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I'm pretty sure reviewers don't finish long games. | AC Valhalla

Aenima

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Most reviewers do finish the games. They just rush the main story and skip side stuff. Reason i dont read reviews, as i take my time with the main story and like to do all side stuff if im enjoying the game. If the reviwers cant avaliate a game based on the complete package, his opinion is worth shit to me.
 

balls of snow

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I womder if the problem with AC is the animus itself? After playing Odyssey for 80 hours, I really felt nothing towards the present day segments, and the DLC just drove me up the wall. Give me more of the historical setting and less Abstergo bollocks.
Im 12 hours into Valhalla. Thr animus stuff is the most interesting thing in the game. Let that sink in.
 
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Gtafans93

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Valhalla sitting at 85% is about right.

U know what u bought with assaassin creed. Assassin creed = massive amounts of content with a long length and lots of things to do.

If your main complain is that the game is to long, then don't play games that are that long. They are not for you.

Why you think ac valhalla is long, i consider it pretty darn short actually. i rather had 1000 hours of content that i could come back to and move further and further in with all kinds of other people on the world map where i can raid with and make it a semi mmo in those enviroments.

Imagine the next ac game being 25 hours of gameplay, i wouldn't even touch it for a second.

What a game review does or does not isn't interesting towards anybody then him, if he has 1 week to review the game a game that takes atleast 2+ weeks to complete if you play working hours and u are well known with the franchise then honestly u shouldn't be reviewing it.

I make reviews sometimes of games myself, and i won't do it other then small nitbitch until i complete the games for 95% and actually know what the game has and what the flaws are.

The fact ac odyssey has norway, america, england, god worlds all in the base game is just amazing something i totally didn't expect. The quest content was well crafted, the world is solid and the city's are great. It's a huge jump from odyssey on this front and with 2 dlc's coming i can't wait what they have left.

If you find yourself walking to the next main quest npc and skip everything, the game isn't for you simple as that. It's like playing zelda breath of the wild rush to the castle kill boss 1 hour later. wow boring game.
agreed. But even then ASV did do alot with the story upon the second half, the side quests are quite good, and the open world is stunning and alive, the combat is violent, gory and just plain fun and overall I'd argue ASV will be one of the best creed games in a few years
 

chriskun

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I forget what podcast it was, probably bombcast because that was the only one I listened to for a long tine, but someone just blatantly admitted they almost never finish games they are reviewing, pretty sure it was one of the woke ones.
 
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MagnesG

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I forget what podcast it was, probably bombcast because that was the only one I listened to for a long tine, but someone just blatantly admitted they almost never finish games they are reviewing, pretty sure it was one of the woke ones.
Lol I did remember that happening at some point. Reviews are akin to impressions these days.
 
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Fredrik

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I forget what podcast it was, probably bombcast because that was the only one I listened to for a long tine, but someone just blatantly admitted they almost never finish games they are reviewing, pretty sure it was one of the woke ones.
That explains a lot.
And if reviewers are listening to user feedback to write their fake review things can go terribly wrong. Like on a forum you don’t expect everyone with an opinion to have finished the game, everybody knows that some go ”OMG this is the best game ever! GOTY!!” after a few hours.

And what I really want is multiple opinions. Having only a Halo fan reviewing a new Halo doesn’t in any way help a person who is not already a fan of the IP and is unsure if they should buy the game. A secondary opinion by someone who’re not a fan is worth more for that person. I think this is why everything is 6-10/10, because we only see reviews by those who are already fans more or less.
 
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_Ex_

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Imagine movie reviewers reviewing a film they only watched half of. Or music reviewers reviewing an album they only listened to three songs of. Or book reviewers reviewing a book they read 1/3rd of. That'd be capital bullshit right? And yet we accept that form of reviewing in this medium. Well, I don't accept it. I listen to friends' opinions about modern games.
 

DragoonKain

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I finished it and I didn't like it nearly as much as Origins or Odyssey. Felt way more chore-ish than those two. I actually liked the characters more than those two games though, but in terms of exploration and gameplay, liked it far less. It felt so tedious navigating and also felt like there was way more down time than the last two. Eventually I started skipping all non main story dialogue because the game was taking way waaaaay too long. I put 95+ hours into it and that's skipping dialogue and not finishing everything.

