Angry fans sinking Portal 2's Metacritic user score

Portal 2 may be fetching high scores from critics across the board, but Valve's sequel is not sitting well with a small group of vocal players who have started tanking the game's user rating on Metacritic over some very specific issues.

At time of print, Portal 2 sits at a user score of 6.7 on Xbox 360, 6.8 on PS3, and 7.3 on PC. And while it's true these are far from horrible, these scores fall well below the current critic average of 95 between all three platforms.

So where's the disconnect? While a majority of the user reviews hover around the 9 or 10 ratings mark, the overall average is currently being hacked to bits by a small contingent of 0 to 2 scores from users who are none too happy over Valve's direction with Portal 2. The biggest issue appears to concern the game's short length, as evidenced in reviews like one from a user named Amiganoid, who writes:

“Come on people for how long are we gonna take this crap, 60 bucks for 5 hours. The critics are also getting more unbelievable every day, and most of us get fooled by them. The game industry with its greed, and lust for domination, is crumbling more and more everyday.”

Down reviewers are also kicking up a fuss over the large amount of DLC Valve has made available for Portal 2 right from launch. Though the content is largely skin deep (e.g. robot hats, poses, dance moves, etc.), some users have accused Valve of stripping the full game and selling its parts in an evil plot to squeeze every last dime out of fans.

Rounding out the list of grievances, a handful of zero reviewers have accused Valve of coming up short with its Potato Sack promotion wherein it promised to release Portal 2 early if Steam users played a select batch of indie games, but instead released the game only a few hours early while (allegedly) swimming in vaults of Potato Sack gold. Elsewhere, PC haters are taking umbrage over in-game messages referring to computer versions as though they were working off a console. If you have to ask why this might be an issue, you've never had the joy of partaking in a calm, friendly discussion on the pros and cons of console gaming with a diehard PC player. Fun times.

Overall, the brewing Portal 2 Metacritic controversy isn't about the truth of these negative reviews – most raise valid points and are definitely worth discussing – but instead the severity of the scores that have accompanied them. Unless it is absolutely broken or shitty beyond comprehension, there's no reason to give any game a zero, and doing so only shows a lack of one's ability to discuss a game's flaws like a grown-up. Maybe it's time Metacritic used a thumbs-up, thumbs-down system instead.

Apr 20, 2011

Got a news tip? Let us know at

Portal 2 Co-op | Full Access Playthrough 
A spoiler-free video stroll through Portal 2’s super-sized multiplayer mode


Portal 2 walkthrough and video guide 
Video solutions to every puzzle in Portal 2's singleplayer chapters

Portal 2's dynamic music - an interview with composer Mike Morasky, and five tracks to listen to now! 
Hear the 'old future through a new lens' as Valve's composer explains the adaptive sounds of Portal 2


  • ThatGuyFromTV - April 23, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    what is it with these diehard valve haters? L4D2 had crazy shit happen to it too, why is valve the only one getting this heat?
  • IcePotato - April 22, 2011 2:36 a.m.

