Updated: November 13, 2023.
As part of our dedication to covering the biggest ongoing events and releases in video games, VG247 naturally undertakes the process of reviewing games old and new alike. The concept of our reviews is pretty simple: we will tell you how worth your time we think a given game is. What a radical concept!
Beyond that, here are some things we think you should know about how we review:
Video game reviews
- We choose what to review based on what we think you, our audience, wants to read about. We review as much as we can with the resources available to us. VG247 is not the sort of website that will review absolutely everything released - but we endeavor to produce written and video reviews of a wide variety of games.
- Review assignments are made based on who we feel is best positioned to deliver a reliable verdict on the game in question. This is based on numerous factors, and each review represents the opinion of the individual reviewer. Sometimes, VG247 will publish other articles with views counter to those expressed in our review.
- We trust our writers to decide how much of a game it is appropriate to play before publishing a review. Generally, you should expect VG247 reviewers to have seen the credits of a game - but this will not be true in every instance. Regardless, we will only review a game when we feel we have seen a sufficient amount of it.
- VG247 never discloses its review text to publishers or developers before the review is published. We may, however, alert these parties to what score their game has received.
- We do not update or change reviews. VG247 always reviews the game as it is at launch. If a game's situation or quality changes significantly, we will address that either in non-review features or in an all-new, second review, leaving the original as-is.
Plus some important notes on what we review:
- VG247 does not review non-final versions of games. While we may run other types of articles based on non-final code, you will never see a scored review on the site without us first seeing and playing the final version of a game.
- We may, however, review commercially available Early Access releases where we decide it is appropriate.
- As mentioned above, we also may re-review a game that has changed significantly through patches or updates with a new, secondary review. We will leave the original review unedited for posterity, however.
- VG247 does not participate in review ‘boot camp' events where a game must be played entirely in a publisher-sanctioned setting, such as a hotel or event space. For scored reviews, we must have access to final versions of games, playable on our own equipment, on our own time.
- The version tested is noted at the bottom of every review. If the review was based on free code provided by the publisher, that fact is disclosed at the bottom of the review as per our editorial policy.
Review scores on VG247 - what they mean
For the first few years of VG247 reviews, the site did not score its verdicts. In 2019, the team behind the site invented an innovative new technology for measuring the quality of games: review scores. The scores are intended to complement the text, not replace it - if a score makes you angry, you should read the accompanying text before acting like a baby in the comments. VG247 reviews are scored out of five, and correlate, roughly, to the following. We've listed a couple of examples for each rating, so you can get an idea of the kind of games that fit into each category.5 stars – Exceptional
Five stars is the top score we can award on VG247. A game that simply must be played and represents a high bar for the industry.
A game that earns four stars on VG247 is perhaps not genre-defining or an absolute must-play, but a game that is still hard to fault and should easily please fans of the genre.
Are we hugely excited about games that earn three stars? Maybe not, but they have something about them that people will enjoy, despite some obvious faults.
More bad than good, two-star games aren't great but aren't a complete train-wreck. Know what you’re getting yourself into and you might find something to enjoy, but there are far better games around.
Honestly, there’s little here to enjoy and thankfully it's rare that a game will earn one star. Your ability to accept problems will be tested to the extreme. Simply not worth your time or money.
The majority of our policy regarding video game reviews applies to our hardware reviews. Additional information specifically around how we review hardware can be found below:
- Hardware is tested independently, and benchmarks are run where appropriate to judge real-world performance.
- No performance stats from anyone representing the product are parroted without independent testing.
- Hardware isn’t always tested in the same environment, but all hardware reviews will contextualize thoughts within the reviewer’s test environment and personal experience.
- If the review was based on a review sample provided by the publisher, that fact is disclosed at the bottom of the review as per our editorial policy.
- After coverage of hardware is complete, it's either returned to the provider (manufacturer or PR) or stored for future testing.