AC games should not be that long. I'm fine with games that long if the game serves it. Skyrim/Witcher/etc. But I don't feel the AC game style suits that kind of game length.
 

Raven117

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Few games I have played that when it was high, it was high, but the lows were low
 
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Do the raids get more complicated than grabbing all the chests?
Does rock stacking move past 4-5 rocks?
Does flyting move past choosing the rhyme and theme?
Does drinking evolve past moving the stick left or right and tapping X at the right time?
Do the quests where you have to position the camera differently become fun?
Does the outside the animus stuff move past the climbing and jumping you've already been doing the entire game but now with lasers?
The only side quest that is and stays fun is the dice game since unlike Valhalla, the rules are simple and the challenge is different depending on your opponents deck and there's a finite amount of them.
I don't think 100%-ing any of these activities would change my mind since they don't evolve, or break much away from what you're doing already.
Ok everything you just said is true but Odyssey is even fucking worse and one of the worst AC games there is and I say that as a huge AC fan since the first one. You have ridiculously copy pasted bandit cave after bandit cave,forts that have like maybe three layouts if I’m being generous,horrible 150vs150 battles because 300 hurr durr get it and sidequests that for the majority of them are horrible. Valhalla is no more repetitive than any other AC game and at least there was way more optional content that was different compared to Odyssey even if it got repetitive after awhile. Oh and the ending of Valhalla was amazing and makes me excited for the next game for the first time in years.
 

Physiocrat

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I get why some people are less trusting of reviewers, but I don't usually watch reviews for what they think of the ending.
I watch reviews mostly to see how the graphics are like, if the bugs are manageable , and the game mechanics(the game loop).

With that said, I follow a group that I trust on reviews of games, these are the reasons:
-They have been in the business long enough where they do get access to the games before the release date
-When it is a long game like Valhalla, they don't always get the reviews out on time before release, because it takes so long to finish the game (Valhalla was released Nov. 10, they got it ahead of time and the reviews came out Nov. 23)
-They do other videos where they update their viewers on why it is taking so long to get the reviews out (the reviewer came on and said he was 100 hours in and still going)
-They only review games that they like (are into), this probably helps them finish it faster(I don't see a lot of sports game reviews from them)
-They are mostly sponsored by Patreon, so less pressure from outside influence
-They sometimes have videos after the review where they talk about endings and spoilers(which I don't watch until months later, LOL)
-They have a system where the reviewer is not the video editor and commentator, so less work getting the review done.

They sound interesting. Who are they?
 

acm2000

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Most people don't bother finishing assassin's creed games to be fair, they just drag on and on and on till the boredom breaks you.
 

Zheph

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100% for this one... reviews are extremely generous as well for Valhalla
 

s-bojan

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They don't, I know a reviewer who said that he does not finish long games as "reviewers also have lives".
Besides that, we have proof for your claim https://www.gamesradar.com/metal-gear-solid-5-phantom-pain-review/ :)

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.

Here are hltb times for the game: Main Story (46 Hours), Main + Extras (82 Hours), Completionist (162 Hours), All Styles (79½ Hours).
 
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GymWolf

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Modern Vg journalists and their reviews are utterly useless, next news at 11.

Valhalla is a 7\10 game at best.
 
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GymWolf

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Game reviewing is entertainment, not real journalism. Reviewers are entertainers, the reviews themselves are a product meant to bring in clicks and revenue. Stop treating game reviewers or journalist as if they are anything more than professional click bait entertainment writers.
They don't really entartain that much either tho.
 
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GymWolf

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i think gamespot does full reviews.. atleast 40-50 hrs into the big game.
I have my doubts.

The chick that did the days gone review shitted on a joke that is in the game but the joke itself get explained later in the game, if you look at her tweet about the joke it is pretty clear that she never completed the game to hear the explanation of that joke...or she is just a woke bitch that just wanted to shit on the game, there is a chance of that too.
 
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Black_Stride

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Pretty sure most reviewers actually do complete the main game and do a bunch of the side stuff before publishing.

Its why they get review codes early.

