Metacritic Says It Has Removed Rule-Violating Mass Effect 3 User Reviews

Metacritic Says It Has Removed Rule-Violating Mass Effect 3 User Reviews

Aggregating website Metacritic says it has deleted some Mass Effect 3 user reviews and will “continue to monitor” what seems to be a unified effort to spam pages for BioWare’s action roleplaying game, which hit stores today.

This morning, a large number of Metacritic users gave negative reviews to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC listings for Mass Effect 3. Many of the users appear to have reviewed no other games, apparently creating accounts specifically to give poor marks to the latest Mass Effect.

As of this writing, the user score for each version of Mass Effect 3 is “generally unfavorable” and significantly lower than the critical reception. Kotaku also had some very positive things to say about the game.

In a statement to Kotaku, Metacritic editor-in-chief Marc Doyle said:

We have already removed user reviews which have broken our terms of use. We will continue to monitor user reviews and take the steps needed to ensure our users both comply with those terms and do not have to read other reviews which break them.

We encourage all users to familiarise themselves with these terms and report any abuse they find. Those terms can be found here.

If you spot something which you think is an abuse of those terms while logged into the site, please report it using the ‘Report Abuse’ link next to each User Review.

(Photo | Reddit user Terrormask)


  • Perhaps I’ve missed something, but what exactly is people’s problem with the game? Or is it the usual case of people being self-entitled, tantrum-throwing gamers?

      • There are a few other reasons as well I think. For example, the notion that the series is no longer an RPG, and that it’s just a CoD clone. Also there are a fair number of people fired up by the fact that you need to get it via Origin on the PC. Lets face it, the game looks great, and if you enjoyed the first two you will probably like this one too. If you hated the 2nd one, why not try the demo of the 3rd, see if you like it more. If you don’t, move on to something else.

    • There’s a lot to dislike about Mass Effect 3, none of which has anything to do with the actual game itself, but rather how EA and Bioware treat their customers. Negative reviews are not the correct place to air these grievances, these almost political issues have nothing to do with the quality of the game. A much better option would be to simply not purchase the game if you disapprove with how EA and Bioware are treating their potential customers.

      • I trust the user reviews more than developer and company reviews, they make a profit, users get ripped off. Thats what happened with ME3

    • The day one DLC, the action in favour of RPGish, they’ve cut the middle option for conversations and increased the amount of auto-dialogue and the mega crap endings are what have people riled up.

      • I haven’t been following it too much, but I will be picking it up… but the middle option has been removed? LOL So it’s basically reduced to the simplest form of a moral choice system… classic!

    • Game is pretty good but one place it falters is overall polish. For example a lot of the physical interactions between npcs in cut scenes come off being cheap. As an example a handshake where the hands either do not come close to meeting or clearly go through each other. Another one is where Shephard slaps a npc on the shoulder and the hand passes through the shoulder into the body.
      Also a lot of the outfits worn by people are incredibly low resolution and are insanely obvious. And the low res textures applies to a lot of things. Sure certainly not game breaking but the polish is really lacking.
      And considering not to long ago on Kotaku there was an article about a mod someone did to actually make the faces and armours a lot higher res I would have expected more from ME3.

      So a good game but really comes across as average at times.

    • Apparently there’s quite a bit of retconning things from Mass Effect 1, which might be expected, but also retconning things from Mass Effect 2, which is pretty sad.

    • WRONG!
      Wrong wrong wrong wrong.
      The ending ruins the entire series because literally within the last 5 minutes, you are taken to some secret room you’ve never seen, and approached by an AI in the form of a little kid that’s been haunting you the entire game. This AI has never been hinted at. Ever. Pure Deus Ex Machina.
      Worse, the mere existence of “StarChild” completely invalidates the entire point of Mass Effect 1. ME1 was all about stopping a reaper from getting to the citadel and activating it. Why did that need to happen if the boss of the reapers lives in the citadel itself?

  • Perhaps I’ve missed something, but what exactly is people’s problem with the game? Or is it the usual case of people being self-entitled, tantrum-throwing gamers?

  • Personally, I’d be happy if they removed the user score altogether. They seem to usually be axe-grinding “reviews” from people who’ve never played the game.

    If I want a reliable user review of a game, I ask Talk Amongst Yourselves here on Kotaku AU.

    • That’s your choice though.

      Removing the user score on Metacritic isn’t going to fix anything.

      They’ll just go bomb amazon or any other site where you can write a review.

      No one pays any real attention to those review scores so it’s not really an issue.

