Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, was released on May 10 for the PlayStation 4 and has been met with praise from both fans and critics alike.
One review, however, didn’t agree with the consensus. The review was via Michael Thomsen, via The Washington Post, and he ultimately felt the game was flawed. This review did not please series fans and a change.org petition was created to have the score removed from Metacritic.
This then caught the attention of popular voice actor Troy Baker, better known as Nathan Drake’s brother Sam in Uncharted 4. Baker, in support, shared the petition to his followers via twitter. As of now, the petition numbers 5000 signatures. –The review has also made Thomsen a target of insults and threats alike via social media.
@mike_thomsen you should be put to sleep… @washingtonpost please give us his head as an apology!
— Efra Rizo (@Efra_Rizo) May 16, 2016
This does bring forth a number of issues for the field of video game criticism. If a reviewer’s opinion doesn’t match the public, is his or her view not legitimate? Are triple AAA titles holy grails that can’t have any form of negative press? Are reviews safe? Then there’s the issue of is this a form of censorship if the petition succeeds in getting his score removed?
If removal of the review is achieved then a much larger problem would develop. Gaming companies could use this method to paint their product in a brighter light despite any flaws; be they small, apparent and otherwise.
In that scenario, the consumer would be at the disadvantage. Story is still developing.