Tom McShea reviews Bioshock Infinite. Gives it a 4/10.

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#1 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

We were just talking about his reviews in the Beyond thread and realized that it's not Gamespot mandating review scores that go against the metacritic average, it's probably just Tom who has an awful taste in video games.

So just to recap. No gameplay Beyond 9/10. TLOU, Zelda and Bioshock Infinite.... lots of (non-existant) issues with gameplay 8,7.5 and 4 respectively. Awesome!

BioShock Infinite / PC

THE GOOD
Gorgeous visual design
Amazing soundtrack
THE BAD
Tedious, never-ending combat
Story refuses to explore difficult situations the premise presents
Mechanics clash with the narrative
4.0
http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/bioshock-infinite-a-fan-scorned/1900-6415464/
Bioshock Infinite is a poorly conceived adventure that struggles to form a cohesive whole. By borrowing the core elements of BioShock but never working them properly into the narrative, the action is constantly at odds with the story. Infinite stands as one of the greatest disappointments in my gaming life because I know what Irrational is capable of and could only see the squandered potential of its latest foray. Infinite has a fascinating world, in both visual design and story premise, so it's a shame that its vision falters, shying away from exploring any potentially unsettling plot thread in favor of focusing on choppy action sequences that endlessly drag on. BioShock Infinite is an incoherent mess that fails in both its shooting and its story.Credit Tom McShea
#2 Posted by speedfog (2851 posts) -

That's a horrible review, I think Tom just wants to have some attention...

#3 Edited by Randolph (10344 posts) -

If I could go the rest of my life without ever reading that name again, I'd be a happier man for it.

#4 Posted by Koffdrop (14 posts) -

I've not read the review in full yet. I tried to like this game. I admire its detail and setting but found the shooting mechanics not compelling enough for me to continue playing.

The story, however, I remained interested in. So I simply ended up watching a Lets Play edit of all the story elements and to see how it played out. I think it was pretty smart. Somewhat Shyamalan-esque (try saying that three times quickly!) but, for video-games, pretty smart.

#5 Posted by Planeforger (15401 posts) -

if he's mainly commenting on the weak gameplay and flimsy story, then a 4/10 doesn't seem terribly wrong - at least in the sense that Bioshock Infinite was arguably 'below average' for the type of game it wanted to be.

#6 Edited by c_rakestraw (14544 posts) -

I want to see him review Dark Souls so it can get the 10 it rightfully deserves.

#7 Edited by Randolph (10344 posts) -

@c_rake said:

I want to see him review Dark Souls so it can get the 10 it rightfully deserves.

Given how easily frustrated he gets with some other tougher games, it'd likely go well in the opposite direction.

#8 Edited by c_rakestraw (14544 posts) -
@Randolph said:

Given how easily frustrated he gets with some other tougher games, it'd likely go well in the opposite direction.

You'd think, but no. He's been extremely vocal about his adoration for Dark Souls. He brings it up every chance he gets.

#9 Posted by D3s7rUc71oN (5180 posts) -

Haha I saw it and I just lol'd, Tom is trying too hard. Looking forward to his next high profile game review :P

#10 Posted by drekula2 (1880 posts) -

Half of the criticisms in his review are legit. Half are just him being excessively anal.

I still think that even if the game is saddled in flaws, a 4 is generally reserved for the Duke Nukem Forevers and the like.

But I do like him setting the precedent of

A - vastly disagreeing with the main reviewer in a second take

B - making it okay for a critic to give a low score to a big budget game (which isnt okay today)

#11 Posted by scoots9 (3189 posts) -

I'd say it's more like a 7.5 really.

#12 Edited by R4gn4r0k (16043 posts) -

Please someone give Tom some attention :cry:

#13 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

But I do like him setting the precedent of

A - vastly disagreeing with the main reviewer in a second take

B - making it okay for a critic to give a low score to a big budget game (which isnt okay today)

I agree.

Personally, this review / score sound about right to me. I haven't played Infinite (and I don't want to), but BioShock is one of the most disappointing games I've ever played.

#14 Posted by dvader654 (44752 posts) -

Unbelievable, actually no its believable and that is sad. I guess even crazy people need a reviewer they can relate to. :P

#15 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18057 posts) -

Love how they posted an objective review about an average game only after they cashed in the advertising money. From now on I guess we'll have to wait 6 months for the actual reviews to come out for overhyped games ;)

The 4.0 score is bullcrap though.

#16 Edited by GodModeEnabled (15314 posts) -

A 4/10 denotes to me a game that is barely playable. It could have bad camera work, voice acting, glitches, terrible controls, poor level design, bad mechanics, and a myriad of other problems- or perhaps all these problems, and it would qualify to be a game rated so low.

