Metacritic Changes User Review Process After Horizon Forbidden West DLC Controversy

Metacritic is making changes to its user reviews after Horizon Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC was review bombed. Review bombing is hardly a new concept, though it has taken on a louder voice in recent years. While sometimes review bombing is used to reflect the release of a broken game, such as the recent PC port of The Last of Us Part 1, and signals a giant red flag for anyone hoping that it's worth buying, other times it's used in a far more negative way. Games that have featured more diverse characters/relationships have been hit hardest by review bombing, with one recent example really taking a major hit.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores just released last week and while it largely appears to be quite good, some were unhappy with the fact players can have Alloy pursue a gay relationship. Given it is absolutely optional and just generally not a big deal, it is odd to be upset, but players brought the user score on Metacritic down to as low as 2.7, but now it sits at around 4.1. Speaking to Eurogamer, Metacritic's Fandom noted that it would be making changes to its moderation following this incident, though didn't give specifics.

"Fandom is a place of belonging for all fans and we take online trust and safety very seriously across all our sites including Metacritic. Metacritic is aware of the abusive and disrespectful reviews of Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores and we have a moderation system in place to track violations of our terms of use.

"Our team reviews each and every report of abuse (including but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic, insults to other users, etc) and if violations occur, the reviews are removed. We are currently evolving our processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months."

As of right now, there are still some nasty reviews that give the game a low score and cite the fact that Alloy is lesbian as a reason for doing so. The score has been rising, but it's unclear if that's due to reviews being deleted or fans coming in to balance it out with positive scores.

What do you think of user reviews? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.