Valve is adding another beta feature to Steam today. Introducing Steam Reviews, a new feature that allows the community to read, rate and discuss games in an open forum of user reviews. Each and every game will have "Helpful Reviews" written by users on their store page. Other users can then rate these reviews and developers can even respond. It's, well, it's like every other user review system out there.
A system much like this has already been in place for the past few years called "Recommendations." Recommendations allowed users to post small blurbs about games they own or have played which would be shown to friends who looked the game up in the store. Reviews are growing out of recommendations and users will be able to port their old recommendations into the new system.
The worry is, well, that Steam's user review systems will be like, well, every other user review system on the internet. That is to say, easily exploited or abused at the whim of the masses. One important part of the system is that the gamer has to have played the game, which should be an improvement., but anyone can still like or dislike any review and so the system can still be abused.
Rather than come across as a true review system, Steam's reviews seems more like Amazon's product reviews. That is to say, they're less reviews and more of a good way to gage general public perception of a product. For Amazon and other online retail outlets it works wonders, but for Steam? I think video games deserve better treatment than as casual products.
Join the open beta for Steam Reviews as you please, Steam users! Just check out the official page for the new feature.