      That said because Metacritic is hit on miss when it comes to what sites are regarded as actual reviews and what aren’t. There are a bunch of well written reviews in the User section from blogs and the like(well there were a year ago) that don’t classify as critics. Problem is when there are 200 reviews it’s easy for the good to be lost among the crap.


      Though i’m curious how much of a stink EA kicked up. No other game in my memory has had an official statement about being review bombed and them looking into it.

      Though the issue in my mind is that there are a bunch of 10 point reviews as well that probably deserve to be removed just as much as the 1 point reviews. But no one is going to complain about them

    • The problem is, the aggregate user views, even with review bombing, are generally more accurate than the aggregate of professional reviewers. That and the discrepancy itself is a good indicator that further research may be required – people who base their decisions on metacritic probably aren’t that into reading reviews in-depth unless prompted.

  • Looks like the same treatment Dragon Age II got – tons of people zero-bombing because they perceive some kind of betrayal from Bioware, rather than rating on the merits of the game itself.

    • Whilst that was partially the case, I think the aggregate user score was much closer to the truth than the professional reviews. I remember reading the escapists reviews, and it didn’t once mention the recycling of dungeons, even though gamers hate that stuff.

  • Thank the gods. I know Bioware is not perfect, but anything to stop this spate of self-entitled, passive-aggressive, solipsistic permawhining is welcome in my book.

  • lol… Dragon Age II deserved that treatment for destroying a good IP with a terrible game… and to be honest so does Bioware for releasing this BS 1st day DLC. What a slap in the face to consumers.

  • i seriously don’t get this game or the series for that matter. But I do appreciate other peeps going batcrazy for it, like I will for the next Assassin’s Creed, which a lot of people can’t stand..

    Just a difference in opinion, but giving a game, any game, 100/100 is wrong. Nothing is perfect.

  • Haha, gotta love nerd rage. Showing EA who is boss by giving it a negative review then invariably caving in and buying the game less than a week later.

  • Do people take metacritic user reviews at face value? Usually I read what the low scorers wrote to accompany it and usually there’s not one piece of constructive criticism in there.

    Or there is criticism in there that’s valid, but the score’s obviously skewed incorrectly. Like “I think it gets a bit repetitive after a while. 2/10” =/

    • This is absolutely true, and a huge problem with user reviews everywhere. Look at the app store on iTunes – “great product, but temporarily doesn’t sync with my contacts. 0/5. Fuck you developers.” There’s no temperance, because you have to shout the loudest on the internet to be heard.

  • I’m sure these reviews won’t be deleted.

    Bioware employee giving The Witcher 2 a 0 and Dragon Age 2 a 10.

    Also, removing User reviews, yeah nah, that’s stupid. All we’ll have left is the over-the-top positive reviews for journos who want to remain on good terms with publishers, get previews and review copies.

    ME3 is just this year’s DA2, fantastic reviews, everyone buys it and then word of mouth spreads regarding what a terrible game it is.

      • I have actually. Played it for myself, watched streams, read the spoilers, read the reviews and the last one definitely doesn’t reflect the others.

  • All well and good to delete accounts, but looking at some of the user reviews. Are they deleting accounts for people who havnt reviewed any games and are giving it 10’s?? I had a look at the metacritic score for Dragon Age 2 compared to mass effect 3 and seems to be very similar. Dragon Age 2 was a horrible game.

    Ill play mass effect 3 as i have saved my character from the first one many years ago. I just hope Mass effect 3 hasnt gone down the path of Dragon Age 2…

  • This makes me embarrassed to be a gamer when I see juvenile actions such as this from the public, a minority portion of the gaming community such as it is, grinding their axe over something so trivial.
    Im all for everyone having an opinion, but it should be an informed opinion.
    Metacritic should just remove the user score and just keep a comments section. I have always believed that the user score is tipped towards the negative for big budget titles anyway.
    Big fish is going to attract the trolls, that’s my thinking.

    • I 100% agree with this guy, everyone should just shut the hell up and head to their local EB Games to buy the exciting conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy!

      Bioware has done it again! Mass Effect 3 fits nicely into their portfolio of Classics alongside Dragon Age 2.

      • Thanks for pretty much proving my opinion by your comment mate.
        Instead of being sarcastic how about you add something constructive to the topic like I have tried to do.
        I’m not telling anyone that they have to like the game but anyone who actively takes the time to slander anything without having had spent anytime with the product in question should be removed. This is clearly what is happening at metacrtic right now since Mass Effect 3 has only just become available.
        Removing public reviews would be the extreme solution, however I’m sure if only critic reviews are available anyone who reads this site would know that its important to look at a wide range of critic reviews to get the best opinion on a game, and not just look at the overall metacritic score as a be all number.