Even a 60 hour game can be done in 2 weeks.
Yes its alot of hours to pump into a game over 2 weeks, but its your fucking job....so just do it.

Do they 100% the game I highly doubt it, sometimes you dont need to 100% a game to have a good enough understanding of it to give a proper review of it.

Maybe Karak Karak could give some insight into his process when it comes to these massive open world games.
 

Physiocrat

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Easy Allies. They used to be Gametrailers. But when the company closed down, some staff decided to keep going and see if they can continue with a patreon model.

They look really good. Thanks for the recommendation. I have always wanted to find reputable reviewers rather than the corporate output of IGN etc
 
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cormack12

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You have to sort of adapt to the way Ubi games are structured imo. They are no longer meant to be powered through as a campaign which is why we are seeing the district/region formula more. These games are now meant to be installed year long until the next sequel arrives (seasons, rewards, progression, DLC).

Think of it like a Simpsons 24/7 channel, you've seen it all before but you'll still stick them on for a few hours and binge it, suffering through a few crummy episodes because you occassionally get to a really good one. But it's just enteratinment that has largely mindless repetitive arcs. Some days you won't feel like it but then you'll spend a weekend with it.
 

deriks

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Some don't, but some do. And it's not really based on "long games", because I remember an IGN guy that didn't finish Mario Brothers U

As a journalist myself, I'm sad
 

Allandor

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Well I'm just through the game in roughly 80h. I'm really disappointed by the way ubi directed the story. It has been streched, activities are quite boring, Sidequest don't have any impact aside from given you do.
And the worst, the storylines aren't closed. One storyline is closed but other were opened at the end and they scream "DLC".
This is not how a game should end.
And also, the fight that was promoted all the way before the game was out is not even in the game. That is really a shame.


I also guess most reviewers just play the first few hours and than rate the game. Yes I had fun with this game, but the whole motivation after around hour 20 to get through the game was to get the storyline to an end. And in the end it failed miserably.
 
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I'm finding that story in games like this is detracting. I cannot tell you what is going down across various missions, it just kind of washes over you making your feel things are happening for a reason, but you can't say what the reason is or it has no bearing on anything.

BoTW is a perfect reworking of this. I know I have to stop Calamity, so time to conquer the world with fun, repeatable activities that just get on with it.

Imagine having to have a unique story excuse for each shrine. Imagine how superfluous and forgettable those stories would be. At least with Bethesda, these stories are fun unto themselves. Each has a little twist and is a fulfilliing short story that unfolds, even though the repeated activities are dull.

I like the genre, I want better for it.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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Damn, 53 hours main story according to Howlongtobeat. Previous AC games are also filled with side missions, but at least you could finish the story relatively quickly if you want.
Howlongtobeat is pretty much as reliable as some reviewers. I’ve finished games in wayyyyyy less time than the site’s average. I guess it may be sorta reliable for visual novels, but even then there’s fast readers and slow readers.
 

mxbison

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Probably not, they want to get their review out immediately because that means more clicks.

Also they are just people playing games, their opinion doesn't have more weight than everyone else.
 
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SSfox

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Lot of Reviewers only care that you can choose male character or female character, oh so game is inclusive, oh so 9/10 great game best game ever.

Personally speaking since RDR2 it become too hard to me to play an open world game with horse gameplay without vomiting, they all looks so junky/joke/trash compare to RDR2, Ghost of Tsushima was amazing exception tho and could be best gameplay ever in a open world game (horses weren't as RDR2 level of course but better than all the other games beside)
 

Roufianos

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Valhalla is an absolute slog. There's 13 regions? I got bored out of my mind after 2.

And yea, there's not a journalist out there who I'd listen to, except maybe McCaffrey and Daemon at IGN.

I'm much more interested in what people like Colin and ACG have to say.
 

Karak

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Pretty sure most reviewers actually do complete the main game and do a bunch of the side stuff before publishing.

Its why they get review codes early.

Even a 60 hour game can be done in 2 weeks.
Yes its alot of hours to pump into a game over 2 weeks, but its your fucking job....so just do it.

Do they 100% the game I highly doubt it, sometimes you dont need to 100% a game to have a good enough understanding of it to give a proper review of it.

