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This is it, this is the end... RIP Knack, Killzone and Contrast. You didn't even properly launch to the public but the media has already killed you. The games that will help usher in the next generation of the PlayStation 4 are dead on arrival at everyone's favorite review pool aggregator, Metacritic.
While user reviews aren't available (since none of the games are available to the public) the reviews from major gaming media, the head honchos of criticizing interactive digital media, the kings of gaming's critical consensus, the cardinals of console animadversion, the oligarchs of online game reviews and the constituents of the Doritocracy have spoken... and it isn't good.
Knack sits miserably on Metacritic at 59 out of 100, with IGN leading the 59 and lower crusade against the game that was steeped in Cernification by Mark Cerny himself – the lead architect of the PlayStation 4. Some Italian site called “Multiplayer.it” gave it a 50; GamesRadar chalked up a 50 to match their Italian peers, and Joystiq broke Doritocratic protocol and went full critic with a 30 out of 100. It's like someone poured some Vampire Rain into the reviewers' cereal or something. That's almost worse than Bush's approval rating before he was basically dragged and booted out of office in '08. Dang... that's harsh.
Contrast, the artful indie-style game that aims to appeal to hipsters, kids and platformphiles alike, only managed to fare slightly better than its Cernified counterpart, boasting only a 67 out of 100 on Metacritic. I guess being a hipster indie-style game didn't appeal to the hipster reviewers. The game should have been more psychedelic like Noby, Noby Boy so the LSD smokers could have given it a higher score.
Killzone: Shadow Fall wasn't doing any better on the review aggregator, managing only 74 out of 100. In the world of game reviews, gamers and reviewers only score games on a scale of 7 to 10, and this means that Killzone: Shadow Fall is about four points above a game bad enough to make you commit suicide. Dreadful... just dreadful. At least if it scored 8 out of 10 on average, gamers could claim the reviewers were paid off and proceed to pepper reviewers with death threats over Twitter... but 7 out of 10? Dang, there's no hope, no redemption; just surrender and retreat.
Resogun is the only game that saves face for Sony. The game picks up its breeches and marches to the beat of success like none of its compatriots. Since Resogun is being promoted as an indie game and it carries an average of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic, it means it's a startling success. Indie games getting 82 out of 100 is like... um... 82 out of 100. If it were an AAA title, you could cue the death threats and Facebook spam.
Sadly, Sony's worldwide studio head honcho, Shuhei “The Boss” Yoshida wasn't entirely pleased with the piss-poor review scores that make Michael Bay's Tomato Meter look like it was critiqued as fine French art by comparison. Videogamer picked up quotes from the interview Yoshida had with GamesIndustry.biz, where “The Boss” stated that...
"Yeah, it's disappointing to see some of the low scores," … "And with this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly," he continued, "and especially since the online functionality wasn't ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores. It's disappointing but I don't think it's worrisome for the launch of the system.”
As of the writing of this article, there are only seven hours left until users have a chance to correct the review scores of gaming media, which should prove interesting as the lines in the battlegrounds of the console war have been drawn between reviewers and gamers... a little like South Park.