You may have noticed that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is raking in some incredible reviews. Many sites have already awarded it a perfect score or near perfect score as players await the September release. However, some have been critical of these scores after it was revealed the majority of reviewers were given less than typical conditions to play the game in. A reviewer from GameRadar (don’t worry – no spoilers), in his review of the game, said he could not in good faith give the game a score because he didn’t feel he was given time to complete the game.
The writer, Dan Dawkins, details the “review event” of Metal Gear Solid V where several reviewers were flown to a hotel and given specific shifts in which they could play the game. Reviewers were given a room and told they could play the game between the hours of 9AM and 5PM. Reviewers were given a maximum of 40 hours to complete the game. Not included in this access was any of the online play, which meant reviewers had no way to assess the new microtransaction system.
That’s a maximum play time of 40 hours, assuming no stoppages for eating, drinking, stretching… or reality. So you’re trying to complete a 35-50 hour game (or longer, depending on your play style and the nature of your ‘completion’… I can’t say more), that you’ve been anticipating for five years, in a realistic window of 30-35 hours. On one hand, you’re finally immersed in one of the deepest, most experimental, open-worlds in history – overwhelmed by side-missions, upgrades and secrets – on the other, haunted by a tick-tock race to reach the ‘end’ without knowing when that is.
Reviewers stay at the hotel, along with food, travel, and some other accommodations, all provided by Konami. A handful of better known reviewers were given copies to review from home. The reason for the strict rules at the review event were to prevent the leaking of spoilers and most likely to also prevent torrenting. This has proven unsuccessful as spoilers can already be found across the Internet. As well, torrents for the game have already popped up for last gen consoles (the PS3 and Xbox 360). Konami has already bragged a bit about their high reviews, though some are reasonably skeptical given the very short amount of time reviewers were given to experience the game. In particular, GameSpot drew special attention to their perfect score for The Phantom Pain.
— Konami (@Konami) August 24, 2015