FAQLast modified: April 22, 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How was New Game Network created?
We wanted to create a gaming site that could be a resource for gamers who seek quality reviews by folks who are not only players themselves, but also great writers. We are dedicated to this project and hope to keep supporting it for a long time to come. While our opinions are ultimately personal, similarly to your opinion being your own, we are free of pressure from any parent company or advertisers to produce any specific content. We are an independent website, a fairly rare occurance in this industry, and plan to remain that way. If you'd like to find out a little more about our roots, feel free to read the relevant articles. We've also got a Wiki page created by a few fans.
Q. What do the overall game ratings mean?
90 to 100: Superb - No game is perfect, but these ones get as close as mortal works can. Whether it's through earth-shattering originality or merely immaculate craftsmanship, these are the games that will serve as examples of brilliance for years to come. No matter what your interest in their genre, these are must-haves.
80 to 89: Great - We all know these games when we see them. Games that keep us up into the early hours of the morning, pushing onward in fascination. Games that we can get properly passionate about, waxing lyrical about the smallest details. They have faults, no doubt about that, but the core experience is so good that we hardly care. Strongly recommended purchases all-round.
70 to 79: Fair - Games here might not have the most original ideas in the world, nor the best execution, but we had enough fun with them to warrant a thumbs-up. If you aren't normally a fan, these are still likely worth a look. If you are a fan, you're probably already queueing up to tell us why they deserve GOTY.
60 to 69: Mediocre - The good outweighs the bad here - just barely - but it's hard for us to commit to a recommendation without tacking on a few disclaimers. If fate conspires to drop these games into your lap then they're probably worth a try, but unless you're a fan of the series they're possibly not worth your hard-earned cash.
50 to 59: Poor - The grand winners of our especially non-committal shrugs. Significantly flawed, lacking original ideas, or - in many cases - just kind of boring, you would need to be under extenuating circumstances before considering picking them up. Expect to see them in a bargain bin about six months after release.
40 to 49: Bad - These games forego the bargain bin after six months and go straight to the garbage bin. Games here tend to be painfully unambitious, or - in the case of the more broken ones - far too ambitious. They're the products of incompetence and inexperience, but they're at least playable (if only for about half an hour).
30 to 39: Terrible - Not even the games' own developers could convince themselves that anybody was going to really enjoy these. This is the domain reserved for zero-effort cash-ins, deeply troubled development cycles, barely-playable sludge and, occasionally, downright universally offensive content.
20 to 29: Awful - Games that would never have been allowed to see the light of day if anybody involved in their creation had the slightest idea what they were doing. We'll give them their moment in the spotlight, but only because we feel duty-bound to ensure at all costs that you don't buy them.
0 to 19: Ineffable - We can't help but be morbidly fascinated with these unequivocal disasters. Nobody can save these games; we can only pick through the wreckage, trying hopelessly to piece together the events that caused their downward spiral. What happened here? What kind of mind could have conceived this? And how pumped-up with blind audacity does somebody have to be to actually try to charge money for it?
Q. What do the review categories mean?
Presentation - The general look and feel of the game. This is a product of the game's visual aesthetic, graphical fidelity, music, sound design, voice acting and interface, but can also be influenced by more intangible features: small details, symbolism, tone, world-building and overall stylishness.
Gameplay - The meat and potatoes of most games; the core mechanics and features. Aspects of the game like exploration, combat, puzzles, level design and control responsiveness are evaluated here, as well as supporting elements like balance, upgrade systems, skill trees, physics and such.
Single Player - Concerns all non-gameplay features that contribute to a game's single-player experience, including the premise, narrative, storytelling, characters, pacing, and an estimation of how much time the average player will spend on it. Replayability is also taken into account where applicable.
Multiplayer - Everything that influences the game's online functionality, such as match-making, server browsers and net-code efficiency, as well as an overall summary of how well the gameplay works in a multiplayer environment. In appropriate contexts, the current state of the community and social features are also considered.
Performance - A summary of the game's technical competence. Primarily this is influenced most by the number and severity of bugs encountered, along with general optimization and how it ties in to the framerate, but this score can also be affected by customization options, loading times, and - in some cases - features external to the game itself, like DRM and authentication. PC-specific reviews will have system specifications included for reference where possible.
Overall - Our overarching opinion of the game, summed up in a sentence or two. Note that this may be influenced by some categories more than others, depending on the game's focus.
Q. What are the general review guidelines?
Content - We strive to include all important aspects of the game in our evaluation. We enjoy discussing our experiences in-depth, which is why you will find our reviews to be longer than at many other publications. We always avoid revealing end-game content, unless it is absolutely essential to a praise/criticism of the game overall. Anything beyond halfway through the story campaign is off-limits, so our readers can enjoy the review without fear of spoilers. We do not review DLC or expansion packs, unless they can be considered standalone.
Early Access/Episodic content - We sometimes cover games in early access or preview individual episodes of a season. We choose not to produce scored reviews in such cases.
Patches and updates - Games are an evolving product. However, to constantly update our reviews with the most recent updates and fixes would not be a feasible approach. As such, our general policy is to review the game based on the experiences we've had with the product immediately prior to posting the verdict. Readers should check the published review date - it is possible that an older game has gotten better since we've originally covered it.
Remakes/reboots/re-releases - Our policy is to review the original release of a game, and make that our definitive verdict. We typically do not review next-gen ports, re-releases, and GOTY editions of a game we've already covered.
Q. How is the overall score of a game determined?
We play the games to completion before writing the review, unless otherwise stated. We also try all the features available before making a conclusion on a game. Each category is then graded, and an overall score is determined by comparing the values from every category - note, we do not determine the overall score by mathematically averaging the category scores.
All content on our website is subject to personal interpretation. Everything from editorial pieces to reviews are a representation of the author's opinion on the topic, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of our other contributors and members.
Q. Are you hiring?
We are always looking for talented writers who want to contribute reviews or articles about gaming. Just register here and check out our Open positions thread to see what type of help we are currently seeking. We look forward to hearing from you.