Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress? | PCGamesN

Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress?

Topic of the Week: Reviews in progress

You’ve probably already noticed our review in progress for The Witcher 3, and last month you no doubt spotted that we did the same thing for Grand Theft Auto V. We’ve been doing reviews in progress for MMOs for a long time, but we’re now doing it more and more for single-player games. 

For our Topic of the Week, we want to know if this is something you’d like to see doing more often. Do you prefer these in-depth, updated-as-we-play reviews? Or do you hunger for day one reviews? Let us know in the comments. 

I’ll get the ball rolling. 

There are two issues that make reviews in progress both valuable and, sometimes, a necessity. 

The first is that the nature of news and reviews websites is that we’re all scrambling to be first. Breaking news, getting reviews up the second the embargo is over, making sure that readers get the information they need as quickly as possible. This is good from a consumer standpoint when it comes to reviews because it means you have what you need to judge whether a game is worth your time on launch day. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work well with the thoughtful nature of criticism. It means we, reviewers, need to sum up potentially a hundred hours of experiences in a couple of thousand words, often without much time to mull things over. It forces us to be concise and clear, which is a boon, but it’s also restrictive, while a review in progress gives us space to go into much greater detail, writing 800 words just on options and performance, which really wouldn’t fit into the final review. 

The other issue is the dearth of early review codes for AAA games. Increasingly, developers are working until the last possible moment on the game, and publishers don’t want us ‘orrible critics getting their hands on a version of the game that might not be as good as the final version. Last year this happened with Assassin’s Creed Unity and Dragon Age: Inquisition, and it’s happened again with The Witcher 3. 

In these cases, it’s impossible to get a review up for launch day. That leaves us with two options: knuckle down and provide you with a review as quickly as possible, leaving you with no information while you wait, or write reviews in progress. 

Anyway, that’s enough from me. What do you lovely lot think? Do you enjoy reviews in progress? Would you like us to keep doing them? Or would you prefer we just shut up until we post that final review? Let us know.

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Mackles avatarDrDantes avatarNinja Fried Rice avatarChris Evans avatarDog Pants avatarAever avatar+5
Chris Evans Avatar
2 Years ago

Reviews in progress are a good thing, especially when you don't receive review code until launch, or for large games that can't be romped through in 8 hours.

The only thing I would say is that it would be of benefit to see a definitive conclusion come the end of the review in progress, just to wrap the whole thing up.

DrDantes Avatar
2 Years ago

I like the reviews in progress. As long as they are clearly marked as such, and they always have been, they do a great job. I also like the videos you sometimes do when big games are released, but understand that it might not always be possible to do a video and a review in progress.

Mackles Avatar
2 Years ago

I don't mind how you do it so long as the quality and the content of the review provides me with a decent overview of what to expect.

Aever Avatar
2 Years ago

I tend to skip "reviews in progress" because they lack the most important part of a review, the final conclusion, which is what helps me most decide if I should look further into a new game.

On the other hand I understand why such reviews exist and I'm fine with it.

Fraser Brown Avatar
2 Years ago

In our reviews in progress we do actually provide a conclusion in the form of a final review. So, for instance, with The Witcher 3, I'm doing a review in progress this week, and on Monday I'll end it with a normal review and a score.

Ninja Fried Rice Avatar
2 Years ago

For most games I don't buy them at launch. So ya "reviews in progress" are ok with me. As long as the review goes in depth to support the longer process.

Dog Pants Avatar
2 Years ago

It's a good idea for those of us who are in two minds, who really want to buy a game but just have a few doubts. Personally I don't tend to buy games at release any more - I don't have the time to play the games I already own - so I don't tend to read the reviews in progress, but in this era of digital downloads I think they're necessary.

2 Years ago

No. Want to read the whole review. Doesnt matter if its before, on or after release date.

Fattox Avatar
2 Years ago

I'd rather just read once and be done with it. If this means you need to take a few days with the game before writing it, sure, why not.


If i haven't already bought the game on release, i'll most likely be waiting more than a few days until i do buy it anyway, to hear reviews and general impressions.


If you spend an hour a day for 2 weeks, or 7 hours a day for 2 days, you've likely covered the same amount of content anyway. And i'd rather hear from someone who's gone in feet first and has a fresh take on the whole experience, than someone who's been on and off the game so much (JMO).

SamRothstein Avatar
2 Years ago

I tend to not read reviews in progress. Not sure why I dont...

icheyne Avatar
2 Years ago

I only read the last paragraph of a final review. :-)