If there’s one thing that gets today’s generation of video game reviewers tingling in the nether regions with anticipation and unbridled glee, it’s a sociopolitically charged game that puts identity politics front and center and the castigation of what the Left perceives as an identity caste system in the genetic pool of society. This was unabashedly apparent with the reviews for Bethesda’s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which somehow managed to rank as Bethesda’s top-scoring game of 2017 according to Metacritic.
GamesIndustry.biz did a brief article based on Metacritic’s listing of the top-rated publishers of 2017. You would have thought that Nintendo’s absolutely jam-packed first-party outings throughout the year would have led it to the top, but nope. It was Bethesda, and it was for the very games you would have expected to see at the top of a game reviewer’s “best scored” list.
Metacritic’s complete top-10 rated publishers for game review scores can be viewed below:
Obviously the question becomes: How on Earth did Bethesda out-score Nintendo?
It’s a good question because none of Bethesda’s titles come close to the overall averages of Nintendo’s first-party outings, yet Nintendo still less in cumulative review scoring than Bethesda. How could that be?
Well, GamesIndustry.biz explains that it was Bethesda’s quality over Nintendo’s quantity.
Please, refrain from laughing until the end of the article.
Yes, Bethesda had fewer releases but according to the stats that meant fewer games dragging down the overall Metacritic score. Bethesda released 12 titles in 2017, where-as Nintendo had 32. Many of Nintendo’s non-AAA published games didn’t fare as well and scored well below par, including Flip Wars only garnering an average Metacritic score of 53 out of 100.
Nine of Nintendo’s products hit the middle ground and were rated “so-so” by the game reviewers, dragging down its average to 78.0 out of 100. This is despite the fact that Nintendo’s best really were the very best the year had to offer, with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe averaging 92 out of 100, Super Mario Odyssey averaging 97 out of 100, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with its thick version of the princess scoring 97 out of 100.
You would think that Bethesda would have a pray in the roller rink to even come close to Nintendo’s top tier offerings in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. But game journalists don’t always rate games based on quality but rather political identity. This was quite apparent with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and its pro-Communist themes that resonated well with game journalists who carry similar anti-American sentiments. The game topped out on the Xbox One with an 88 out of 100.
Another politically charged game was Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, which made sure to put the Progressive Stack front and center in its portrayal of Billie Lurk, a black, disabled, lesbian. Reviewers topped it out on the Xbox One with an 84 out of 100. Hardly anywhere near the ballpark to compare to Nintendo’s best, but game journalists are going to game journalist. The rebooted version of Prey also topped out on the Xbox One with an 84. It, too, put identitarianism front and center, and if you managed to play the female Asian version of Morgan Yu, she happened to be a lesbian. It’s no surprise that game journalists scored it the way they did.
Bethesda also managed some decent scores with The Evil Within 2, which was actually more popular with gamers than critics, topping out at 8.9 out of 10 in user scores. The total average for Bethesda’s 12 distinct titles released in 2017 allowed it to hit 79.9, with only two games dragging down the score, one of them being DOOM VFR, which didn’t manage quite as well with reviewers.
Bethesda didn’t even introduce a single new IP into the fold in 2017, but that didn’t stop them from taking the top spot.
It’s kind of a sad indicator that the professional game review industry puts politics so high up on a pedestal while rewarding gameplay second. All the controversy surrounding Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus actually seemed to hurt its overall sales rather than help it. It’s still languishing at only 448,000 owners on Steam, according to Steam Spy. Bethesda have also been coy about the game’s overall sales performance. Lots of politically charged banter fill up the forums, and it now has a reputation in the gaming community as being anti-white and pro-Communism.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider performed even worse, only managing to move 200,000 copies over the last five months despite being a budget-priced title, according to Steam Spy.
By comparison, Kingdom Come: Deliverance sold more than 500,000 copies on PC alone in just two weeks, according to Steam Spy, and this is despite the fact that some major outlets refuse to review the game.
In a way, you can definitely tell there’s a major schism between what gamers like, what actually sells, and what game journalists are desperately trying to push to the forefront of consumer consciousness. Nintendo may not have won Metacritic’s top 10 list, but they definitely won big on the marketplace with major sellers like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, both of which have run sales-circles around Bethesda’s highly-praised but poor-selling offerings in 2017.