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How To Make Sense Of Steam Game Reviews

Steam game reviews help gamers, new and old, decide if a game is worth playing. Word of mouth may get you to download popular titles without bothering with their reviews but even an exceptionally popular game’s sales are effected if its reviews are consistently negative. Steam has a binary rating system; a review is either positive or negative however, people can leave a detailed review as well. Additionally, Steam tells you if a game has recently received positive or negative reviews, and if a game has mixed reviews. If you’re not sure what to make of the recently positive, recently negative, or mixed Steam game reviews, here’s little help.

Mostly Negative Or Mostly Positive

This is pretty simply; the vast majority of people who played a game either liked it or disliked it. This is, as they say, the popular opinion. You can read a few reviews to see what players are criticizing or praising but this isn’t one of the hard ones to make sense of.

Recently Negative Or Positive Reviews

Games sometimes release in beta and Steam allows users to leave reviews for the beta version. If the beta version of a game is good or bad, the reviews will reflect the same. Subsequent updates to games may improve or depreciate its quality. In either case, recently negative or positive reviews might mean an update has effected the game’s quality. It’s best to check if the game has recently received an update and if the change in the nature of the rating/reviews coincides with it.

To figure out what the change in rating was, click the review and on the reviews page, sort them by date to see why there’s a sudden influx of negative/positive reviews.

Mixed Reviews

Mixed reviews are a little hard to understand. They may well be a result of an unpopular game update, or an update that promised big but under-delivered. For example, a game developer might have promised a major update and marketed and priced it as such but ended up delivering a minor and/or mediocre update. While this may not necessarily reflect on the game being bad, it will irk players enough to leave a poor rating.

In this case, the best course of action is to first sort the reviews by negative or positive and then display the most helpful ones. It’s the quickest way to find genuine reviews that have helped other players decide whether or not a game is worth buying. More importantly, it might also point out problems, technical ones, with the game and see if a lot of other people are experiencing them.

Lastly, you can sort the reviews by date to see if the influx of good/bad reviews is recent or not. If it’s recent and the reviews all provide a reason then it’s best to not buy the game.

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