Gamespot editorial director Jeff Gerstmann has announced
that next week the website will be changing its review system. Starting next week, the self-described formulaic score will be replaced with a 19-point scale -- "that's 1.0 to 10.0 with half-step [0.5] increments," he said. In the absence of sub-scores for graphics, sound, audio, etc., the reviews will also add a medal system to award games for specific merits such as graphics (artistic or technical). There are reportedly 60 medals currently planned, with room for later expansion.
Gerstmann cited the evolution of the games industry as a reason for the new system. "The assumption [the previous system] makes is that graphics are just as important in a driving game as they are in a rhythm game. You shouldn't need me to tell you that they aren't," he said. Gerstmann also notes that the content of the review, unsurprisingly, is not going to change. The new system coincides with a Gamespaces redesign; a preview of the new look can be found here
By merit of being one of the two biggest video game websites around (the other being IGN), Gamespot has dealt with its fair share of criticism regarding its reviews
. (Remember the backlash when they gave Twilight Princess
a meager 8.8
?) With this marked change in the site's eleven-year review system, we're hoping the website will use this opportunity to shift the grade scale bell curve
to 5.0 instead of 7.0, giving their higher scores more of an impact.