Valve are providing us with a new tool to recommend games on Steam. Their review system lets anyone write a review for the game’s they own on Steam. That review will sit on the store page for all to see and the rating you provide will be tallied along with all the other game’s reviews to provide a score along with the metacritic rating.
The reviews themselves can be voted up by other Steam users, meaning that the favourites will rise to the top. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time until we have the gaming equivalent of Do not put on Knob and Bollocks.
Valve provided an FAQ along with the announcement post:
Q. Do these written reviews create an overall score or rating for a product?
A. Not yet, but we are looking to add that during the beta. Many products on Steam change significantly over time as the game or software is updated and new content is added. In order to form a score that accurately reflects the current state of a product, we first need to gather and evaluate the data from reviews.
Q. Do I need to have purchased a game in order to write a review of it?
A. Purchase is not required. You may write a review for any product you have launched via Steam. Whether you registered a Steam key obtained elsewhere, participated in a Steam Free Weekend, played a Free game, or played a game via Family Sharing, you will be able to write a review for that product. Your playtime in that game or time in that software title will appear next to your review.
Q. Can I write a negative review?
A. Yes. If you are unhappy with the product, or don’t believe that it is delivering on what it promises, you may write a review and tell other customers why you do not recommend it.
Q. Can I report abusive reviews?
A. Yes, similar to other content shared on Steam, each review will have a ‘flag’ button to report offensive content or spam.
Q. What happened to the recommendations I’ve written to my friends?
A. All the Recommendations you’ve previously written on Steam have automatically been upgraded to Reviews for the product. They are all still marked as visible only to your friends by default. You may edit them and make them visible to the general public, if you wish, by going to your Reviews page.
Q. Does this replace Metacritic scores on games?
A. These reviews will be offered as additional data. Both Metacritic scores and Steam Reviews will be visible on store pages for both games and software.
Q. I’m a game developer. Can I respond to reviews?
A. Yes, when you post in the comments of reviews on your product, your comment will be flagged as being from the developer.
Q. I’m a developer. Can I delete reviews of my product?
A. Not directly. If you find abusive or offensive reviews written about your product, you can flag it as spam/abuse. The review will continue to be listed on your store page, but in a collapsed form and marked as spam until a moderator can either delete the review or remove the spam flag.
Q. My game or software has changed a lot since it launched. Will reviews reflect that?
A. The reviews that are shown most prominently on your store page are selected from recently-written reviews, which should reflect the current state of your game or software.
We at PCGamesN are obviously all for you all writing reviews for games, it doesn’t make us afraid for our job security one bit. Honest. But, please, don’t have us as the first against the wall when the revolution comes.