How low can you go?
Just when you thought the whole Kane & Lynch: Dead Men fiasco couldn’t get any worse, publisher Eidos Interactive has been caught with its pants down yet again. As reported by Kotaku, someone at the company marketing department seems to have decided that, if they can’t get a positive review from Gamespot, then they’ll damn well make up their own and falsely attribute them to other review sites. Care to guess what’s wrong with the image below?
If you answered “Eidos pulled these quotes and scores out of its collective anus,” you’d be half way there. As Kotaku explains:
GameSpy did not say “It’s the best emulation of being in the midst of a Michael Mann movie we’ve ever seen” in their review of the game. They said that in their E3 2007 coverage. In other words, a preview. They also did not give the game five stars. They gave it three.
As for Game Informer, same deal. The highlighted quote does not appear in the review of the game. Nor do they give it five stars. Game Informer don’t even score in stars. They gave it a 7/10.
Head over to Kotaku for the rest of the story.
Um… say what?
Now, I’m no stranger to publishers using reviews in - shall we say? - creative ways. I have seen certain publishers post extracts of my reviews on their web sites with certain parts edited out to make my overall appraisals sound more glowing than they actually were. I’ve also seen quotes attributed to myself (or, more often, DVD Times) appearing on the backs of DVD covers that could only have been compiled by pasting together a word here and a word there. (I mean, come on, does “A little seen gem… with nudity, gore and three Bond girls!” really sound like something I would write? It is, according to Blue Underground’s packaging for The Black Belly of the Tarantula. Well, at least they chose a film that I was genuinely impressed by rather than attempting to make out that I was lavishing praise on something I hated.) This is on an entirely different level, though. I suppose, if the DVD distributors had as little integrity and self-respect as Eidos, I could expect to see quotes like “It’s… very [good]! [Bianchi’s] camerawork is… as accomplished as… Argento’s [most] impressive endeavours!” and “You have to admire Dr. Boll. He consistently churns out [masterpieces]! Alone in the Dark was merely foreplay!” attributed to myself appearing on new releases of Strip Nude for Your Killer and House of the Dead respectively.
It’s nice to know that Eidos is seemingly intent on digging an even deeper hole for itself. Add to that the fact that Gamespot members, protesting against the firing of Jeff Gerstmann, have taken it upon themselves to award Kane & Lynch 1/10 ratings en masse, and you now have a game that, in all likelihood, was nothing more than hopelessly mediocre, but, thanks to Eidos and Gamespot’s dodgy dealings, has now acquired a far worse reputation than it would ever have had if they had simply elected to keep their noses out and let the reviewers get on with reviewing.
Nice one, guys.
Thanks to Lyris for the tip-off.
Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 at 10:02 AM
| Comments: 4
| Dario Argento
This reminds me of when I called Peter Chan's director's version of Going Home "a masterpiece" and "a film you need to see" in a little review at Horrortalk.com and Lionsgate did this:
Three (or "3 Extremes 2") is a muddling, borderline wreck with an abridged version of Going Home that practically sucks all the wonderful mystery and power out of the director's version.
Blah, I know how it feels...
Posted by: Jayson Sehn
, December 4, 2007 3:23 PM
I wonder why they just didn't do a Sony and completely invent a reviewer, rather than quote sources that were bound to notice (y'know, go down a cemetery, find a baby's grave, get a new passport in that name...).
Or just quote 1UP or EGM or something, it's not like there aren't reasonably good reviews from well-known sources out there.
Posted by: anephric, December 5, 2007 2:42 AM
This whole thing is nowt new. It's been happening on-and-off for the best part of a century. Those financial agreements between publishers and the companies whose work is being 'reviewed' have been commonplace for decades; it's just that in the arena of amateur and self-published online criticism, these kinds of formal agreements haven't become accepted practice as yet.
Personally, I hope the Gerstmann situation takes the wind out of the sails of some of those jumped-up online video game reviewers, who often confuse polemics with balanced critical thought. In terms of critical thought, they can't be compared to Bazin: they're more like Paul Ross, writing in the News of the World. In view of Gerstmann's fate, the phrase 'could care less' comes immediately to mind.
Technically, it's unprofessional to bite the hand that gives you your bread and butter, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are some other unstated internal politics behind Gerstmann's response to the 'Kane & Lynch' game. The review seemed intent on rattling a few cages. It's a mediocre game, but didn't deserve the mauling that Gerstmann gave it.
Posted by: , December 7, 2007 6:18 PM
All of those (presumably) teenagers who have been giving the game '1' on the Gamespot site are of the same drone mentality as the people who are suckered by video game/film advertising: they're still sheep who have been suckered into following wolves.
Posted by: , December 7, 2007 6:24 PM
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