Is anyone surprised by this? Konami asking reviewers not to mention the install or cutscene length (amongst other things) for MGS4? It’s not uncommon, but it should be stopped. Why even ask reviewers to omit such things, you ask? They aren’t necessarily negative points for fans, but foreigners to the series may not perceive them in the same way. Asking reviewers not to spoil the story is one thing, but asking them to not mention valid points such as this? That’s crossing the line.
EGM’s July issue was supposed to contain a review of MGS4, but since they didn’t quite agree with the limitations imposed by Konami, they opted to wait until next month. That’s the way to do it, folks. We here at QSF5 would do the exact same. We’re in no rush.
These are common practices though. In some form or another, reviewers are being pressured into giving publishers higher scores. MTV’s Multiplayer Blog was running a week of articles involving some of the shadier practices happening in the world of reviewing games. From Metacritic scores affecting bonus royalties to publishers asking editors to hold back unsavory reviews until launch. One can only hope ‘The Game Reviewer’s Bill of Rights‘ gets taken seriously one day.