Bioshock Infinite has none of these problems. While I found it certainly didn't live up to the first two (imo) it is in no universe (even infinite ones) that poor of a game.

#17 Posted by Ish_basic (3892 posts) -

@GodModeEnabled:

I thought one of the goals of "the new gamespot" was to start using all the numbers on the scale. Under the old rubric, a 4 would be overly harsh, but maybe it means something different here.

In any case, I didn't find myself disagreeing with anything he wrote in the review. The Bioshock games have lacked in character development, their narratives have been overrated, and their themes are presented but rarely explored. On a gameplay front, this series still isn't as fun as Psi-Ops, which offered a similar combination of psionic powers and gunplay near a decade ago. This franchise is all about undelivered potential. I agree with McShea on that.

#18 Posted by experience_fade (255 posts) -

I don't think I've ever laughed more at a review. Wow.

Just wow.

#19 Posted by Lucky_Krystal (1730 posts) -

So they're going to start having second opinion reviews? I like the sound of that.

#20 Posted by The_Last_Ride (68892 posts) -

i can't take this troll serious anymore

#21 Posted by loafofgame (370 posts) -

A 4/10 denotes to me a game that is barely playable. It could have bad camera work, voice acting, glitches, terrible controls, poor level design, bad mechanics, and a myriad of other problems- or perhaps all these problems, and it would qualify to be a game rated so low.

Bioshock Infinite has none of these problems. While I found it certainly didn't live up to the first two (imo) it is in no universe (even infinite ones) that poor of a game.

@drekula2 said:

Half of the criticisms in his review are legit. Half are just him being excessively anal.

I still think that even if the game is saddled in flaws, a 4 is generally reserved for the Duke Nukem Forevers and the like.

But I do like him setting the precedent of

A - vastly disagreeing with the main reviewer in a second take

B - making it okay for a critic to give a low score to a big budget game (which isnt okay today)

@GodModeEnabled:

I thought one of the goals of "the new gamespot" was to start using all the numbers on the scale. Under the old rubric, a 4 would be overly harsh, but maybe it means something different here.

In any case, I didn't find myself disagreeing with anything he wrote in the review. The Bioshock games have lacked in character development, their narratives have been overrated, and their themes are presented but rarely explored. On a gameplay front, this series still isn't as fun as Psi-Ops, which offered a similar combination of psionic powers and gunplay near a decade ago. This franchise is all about undelivered potential. I agree with McShea on that.

All these comments make me think that dropping scores alltogether is the best way to go. They either show that the score isn't particularly relevant when agreeing or disagreeing with a review, or they point out that what constitutes a fair score is mostly a subjective judgment. Somehow a lot of people can't help but connect numbers to some (in my opinion largely imaginary) objective consensus about what aspects/arguments have more or less weight when scoring a game. People read other people's opinions (at least, that's what I naively assume), some agreeing and some disagreeing and a lot also give their view on what the score should have been (which range from 1 to 10). Shouldn't that alone make every individual aware of the illusion of objective scoring and the utter uselessness (in my opinion) of scores? Tom didn't like the story and some vital gameplay elements. For him that defines a poor game, and he was backed up by (let's just cautiously say) a significant amount of people. Whether his arguments were good or bad is up for debate. Whether his score was correct or not is an absolutely meaningless discussion in my view.

#22 Posted by Oil_Rope_Bombs (2671 posts) -

@c_rake: Ya brotato, dark souls II really needs a 10 over overhyped skyrim trash.

#23 Posted by MirkoS77 (6844 posts) -

Haven't played it yet so I can't say much, but as another mentioned, a 4 pretty much signifies problems with a game that renders it nigh unplayable. Haven't heard of any of that from any other reviews.

But... I am enjoying Beyond Two Souls so far!

Either way, you have my attention, Tom! Tom. Tom?

#24 Edited by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

While I actually liked Infinite a lot, I actually had a similar feeling he had when playing it. There is way, way too much combat in this game, and it does feel like filler. The game is story-based and tries really really hard to tell a compelling story, but it treats combat like necessary filler. It gives you bits of narrative, then says "here, kill all of these people FOR NO REASON, other than the fact that this is a video game and you need to commit a genocide". Fighting the police and Comstock's army made sense. Every other confrontations were forced and were not convincing at all from a story standpoint. And they weren't even fun.

I felt like I was playing something that was much less interesting than what the developers had in mind. They had a great story in mind, but were limited by their conception of the FPS genre. It's hard to tell a story that makes any sense while your main character is forced to commit a genocide.