Maybe Karak Karak could give some insight into his process when it comes to these massive open world games.
Sure
I can speak for myself and maybe clear a bit up.

This will sound harsh but I want to say it a certain way so that people understand exactly the context in which I am trying to describe things. FYI I have 3-4 videos on this on the channel as well as the podcast on Fridays have covered this a number of times with reviewers from other groups, YouTubers, and such as well if you are interested. ACGOntwitch on Fridays(plugging it and ya I don't care because knowledge is needed)

First, the OP has a fairly large false equivalence in the realm of "I liked the movie of Braveheart and you didn't so, therefore, you don't know what you are talking about and didn't watch after the first battle" Hyperbole example aside its been used here as an example because frankly, everyone likes different things for longer or shorter times and explains them differently. If the OP's description was a review I would say it was terrible and if it was the reflection of a viewpoint it was negligent in proving anything at all if not just completely unacceptable which funny enough swings back to any content being allowed online without requirements overall.
I am using like-for-like language as the OP and its tone NOT because I actually have an issue with a damned OP post lol but because it helps in people seeing the reaction to something and how overwrought it can become.

Why?
One part of gaming no one wants to mention or talk about is...sadly talent.
I can play Badminton for 12 hours and still not be able to tell you what I just did because I do not have the skill to translate what happened. Not all people are equal and we learn. We are all shit when we start but as we learn more we SOMETIMES take that and put it back into the coverage like banking interest. I bring up talent because the talent of a twitch streamer may not be a YouTubers, a written website owner may not be the same as either of those. Open critic, metacritic and the internet as a whole don't and SHOULDN'T require some kind of resume on coverage. It's not a lack of it as much that sometimes we all have different skills. The reviewer instead should give CONTEXT. Want proof of that? Go work in Education and you can find a plethora of people with IQ that is staggering that can't get a coffee machine working.

Secondarily,
It's a reviewer's job to describe their context for WHY they liked something. In this case apparently all of Valhalla or enough to say they suggested purchasing it. That is what is being missed here apparently.
This particular game I did not love, I didn't even really LIKE it all the time. And I got heat for that. This indicates another problem with using % of those who like or dislike something on a website like open critic as meaning something. While I am in the smaller percentage of those that dislike it that means...nothing. Nothing at all. It's a number placed there that indicates the sample base but DOES NOT actually reflect even close to the number of people who played the game early as many don't end up doing reviews, or decide to cover a game a different way, and so forth. it does not reflect the words in the review, it does not say that "hey I had tech issues but it was a blast or hey I didn't have the tech issues others did and therefore I loved it."
But just because the OP and I agree on Valhalla not being the special present others do we have nothing else in common. We are not gifted with the truth nor wrong. Context is needed and for example, the context given in the description is incredibly poor for proving lack of worth as well. I bring that up because its attempting to find a reason why disagreement happens and instead of identifying the context in which it happens it's identifying collusion as the reason. Collusion is a group effort and it would be required for this particular thing to occur. The chances of that are far lower, if actually 0, compared to...reviews not giving context.

The review process itself.
While I try to cover difficulty and testing, gfx, male-female story points, and so forth it's not always possible. That's just me and what I want to do. Some others don't but might play it in another way, both are fine however again context as to what they are doing is the gateway into understanding their coverage.

That being said. I think most try to beat a game. I do and if I don't I just say so in the review in progress(which is how I treat those since maybe the story might crater in the last half). Or I do an impression or I just say fuck it and do it later like Persona Strikers and such.
I have even dropped off on my number of reviews a bit year and the tail end of last year BECAUSE I couldn't get the time due to personal life and other things eating up the timeframe. We see that for sure with others as well which therefore again throws that complaint into the meatgrinder of proven examples that don't support it as many reviews come after the initial date.
This also of course can be a result of timing for code and your own availability. I run 2 schedules, and I have no issue playing a game as long as I want if it's for review because I did that PRIOR to reviewing. Some are just doing 8 hours a day. Again...context, but also personal lives just being different. I did a 24-hour live stream for No Mans Sky, not everyone would have the time or the stupidity to do that.
NOW sometimes you can tell. In some reviews, someone will say "there isn't a skill for this or that or a fast travel for this or that..." And you are like ok either they didn't play it, or...they are just REALLY fucking bad.

