A lot of the time, here in the gaming world, reviews are taken a little too seriously. Video game journalists sit by their keyboards at night, trembling, as a great epiphany comes to them. A higher truth. They are then able to fire sweet, sweet, precious paragraphs of pure truth at us regarding the game in question. Or so some gamers seem to think.
Poor reviews can end careers, positive ones can pave the way for a multimillion-dollar franchise. Metacritic and the like are powerful tools indeed. It’s a little frightening at times how much sway these sorts of things can have on us. How many times have death threats and/or generations-long family curses been sent to reviewers who slagged off somebody’s favourite franchise? Too many, that’s how many. Remember the whole 7/10 too much water controversy around Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire? Madness.
Players’ own reviews are another matter entirely. If you wade knee-deep into the crap pool that is Amazon’s user reviews, say, you’ll have to take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Some people are trying to provide honest, in-depth accounts of their items, sure, but others are just bitching and leaving one-star product reviews because the UPS guy delivered their package damaged. Others, meanwhile, are just having a laugh.
Steam user reviews are legendary for this. They’re such a hotbed of snarky piss-takery that they’ve had to add a ‘(insert number) people found this funny’ function to their review feedback. It’s a real goldmine, as our collection of 15 Hilarious Steam Reviews That Make Absolutely No Sense will show.
15 Rocket League
"If this game was a fork it be a great fork"
There are hidden layers of depth to this one, I know it. This is some profound stuff, right here. If you’re the sort of guy/gal who can spend hours in art galleries oohing and ahhhing over a painting of a big red dot, seeing all manner of hidden meanings that are lost on the rest of us mere mortals, maybe you can explain this one to us.
What is ‘fork?’ How does one become fork? Will this, in future generations, become the standard by which all greatness in video games is measured? I couldn’t possibly tell you, because I’ve got no freaking idea what’s going on here. All I know is that you are either fork, or you are not fork. Rocket League, the game in question here, seems to have the potential to become fork.
The first thing to mention here is that, at the time of leaving the review, this Steam user had 993 hours of Counter-Strike gameplay registered. Just shy of one thousand hours is —whichever way you slice it— a whole holy hell of a lot of gameplay right there. It’s quite rare for a game to get that amount of love. As such, you’d think there’d be no end to the Counter-Strike insight this guy would have to offer.
In the land of Steam reviews, however, all of that boils down to a simple two-word bi**h about something entirely impossible and ridiculous. Why doesn’t this seventeen-year-old game have Achievements? WHY? This injustice shall not go unanswered. Grab your torch and pitchfork, and off we go to protest outside the devs’ HQ.
13 The Witness
"So basically Snake with good graphics
EDIT: OK, I've played some more (half hour more) and the game keeps the same. Same puzles with little non-interesting twists, same mechanic. Yup"
Thekla Inc’s The Witness was one of last year’s surprise sleeper hits. This first-person puzzler had been languishing in development hell since 2009 and had its release delayed a further three years in 2013. When it finally arrived, though, it received critical acclaim.
Well, more or less. As we know, it’s impossible to please everyone, particularly when we’re talking about a group as volatile as gamers can be. Still, though, props to this reviewer for giving The Witness a thorough playtesting before delivering his/her verdict. With a whole couple of minutes of play logged, this was his/her review. They reappeared with an edit after another half an hour’s play to assure us that, yes, The Witness is indeed Snake with good graphics. The game has a little more depth than that, but hell, points for succinctness.
12 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
"Game tought me to spend 400 USD in digital products and then cry about what the f*** I just did
Serious Review Below...
I feel your pain, Steam friend, I really do. The microtransactions culture rife in video games right now has claimed millions of victims. If you’ve ever felt buyer’s remorse as you forked over a premium for a fancy-ass Street Fighter costume or Call of Duty weapon skin, you’ll know exactly the feeling. Yep, I needed Vega in that fancy suit with the flowery hat, but was it a great purchase? It wasn’t.
What I like about this Counter-Strike: Global Offensive review is that while the author lays down his personal gripe for us, he still keeps it separate. The main body of the SERIOUS REVIEW is where it’s really at, and that crucial matter is given the attention it deserves. Center stage: Global Offensive’s shonky matchmaking.
"A starving naked man made me beat him to death with a crowbar. 10/10"
When it comes to Steam reviews, the sandbox, create-your-own-adventure type games are often the best fodder. Remember Phoebe from Friends, and her horrifying tales of catching hepatitis when a pimp spat in her mouth? It’s the matter-of-fact way these stories are told that makes them great. Here, for instance, we see one of Steam user DeathWish’s DayZ experiences laid bare.
