Steam Review Awards Appear To Be Coming Soon, Concerning More Than A Few Users Of The PC Platform

Steam Review Awards Appear To Be Coming Soon, Concerning More Than A Few Users Of The PC Platform
Credit: Steam via Twitter

The vast majority of Steam reviews, it feels, are completely irrelevant as meagerly educated users struggle to use their words to describe a title, and what they like or dislike about it. Instead, the Steam Review system has turned into a proverbial race to the bottom as users stretch for the pinnacles of comedy, with reviews after 1,000’s of hours stating ‘it’s alright’. Or negative reviews that state how great the title is, but there should be a few negative reviews to ‘balance it out’.

Instead of the insight that a user with over a thousand hours could offer to the community, it becomes a reflection of ‘Look how many hours I have’ as though that alone becomes a basis of criticism either positive or negative. Steam (relatively) recently offered reviewers the option to disable comments in their review posts as well, which is defaulted, meaning that there is more often than not very little room to even criticize these ‘joke reviews’.

It has all become a bit of a derivative system that, while at one point in time was viewed as a crowning achievement of the Steam platform (and levied against Epic Games Store), has become cancerous as users compete to get the most ‘likes’.

It’s like MySpace or Facebook at this point, just infinitely worse. Perusing Steam’s GitHub repo (which you can reach here), and you can see that it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Steam has been hard at work on Steam Review Awards, where users can offer ‘points’ for reviews that they found particularly helpful or hilarious; it’s like the ‘helpful’ review of reviews on methamphetamines, ensuring our current race to the bottom will turn into a fantastic swan-dive onto the pavement. Hilarious negative reviews such as ‘Why are you even looking at negative reviews? Just buy the game!’ will become the apex of comedy for Steam as they’re spammed, somehow, even more than we already see.

From the GitHub repo, we can identify that users will have points that they can pass to other Steam users based on their reviews, and it’s presumed to be a part of the upcoming Steam Loyalty System that is expected to drop relatively soon based on industry leaks.

The awards thus far appear to be:

  • Deep Thoughts
  • Heartwarming
  • Hilarious
  • Hot Take
  • Poetry
  • Extra Helpful

The issue is that Steam Reviews have been continuing to turn into a dumpster fire, and this frankly looks as though it will do little to remedy this. Instead, it will encourage users to wax poetic with soppy stories about what the game reminds them of, instead of what the game actually offers.

Further encouraging Steam users to flex their hilarious clown muscles in even more ‘It’s alright’ reviews in exchange for points seems to cement what could be a very iffy system that does little to remedy the maladies experienced by users attempting to use the reviews to, for one meager example, figure out if a game is worth the price of entry.

Even reviews that include pre-built tables that have spread around Steam with checklists of graphics and difficulty are wildly uninformative, as it’s all based on preference and user’s unflagging attempts at humor.

Instead of Valve encouraging users to write reviews, they should work on encouraging in-depth looks and analysis. This system, from what we can glean from the GitHub repo, doesn’t seem to be facing that challenge whatsoever. The problem reaches far beyond reviews into the game tags as well, with ‘Psychological Horror’ being lobbed at every title that had a rough launch, although we’ll let Valve struggle to fix reviews before we approach that backward system.