First post ever, but I think you'll find this interesting...
Checked out Metacritic for Dragon Age 2 reviews (after hearing about all the changes from Origins, was a bit skeptical). After seeing it gets a generally favorable score, I check out the user reviews, since they usually offer a more accurate portrayal of how a game actually plays.
Right off the bat, I notice there's something...off with the top user review (by 'Avanost'). It reads almost like a press release. I do not trust it:
"The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you'll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining" (emphasis added).
Sketchy to say the least.
So I check Avanost's Metacritic profile (http://www.metacritic.com/user/Avanost - deleted), and, whaddya know, he’s only ever written one review. On Dragon Age II.
So I Google ‘Avanost’, because I’m starting to not trust this *****. And a Plurk (WTF is Plurk) profile shows up (http://www.plurk.com/avanost), revealing a name.
So I Google the name, all the while cautioning myself that this could be a completely different Avanost, and not to jump to conclusions, and WHAT THE **** HE’S AN ENGINEER AT BIOWARE. (Linkedin profile)
I have to laugh, because this really borders on farce.
Despite reeking of impropriety (and the fact there has to be a rule against doing this in the Bioware employee handbook), ole Avanost has no problem writing a review with zero disclosure of his industry ties, as long as you pick up a copy of the “flawless” Dragon Age 2 at your nearest retailer.
(Disclosure: Sensationalist title to garner interest.)
Interesting. While I think DA2 is still a really good game (it just doesn't live up to the first in many ways), I wouldn't condemn all of Bioware. To be fair, it's really probably just some employee (if this is the case) that did it on his own. If I did that, I would be mega embaressed to let anyone else know about it.
BioWare's advertisement department has always been garbage. They also have piss-poor customer service and are incapable of taking constructive criticism. That said, bull**** reviews from in-house operators isn't anything new. EA has been on the burner for this before too.
From: Canadyans | #002 Interesting. While I think DA2 is still a really good game (it just doesn't live up to the first in many ways), I wouldn't condemn all of Bioware. To be fair, it's really probably just some employee (if this is the case) that did it on his own. If I did that, I would be mega embaressed to let anyone else know about it.
If this were true why delete the profile? And why not disclose who he is? Truthfully it is obvious what was going on here. Shady business is shady, but in truth, this sort of scandal harms very few people.
Companies have been paying people (both employees and non-employees alike) to write favorable game reviews since the dawn of gaming. It's because of this fact that I come here to see the actual community's reaction to a game I am interested in.