For any number of reasons, a game on Steam might find itself the sudden subject of a tidal wave of bad reviews. Sometimes a game balancing tweak or comment from the developer invokes the ire of fans former and current. Sometimes an update breaks the game or a new feature isn’t received as expected. There are a bunch of reasons. Enough negative attention, though, can shift the balance on a review from Mostly Positive to Mostly Negative.
Now, Steam is tweaking the format to both make reviews more helpful and to make the review system that much harder to abuse.
Reviews will now be viewable in two different ways – Overall and Recent.
Overall reviews will give you an idea of what people think of the game in general, while Recent will split out the newest stuff. If a game is suddenly getting bombed with reviews, this is where it’ll show up.
Instead of being deterred by bad reviews, hopefully gamers will be interested in seeing what changed. If the reviews are reflective of a bad patch, you could add the game to your wishlist to check out later, when things might be better. If the game is a solid one that’s being torn apart for reasons unrelated to the actual game quality, you’ll know and be able to ignore those.
People will likely still find a way to abuse the system, but this at least seems like it’ll make it tougher.