"Professional" is pushing it when it comes to the game review industry. In terms of reviews praising games that you think suck, that's not really new. The movie industry is incredibly bad for having a group of critics that are widely disconnected from what the buying public actually likes. As with anything else, find a reviewer or two that you trust who seems to agree with you more often then not, and listen to them.
Yep, the article was really harsh. But it's not a review. It's effectively a blogger saying "hey this is buggy, don't buy it right now."
In some ways he was kind. He *restarted* doing his actual review when the patch came out. There's zero reviews on metacritic right now, he could have had the first one (which means hits and $$). But instead he started over with the new version. This sounds like someone who was looking forward to the game and got torched by the early problems then someone who was just out to get Stardock (he's actually a fan).
As for bugs, I've encountered the crash bug, the alt+tab crash bug, the memory leak performance slowdown, and the AI sitting in its town and not doing anything. So if you're not seeing anything, we're doing something different (or you've got an nvidia video card, which is better behaved). So there's no way I can sit here and say it's a bug free experience. I've been running WoW, Starcraft 2, Borderlands, and a few other things without any issues on this machine since I got it, so I'm pretty sure it's not a hardware problem.
It'll be interesting to see what his review says when it comes out.
That's true. I also am running a NVidia card. I built this system as a gaming system first and foremost. Even being almost right at 2 years old now, I haven't encountered anything yet that causes the system to slow down or chug even on the highest of settings. In fact I think I've still got another 2, maybe even 3, years before I'll have to worry about upgrading again and even then it will probably just be the graphics card that needs upgrading. You'll probably remember my system specs from the thread we had going on about it a long time ago (granted that thread was on the old forums).
Intel Quad Core i7 920 @2.67GHz
NVidia GeForce GTX 280 1Gb video memory
OS Win7 64 Pro
It's really stable and great for gaming. I don't know if you're into the TW games but the Empire TW launch had way more people than here on their support forums who flat out couldn't run the game at all or had all kinds of video issues. Everything from white screen errors, black screen errors, even dreaded Blue screen CTD's of doom. I didn't have any of those issues nor did I have the funky AI behavior that a Lot of people complained about on the forums. For me it ran smooth and didn't lag or have random CTDs. The only thing I had that others did was the "Alt-Tab CTD" so to avoid it I just didn't Alt-Tab while I was playing. It reminds me of that joke where the guy goes to the doctor's office and says "Hey Doc, my arm hurts when I raise it like this." and the doc saying "Well don't raise your arm like that, stupid."...LoL.
Obviously I can't argue that Elemental has it's share of problems for a lot of people and still has the random game-play bugs to be worked out still. I don't know if it's because I scripted my own faction or what, but my last game where I conquered a large map I didn't have the normal teleport spell. It just wasn't in my spell book at all until I got to the mid/late game version that's a mass teleport. I don't know if that was a bug or if it's something I did when scripting. I also ran into a bug I mentioned where I couldn't draft darklings, so, the game does have some minor game-play issues to be worked out. It's nothing near as serious as the article writer went on and on about though which is mainly why his article pisses me off. I know there are Tons of power gamers out there with systems just as good and often better than mine and on those systems they have to be getting at least the same performance I'm getting or better. If he's a reviewer writing up real reviews for a decent sized web site he needs to have the proper hardware to do his job. Notice he Doesn't mention his system specs at all, not once. I wonder if that's possibly because he's trying to run the game on some sub-par P.o.s. that has no business trying to run games. I know Brad wanted to make a game that would run on a Notebook, but, I'd honestly hate to try to play this on a Notebook.
I'm looking forward to his actual review my-self as well to see if he Really gives Elemental a Fair review. If he does he will have earned a tad bit of respect back in my eyes. If he doesn't write a honest fair review I'll probably sign up and leave a nice long comment on My experiences with the game on a Real gaming system and inform people on at least some of the many Good Aspects of the game. It would be hard for me to do that without sounding at least a little bit like a fanboy though. I do think the game is awesome. It's fun, it's incredibly moddable, it's deep and engrossing and has that classic "just one more turn" pull that draws me deep into a game. Granted, over-all, I think sadly we all have to admit this hasn't been a very good launch "publicity wise" for Stardock. They've gotten screwed pretty hard on a lot of gaming sites for the last few days and I just don't think it's fair at all. Half of them out there are just flat out lying about the game's current performance saying it's a completely unplayable mess which just isn't true at all even if you are playing on an older system or with a ATI card. I'd just like to see the game and the Team get credit where credit is due. In the end Elemental is going to be THE PC Fantasy strategy game of our generation I think, just as many consider GalCiv 2 to be for the Space strategy genre. It really is an incredible achievement for Stardock and I wish more people would see that instead of listening to the "Bad Hype" that a lot of these sites are putting out.
I have to agree with "It'll be interesting to see what his review says when it comes out.". I really want to see what he has to say then or in 6 months from now.