benefit from this, like Dead Cells, or PUBG. while consumers would still be getting information on what they are actually getting and how it is.
Anyways, what are your thoughts?