        • Also, the same goes for scores that try to inflate the overall user score, they should be removed also.

        • Enjoy being dissapointed then, my advice? Replay the first 2 and ignore ME3.

          “anyone who actively takes the time to slander anything without having had spent anytime with the product in question should be removed. ”
          Well I have, and so have many of the people “slandering” your GOTY.

          Prepare for a crappy Deus Ex Machina ending that makes little sense when applied to the other games, a lot of character deaths (they go out in the worst ways possible), bad writing in general and the all new crew members such as BULK MEATHEAD and EDI with tits (shouldn’t the ship AI be on the ship not having tits and doing ship things?)

          • You’ve already played and completed Mass Effect 3 and its been out in the US for a day?
            Well since its kind of hard for me to prove if you really have or have not, I guess I’ll take your opinion on board, along with other reviews, and then decide if I should purchase it tomorrow.
            Thanks buddy

      • Wrong Dude.

        Dragon Age 1: User 8.1 Profeesional= 9.1
        Mass Effect 1: User 8.5 Professional= 8.9
        Mass Effect 2: User 8.4 Professional= 8.6
        Witcher 1: User 9.0 Professional= 8.1

        Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are getting crap reviews because Bioware now makes crap games. After Dragon Age 2’s glowing professional reviews and my personal experience with that disgraceful cheap game I’ll take the user reviews over “Professional Reviewers” any day.

        • Yes, I understand what your saying there david. But I think reviews that pop up from user within the fist few hours of release should be removed, like I stated in my second comment totally removing user scores is a bit extreme. Perhaps metacritic should let a minimum of a week pass before legitimate user scores can be submitted. But in the end though your probably always going to get groups that will go about and try mess with it, for the better or worse.

    • Oh god don’t remind me. Also, those awesome PTSD sequences and Shepard’s dramatic acting when that person decides to jump off a cliff.

  • When in doubt I blame EA for every bad thing that has happened in gaming ever. I really hate EA what were talking about?

    • I heard that the crucifix nails used to hammer Jesus’ hands to the cross at Golgotha was EA’s first hardware product.

  • I read this as “EA paid Metacritic to filter bad reviews”.

    I for one look at the User Reviews rating before purchasing a game (among many other things). reason for this is because if the user review is low, there is a reason it (some kind of betrayal/DRM/etc.) and if the game is generally good the overall user reviews would be high too.

    • Oh and I don’t trust ‘professional’ reviews because i see any high mark as being paid for now days.

    • I agree with this, more often than not the user reviews are pretty damn accurate, what is happening here is a massive backlash against inaccurate reviews of a blockbuster game that is nowhere near as good as it’s being cracked up to be.

      But apparently anyone who doesn’t like DA2 or ME3 is an entitled misogynist who just hates on popular things… funny how ME1, ME2 and DA1 got generally positive user reviews.

  • Trolling or not, removing reviews because they’re ‘not high enough’ is some premium bullshit. I was under the impression we were able to voice our opinion on pieces of media regardless of how horribly misinformed and ill tempered those opinions might be. It’s a freaking video game for goodness sake, scratch that, it’s a freaking REVIEW of a video game, my god, if I ever find myself asking someone what they thought of movie and they have to sneak looks left and right before telling me ‘it was a good movie, no really, there was this and this wrong with it, but it was definitely worth paying for,’ I’m Farnsworthing right off this rock.

    PS: Obviously if people are writing up in there reviews ‘I HAVEN’T PLAYED THIS GAME BUT etc etc’ it’s a different story and is equally as stupid as removing low scores.

  • In 3 years, Metacritic will only give you the option of giving a game an 8 or a 9. It will have a built in negative word filter that will either automatically flag your review for moderation or outright delete it, if the words you chose were deemed too negative.

    As much as I hate trolls, who knock or praise a game for undeserved reasons, I think game companies need to hear about it when their customers are unhappy about something.

  • Just as bad are the clearly sponsored ones or the ones written by employees. The abnormally friendly, well written and overwhelmingly positive ones written about Binary Domain are a good example of this.

  • It’s easier to buy a bunch of “pro” reviewers than to pay lots of individuals to write positive reviews. I like to read the pro erviews for the good features of the game, and the users reviews for the poor ones. Also I like to see the funny ones from the users. Then, I can make my own mind weighting each of the reviews. The more the better. It’s interesting that some games with lower pro ratings and higher user ratings are actually very fun to play. On the other hand when pro ratings are much higher than the users one , guess what happened ?

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