The blog RAM Raider made a stink the other week: the semi-anonymous gaming journalist blogger stated that Eidos was up to some shenanigans with their new game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. According to RAM Raider, Eidos was only permitting magazine game reviewers to break the review embargo date if the could put Batman on the front cover, and promise a review score over 90%.
The first review came out last week, and it did just that. The magazine was U.K-based publication Games Master. The gave Batman: Arkham Asylum a whopping 96 / 100 score, and the Dark Knight adorns the cover.
While the vast majority of gamers seem to think Batman: Arkham Asylum looks pretty good, 96 / 100, and calling the game a "masterpiece" seems to have some people suspecting that RAM Raider was dead on when posting on suspicions of Eidos' behavior.
It does not help Eidos that they were the subject of controversy when Tomb Raider came out last November. For that game, they did not allow any review scores below 8 / 10 to be posted before the game's release date. The P.R company behind this move called it "managing the scores."
Prior to that, Eidos was suspected of pressuring game journalist Jeff Gertsmann for giving Kane & Lynch: Dead Man a 6/10 score on Gamespot, when the company was spending a great deal advertising on that website.
Whether or not Games Master's 96 / 100 score will prove well-warranted, or suspicously inflated, will have to be determined after more reviewers -- and the gaming public -- have had some time to judge the game for themselves. The sad fact is however, that even if the game is truly a "masterpiece", all of the negativity over the suspected game reviewing foul play will probably lead to doubts over Arkham Aslyum's high review scores for not only Games Master magazine, but for anywhere else.