What makes you want to write or read a Steam review?

Lauren Morton

Staff member

Hey again PC Gamers, Mollie and I are back this week with a laid back show and tell episode. This time we're quizzing one another on games from the PC Gamer Top 100 from last year by reading off Steam reviews! Pull up the list for yourself and see if you can guess these games faster than Mollie and me. You can definitely guess them faster than me; I really whiffed on some easy pitches Mollie threw me. And hey, feel free to find some reviews of other Top 100 games (or your personal favorites) and throw them in this thread for your own bit of show and tell to see if everyone here can guess them. For a question that requires less homework though:

What makes you want to write or read a Steam user review?​

Mollie and I talked about this a little bit before we started quizzing one another and decided that we both get most of our actual game recommendations from friends and coworkers and other word-of-mouth sources. We turn to Steam reviews for things like finding out whether a PC port of a game is actually good. It's hard to deny that big blue "overwhelmingly positive" or orange "mixed" on a Steam page though. Do you feel compelled to dive in and read reviews, or write one of your own, if that summary doesn't match your own experience? Or does something else compel you on the occasions you choose to chime in?
 
As a Patient Gamer, my main use of Steam reviews is to look at the recent ones to gauge if the game has improved since all the launch coverage.

For more recent games which might be of interest, I'll read a couple of long reviews to decide whether to click Wishlist, Follow or Ignore.

Steam profile is wonky right now—eg says I haven't been online for 108 days and have 1 review. I have around 5-6 reviews, either for games I like which got very little attention, or where I had some useful info to add.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Yeah, the "offline since" thing has gone nuts, but all my Steam reviews seem to be there. 67 of them for me, going back 14 years. Oh, my review for Alice: Madness Returns turns 10 years old today! 🎉

+1 to Rich Stanton for getting Death Stranding on the top 100!

Skyrim can be relaxing. Check it out!
View: https://youtu.be/6wLoG-SClXU?si=2dLxuY0Q2tkVFxsf

Nice to have in the background while working.
 
User reviews for me are usually more about the technical state of a game. I'll check them to see if a game that was broken at launch has improved or if theres negative or mixed for a game I've heard good things about to scan the reason why people are bombing it or reacting badly in general.

Only ever written one, a positive one for Dying Light 2 because at the time there was a lot of negativity about the multiplayer vs Dying Light 1 and I thought the single player experience was still pretty good. If I was playing a lesser known game that didnt have many reviews, or for some reason the reviews were negative on a game I liked a lot I might leave one for balance.
 
Bad games .... I always begin a review of a bad game by saying .... i will never be a programmer but c'mon guys take another look at what the competition are turning out .... do you really expect people to buy this. Bug fests are another reason for bad comments.

Good games .... I always give high 5 if a game really impresses me , satisfactory and horizon zero dawn got a lot of high 5's off me. I give real praise to any game that i complete BUT other players say unplayable due to bugs. Lots of players bad mouthed me in steam cos i said i completed BLACKSAD without a problem , others were saying impossible to finish. I helped an indie guy debug crystal rift and because i found the last bug at the exit and did a complete run through in the early hours of the morning i knew i would be the first person to complete it. Despite coming to the defence of the game some players still said it was a bug fest and was unplayable.
 
May 1, 2020
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Being totally honest, in the 10 years that Steam reviews have been around, I have written a total of maybe 3 reviews; two being silly meme reviews for Goat Simulator and Madballs, and one legitimate review for Rocket League back at launch. It's hard to believe now, but back at launch I don't think anybody knew the huge hit Rocket League was about to become so I naively thought I would help the devs out by leaving a positive review 🤓

I can't lie, I do rely quite heavily on checking the Recent Reviews and All Reviews labels on Steam. I'll skim through a few reviews to see if technical issues are a recurring theme or other game-breaking issues. I do think there is an overall 'wisdom of the crowd', so while individual reviews may be extremely positive or negative, overall it all balances out to be a fairly fair representation. But with all that being said, you still just have to use your own judgment, we all know ourselves best - the number of times I've been tempted to try a game in a genre I actively dislike just because of the 'Overwhelmingly Positive' label... it's almost never ended well 😂
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
@Lauren Morton I was dying inside listening to Mollie read off the Death Stranding Steam reviews to you. Not a hint of recognition 😭

To answer the review question, I've written 113 reviews on Steam which is way more than I expected when I went to check. Steam also says there are 282 products in my account... so I've written reviews for over a third of my games.

