A member of the video game discussion forum ResetEra review bombed AI: The Somnium Files and single-handedly crashed the game’s User Score from 8.2 to 1.9 in a day after taking issue with the way the game had treated his favorite female character.
The now-banned ResetEra member, Krvavi Abadas, didn’t own up to being behind the review bombing right away and initially claimed that “someone” was “deliberately demonstrating how utterly busted the site [Metacritic] is.”
He then documented how the User Score for AI: The Somnium Files had dropped from a green “generally favorable” score to a red “generally unfavorable” score in a matter of hours.
An archive of the Metacritic User Score for AI: The Somnium Files also showed that it dropped to a low of 1.9 as a result of the review bombing campaign.
After posting about AI: The Somnium Files’ User Score, Abadas added that “other games have had their reviews screwed up, in a way that explicitly ties them to this incident.”
He then went on to describe how one of the reviews for the game Crystar was critical of AI: The Somnium Files and how some of the reviews for Metal Torrent referenced AI: The Somnium Files.
Next Abadas wrote that there’s “no clear hint that it’s the same person” review bombing these games and documented “how absurdly easy it is for one person to screw everything up so easily” by using temporary emails and email aliases.
Abadas, who at this time still hadn’t admitted that he was behind the review bombings, then wrote that: “The main lesson is that Metacritic is utterly worthless when it comes to user reviews.”
On Wednesday, the creator and director of the game, Kotaro Uchikoshi, then linked to this ResetEra thread on Twitter and asked for help – unaware that one of the people in the thread was responsible for review bombing his game.
After Uchikoshi linked to the thread, Abadas came clean and posted an edit where he admitted to review bombing AI: The Somnium Files.
Abadas wrote that he “loved” most of the videos featuring a character called A-set but “hated the actual game for how it basically ignores everything said videos were trying to build up” and for the way it treats the A-set character.
Abadas also claimed that his review bombing campaign was not related to their hatred of the game but a “response to the recent discourse of Warcraft 3 Reforged” and it becoming the worst reviewed game on Metacritic.
Once Abadas had owned up to what he had done, the ResetEra mods locked down the thread and banned him from the forum.
Now that the review bombing campaign against AI: The Somnium Files is out in the open, its Metacritic User Score is finally starting to recover with it rising from the low of 1.9 to 4.5 (archive link).
The User Score for the game still has a way to go until it returns to its original generally favorable score and the incident provides some shocking insight into just how much damage one bad actor can cause to a game’s reputation on Metacritic.