    I know how they feel. I bought fucking Madworld at launch cause IGN got me all hyped up. They did not tell me it was a fucking 4 hour long game.
  • Siion - April 22, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    If they don't like it perhaps they should just not buy the game and move on, i know it sounds crazy but hear me out, i think it could work.
  • LTS - April 21, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    What are those creatures that live under bridges called again? Troks? Trops? Oh, yeah, Trolls. The vast majority of the user reviews scream out trolling or blatant sarcasm, some of which come across as satire of game reviews in the first place.
  • opeth784 - April 21, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    The game's only 5 hours long for them because they don't have a friend to play the co op with.
  • Kayden - April 21, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    "Unless it is absolutely broken or shitty beyond comprehension, there's no reason to give any game a zero, and doing so only shows a lack of one's ability to discuss a game's flaws like a grown-up. Maybe it's time Metacritic used a thumbs-up, thumbs-down system instead." No they should not go to a thumbs system. The problem is that ppl see 0 as a fail and if they feel cheated they will give it a 0, which is the point of many die hard PC gamers. I am one of those and I felt cheated about Crysis 2 for it's nonsense and now I'm not going to buy P2 because of it's blatant porting, sloppy seconds isn't what a game should be about for the PC but it is because of the piracy monster that isn't even the reason for poor sales. How do I know this because they blamed piracy for months after Crysis came out for it doing poorly in sales but what you didn't hear is that 5 months later after launch they went on to sell over 1.5 mil copies iirc, had to do a report on it when I went to college and I don't have the paper anymore. The disconnect is this that dev's only look at initial sales to satisfy investors, but when you make a game that can still bring 2011 modern game rigs to their knees after 4 years your going to have wait for the hardware to catch up and by any standard 3 mil sales is fantastic (which was total in the time of my report) but investors want there money in the first 2 months not a year. Also the other problem with user reviews is that these ppl are gaming professionals on any level most of the time. They have no idea what goes on behind the curtain to develop or finance a game and they don't have to be objective in their review because they write with their feelings. I am quite pissed myself it feels like the pc gamer is just here for sloppy seconds and even Valve is showing it's true with P2, Crytek proved it with C2. There is a need for greed in the gaming world and it becoming more apparent the PC is getting worked over more so then a new cons first day in the shower. Am I going to buy P2 now, more then likely not because I for one refuse to pay for a game less then 10 hours long at $50 forget even $60. The problem is that Valve did gamers a solid including the original portal in the Orange Box because you got so much with it so 5 hours wasn't an issue but now it is. I for one don't mind seeing the 0 effect of a game because it's about gamers views, metacritic did what they should have by putting user and pro reviews in two diff categories so it gives you contrast. Also lets not forget this isn't what the investors look at it's the pro ones for bonuses and etc. I know you want ppl to be able to talk about a game in critical way Matt, but look at it this way when the devs say nothing do nothing about problems that are either constructively written or in a rant NOTHING is acknowledged or even considered. It literally is the barbarians at the gate and the devs are in the fortress of solitude and give every one the feeling they could care less, which causes ppl to become even more upset. What needs to happen to go where you want is for them to actually work with the community like CD Projekt has done for the Witcher 2 and Eidos Montreal did for Deus Ex 3 with the highlights. You want, I want, they want who is going to win? Those who have the most money and that's why I'm also voting with my wallet but one sale loss isn't going to help, especially when you go on faith like I did with C2. I did not do it with P2 after that exp and I will more than likely never preorder a game again because of this kind of mentality from devs.
  • alphafour - April 21, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    I don't know why people are complaining about others giving 0 - 2 scores. There are far MORE people giving games 9 or 10 out of 10 when they are simply not perfect. If you have the right to say you think it's absolutely faultless and you liked everything, what's wrong with saying you didn't like it at all and you don't like the direction the company took the game - and for that reason you gave it a horrendous score? It's a balancing act really! I am happy to hear of this happening, it will finally bring about a better balance in game reviews. I know people want to sing praise to games like Zelda and MGS and Half-Life 2 etc, but we should be realistic. Saying that those games are PERFECT is just stupid. There are some very good games when compared to others, but, they are far from PERFECT and shouldn't be treated as such. Modern Warfare 2's singleplayer took me about 6 hours to finish. Granted that the multiplayer is very strong, the games received very good scores! But what if, like me, you tried the multiplayer and you felt like you were just playing COD4 with nicer graphics, and got bored of it.. does the game then deserve an 8 or a 9 out of 10? Considering the singleplayer campaign was short and (in my opinion) devoid of any decent storyline, I would give it around a 5. The reason we are getting flooded with so many games that look and play the same as their predecessors is because we are constantly giving them fantastic reviews, buying regurgitated content - we're just not making them work for our money anymore!
  • - April 21, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    If a game is a perfect, endlessly replayable puzzle game it doesn't need to be a 12 hour game =/ it can be just the perfect length.
  • AuthorityFigure - April 21, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    I've always suspected Valve of having a supreme arrogances (even worse than Rockstar's) - I'm glad to see others are catching up. And no, I didn't make a vote on Metacritic.
  • lukas1051 - April 21, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    The game doesn't deserve a 0 but 5 hours long? When are we going to stop worshipping to ground Valve walk on for making a couple of good games, and let them know that they need to pull their fucking finger out? Everyone I know personally was somewhat dissapointed with Portal 2, mainly due to its length, and rightly so - a game that is that same length as the original Portal, but 3 times the price is a joke. Doesn't deserve a 0 or 2, but at least those users have balanced out the average to something deserving.
  • DryvBy - April 21, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    After beating the game yesterday, I was actually SHOCKED that I got a good chunk of money out of the game. I was expecting a $60 rip off for the sake of the Portal name. The single player, not the co-op, was around 10 hours long. The only issue I had was a lot of the puzzles were easy.
  • Misterscaryface - April 21, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    meh, I think I am more than getting my money's worth. I preordered the game for $45 dollars off of steam. Looking at the size and complexity of the game I can't imagine it going on for 10 hours or more. It's one of the most brilliantly scripted and enjoyable games I've played in a long time.
  • yoyoguy - April 21, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    portal 2 evoked so much emotion in me. any game to make me cry is well worth my money.
  • septicsavlon - April 21, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    5 hours lmao, what they ran through at 100mph and at the end of the game the disc drive opened and the disc flew out with the player then shouting 'NEXT'. then moves on to the next game. these people are call casual gamers. if they had any opinion worth listing to they would do it on mega hard, and at least try multiplayer for at least 10hours. the only games I can do on mega hard in about 5hours is the COD games there so linear but multiplayer is ok. ive played portal 1 loads of times and it still batters my head so im sure this one will take me a while on hard and im a hardend gamer(cheevy whore).
  • jmcgrotty - April 21, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    The funniest part of this article is the whole implication that anyone cares about Metacritic. None of you guys can honestly tell me you give a damn about that stuff, right?
  • Tariqwahab - April 21, 2011 5:55 a.m.