And it really doesn't help that the enemies have no AI and that the combat is about on par with FPS from the early 2000s. So what we've left with is a game that has too much combat, and the combat sucks. I ended up looking past these flaws and still enjoying the game, but honestly, about halfway through the game I was already going through every fight thinking "let's get this over with so we can get to the fun parts: the narrative, and exploring the game world looking for clues".

Btw, scores are useless, stop crying about it. Let's make this thread about the text, not the number. Instead of seeing 4/10, you should be seeing "Wasted Potential/10"

#25 Edited by nintendoboy16 (25813 posts) -

With this, I wonder what other games are going to get second opinions on. I wouldn't be surprised of SMG2, a 10/10 by Tom McShea, got a lower score by another reviewer (which to be honest, I didn't feel that game was worth a 10/10)

#26 Posted by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -

We were just talking about his reviews in the Beyond thread and realized that it's not Gamespot mandating review scores that go against the metacritic average, it's probably just Tom who has an awful taste in video games.

So just to recap. No gameplay Beyond 9/10. TLOU, Zelda and Bioshock Infinite.... lots of (non-existant) issues with gameplay 8,7.5 and 4 respectively. Awesome!

BioShock Infinite / PC

THE GOOD
Gorgeous visual design
Amazing soundtrack
THE BAD
Tedious, never-ending combat
Story refuses to explore difficult situations the premise presents
Mechanics clash with the narrative
4.0
http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/bioshock-infinite-a-fan-scorned/1900-6415464/
Bioshock Infinite is a poorly conceived adventure that struggles to form a cohesive whole. By borrowing the core elements of BioShock but never working them properly into the narrative, the action is constantly at odds with the story. Infinite stands as one of the greatest disappointments in my gaming life because I know what Irrational is capable of and could only see the squandered potential of its latest foray. Infinite has a fascinating world, in both visual design and story premise, so it's a shame that its vision falters, shying away from exploring any potentially unsettling plot thread in favor of focusing on choppy action sequences that endlessly drag on. BioShock Infinite is an incoherent mess that fails in both its shooting and its story.Credit Tom McShea

Not sure if thats a joke but a 4 might be a bit too harsh, i would 100% agree with a 6 or 7. But great review and he is right in his "The Bad" conclusions.

#27 Posted by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -
@c_rake said:

I want to see him review Dark Souls so it can get the 10 it rightfully deserves.

You should be banned by yourself from this forum for even mentioning Dark Souls and 10 in the same sentence, talk about a more overrated game is not possible :D

#28 Posted by adrianjarca (63 posts) -

I find that Tom is the the most level-headed of all GS's reviewers solely because he seems to be unaffected by hype.

#30 Posted by Arthas045 (5047 posts) -

I just want to know when did we start redoing reviews...... Either way I think this was done for attention. A very hyped game, by one of the most controvesial reviewers on the site.....

#31 Edited by so_hai (1683 posts) -

If I was the chief editor at gamespot, I would wonder why he is consistently running against the consensus. Once or twice on major releases is fine, but when the disparity is this chronic, there may be deeper reasons that need to be looked at.

#32 Edited by The_Last_Ride (68892 posts) -

@so_hai said:

If I was the chief editor at gamespot, I would wonder why he is consistently running against the consensus. Once or twice on major releases is fine, but when the disparity is this chronic, there may be deeper reasons that need to be looked at.

He just goes against everyone else when it comes to reviews, i find him to be hipster and sloppy in most of his reviews. That's why i don't read them or take them seriously

#33 Edited by GiantAssPanda (1590 posts) -

@speedfog said:

That's a horrible review, I think Tom just wants to have some attention...

Yep. Pretty much.

#34 Edited by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -

@so_hai said:

If I was the chief editor at gamespot, I would wonder why he is consistently running against the consensus. Once or twice on major releases is fine, but when the disparity is this chronic, there may be deeper reasons that need to be looked at.

Yep, because every person is the same and think the same right? Also this is just a 2/3rd opinion of Bioshock, Kevins 9 is still there and stands.

#35 Posted by Ballroompirate (21622 posts) -

@speedfog said:

That's a horrible review, I think Tom just wants to have some attention...

Yep. Pretty much.

Been saying that for two years since his Zelda SS review. He dropped the bomb for TLOU review when he stated in the spoiler cast that he though Joel was the worst character ever in a video game AND movie....the look on those other two editors was priceless and to see Tom derp so low.

#36 Posted by LordOfPoms (1086 posts) -

You do realize he's allowed to have a differing opinion than you, right?

#37 Posted by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -

You do realize he's allowed to have a differing opinion than you, right?

