Metacritic to introduce stricter moderation due to Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores review bombing
by Danny Craig ·
Metacritic’s parent company, Fandom, has issued a statement regarding the review bombing of Horizon Forbidden West’s latest expansion on its site, condemning the comments and announcing that it is "evolving" its existing moderation system.
- Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores was released on April 19 to positive reviews, with many praising its gameplay and visuals; however, some players took offense to a specific plot point, causing the Metacritic user score to fall to a low of 2.7. The plot point in question involves protagonist Aloy and her new companion Seyka, with the player being given the option of having the characters share a same-sex kiss. The entirely optional event has prompted "critics" to slam the game, accusing PlayStation of pushing a "woke agenda.”
- Following the review bombing, Metacritic released a statement to Eurogamer calling the wave of false reviews "abusive and disrespectful" and assuring users that its moderation team "reviews each and every report of abuse (including but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic, insults to other users, etc.) and if violations occur, the reviews are removed." As a result of the situation, Metacritic is now going the extra mile by "evolving its processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months," with many of the reviews already being removed from the site.
- Review bombing is nothing new, with gamers using it to draw attention to a variety of issues with which they disagree, some of which are more justified than others. After over 2,000 angry players voiced their displeasure with the game's poor technical and graphical performance, the controversial remaster of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy received a combined user score of 0.5 in 2021. The Last of Us: Part II, on the other hand, scored a 3.4, with fans citing a poor plot, repetitive gameplay, and the inclusion of "woke content" due to the new protagonist Abby.
More Sony news:
- Guerrilla may have plans to develop the Decima Engine for use in projects outside of the studio, with the studio's former co-director stepping down to become a technical director focused on the engine. The engine could be made available to other PlayStation studios as well as third-party developers such as Kojima Productions.
- After entering a publishing partnership with the developer in 2021, PlayStation has acquired Firewalk Studios, with the studio continuing to work on its first-ever IP, which is described as a "modern multiplayer game that connects players in new and innovative ways.”
- A PlayStation showcase is rumored to take place before Summer Game Fest on June 8th. Sony is expected to reveal some of its biggest games as well as future hardware such as the new base PS5 model and upcoming earbuds.