Death Stranding is easily one of the most divisive video games released all year. At the time of its release, it earned perfect scores from many publications, whereas others were far more critical of the game. Death Stranding‘s divisiveness extended to fans as well, seeing the game review bombed on sites Metacritic by those who labeled it a “walking simulator” and who were unhappy with the game for various other reasons. Of course, not all of the negative Death Stranding user reviews were legitimate, and Metacritic has since removed many of those as well as many of the negative user scores, causing its overall rating to jump overnight.
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This was noticed by Reddit user argandg. They noted that after Metacritic removed many of the Death Stranding reviews and scores, the game’s user rating went from 5.1 to 7.4. Metacritic itself explained the situation to IGN, stating, “A number of user generated reviews for Death Stranding were flagged for suspicious activity and have since been removed.” Metacritic went on to say that it has moderators that regularly remove reviews and user scores that don’t match its guidelines, but it’s unclear how exactly it determined certain reviews would stay up while others were given the axe. A look at the Death Stranding Metacritic page shows that there are still many reviews that are clearly trolling or put there by people to just manipulate the game’s score, both on the positive and negative ends of the spectrum.
Death Stranding review bombing appears to have quieted down since the game’s launch, so perhaps Metacritic thought it could safely remove the reviews and scores it deemed to be violating its guidelines without drawing too much attention to the situation. Review bombing in general continues to be a problem for the review aggregate site, and it doesn’t appear to be an issue that’s really going away anytime soon.
Despite its polarizing reception, Death Stranding still has a large, passionate fanbase, and the game appears to have done well in terms of sales. Kojima Productions is looking to reward dedicated Death Stranding fans by releasing new updates that will address some complaints and add new features to enrich the experience. The upcoming Death Stranding December update is one of the first big updates for the game, and hopefully it’s received well by the game’s community.
Death Stranding is out now for PS4 with a PC release to follow in the summer of 2020.
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