Executive Editor and co-founder at Polygon, Chris Plante:
Games have changed since we launched Polygon. We’re changing with them.
We believe that a new strategy, focusing on criticism and curation, will better serve our readers than the serviceable but ultimately limited reviews rubric that, for decades, has functioned as a load-bearing pillar of most game publications.
As part of this evolution, Polygon will no longer score reviews.
Polygon’s updated review strategy is built around two new programs: Recommends (labeling to endorse a particular title) and Essentials (curated lists of the best games available). As Mr. Plante points out, Polygon is following the lead of Kotaku, Waypoint, and Eurogamer; all of which have stepped away from numerical score systems.
This is a good move for Polygon and, I’d argue, any video game review site. When it comes to reviews, 5-star scales are worthless, let alone the 10-point variant sites like Polygon previously used. If it were up to me, I’d make all review sites use a simple thumbs up/down grade and maybe a “neutral” for something not terrible nor worth endorsing. A thumbs up tells me the game is worth playing — a