Borderlands 3 has been out for the better part of a week now, yet it barely has any reviews up on Metacritic.
Metacritic is a popular review aggregate site that collects scores from major outlets and averages them, similar to what Rotten Tomatoes does for movies. AAA games typically have 100 or more reviews averaged on Metacritic, which provides a useful snapshot of how well the game was received.
Borderlands 3 is currently sitting at a 79% on PS4, and an 85% on PC with a total of 34 reviews (Xbox only has 1 review in, and Metacritic requires atleast 4 to give it a score). That's a low number of reviews. Like really low.
Looking at the other recently released games. Gears 5, which only released on PC and Xbox One, has 89 reviews total, almost 3 times the number of reviews for Borderlands 3. Greedfall, the AA game from indie studio Spiders that also released that week, has 57 reviews in, almost double BL3.
Both of those games released before Borderlands 3, Greedfall released 3 days earlier and Gears was technically out a week before. Still, Borderlands 3 is the biggest AAA release of the month, if not the quarter. Why so few reviews?
Instead of sending out Borderlands 3 review codes, publisher 2K set reviewers up with special Epic Games Store accounts that included early builds of the game. And they wouldn't give access to certain outlets, including Kotaku. Very weird situation: https://t.co/1iqvJpTzP9— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 9, 2019
Gaming outlets typically get to play games a few days early in order to fully experience the game and have a review ready for launch day. Borderlands 3 took a unique approach to this process, as Kotaku reported last week: only a select group of outlets were allowed to play the game early, and those outlets weren't given the standard review codes. Instead, they were provided log ins for Epic Store accounts that had an early version of the game available.
Some outlets had some pretty major technical issues with this version of the game, including crashes, bug, and even losing 6 hours of progress due to a corrupted save file. Not exactly the best first impression, but again, only a handful of site were even allowed to play the game early.
$100 down the drain. 2.5 hours extension work. 4 hours graphics work. Finally could stream, game crashed, lost everything. No Auto save. I want my money back @EpicGames @Borderlands @GearboxOfficial https://t.co/cj9kA5I0Pf https://t.co/sKRYQfp6o5— VanderForge (@VanderForge) September 16, 2019
Metracritic has reviews calculated from major outlets like IGN, Game Informer, Destructoid, and Gamespot, but is still missing reviews from many sites. It's possible that more scores will be calculated over the next few days, whether that will improve or damage the Metacritic score remains to be seen.
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