You are wrong , people are only allowed to have one opinion and thats what the most vocal majority has.

#38 Edited by GiantAssPanda (1590 posts) -

You do realize he's allowed to have a differing opinion than you, right?

Yes. But I still think he's craving for attention.

#39 Posted by spike6958 (4650 posts) -

Why do people pay any attention to McShea's reviews? If people stopped drawing attention to them, and thus stop generating hits to his pages, he'll probably stop been an ass. Because that's the thing, a lot of reviews are paid "per view", so every time someone clicks on a review they earn the site and themselves some money, so McShea constantly writes controversial reviews knowing they annoy people and generate more hits and earn him more money. In the words of Admiral Ackbar, "It's a Trap".

#40 Posted by bobbetybob (19086 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

Haven't played it yet so I can't say much, but as another mentioned, a 4 pretty much signifies problems with a game that renders it nigh unplayable. Haven't heard of any of that from any other reviews.

But... I am enjoying Beyond Two Souls so far!

Either way, you have my attention, Tom! Tom. Tom?

I wouldn't say unplayable, more like un-enjoyable, something like Resi 6 which got a 4.5, the game is playable but for me at least, for the few hours I played, it was a frustrating mess of horrible design choices.

As for this review certain points I agree with certain points I don't, I personally found the game enjoyable from start to finish, the gameplay certainly isn't fantastic but it's not bad either, it's in line with something like Spec Ops I'd say. It was only after finishing the game and thinking about it so much that the issues start to arise, whilst the crazy ending is very well done in my opinion (it actually isn't as full of plot holes as most movies that do similar things) the racism aspect and the revolution stuff with Daisy Fitzroy is very badly explored, and the way stuff happens as you move through the city feels so robotic, it doesn't feel alive. Even then it's still a great game just not the super amazing one I felt it was after just finishing it.

#41 Posted by Randolph (10344 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

B - making it okay for a critic to give a low score to a big budget game (which isnt okay today)

You didn't read the RE6 review, I take it?

#42 Posted by c_rakestraw (14544 posts) -
@Jacanuk said:

You should be banned by yourself from this forum for even mentioning Dark Souls and 10 in the same sentence, talk about a more overrated game is not possible :D

I should ban you instead for speaking such sacrilege.

#43 Edited by Randolph (10344 posts) -

Dark Souls gives me so many conflicted feels. It's really hard to describe the intense love and the passionate hate I have for that game. I can argue with crake and rag for hours about horrible design decisions in the game, then if someone put it in front of me, I'd play it for hours, raging the whole time AVGN style.

#44 Edited by dvader654 (44752 posts) -

@adrianjarca said:

I find that Tom is the the most level-headed of all GS's reviewers solely because he seems to be unaffected by hype.

So unaffected by hype means your taste in games is complete shit.

#45 Edited by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -

@Randolph said:

Dark Souls gives me so many conflicted feels. It's really hard to describe the intense love and the passionate hate I have for that game. I can argue with crake and rag for hours about horrible design decisions in the game, then if someone put it in front of me, I'd play it for hours, raging the whole time AVGN style.

And you would be right in every single critic of the design in Dark Souls.

But the problem with Dark Souls is that its a ok game for what it is but not more than that.

#46 Edited by Bigboi500 (28804 posts) -

haha that puts the GS average for this game @ 6.5 out of 10. :o

#47 Edited by Jacanuk (3636 posts) -

@adrianjarca said:

I find that Tom is the the most level-headed of all GS's reviewers solely because he seems to be unaffected by hype.

So unaffected by hype means your taste in games is complete shit.

Then you are lucky you´re not him and have to play the same games.

And Tom is right in his view on Bioshock Infinite

#48 Edited by redskins26rocs (2674 posts) -

I want Tom Mcshea to review BF4 because I believe he would give that a 4. He seems to appreciate games that are innovative and different, and I think he feels it is wrong that games that are not get all the fame. I think he feels special by hating on these successful and well-known games, and giving some innovative or different titles the high scores even if they are flawed. Just my analysis based on that video, and I am probably wrong

#49 Posted by Bigboi500 (28804 posts) -

So they're going to start having second opinion reviews? I like the sound of that.

Me too. Maybe now people will realize that these review scores are nothing more than personal opinion, and they can no longer hold any single person's opinion as some sort of truth.

#50 Posted by 1PMrFister (3134 posts) -

I haven't played Bioshock Infinite, so I can't comment on his review one way or the other. However, it's worth mentioning that Tom McShea doesn't assign the scores to his reviews. He's stated a few times that the other reviewers read his review and then determine the score from that. Make of this what you will.