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Despite my efforts to avoid the power of influence when it comes to video game reviews, I’m still one of those people who skips to the end of a review to see a score. We’ve all done it, you see a number below 80% and automatically write the game off as an average turd. Hell, there have been games I’ve been genuinely enjoying playing, only to be put off by a review score and feel as though the game isn’t worth completing. This was the case, until very recently where I learnt that placing all of one’s trust into someone else’s opinion is a dangerous thing and could lead to some of the best experiences being missed.
The game that lead to this personal epiphany was Alien: Isolation. One of the greatest, most intense experiences I’ve ever had with any piece of media. I played this amazing game in 2019, keep in mind it was released in 2014! Why the huge wait? Well at the time of release I was strictly following one particular publication above all others. After following the game for months, when they finally released their review, I saw the big 5.9 and turned my nose up. I’m a huge Alien fan and felt angered by yet another average attempt at this world and immediately disregarded it. What a mistake I made!
Fast forward 5 years and thanks to the awesome Xbox Game Pass, I stumbled upon Alien Isolation. I figured “meh, why not”…my mind was blown! How could I have not played this sooner! The only gameplay I had seen had been from the previously mentioned publication’s recordings of frustrating A.I. This was not the experience I expected. A completely authentic Bioshock rivalling world, slow burn inch-by-inch horror gameplay and some of the best visuals I had seen in a game. This was for all intents and purposes a masterpiece which I would have easily rated a 90% and above. The game is truly a horror masterpiece and gives you those same goose bumps and uneasy feelings the original movie did. As I’ve gotten older games haven’t excited me the way they once did, Alien:Isolation had me on the edge of my seat with my heart pounding. In case I’m not making it clear, you should play this game!
In my opinion, a game is a true work of art if it leaves you thinking about it, it’s been over a month and I still can’t get over the experience. I would kill for a sequel but after doing some research it seems the review that put me off, did so to a whole lot of other gamers too. A damn shame! If I had watched some actual gameplay and formed own opinion, I wouldn’t have missed out for over 5 years. In the review that turned me away from the game, the games difficulty was labelled as too hard…I played Alien on the hardest difficulty and had the time of my life!
The point I’m trying to make is, you know yourself as a gamer. Don’t put all of your stock into the opinions of others. Now I’m not saying Game Reviews are meaningless, they can be a good guide and inform you of a game’s overall quality. They can’t however tell you if YOU will enjoy a game or not. You need to decide that. So many hidden gems and awesome experiences are out there being overlooked due to either bad reviews or no reviews. Form your own opinions! I also want to mention another game called Tenchu Z released on the Xbox 360. I absolutely adored this game. You genuinely felt like a ninja while playing it and the feudal Japan setting was excellent. I poured many hours into the game. Out of curiosity I checked the games reviews from when it was released and it sits around a 50% average…