horizon metacritic

Metacritic Plans To Improve Its Moderation After Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores Was Review Bombed

Burning Scores.

Review bombing has become a problematic and all-too-common reality in the world of video games, with the latest victim of targeted negative user reviews being Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores expansion.

Currently, the DLC holds a respectable 82/100 Metascore based on critic reviews, with 41 reviews scoring in the “positive” range and just four reviews categorised as “mixed.”

Conversely, the User Score on Metacritic for Burning Shores is sitting at a 4.1/10 at the time of writing with 359 “positive” and 25 “mixed” reviews being balanced out by 258 “negative” reviews – the number was previously as low as 2.7/10 according to Forbes.

A huge number of these negative reviews are scored 0/10 by the users that posted them, and reading through those the overwhelming majority are calling out PlayStation and/or Guerrilla for having a “woke” agenda when it comes to certain characters and their development throughout the expansion, with some blatant homophobia peppered in throughout.

Review bombing is the practice of a sizeable number of online users hitting a product – be it a game, film, or something else entirely – with a flood of negative reviews in an attempt to impact its sales or status, more often than not because said product contains content they find offensive or disagreeable.

In light of this, Metacritic has issued a statement to Eurogamer, stating that it’s aware of the issue and promising a solution in the future to more strictly moderate user reviews. The statement reads:

“Fandom is a place of belonging for all fans and we take online trust and safety very seriously across all our sites including Metacritic. Metacritic is aware of the abusive and disrespectful reviews of Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores and we have a moderation system in place to track violations of our terms of use.

“Our team reviews each and every report of abuse (including but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic, insults to other users, etc) and if violations occur, the reviews are removed. We are currently evolving our processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months.”

Metacritic didn’t elaborate on what those evolved processed and tools will look like, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction in curbing targeted attacks from online trolls in future.

In our own review of Horizon Forbidden West’s big new expansion, we said “Burning Shores is a worthy expansion and follow-up to the incredible Horizon Forbidden West. It’s packing a fantastic new location to explore, compelling new characters and fearsome new machines to fight while offering an exciting glimpse into the future of the franchise. It’s a bit more rough around the edges than I’d like but it’s essential playing for Horizon fans.”