Now, if you’re familiar with the popular survival title, you’ll know that this doesn’t really sound like anything special. That’s more of an average afternoon down DayZ way. In my eyes, the selling point for this one is that beating a starving naked man to death with a crowbar is what earned the game its perfect 10/10 rating. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the grading system DeathWish is using for his reviews, but it seems quite legit to me.
10 Mount And Blade: Warband
"DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY THIS GAME. Seriously, look how many hours I've played: Over a thousand.
People make fun of MMO players because they spend so much time working for imaginary goals, but at least they're hanging out with friends and collaborating. I've just been sitting here alone in my underwear in the dark. FOR 1000 HOURS.
I used to be like you. I had friends and family, hobbies and interests. I used to cook for myself and clean my apartment once in a while. I used to have house plants for god's sake!
I thought becoming king would take a week or two of gaming sessions at most. I WAS WRONG. Please, if there's anything you value in life, don't buy this game."
A lot of today’s comedians are completely reliant on observational humour and social satire. This stuff is so popular, and so effective, mainly because it’s relatable. If you had Kanye West up there on stage, making jokes about how difficult it can be to keep your solid gold helicopter collection clean (oh wait, we do, it’s called rap), that wouldn’t be funny at all for us regular humans.
Much like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Guy’s regret over his microtransaction binging earlier, we all know this feeling. You get a little too engrossed in a game, then suddenly notice that two weeks have passed, your eyes are crying tears of blood, and your rectum has prolapsed because you haven’t taken a break to go to the bathroom in eighteen days. Mount and Blade: Warband is a dangerous, dangerous game, and you must not buy it. Especially if you have house plants.
9 Duke Nukem Forever
"PROTIP: At the start of the game, it is possible to make Duke crouch down in his own jacuzzi and hold his head underwater until he drowns.
This is the good ending because it means that you don't have to play the rest of Duke Nukem Forever."
Now, I’m sure many of you are familiar with a little thing called Duke Nukem Forever. You probably know that the damn game was stuck somewhere down Satan’s u-bend in development hell for years. You’ll definitely know that, when it did arrive, it sucked harder than the combined sucktastic of a Dyson factory.
Long-time Duke fans, understandably, weren’t amused by the whole situation. The game continues to take both barrels of snark, and is generally regarded as one of the worst releases of recent years. As such, mocking it is like shooting fish in a barrel, so you’ve got to be a little creative if you want to stand out.
My pick for a top Steam Review, then, is Tehpogo’s. This is probably the best and most practical pro tip in the history of pro tips.
8 The Sims 3
"Had 12 kids with 8 different women, became president, then died when I tried cooking spaghetti. 10/10"
Steam user Ya Boi Daquan knows The Sims. He knows that the original life sim is all about possibilities, about inspiring and elevating your lil’ Sims, nurturing them to be the best damn sims they can be. It’s also about how many damn times you can fit the word ‘sim’ into a single paragraph.
It’s another example of that sort of free-form, anything-goes gameplay that lends itself so well to quick, pithy reviews. Steam reviews, as we’ve established, are more about playing for social media likes, shares and laughs than actually reviewing. The (stupid thing that happened in the game) 10/10 thing is a meme in its own right now, and I do love this one. That’s pretty much the average life story of a sim, right there.
7 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Again)
">be at school
>have headphones in
>headphones come unplugged
>whole class panics as a hail of gunfire is head followed by the message that the bomb has been planted
>suspended for a week
>was totally worth it"
I’m not sure what it is about Counter-Strike and Steam mock-tastic, but whenever the two mix, they make beautiful music together. Here we are again with Global Offensive, this time checking out the in-depth analysis of Steam user Potato (or Potato 0-0 (noot), to use their full name).
Bizarro World stories of things that happened within said game, as we’ve seen, are perfect fodder for these reviews. This time, though, we’ve got a curveball on our hands. It’s an unfortunate and completely ridiculous story that actually happened in real life. Heed potato’s lesson, friends.
This one gave me a damn good laugh, but I do have to wonder. What more could Global Offensive done to get itself that elusive perfect 11 score? If it had got them suspended for another few days, would that have done it?
6 Call of Duty: Ghosts
"Not enough ghosts, very misleading."
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a simple guy with simple tastes. I like my video games to get to the point, do exactly what they say on the tin, no messing around. If you’re going to drop an overly-complex plot like a Dan Brown novel or a melodramatic Hungarian soap opera, I’m out. If you’re going to call a game Call of Duty: Ghosts, you’d better have the damn common decency to put some ghosts in it.