I am sure some don't finish a game, and I am sure others do. For example, if someone played Cyberpunk and had a horrible technical time impacting the fun factor if they were clear in their context for not finishing a title I would have no issue looking at that review and staying "for that person that makes sense as a score"

In the end, context will always be king, and if you are not finding it from those that you follow that is more important than anything else.

Disclaimer- Also I am not nor ever excusing stupid behavior that EVERYONE including myself has done in the past, or just a bad review. I am not condoning Cyberpunk chair videos or even taking games or trips from publishers without figuring out a way to remove the well-researched and completely backed up by science physiological changes it makes. The number of people who gave Cyberpunk a pass and then...somehow snuck in podcasts or later videos sort of throwing it under the bus or flatly saying...hey man ya probably wouldn't review it the same way if I could do it again. That's just...well shitty.
IF you are asking why I just wrote that...well that's because someone could read all this and be like...but but...there is always a but but again why context is the only weapon in clearing out confusing and clarifying details for consumers purchases to be made. KNOWING that they too are completely responsible as life itself dictates that you may not like the second movie in a trilogy even if you liked the first and everyone told you it rocked.
 
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CitizenZ

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Depends on your terminology of finish. I usually take double the amount of time in a lot of cases of what reviewers say due to playing on the hardest difficulty and immersing myself into the world especially if I like the game a lot. I also dont play to meet a deadline, trying to not anger my dev friends, fanbase or receive my products for free. I play for escape, challenge and fun.
 

Golgo 13

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Ubisoft games are 1 hour of mild enjoyment spread out over 100 hours of generic characters, fetch quests, and checklists - aka the closest thing to a real-life job that a video game can provide. It’s a mediocre way to waste 100 hours of your life and zero else.
 

ShadowWolf712

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I recently beat AC Valhalla.
I put 66 hrs into the dang thing.
However, around 15 hrs into it, I realized that the game's story wasn't going to evolve past the same story beats of king making for all 13 territories. Later on, my interest of playing the game waned. I started skipping cutscenes, side activities, running through missions instead of completing them "the right way." Basically, I was done moving the controls around and wanted to see the payoff after nearly 40 hrs. ANYTHING!

AC Odyssey has been called too long. I'd agree, but it's main storyline is as long as Valhalla. During that 60 hour playtime the naval combat and sailing system shakes up the gameplay. The boat in Valhalla only serves as a clumsy way to get to raids. So, you don't ever get any on foot gameplay reprieve in Valhalla. You're almost always on foot or on a horse.

This also exposes the monotony with the advertised "raids". These are just bandit camps near the river you have to collect(on foot) 2-4 chests from. Since they all play the same, the other gameplay systems like your crew, your custom npc, hell, even your loot has little to no influence. It's almost all nearly non functional or there to sell cosmetics.

I went online and saw nearly universal acclaim from review outlets, 85% on MC, but only around 70% from gamers.
I've been called jaded before but frankly as I've gotten older my time to play has decreased but my enjoyment for games has gone up. But if I was getting paid to write reviews and I've seen this open world formula countless times, I'd probably rate Valhalla a 4.

So what am I getting at? Reviewers are supposed to be well versed in games, meaning they play many games and are familiar with many contemporary gameplay mechanics. Presumably they have an Assassin's creed fan on staff, or at the very least an open world "expert". If they have to play these long ass games that show nothing new after 15 hrs of gameplay, how are they not voicing what their readers feel? Length bloat has creeped to critical levels. AC Unity's map icons wouldn't make anyone bat an eye at this point.

Putting myself in a reviewers role, it would be tricky to play the main quest, a decent amount of the side quests AND THEN write a positive review all within a week's time. The technical and gameplay issues in my mind would be magnified, especially if you're playing on a deadline, and preparing a review. So please, reviewers of overly long games, do yourselves a favor and ask for copy and pasted 80 hr open world RPGs to cap their paperthin story to 25 hrs max OR make sure there's enough going on to warrant the gargantuan playtime.
I traded Valhalla in.

