So if you’re not caught up with all the hubbub surrounding the Washington Posts’ controversial “review” of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, then my question to you is, “are you living beneath the rubble of a rundown clothing factory in a third world country?” If you answered “yes” to that oddly specific question, then…well, I really don’t know what to say. Why and how are you on this website, reading a “trying too hard to be witty” authors’ opinion piece on a controversy regarding a video game? Go out and get help! But if you answered “no,” then I’m surprised you haven’t, seeing how every gamer everywhere can hear the pines, groans, moans, and whines of diehard Sony fans across the globe, pleading for this outcry to be resolved. And I don’t blame them, to be honest; rather, I’ve chosen to jump on the bandwagon. Not only because I absolutely adore the Uncharted series, and have loved Naughty Dog since the Jak & Daxter series; but because having that review removed from Metacritic is the right thing to do.
Now I want to give my thoughts on the situation first before I talk about Troy Baker and him signing the petition to remove this review. So if you want to read that, just skip this section. To quickly recap, if you go over to UC4’s Metacritic page, you’ll see that the game stands at a very good 93/100. Now although that score is great, it was a 94/100 a mere week ago. What dropped it was the only negative review posted by the Washington Post, who gave the game a 40/100. Now, you may think that a single digit drop in an aggregated score doesn’t matter, which may be true, but here’s why it does. Firstly, this was the second review the website posted for the game; the first gave the game a 4/4, which equates to a 100% obviously. The second, the review in question, was posted under the “comic riffs” section of the site; clearly stating that this was meant to be a work of satire; nullifying it’s validity as an official review. Furthermore, this review didn’t even have a score attached to it, so where Metacritic found that 40/100 is beyond me. So why would Metacritic put this review, which is clearly satire, on their website, and not only that, but give it a random score? That alone gives this petition that was created by a fan from Greece; which as of writing has over 5,000 signatures, a strong reason to exist. But even if this was a legitimate review; I clearly don’t believe that it has a right to be on such a critical website such as Metacritic. Listen, I’m all for freedom of speech and that people have a right to their own opinion, but come on now, really? Over 90 critics have given this game positive reviews, with the majority being in the 90s and even perfect 100s. No “mixed” score in site, and you give this game a 40/100? Come on, now. I don’t care if you didn’t like X, Y, or Z; or if this is the polar opposite of the type of games you enjoy. As a professional critic, a role in which you make a living reviewing and analyzing video games objectively; you simply cannot possibly deny the technical and narrative feat that Unharted 4 has accomplished. I’m not a diehard fan, and nor do I think that this game is even near perfect, but my God is it a spectacle to experience. Doing something like this is clearly a means to attract views and nothing else. Which is such a selfish thing to do, as you, a writer of the f@#king Washington Post, a site that holds more weight in the Metacritic scoring system than others, are responsible for bringing down the score of quite simply, one of the best games in our generation. Again, it seems funny to think that a 93 compared to a 94 is a big deal, when frankly, it isn’t. But it’s about the principle. Naughty Dog deserve the praise they’re receiving, and the accolades they will most certainly receive in the coming months. And so to go to “Best PS4 Games of All Time” in Metacritics’ tab and see UC4 not on the top 5, simply for one review, is sort of unfair. Again, I know they’ll make their money back and then some, and the game will hold up perfectly fine. But that one damn, undeserving, red slither that you see when you’ll open up Metacritic’s UC4 page, simply taints it from the legacy it deserves in gaming history. Overdramatic much? Yes, but I think it’s valid. Okay, enough with the rant, on to the actual topic!
So after this petition to remove the review popped up, it has garnered quite the attention of fans and professionals alike. After it’s 1000 signature milestone, which has now been well surpassed, a very well-known face both signed and shared it on his Twitter account. Troy Baker, the omnipresent video game voice actor who voices protagonist Nathan Drake’s brother Sam in Uncharted 4 tweeted the following:
Obviously the author of the petition was more than happy that his petition had reached the likes of Baker, posting the following on the petitions’ official page:
However, it does seem like Troy Baker may have received some flak from fans and colleagues regarding his post, as only a mere hour later he posted the following on his Twitter:
Now it’s unknown what this long post is in regards to, as he never mentions the petition directly. But the last couple sentences, which read:
Simply put, I’m human and I screw up. I act rashly and hastily. Games like Uncharted, The Last of Us and many others stand well on their own. They don’t need me battling windmills in their honor”
Does hint at maybe him feeling a sense of regret posting that petition on his Twitter. Now, personally I go both ways in regards to his actions. On one hand, I completely understand his gut reaction to the review and instant need to go forth in doing whatever he can to spread that petition. I completely understand that when you’re invested so deeply in a project for years, you want so badly for it to succeed. And when something comes in the way of its full potential, you want to do everything to make things right. But at the same time, you have to judge your position and see how your actions look in the broad scheme of things. Being a person like Troy Baker, and not only signing, but sharing a petition like this, doesn’t exactly make you come across as the most professional actor. Not to take anything away from the importance of the petition, but it’s that hard thing to assess of, “How does this make both me, and the company(s) look? And do I really need to do this.” Sometimes I want to say f#ck professionalism, but that’s me, I’m a nobody. Well, actually, that’s not true, I’m actually pretty important, but that’s beside the point. I’m sure fans of the series are thrilled that he shared the link to the petition, and I’m assuming signed it himself; but as he himself said, “They don’t need me battling windmills in their honor”
What are your guys’ thoughts on this whole situation? Let us know in the comments below!