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March 16, 2011

Dragon Age II reviewed by developer on Metacritic

by Darren Allan

Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age II appears to be the game which just wants to keep courting controversy.

Thus far we’ve had a player mistakenly banned from playing the game, and the whole SecuROM thing, where it appeared that DA II had it on board, but then came the revelation that actually, EA hasn’t employed the copy protection system.

Just to stir things up a bit more, an employee of the RPG’s developer Bioware thought he’d post a little review up on Metacritic, to try and even up the fight against the slew of heavily negative reviews which has seen the game currently achieve a lowly user rating of 4.2 out of 10.

So, user Avanost gave his own game a 10 out of 10 (very generous) and wrote the following: “The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you’ll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining.”

Avanost certainly needs to work on his stealth skills… “endlessly” entertaining? “Anything negative” is an “overreaction”? Perhaps not laying it on with several trowels might have been an idea…

Anyhow, as Kotaku reports, the suspect whiff of this review was so strong that Reddit user “GatoFiasco” investigated the person behind the Avanost name, and discovered it was a Bioware engineer.

Predictably, the gaming community is generally not too happy about this, although an EA PR rep took it in his (or her) stride. The spokesperson commented: “Of course the people who make the game vote for their own game. That’s how it works in the Oscars, that’s how it works in the Grammy’s and why I’m betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election.”

Err, right. Voting for your own game in, say, the BAFTA video game awards (happening later today) is one thing. Voting on Metacritic is another, but actually crafting a false glowing review is an entirely different matter in our opinion, and just not cool.

We don’t recall Barack Obama posing as a journalist and writing a feature about himself as a “veritable demi-god of a politician who will reign endlessly.”

Okay, so a Metacritic user review is hardly likely to be taken seriously anyway, but it’s a point of principle. We suspect that Dragon Age II’s Metacritic user average is now set to dip further than 4.2.

Treatment the game doesn’t warrant, particularly when you consider the critics’ average, which is 80%.

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