Steam user Old Gregg shares my pain. After an hour and a half of gameplay logged, he noticed that there was nary a ghost to be found, and, like me, he was not amused about the whole situation. Get that game patched already, Activision. It’s not about the ghosts, it’s about the lies.
5 Dark Souls III
"why the ♥♥♥♥ are you looking at the reviews section ! get the ♥♥♥♥ing game and git gud you casual ♥♥♥♥."
As I’m sure we’ve more than established by now, nobody comes to Steam reviews for the insight. We don’t actually expect anything that might, say, help us make an informed decision about whether or not the game in question might be for us. Who the hell needs that? Away with that sort of crazy talk.
As the Dark Souls franchise has a reputation for being ball-busting and pants-foulingly difficult, so its fans have a reputation for being a little elitist. And for howling and screeching like an orgasming orangutan if you heal yourself during a PvP fight. This review of the last entry in the trilogy is –probably—intended as satire, but you never quite know with this crowd. I know your type, Hellsing, and I’m watching you.
"mario the plumber gets into trouble yet again when he crashes into the ocean. you have to plumb stuff. i dont really know what happens after that. i got scared."
Last time I checked, Bioshock was an FPS set in the city of Rapture in the sixties. It was the story of a dude called Jack, who found his sorry ass stranded in Rapture when his plane crashed there. There are Little Sisters, Big Daddies and a whole lot of drug-addicted crazies called Splicers who wanted to murder your face right in the face.
Or so I thought. Turns out, though, my knowledge of the series isn’t up to snuff at all. 2K’s critically acclaimed plumb stuff ‘em up really did star Mario (Jack? Who’s he? Who the hell needs him?) after all. Thanks, Steam reviewer, for setting the story straight. Imagine my embarrassment. This is an example of another popular type of snarky Steam review, the joke synopsis, and I dig it.
"Who needs Grand Theft Auto when you can steal a horse. 10/10"
"Fornicate with wenches, acquire gold."
"10/10 like skyrim but with skyrim"
A little while back, one of the Internet's legions of image-editing jokesters mocked up some box art for Far Cry 3. They added the blurb like "Skyrim, but with guns!," and so a glorious new meme was born. Grand Theft Auto was like Skyrim with cars, Mario was like Skyrim with goombas, Tomb Raider was like Skyrim with British boobs... you see how it works.
The Internet took this snarky ball and ran it to the end zone, as the Internet will. Thing was, though, as is usually the case with memes, it's a simple joke, and it gets tired pretty damn quickly. Luckily, the genius jokers of Steam were on hand to refresh the whole idea, with the ultimate anti-joke. Skyrim-ception.
2 Kerbal Space Program
"if you love space, this game will get you there, first hand, and let you have your hand at designing space crafts (and planes), flying them, and of course, crashing them in big glorious explosions. you will learn a lot about space, physics, orbital mechanics, aerodynamics, etc.. this really happens. I have two friends that are rocket scientists (one does ion drive research, the other designs micro-satellities I work at a large university! and afte.."
Just for a moment, let’s stop snarking it up like the snarky snarksters of snark that we are. Sometimes, just occasionally, a Steam review will deliver. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life. You might even, against all possible odds, glean some insight to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Check out Slayer McGee’s words on Kerbal Space Program, after 300 hours of gameplay. This sandbox-style space flight sim offers all kinds of intellectual and enjoyable experiences, and Slayer wants to be damn sure you know about them all. That’s quite a TL: DR they’ve got for us right there.
Just when you thought you might be able to develop just a sliver of faith in Steam’s reviewers, though, NotHonkyTonk, the anti-Slayer, steams in and dashes your hopes.
1 DayZ (Again)
"Force a man to eat a rotten Banana and he died 10/10"
"Some guy made me eat a rotten banana and I died."
To finish, we’re cruising back over to the super-dangerous world of Day Z. Back in high school, I had a friend who presented me with the challenge, "there’s basically nothing in your immediate vicinity that DOESN’T have the potential to kill you." I tried suggesting everything from a sheet of paper to a harmless fly, and he refuted all my ideas with increasingly gruesome and ridiculous ways these things could, in fact, kill you. Why am I telling you this? Because the DayZ designers seem to have as twisted imaginations as he did.
Where else in video games could you see this rotten banana drama play out? Only with that magical combination of DayZ and Steam users is this sort of thing possible. Predator and prey, captured together in a beautiful dance of death. Like lionesses barrelling after the antelope in a David Attenborough movie, only more majestic.