On Gamespot, in their reviews, at the start, they break down the game into the good and the bad.
For example, in Fallout New Vegas, they have this to say:
Incredibly huge and detailed world, loaded with stuff to do. Etc.
Some quests are not enjoyable. Main story isn't compelling.
And yet Kevin VanOrd, who wrote this review, sums up by saying:
“Fallout: New Vegas is periodically awesome and consistently compelling.”
During the video review (available here: http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/falloutnewvegas/video/6282519/fallout-new-vegas-video-review?hd=1) he talks about the numerous problems of the game, which seem largely technical, and always counters by insisting the game is “really good.”
“Make no mistake, this is an outrageously buggy game, with major technical problems….manages to be totally fun in spite of it all.
Multitude of bugs…things break in pretty amazing ways….crashes are common, the game slows down the more you play, and the loading times get longer and longer. These things wouldn’t be so bad but…missions are broken too. And of course that doesn’t include the problems associated with the aging engine powering this game, that includes horrible pathfinding, NPCs bumbling around in rather pathetic ways and so on.
But make no mistake this is still a really great game. Some of the surprises, like an assassin that chases you round a casino, aren’t really that good.
You probably weren’t expecting things to break to the extent that they do in New Vegas. And yet this still is a really good game.”
I know I’m nitpicking here, arguing semantics, being a pedantic motherfucker, but this review is the culmination of how shit reviews for games are.
They’re so general, so generic and basic, devoid of all personality. They’re so even handed, saying, basically, this game is perfectly average by being so bad and so good at the same time.
I’ve been playing New Vegas, and enjoying it.
I was bored, admittedly, by the time I finished creating a character, but the sense that the world exists outside the player is something absent in so many games. The faction system is a great way of letting the actions of the player affect the world, and shape the experience of New Vegas.
That’s what I hated about Fallout 3, it just had nothing going for it. The combat was tedious, the characters were fucking dreadful, nothing you did had any consequence whatsoever.
New Vegas is what I wanted Fallout 3 to be. Now, do you see there how I wrote I wanted. I’m not saying this review, of a review, is any good, but I have quickly laid out what I didn’t like about Fallout 3, and what I did like, by contrast, in New Vegas.
I can say something is good, or bad, until my tongue wraps round my eyes, and not in a good way, but until you have context, and opinion, that doesn’t mean shit.