Expansive will review downloadable content from time to time. We also Overview full-Retail Releases and offer something brand new: Patch Reviews.
We’ve designed this page so that you’re fully aware of our review and overview process
We aim to cover all formats, so will look at as much additional content for PC, console and mobile games as we possibly can.
The ever-developing game is becoming increasingly difficult for gamers and the wider press to keep up with. In many cases, press, PR and other forms of media will get to play a very different game to one people buy on launch day. Likewise, those who buy a game a fortnight or a month after release will also have a drastically different version to early adopters through title updates, hot-fixes and content patches.
Once a game goes ‘Gold’, that no longer means it will remain a static entity. It also means that it’s no longer exempt from change. The capabilities of Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Nintendo Network and the Apple and Android Application Stores mean games can continue to grow, evolve and develop months, even years after release.
Through Season Passes and balance tweaks, games are being supported long after their initial development cycle and so merely judging them on their initial appearance no longer seems appropriate or the best way to evaluate the entertaining potential of a video game.
That’s where our Patch Review comes into play.
The aim of the Patch Review is to see whether a patch improves on any areas of the game, or if it causes more problems than fixes. We then rate it with a score. While we feel its unfair to change the initial score of a game once that rating has been cast, it is fair to challenge the ongoing development of a game if a promised update has yet to meet expectations or has been ignored altogether.
The game (or previous patch update) will be marked before the application of the current patch with a brief synopsis. The current patch will then be marked with it’s supporting documentation taken into consideration. Finally, a current score for the game will be provided, determining the impact of the previous and current patchwork for the game.
It’s not always going to be possible to play a game before a patch comes out. A lot of developers have taken to patching games upon release, but we will do our best to indicate whether a game has or hasn’t been patched in each Overview and Review going forward.
Much like our DLC reviews, Patch Reviews will be marked out of 5.
In our reviews, we will focus on the following areas.
• If the content is worth the price of purchase – We base this on what the content pack offers the player, longevity, how enjoyable the overall experience is and whether we’d come back to it at a later date.
• Whether the content should have been bundled at launch and if there is an unfair expectation on the player to pay more money for something that should never have been omitted.
• Season Passes – If the content comes under a Season Pass banner, we assess whether it’s worth potential buyers investing in the Season Pass, partially based on the quality of the reviewed content, but in regards to what else they are scheduled to receive with the Pass. We’ll also investigate any concerns that players may not be getting value for money.
• What the content actually contributes to the game. Does it bolster the overall experience, potentially adding more playtime to the overall product, or does it feel overpriced and obsolete.
• The overall quality of the content – what it offers, how it looks and sounds, way it plays, and, ultimately, if you should spend money on it.
All of these reviews will be rated out of 5 (via a .5 system), with a brief summary at the bottom explaining our reasoning for the score. All of the above points will be considered when giving this score.
When reviewing, if you feel we’re not covering an area relevant or interesting to you, then please feel free to write to us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we will consider potential revisions to the above policies.
From time to time, Expansive will take an in-depth look at a fully-formed gaming release. These will not be reviews, nor should they be branded/treated as such. However, they will represent an informed opinion on the state of a newly released game based on the following factors.
• Whether the game has shipped in a poor state and if it will require further development through patches, fixes and updates to bring it up to an acceptable standard. Also, what those updates might be and how they could improve the game?
• The completeness of the game. Does it feel unfinished? Is it purposefully being set up for future expansions?
• Where announced DLC could benefit the overall package. For example, if the developers intend to introduce a new mode and if the package in its current state will benefit from its implementation. We’ll also assess how long the current package will keep players entertained and how reliant it will be on future DLC.
• Speculate on areas that could be added as DLC. For example, whether a story thread could be elaborated on further and if that will make for an enticing DLC experience, or if more maps are required to make multiplayer more robust and fulfilling.
We will always aim to get this as accurate as humanly possible. Naturally, we will miss some things, or elements won’t occur in our playthrough where they’ve occurred in someone else’s (particularly with glitches) – If you’ve experienced a bug/glitch/problem with a game and we haven’t mentioned, or, at least, alluded to it, then feel free to reply to the Expansive Overview feature in question and tell our community what sort of problems you’ve been having. We’d love to hear your feedback.
Please note: A game that won’t receive DLC of any sort will NOT be covered on Expansive.
These overviews will NOT be graded. They will serve as a feature intended to inform the reader on the above policies.
While assessing the game, if you feel we’re not covering an area relevant or interesting to you, then please feel free to write to us – email@example.com – and we will consider potential revisions to the above policies.
The gaming materials we receive come from publishers or PR firms, unless otherwise stated.