People are turning to gameplay videos on youtube, or opinions from friends or blogs, because those review sites are fundamentally dishonest. Reviews will always have a place if gamers can use them to see if a game is worth buying, or if it's their type of game, before they buy it. But if a review site like IGN is giving 9's and 10's to every big Triple-A game, regardless of it's quality, of course people are going to stop reading their reviews as they no longer hold the ability to gauge the quality of a game. It's all about tricking customers into buying a turd on Day One with hype and rendered videos by limiting the flow of information.
Honestly I say good riddance, centralized information distribution is not something gaming needs, any site that is funded by having Mass Effect or Call of Duty ad banners plastered across it can't be objective. Let people think for themselves or get information through informal means like blogs.
So, since you were bitching about Gears of War and Call of Duty, exactly which respectable review sites panned them? Look, I don't fucking like Gears of War either, but obviously I'm in the minority and so are you. Maybe, just maybe, they got good reviews because the vast majority of the game buying public would actually like them and find them to be a good experience. I know it's a crazy fucking thought that the world doesn't revolve around your and my dislike for Gears of War, but I suspect it is so.
Now I have another crazy fucking theory for ya, if the game reviewers are all complicit in "making shit up" and saying bad games are good, why exactly do so many games have review embargoes? Could it possibly be because the publishers don't actually believe the reviewers will make shit up on their behalf? You know what? Nah. I mean, fuck Occam's Razor, right? I'm sure it's a big conspiracy.
How's this, game reviewers are a bunch of fucking fanboys, just like you, and just like me, and just like their entire reading audience. There's no good standards for reviewing games because the industry is nascent. And fanboys, you and me included, scream bloody murder at the slightest non-issue ESPECIALLY when we disagree with it. IGN only sells ad space because you're too fucking cheap to pay for a magazine, and so am I, and so is most of the people who want to read their material. So now they have two masters they're trying to serve, oh yeah, and they're fanboys who get to talk to their heroes who make their favorite video games, and then they get to tell you what they think about them. Is it any fucking surprise that they goddamn love their heroes' latest video games? Is it any surprise that they say, "well game X which I don't even think is that good got a 9/10 from almost everyone, obviously this awesome gem deserves more!"
So yeah, fucking break out the goddamned champagne, cause I am fucking happy that a bunch of underpaid people who actually had their fucking dream job just got fucked and shitcanned because you and I are too fucking cheap to pay for our content. Fucking party favors for everyone FUCK YEAH!
Gears of War and it's like are shitty games by simple logic that they have less features and actual gameplay than other titles. Unless of course you think removing the gameplay from the game makes for a better game? 90% of these games are computer rendered movies, pushing a button every now and again to take cover or whatever means about as much as hitting the pause button on occasion while watching a Bluray. No adult can objectively find the vulgar, immature rubbish shoveled off the video game production line of today to be "good".
A majority of people liking a particular game does not make it good, it simply means that an entire generation of gamers have been brought up to think that the video part of video games is the only important part, and screw the gameplay. Sorry to shit all over your "all opinions are equal" crap, but most people do have low standards, general ignorance, and happily consume any mass-produced pop-culture garbage because it's on tv or whatnot. Gears of War, Call of Duty, Halo and it's like are the bottom of the barrel, the reality tv shows of gaming. The fact that they are the mainstream-of-mainstream obviously they are the worst of the worst, because your average Joe probab;y doesn't not give a single shit about complex or interesting gameplay, he just wants to sit down on hos couch after a long day and collect button-mashing achievements on his XBAWKS am I right.
So whether they're fanboys or not, they have shit taste and are promoting shit. Fuck them for ignoring the true gems in Indie gaming, fuck them for not comparing Halo to Doom or Hexen and not coming to the obvious conclusion that FPS has declined, or not playing Fallout 3 and condemning it for betraying Fallout 1 and 2. Because the fact is these so called gaming journalists probably never played Doom or Fallout, they probably haven't played a single PC game before 2003, so how can they tell if gaming has gone backwards? Ignorance isn't an excuse.
Good riddance to bad rubbish. But I'm sure they could easily transition into a marketing bot job for Activision or EA.