Review aggregate website Metacritic has implemented a 36-hour delay to its user-written video game reviews "to ensure [its] gamers have time to play games before writing their reviews".
Metacritic reportedly confirmed the policy change wasn't implemented because of any one specific game but was instead "based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts".
"We recently implemented the 36 hour waiting period for all user reviews in our games section to ensure our gamers have time to play these games before writing their reviews," a Metacritic spokesperson told its sister site, Gamespot. "This new waiting period for user reviews has been rolled out across Metacritic's Games section and was based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts."
The delay is already in place, so if you're tempted to head on over to Metacritic to leave your views on Ghost of Tsushima or Paper Mario: The Origami King, which both released yesterday, a note asks you to "please spend some time playing the game" before inviting commenters to return a few days post-release.
The change follows other platforms that have also had to take steps to address review bombing, such as Steam, which saw Borderlands 1 and 2 adversely affected after 2K announced Borderlands 3 will be a six-month timed exclusive on the Epic Games store. After Valve's new anti-review bombing measures kicked in, "off-topic" reviews were excluded from the review score by default.
Whilst you wait for the user reviews to go live, Chris Tapswell said in the Eurogamer Ghost of Tsushima review that it was "desperately frustrating" even though it "still, largely, quite fun".
"The problem is it's an easy, breezy, lite beer kind of fun - the kind that Sucker Punch is known for, after all - and the blanket genericism of it just doesn't sit well against such a po-faced tone," Chris wrote. "It's another game fallen victim to the palatability blender, coming out the other side as a slightly formless smudge of every genre, without a mastery of any. Going back to Ghost of Tsushima's roots, as an American game inspired by the comics and the movies of Japan, in a way it's quite apt. It's what happens when you want to pay homage, but don't want to add anything new of your own. It's Hollywood."