What drives me to do it? Probably the same thing that keeps me active in this forum. I like interacting with the gaming community and sharing my thoughts on what I find fun or exciting and what I don't particularly like. Some reviews I take the time to really expound on, while others I just write a silly sentence or two for the memes.

I also enjoy reading other's reviews because generally they reinforce whatever I've heard about the game. Whatever it takes to keep the backlog growing!
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I'll often times try to include some things that other reviewers rarely mention. When to buy DLC is a big one. Some DLC out there needs to be bought before even starting a game, others work fine if you give the game 20 hours first, others can't even be started until you finish the game. Knowing that lets people try the game before they pay for the extras.
 
Hi Zloth On the rare occasion that Epic gives away a decent game that is not aimed a youngsters .... look at the graphics.. they list all the dlc you can buy and they give the game free hoping you will buy some.

Its a bit like childrens pester power .... if you dont have them all your not a proper fan and thats what companies play on.
 

PCGMollie

Staff member
Aug 14, 2023
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Being totally honest, in the 10 years that Steam reviews have been around, I have written a total of maybe 3 reviews; two being silly meme reviews for Goat Simulator and Madballs, and one legitimate review for Rocket League back at launch. It's hard to believe now, but back at launch I don't think anybody knew the huge hit Rocket League was about to become so I naively thought I would help the devs out by leaving a positive review 🤓

I am a fellow single-digit reviewer on Steam! Turns out I've only written four: One I did for some sort of Steam badge, two when I was a wee wannabe games writer at university, and one for Final Fantasy 14 expressing my love of bunny boys (I do really love them!)

@Lauren Morton I was dying inside listening to Mollie read off the Death Stranding Steam reviews to you. Not a hint of recognition 😭

To answer the review question, I've written 113 reviews on Steam which is way more than I expected when I went to check. Steam also says there are 282 products in my account... so I've written reviews for over a third of my games.

What drives me to do it? Probably the same thing that keeps me active in this forum. I like interacting with the gaming community and sharing my thoughts on what I find fun or exciting and what I don't particularly like. Some reviews I take the time to really expound on, while others I just write a silly sentence or two for the memes.

I also enjoy reading other's reviews because generally they reinforce whatever I've heard about the game. Whatever it takes to keep the backlog growing!
I really thought she was gonna get Death Stranding! The Amazon memes @Lauren Morton, the Amazon memes.

I definitely agree with reading reviews to reinforce my thoughts/what I've seen elsewhere. It's always nice to validate my thoughts on the story, mechanics or just the overall experience. Over a third of your library reviewed is wild too! I love that you've been able to take the time out to offer your thoughts, even if it is just a silly sentence. I should do it more often.
 
I tend to look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews in different categories and then find one that stands out. I might try out a game with mixed reviews if I am uncertain if it has been reviewed bombed or not, but for the most part, I trust the reviews enough for me to decide if I want to spend my time jumping into a game with mixed or worse reviews. On rare occasions, I'll play an overwhelmingly negative reviewed game because of the mems, likeThe Day Before.

I have written some Steam reviews, the latest being BG3. I'd rather review newer ones because I feel that will be more beneficial for the community. Maybe I am wrong about that, but I don't see the point of reviewing an old game on Steam that has already had thousands of reviews. Thinking a little more on this: some will stand out from this though, like No Man Sky, but for the most part, and without the game having done any significant updates (bad or good) I stand corrected.
 
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