- By way of happy MMO blogger Yeebo Fernbottom, I discovered that Eurogamer had gone through with its re-review of Darkfall. Kieron Gillen, an accomplished game and music journalist as well as the author of the awesome comic book Phonogram, not only gives a remarkable, in depth review of the game, but also muses on the original review kerfuffle, review ideas he scrapped, and how to go about writing an MMORPG review at all.
- The review itself is both fair and entertaining, everything I want when I read about a game. Gillen walks a careful line that praises the game's positive aspect while tackling the issues where it fails. He does so without fear of offending Aventurine and the Darkfall fan base, and he does not go out of his way to offend them either.
- The review sets a good technical example for MMO review writers. More importantly though, the meta-commentary should guide the debate about how MMOs should be reviewed in the future. It reminded me of Tipa's miniature tirade wherein she implied that MMOs are basically unreviewable. Gillen's idea is that there should be two reviews of a game: an initial review to tell you whether you should invest in the game and a follow up review to determine if the subscription is worthwhile. I understand why some might prefer a long term retrospective that encompasses the entire game experience, the realities and purposes of a consumer-oriented review don't allow for this kind of depth. I do think such a piece would be excellent for examining how an MMO has changed over time and whether or not a new player can find a place in an elder game community.
- If you haven't read the re-review, you owe it to yourself to investigate the link above. Just steer clear of any rabid Darkfall fans.
© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
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