Why is Digimon Survive being review-bombed on Metacritic?

The latest game set in the beloved monster-taming universe has seemingly made some players upset (Images via Bandai Namco/Metacritic)
The latest game set in the beloved monster-taming universe has seemingly made some players upset (Images via Bandai Namco/Metacritic)

Bandai Namco's Digimon Survive is finally here after an immense wait. The visual-novel/strategy-RPG hybrid from developer Hyde was stuck in development hell for a while, with the latest iteration of the title needing to be rebuilt entirely from scratch.

While many fans have embraced this latest narrative-driven adventure's new gameplay structure, some have not taken well to it.

In a baffling turn of events, the game is being review-bombed on the aggregate review site Metacritic. Review bombing is the deliberate practice done (usually) by multiple users who abuse a critic site's user scoring system to leave multiple negative scores.

This "spam" of negative scores aims to outnumber the positive scores, bringing down the overall review score of a title.

But why is Digimon Survive the target of review bombing?

The game's user score yesterday sat around the 0-2 rating mark. It has since been counter-review-bombed with positive scores, raising them significantly.

Currently, Metacritic user scores for the PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One versions sit at 7.0, 7.1, 7.6, and 6.2, respectively. So why such hostility?

From reading the user comments, it seems these fans are not happy with the game's direction. One said:

"Wayy too much talking.. not enough action! Disappointed they would go this route when they could have done a decent RPG."

Another added:

"Awful, boring, it's one of the worst games I've ever played, 4 years for this? and 60$ for a visual novel, it's a joke."

A third gamer opined:

"It would be a Digimon game that I would really enjoy if it wasn't so loaded with those VN elements that are completely out of place. Bandai Namco has gone a long time without a worthwhile Digimon 'arcade' game and that this is the flagship that represents the franchise in videogames is disappointing to me. The tutorial/intro is very long and the dialogue is excessive. I would like it to at least have animations like... I don't know, PAST Digimon games."

Are these criticisms valid for Digimon Survive?

Bemoaning Digimon Survive for being clearly what it was is honestly fairly immature. The game's marketing has always proudly flaunted its graphical adventure design, with a heavy focus on narrative, menu-based navigation, and cursor-driven exploration.

So these "fans" have no one but themselves to blame for going in blind, especially when VNs are a particularly niche genre.

However, some fans criticized the game's presentation and design flaws. Key arguments center around sloppy animations, weak writing, forgettable characters, and bland combat.

Some highlights include logical inconsistencies centering around the characters' actions and predictable story twists. On the gameplay side, complaints steer towards certain Digimons being outright worse than others in combat, thus curbing strategic freedom.

On the contrary, the positive reviews seem to be singing praises about Digimon Survive being both a great narrative experience and a solid SRPG.

At the end of the day, even if Digimon Survive has myriad issues, fans need to realize that review bombing is not the way to go about it. The title is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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