Expect to start seeing these changes in the months ahead.
Screenshot from the game showing the main character looking out over a body of water towards a sunset.

A long, long overdue overhaul to Metacritic's extremely lax moderation is finally being worked on following yet another round of "abusive and disrespectful" user reviews.

I will say upfront that this story will contain spoilers for the recently released Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC. I would strongly advise you to stop reading right now if you do not want to have anything about that game spoiled for you as there will be open spoilers discussed in this article. I did not have that luxury of any warning when I had the scene in question ruined for me by a Kotaku headline and image that showed up in my Twitter timeline. Thanks for that, jerks!

Near the end of the Burning Shores DLC, main protagonist Aloy shares a kiss with a romantic interest. It just so happens that the romantic interest is also a woman. Even though this scene is apparently optional, you can still see where this is going already.

As a result of that show of affection between two women, user reviews for Burning Shores have been review bombed on Metacritic with numerous 0/10 scores. The user reviews range from copious amounts of sexism to homophobia. There's also a heaping helping of accusing the devs of being "woke" or "shoving their woke agenda" down the throats of Gamers™️.

"Aloy lesbian! What are you doing Sony and Guerilla really? Stop doing it with your characters," reads one review. Another adds: "Stop pushing those farking woke agenda upon gamers. We only want to play the game, not be shoved with politics or gay".
We've seen this happen all too often before. If a game has the slightest hint of progressiveness, it usually ends up getting review bombed. It's called "woke" despite that word losing all meaning as it's become a real catchall for anything certain groups don't agree with. If a developer alters a character's revealing outfit, it's deemed to be "censored" by Gamers™️ and is also usually review bombed.

Finally, it seems like something is being done at Metacritic to curtail the amount of unapologetically bullshit user reviews and review bombs that occur regularly there. Metacritic's parent company, Fandom, issued a statement to Eurogamer about this new focus on improved moderation following the mass review bombing that Burning Shores received.

"Fandom is a place of belonging for all fans and we take online trust and safety very seriously across all our sites including Metacritic. Metacritic is aware of the abusive and disrespectful reviews of Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores and we have a moderation system in place to track violations of our terms of use.

"Our team reviews each and every report of abuse (including but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic, insults to other users, etc) and if violations occur, the reviews are removed. We are currently evolving our processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months."​
Fandom did not elaborate any on what those new tools will be or how they will step up moderation. Metacritic has historically done very little to employ even the most basic measures to prevent spam and review bombing methods. They used to (and may still currently) permit registration through several different temp email services, allow users to create multiple accounts from the same IP address, and have zero checks in place to verify that you actually own the game you are reviewing.