Well let me tell you, I have the flu and that statement is a bold-faced lie. The flu is far more… okay sorry I couldn’t resist.
I think I counted six people wanting me to comment on this whole Eurogamer and Darkfall spat. My gut reaction was “huh? who cares about someone reviewing a game poorly?” because I don’t care how the big gaming sites review games. My interest in this feud wasn’t piqued until Tasos (the voice of Darkfall) started rebuking Eurogamer’s claims with lines like “our server code says differently so nah nah!”
I read the Eurogamer review and the guy obviously didn’t like the game. It’s also obvious he didn’t play it much. By his own admission he played the game for 9 hours. I think it took me that long to figure out the controls in Darkfall, so I’ll give Ed some credit for being able to write any review in that short amount of time. In general, his review was too negative. Had he been less negative he could have said the exact same things but not come off as a hater. But it’s not my place to tell this guy how or how not to review games that he plays – that’s Eurogamer’s job and they seem just fine with it.
Where I can comment though is in the accuracy of his statements. A lot of the specific details about the game are twisted to match the author’s dramatic flare of negativity, thus they become exaggerations and blown out of proportion. Any intelligent reader should be able to pick up on that immediately whether or not they have played the game. The author deviates from fact to fiction to paint a better picture for his negativity, but the gist of what he is saying is true. Darkfall is based on attrition. There is very little to see and do in Darkfall. There is no real application of lore to tie anything in the game together. The skill system is inferior to EVE’s (and every other skill system, imo). A lot of the game is an incongruous mess of poor code and overlap from features half-developed but now abandoned.
Aventurine made the mistake here. The mistake was to react to this review in the way they did. People already know that you either love Darkfall or you absolutely hate it with a passion whose fires could melt the sun. Why they needed to direct 100x the traffic that the review would have seen to read something obviously twisted (albeit right in many ways) is beyond my ability to comprehend. But they did. Now how could they have done a better job refuting the claims? I would have offered up examples: Offered up features, examples of things to do in-game, explained some of the clan conflicts that have gone on, shown how sieges are the bread and butter, etc. Yet, Aventurine has not done any of that. They’re simply trying to misdirect the review away from the game and onto the fact that this guy played for only a few hours. It’s either because they feel their game can’t stand up on its own or they’re really that clueless.
Eurogamer is going to review Darkfall again. This time they’re putting Kieron Gillen on the task. Aventurine gets what they deserve here because, however irrelevant a second review from the same site may be, they’re still going to get a second negative review (hopefully more constructive) and this time from a more well known reviewer. My advice to Aventurine is that they simply be quiet and take care of the players they do have while they still have them.
I do think that 2/10 is unfair based on Eurogamer’s scale. I would have given it a 4/10 after reading the explanation of how they rate games. Darkfall does have redeeming qualities. Deciding whether or not they redeem the game to the tune of $15 a month is entirely up to you.
Read the Eurogamer review for yourself here.