Darkfall Online has been handed its keester in a review by Eurogamer. Reviewer Ed Zitron panned the game with a 2/10 review. Check out a bit of the review and a fiery comeback by lead developer Tasos Flambouras below:
First the bottom line in the review at Eurogamer:
While other MMOs have relied on their players to fill in the content to an extent - Star Wars Galaxies being the most notable example - few have abused the sandbox mentality so readily as Aventurine. It's the emperor's new clothes of 2009: such a marvellous game that only an idiot wouldn't realise the beauty of the gaping holes in its content, its wonky control system, and its seemingly decade-old engine.
Even if you were so inclined to take part in this painful experience, it's rather difficult to actually buy it. The subscription page is buried within the forums, apparently hidden from public view in the hopes that internet loud-mouths would leave it well alone (the few Darkfall servers Adventurine is running have been mystifyingly over-subscribed). In fact, the only clear description I could find was from an external site that linked to the subscription page - which was not available through the official site. We'll spare you the link. Use your credit card at your peril.
When we read the hostile review by Ed Zitron, one thing became apparent: he had not played the game at all. Eurogamer readers and Darkfall players are posting bullet lists of factual errors in the story. The reviewer hadn't even figured out the very basics of the game before he wrote about it. We checked the logs for the 2 accounts we gave Eurogamer and we found that one of them had around 3 minutes playtime, and the other had less than 2 hours spread out in 13 sessions. Most of these 2 hours were spent in the character creator since during almost every one of the logins the reviewer spent the time creating a new character. The rest of the time was apparently spent taking the low-res screenshots that accompanied the article. At no point did this reviewer spend more than a few minutes online at a time.
I did tell Flambouras - as he writes on the forum - that Ed is a contributor rather than a staff writer, but the implication is that I said this to distance Ed from Eurogamer. This is wrong. Ed Zitron has my full support.
I've already contacted another one of our PC writers, Kieron Gillen, who has agreed to review Darkfall. Kieron is a vastly experienced, award-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. I'll publish his review as soon as it's ready, and we will see whether he agrees with Ed or not.
We also don't believe that the 9 hours of MMORPG playtime Eurogamer is satisfied with, is anywhere near enough to review a MMORPG game of this size. It's not even enough to get first impressions and these say very little about the game experience. Most gaming sites understand this and they're using actual Darkfall players logging 100s of hours before they review our game. We believe that this is the only way to go in writing a complete review of an MMORPG like Darkfall.
Each quote is part of a much larger posting so be sure to head to both Eurogamer and the Darkfall forums to read more.
So what is to be taken from all this? I'm not sure but we'll certainly keep you posted "AS THE MMO TURNS".