    Speaking for myself.. this game is boring. Watched gameplay trailers many many time.. still not convinced to buy it. portal 1 bored me to death and never finished it. so why would i waste more than 70$ ( yes games here can cost more than 70$) on a game a won't like. and for DLC.. I've got 2 words.. MORTAL KOMBAT.. You can c how much it rewards the players just for playing and mastering the game..all alternate costumes and many other things are rewarded just by playing the game.
  • Stuv - April 21, 2011 4:19 a.m.

    The game's five hours long if you simply play to 'beat' the game. Listening to the character's rants and interactions, and finding a lot of the hidden stuff, easily brings the game into the 8-10 hour mark. This is just for single player, I've heard the co-op adds another four hours. 12 hours of gameplay is good for a 45 to 50 dollar game (unless you're buying retail in Australia, which I've realised is utter insanity). As for the DLC, I believe all of it can be earned in game during the co-op, if people play through it in its entirety. The current store is only a way to get these things earlier.
  • Spybreak8 - April 21, 2011 3:46 a.m.

    Haha I love it, stupid user reviews, seriously who reads them when there are official reviews up? I mean I read reviews on Amazon but even that I take it with a grain of salt. If all that salt adds up to a handful I probably pull the trigger. Anyway, I'd rather have exceptional no frills no fills campaign than all filler no thriller. ^^
  • NightCrawler_358 - April 21, 2011 2:46 a.m.

    People pay 20 bucks a piece to see a movie at a good theatre, and the movies are only 2 hours long at most-and almost always garbage. People pay for cable-garbage. At least Portal 2 is amazing, and you have the ability to play it through as many times as you want, singleplayer and co-op. seriously, Valve isn't forcing you to buy their games, so look into stuff before you put 60 dollars into it. You go Valve!
  • Hellhog - April 21, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    This is why the user review feature needs to be taken away. Gamers don't review based on merit, they review based on how angry they are. Dragon Age II, Portal 2, StarCraft II. They all were hit by hate, even though each of these titles are impressive.

Showing 1-20 of 98 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.