Steam Reviews Enter Beta Today
Valve’s popular recommendation feature, which has been a staple of the service since 2010 has evolved. Steam Reviews now take the place of that feature, upgrading all previous contributions to the new system.
Steam Reviews give users the ability to share reactions once they have played the game. You’ll be able to rate other users’ content, browse reviews by author, and mark your existing Steam Recommendations as “public” in order to share them widely.
Steam Reviews don’t use a scoring system, and instead users will either recommend the title or not. The most recent reviews will show up on a product page, ensuring that game updates are reflected.
Developers are able to respond to comments, but they may not remove reviews directly. Abusive or offensive content can be flagged for evaluation and potential removal, though.
There is no aggregation at this time, but Valve is exploring how to add that throughout the beta phase. The reviews will be offered alongside (rather than instead of) Metacritic scores. Find out more on the Steam website.
Provided that Valve takes steps to monitor the reviews and prevent abuse and spam, this could be a very good thing for players and developers alike. It will give developers a way to monitor feedback from those that own and have played a game (avoiding the trend of Metacritic user-review bombing). I’m interested to see how developers put this to use and improve their communication with fans and their games.