Between the absolute monotony, and then getting the ending spoiled for me (and it turning out to be a pretty lousy attempt at a plot twist that honestly irked me more than the ME3 controversy), I traded that game in at GameStop and I actively laugh when people claim it was better than Odyssey. Sure, Odyssey was bloated and over-long too, but at least there was variety. There was more fun to be had. Cannot wrap my head around how Valhalla scored better.

But we already know a lot of reviewers don't finish games. Look at Days Gone. Multiple reviewers clearly did not actually finish the game, with one of them even pointing to the fight with Carlos as the "final boss" and at least one saying the hordes were all "much smaller than expected" while referencing hordes encountered earlier in the game.

There's a lot of sketchy stuff in review culture. That's why I research everything I buy, I have only a select few reviewers and sites I trust, and even then I won't put all my trust in them. Gotta do your best to be an informed consumer.
 

TonyK

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Game is too long (I'm 120 hours on it and I don't finished yet), and a big part of it is boring, story is forgettable, secondary missions are laughable, most of NPCs are ugly AF (kids are directly 3D monsters)... but I don't know why I continue playing it and collecting everything and doing all side stuff. Game is easy and really pretty in PS5, and playing it is in someway relaxing. For me deserves a 85 score even with all its faults.
 
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bender

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I have my doubts.

The chick that did the days gone review shitted on a joke that is in the game but the joke itself get explained later in the game, if you look at her tweet about the joke it is pretty clear that she never completed the game to hear the explanation of that joke...or she is just a woke bitch that just wanted to shit on the game, there is a chance of that too.

Or she made the tweet when the flashback happened during her playthrough and never bothered to clarify once the joke was explained or occurred or the explanation wasn't satisfactory.
 
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It gets really buggy in the more populated areas like Jorvik too. Tried it on my 3090 and my Series X

The engine really starts to cave in some of those areas...Makes me feel like they played the first couple hours lol
 
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Considering the Assassin's Creed franchise started with this, I'm shocked to find people complaining the gameplay is repetitive 15 years and 58 entries in the series later.

 
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GeekyDad

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I never felt a game reviewer needed to play an entire game in order to render a good opinion about a game. That's the thing I think a lot of folks have lost sight of: it's an opinion. They should perhaps be transparent in stating how much of the game they did play, and offer the simple caveat of "my impressions from what I did play are..." etc., etc., but it just doesn't seem practical to play every 65-hours game through to the end. Reviews are, just like the games being reviewed are, entertainment, as much as they are information.

That's my opinion, anyway, from what I've played of NeoGAF. :p
 

Hypereides

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I reckon they largely base their reviews on around 5~7 hours of initial play. Even our dear Jason Schreier admitted once over on Resetera he only played two of the 8 character paths in Octopath traveller before submitting his review, for instance, and promptly tried to backpeddle on it.

If they can't master it within that timeframe 90% of journos will laud it as a faliure or trash. The thing they seem to mostly evaluate games by is their graphics and story. They dislike anything in between (gameplay) and if its too challenging it usually gets berated for it. Don't take their word on anything. Listen to the various viewpoints of your peers that actually finish the games in question if anything.

I can't imagine actually listening to games reviewers opinions or caring what they think. They are not authorities on game quality. They are not people who play video games as a hobby or for enjoyment. They are workers with external motivators driving their playtime. It is impossible to objectively judge the merits of games quality when said game is obstructing your free time. If a game is difficult, it may get a lower score simply because the reviewer is bad and has no intrinsic want to be challenged like someone looking to buy that game would. Meanwhile if the game is easy, maybe it gets higher rated because the reviewer banged it out and the game can be more adequately judged for its merits. If a game is repetitive, like asscreed, maybe you find that gameplay enjoyable for 20 hours so you sing its praises, not caring if it grows tiring because you have effectively seen all you needed to write your review. This isn't factoring in sponsors, fear of black listing, editors, fear of backlash from a rabid fanbase or deadlines.

Tldr, don't listen to game reviews. Read the opinions of other users and have confidence in your own personal judgment.

This man, right here, just won 10000 interwebs.
 
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