EVE Online Blogging Community Reviews Its Own Game
Reviewing games is a tricky business, MMOs even more so. The sheer magnitude of any MMO universe coupled with the volume of content and the timescale required to investigate it all makes reviewing a massively multiplayer game almost impossible for a single games journalist. But is there another way?
The Community Voice
With an active blogging community keen to share opinions both positive and negative, I saw EVE Online as a good test-bed to attempt a crowd-sourced review. The regular community tradition of the EVE Blog Banters served as the perfect platform to harness the power of the player-base and encourage it to look into its own heart.
So many different avenues of gameplay exist within the New Eden sandbox that gaining an expert view of each, alongside broader reviews from players new and old, served as an interesting experiment to see if a more accurate and informative appraisal could be distilled from the multiple opinions submitted.
A team of twenty reviewers with nearly 100 years of EVE experience between them delivered their thoughts on the recent developments and evolution of the ageing space-sim. More than ten years of development gives EVE Online both incredible depth and impenetrable complexity and CCP's recent development choices have drawn forth varied opinions.
After a near-catastrophic development misstep in 2010, the subsequent development cycle has seen CCP Games go back to basics, focusing on refining existing gameplay and updating archaic UI elements. The last three free expansions; Crucible, Inferno and Retribution, have defined the current era for EVE Online and the reviewers largely concur that the iteration cycle has been a positive one that has pleased established players.
However, a key negative was one of content. With the recent strategy almost exclusively adding polish to existing features, CCP's aversion to introducing anything that they have previously described as a “Jesus Feature” may be a barrier to attracting new players.
Fifteen of the twenty reviewers provided an assortment of scores for the aspects of EVE Online upon which they focused, this ranged from general concepts such as graphics and sound, to more esoteric aspects such as community, the crafting system and individual changes brought about in recent patches.
The final average score was 80.4%.