One other point about reviews: it’s becoming more and more obvious that time constraints and deadlines are affecting reviews in a major way.

The need to have a review posted the day before, or the day of release leads to reviewers that have to play a game a very certain way: by plowing through as quickly as possible. Most games really aren’t designed to be played this way, especially the games we enjoy.

Take your typical RPG, for instance. If you’re rushing through it, the story becomes an annoyance, every trip to the menu is an editor yelling at you, and combat becomes something to avoid because you just don’t have time for it. All of the things that most players love (flavor, side quests, character development) will feel like negatives in Rushy McRusherson’s review.

I’d actually rather more of what MTV Multiplayer did for KoA: he played the first 15 hours, tried to experience as many parts of the game as he could, and he posted his impressions, with the caveat that if his opinion changed wildly, he’d go back and revise it. I’m ok with that.

PS: I’m 15 hours in, and I’ll post my next report at 20.