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Why I'm Not Buying Into the MW3 "User Reviews" on Metacritic

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

As everybody is aware, "the most-anticipated game ever", Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released today.  Despite receiving rave reviews by the majority of critics, fans generally seem displeased with Activision's latest blockbuster, as evidenced by the 2.2 Metacritic user score and the ridiculous fan comments on the game itself.

Keep in mind, this is based soley off the extremely low Metacritic scores Modern Warfare 3 has been receiving from fans.  I'll tell you what though, I'm not buying the fan criticism.  As with anything online, I don't feel like we're getting an accurate representation of the fan base.  Usually the people who write reviews online as a consumer are the ones who complain about it.  The ones who enjoy it are too busy enjoying it to write online. 

Honestly, if you look at some of these comments, it's hard to believe these fans are basing their opinion on the actual game.  In fact, it looks like they are just going on there to intentionally rate the game low, a problem which Metacritic has admitted to having and is actually looking to take steps to prevent.

9 million pre-orders says people were getting Modern Warfare 3 before the reviews were even out there.  You usually don't pre-order a game unless you're 100% sure you're going to purchase it.  With that comes a sense of knowing what you're getting in a product.  Fans of Modern Warfare 3 knew what they were getting.

All the comments about "disappointing graphics" or "looking the same as Modern Warfare 2" are 100% unwarranted.  You knew what you were getting when pre-ordering.  Activision openly admitted to using the same graphics engine as Modern Warfare 2.  They never tried to hide anything.

With a Call of Duty game, you had to expect the same cliche terrorist plotline, over-the-top action-sequences, and a ridiculous about of "knifing."  But CoD isn't alone in this.  Name one modern FPS game that doesn't have massive explosions, the typical terrorist threat, and some form of gameplay that hasn't already been done.

Rather than an accurate portrayal by fans opinion of the game, I think we are seeing the ongoing Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare 3 flamebait war take place before our very eyes via Metacritic.  We're not seeing "accurate" scores.  Instead we're seeing very polarizing scores of either a 10 (probably from a COD fan) or a 0 (most likely a BF3 fan).  You're telling me this game is either a 10 or a 0?  There's no middle?

Look, Modern Warfare 3 might not be a 9, but it certainly isn't a 0.  My point is, these aren't fans' actual opinions of the game itself.  Instead, it is disgrunteld gamers who have taken a side in the BF3/MW3 war brought on thanks to advertising and constant developer trash talking.  It's a direct result of the BF3 vs MW3 propaganda fans have been exposed to all year.  This is exactly what the developers wanted.

I'm not going to chastise each game's fanbase, however. I think it's actually a testament to the passion the fans have for each of these games.  You know the developers are doing something right when thousands of people are willing to take up arms and be that internet badass and rate a game a 0, just for the cause of war.  Battlefield 3 may not have won the war in sales, but I think its fans are winning the war in user reviews.

I think my biggest question is...why can't fans just enjoy both games?

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