Shenmue 3 is a game that many fans assumed would never happen. Due to the financial struggles of the first two games in the series, it seemed as though the Shenmue franchise would never have the chance to finish its story, but then Sony shocked the world by announcing Shenmue 3 at E3 2015. The game then smashed Kickstarter records, secured some extra funding with a publisher, and after some delays, finally released worldwide on PC and PS4 just a few days ago. Considering how long fans had to wait for Shenmue 3, it's understandable that some of them are passionate about the game, and it seems that passion has seen them post fake reviews in order to boost its user score on Metacritic.

Like with most games, Shenmue 3's Metacritic user scores tend to be 10/10 or 0/10 ratings. Right now, it has 150 positive reviews, four mixed, and 63 negative reviews for the PC version of the game alone. Reddit user Nogebator13 noticed that some of these reviews appear to consist of the same text, have been posted for both versions of the game, and are from accounts that were seemingly created just to post positive reviews for Shenmue 3.

The most likely scenario is that this is just a case of passionate fans flooding the Shenmue 3 with positive reviews on Metacritic, perhaps as a response to the generally negative reviews that have been given by professional game critics. There have been instances in the past where companies have faked reviews themselves, but there is no evidence of that happening with Shenmue 3's user reviews on Metacritic.

shenmue 3 screenshot

It should also be pointed out that those posting the overwhelmingly negative reviews, the 0/10 scores, are also essentially posting "fake" reviews. Since Shenmue 3 takes about 18-25 hours to beat and it launched just a few days ago, it's highly unlikely that the vast majority of the people posting reviews on Metacritic have actually had the chance to play through the game and post their reviews. Considering this, no one should take its user score too seriously.

Shenmue 3's reviews may not have been quite as positive as the scores that the first two games received, but many critics appear to be in agreement that fans of the originals will like this one. If Shenmue 3 is a success, maybe the developers will address some of the criticisms levied at the game in Shenmue 4, or maybe it will stick to its guns and release another game that sticks close to the original games.

Shenmue 3 is out now for PC and PS4.

Source: MetacriticReddit