Angry fans sinking Portal 2s Metacritic user score

Portal 2 may be fetching high scores from critics across the board, but Valve’s sequel is not sitting well with a small group of vocal players who have started tanking the game’s user rating on Metacritic over some very specific issues.

At time of print, Portal 2 sits at a user score of 6.7 on Xbox 360 (opens in new tab), 6.8 on PS3 (opens in new tab), and 7.3 on PC (opens in new tab). And while it’s true these are far from horrible, these scores fall well below the current critic average of 95 between all three platforms.

So where’s the disconnect? While a majority of the user reviews hover around the 9 or 10 ratings mark, the overall average is currently being hacked to bits by a small contingent of 0 to 2 scores from users who are none too happy over Valve’s direction with Portal 2. The biggest issue appears to concern the game’s short length, as evidenced in reviews like one from a user named Amiganoid, who writes:

“Come on people for how long are we gonna take this crap, 60 bucks for 5 hours. The critics are also getting more unbelievable every day, and most of us get fooled by them. The game industry with its greed, and lust for domination, is crumbling more and more everyday.”

Down reviewers are also kicking up a fuss over the large amount of DLC Valve has made available for Portal 2 right from launch. Though the content is largely skin deep (e.g. robot hats, poses, dance moves, etc.), some users have accused Valve of stripping the full game and selling its parts in an evil plot to squeeze every last dime out of fans.

Rounding out the list of grievances, a handful of zero reviewers have accused Valve of coming up short with its Potato Sack promotion wherein it promised to release Portal 2 early if Steam users played a select batch of indie games, but instead released the game only a few hours early while (allegedly) swimming in vaults of Potato Sack gold. Elsewhere, PC haters are taking umbrage over in-game messages referring to computer versions as though they were working off a console. If you have to ask why this might be an issue, you’ve never had the joy of partaking in a calm, friendly discussion on the pros and cons of console gaming with a diehard PC player. Fun times.

Overall, the brewing Portal 2 Metacritic controversy isn’t about the truth of these negative reviews – most raise valid points and are definitely worth discussing – but instead the severity of the scores that have accompanied them. Unless it is absolutely broken or shitty beyond comprehension, there’s no reason to give any game a zero, and doing so only shows a lack of one’s ability to discuss a game’s flaws like a grown-up. Maybe it’s time Metacritic used a thumbs-up, thumbs-down system instead.

Apr 20, 2011

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