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Comments and Scoring Policy

Scoring Policy:

Here at Digitally Downloaded, we rate games on a five star scale, with half star intervals.  The score we assign to each game provides a quick glance into the overall quality of a game while allowing you to compare it to other games on the same platform or genre. While scores do sum up our overall thoughts on our reviews, we highly recommend you read our full reviews to provide context to our ratings.

When we assign a score, we realise that new games don’t exist in a vacuum.  The gaming industry is competitive by nature, and a game is always being compared to its contemporaries, especially if they are similar in nature or genre. We review games based on their own merits, but we acknowledge the state a game is released in. Is a game itself good, but poor value in some way? Is a game a half-hearted sequel to a good game? These things can all affect scores.

Lastly, we do realise that our reviewers are all different. Each writer here at Digitally Downloaded has a different perspective on gaming, and writes in his/her own style. One of the great things about modern gaming is that people can look at games from different perspectives; as art, as entertainment, as culture. We don't impose on our writers to "toe any lines," and if, for example, one of our writers wants to tear into a popular game because he or she finds it to be offensive in some manner, we allow for that, and we ask our readers to respect the right for that critic to have a view on the game. 

On the other hand, we also realise that different reviewers might have varying opinions on the same game, and we often publish “Second Opinion” reviews should we see fit. These second opinion reviews aren’t meant to replace the original score, but serve as a different opinion on the game, even if the final score is the same. If you would like to see a second opinion on a game, please feel free to request it of the team. However, just as we don't guarantee reviews of a specific game, we can't guarantee a second opinion either. We're not quite IGN yet, and most of our game reviews are funded by whoever reviewed it.

Here’s a breakdown of what our scores mean:

5 Stars
A game that receives a score of 5 stars is something we can recommend to all gamers. These types of games are, in the eyes of the person that reviewed the game, important in some way to the games industry. It could be that we give a 5-star game to something that isn't necessarily entertaining to play, provided it has a strong, compelling message.

Please don't argue with us that we're calling a game "perfect" if we give it 5 stars. It's not, any more than a 5-star hotel or restaurant is the best thing you'll ever experience in your life.
4.5 Stars
We wholeheartedly recommend any game with this score, particularly to fans of the genre. Games that are an awful lot of fun, but not necessarily important or groundbreaking will fit into this category.
4 Stars
This score refers to game that are first-rate in nearly every way. We're probably going to have criticisms of a game at this score, and some of those criticisms will turn some people off the game. That's OK though, because once you hit this score and below you're basically writing for the genre fans.
3.5 Stars
A game with this score is good overall, and fans of the particular genre or those interested should give it a go, though it won’t convert anyone.
3 Stars
Games that earn 3 stars have good qualities, but some significant problems hold them back from greatness. It's still a good, solid game at this score rating. It's just not going to set most people's world on fire.
2.5 Stars
This is your middle ground. You're going to need to be a real genre diehard to get much value out of this.
2 Stars
These types of games tend to fail in one or more categories. Whether it’s the gameplay, design, or basic functionality, these games fail to live up to their potential. There's something still there that appealed to the person that wrote the review, but it's a very rough diamond indeed.
1.5 Stars
It’s best you steer clear of these games. Their few positive qualities can’t begin to make up for their numerous shortcomings.
1 Star

This is the point where we begin to wonder whether this is a game at all. These types of games fail on all fronts, and are barely functional to begin with. Or are just plain offensive.

It's important to note that we indicate the version of the game we review in brackets after the title. So, for instance, if you read "Review: Skyrim (PC)" then you are reading the review for the PC version of the game. We do try and test multiplatform releases on all formats possible. If we feel there are sufficient differences in experience on different platforms, then we will run a second review to highlight the differences.

Comments Policy:

Thank you for coming to visit Digitally Downloaded! The team works very hard to provide interesting, provocative game reviews, opinion articles and features to get you thinking about the best hobby there is out there: gaming.

Thanks to the power of Disqus, you're able to directly respond to our work, and we take pride in the fact that wherever humanly possible, the team will respond to your questions, comments, and debates. It's important for the games industry to start having proper discussions if it is to continue to grow as both creative and entertainment medium, and so, unlike many other sites out there, you leave a comment on DDNet, you're probably going to get a response from someone on the editorial team.

So What’s The Catch?

That being said, we do expect a certain level of respect and maturity in our comments. Being free to create a discussion around a topic, article, or review does not absolve you of certain responsibilities. The line between hearty debate and angry fight is often a thin one, but we ask all of our readers to respect our desire to keep things on the hearty debate side of things.

And so that means certain comments that would fly on sites like IGN and Gamespot will not be tolerated at DDNet. The below list is not exhaustive and we reserve the right to pull people up for comments not directly in breach of them, but in the interest of explaining what can be summed up as "behave like a decent human being" the below list are all no-gos at Digitally Downloaded:

  • Bad language. Bad language gives a comments stream a toxic atmosphere for a more general audience. We want as many people as possible to be able to read the site and feel comfortable. This applies to "street language" which might not be using the offending words with the intention to offend. If you can't use the word on a school or university paper, then don't use it here. 
  • Insulting the writers at DDNet. We like healthy debate, and we are always open to answering any questions or concerns you might have about anything we write. However, there's an equal obligation on your part to be civil and constructive. That includes refraining from insulting, belittling or attacking the author of an article on DDNet or their point of view. You don't have to like everything we write, but if you're going to participate in the community, then having respect for the writers is mandatory. 
  • Harassment. While you're welcome to disagree with someone, attacking that person for having an opinion different to yours and otherwise trying to make them uncomfortable for holding their opinion is a no go. Make your point, and discuss their response. Don't attack the person.
  • Sexism. We really don't care how much you hate feminism and Anita Saarkesian. Keep the kitchen comments to yourself.
  • Off-topic and pointless chatter. Our team works hard to provide the best possible content we can. It's a point of respect that if you're going to comment on the article, that you do so in a productive way. For writers it is incredibly frustrating to go to the effort to write something, only to have the discussion of that topic driven off track by people who have no interest in discussing the article. There's places like Facebook, Twitter and gaming forums for that kind of thing. We request you respect the work that our writers do by keeping a discussion on a story to that story.
  • Religion and politics. A wise man once said "allow religious and political discussion on your website, and you'll ruin your community." Or we just made that up, but either way it's true. DDNet is open to anyone - Muslim or Christian. Caucasian, Asian or African. Left or Right. We want everyone that visits to enjoy their visit, and so while you're perfectly entitled to be whoever you want to be, the moment that you extend your beliefs to passing any kind of judgement on the beliefs, culture, or religion of anyone else, it's a complete breach of our website policy, and we need to adopt a zero tolerance policy here. You can be political if you have something to say, but you can't attack other people for not sharing your view. You have other, more appropriate, outlets to discuss your religious and political beliefs than a website about games. 
These rules are not there to squash conversation, of course. We want to hear your input! Just be mindful that we want a healthy, friendly environment. And thank you for understanding!