Review Policy

Rock Paper Shotgun publishes regular reviews of PC games and hardware. These reviews can be text or video, and appear on our website and YouTube channel respectively.

Our reviews are written to deliver criticism, analysis and information to help inform you of the writer’s professional opinion about a game. These reviews are subjective; although the content of reviews is discussed with the Editor-in-Chief before publication, the final judgement remains the author’s own.

Games and other products are selected for review on the basis of their relevance and interest to the Rock Paper Shotgun audience; quality; notability or content.

Reviewers are expected to spend enough time with each game to be able to give a considered opinion based on their comprehensive knowledge of the game. Due to the vast number of ways in which games can differ, this is not a pre-defined number of plays or hours of playing. It is also influenced by the availability of review materials; we may delay a review if we are not satisfied with the time available.

What we review, and when

We only review games from retail copies, or versions that are identical to a retail copy of the game. We do not review from pre-release "debug code", or alpha or beta versions.

Because we only review retail copies, games will rarely if ever be reviewed from publishers' review events. We may still attend these events for the purposes of other coverage.

We will make every effort to ensure that our experience of a game matches that of the majority of players - for example, by applying 'day one' updates where relevant.

Review timing will be at our discretion, but should be as early as possible while seeking to be thorough and representative. When delaying a review until after launch we will often publish initial impressions before launch, or as close to launch as is practical, if there is no prior access.

We only review public, commercial release versions of games. We do not publish full reviews of games in alpha or beta testing (though we may write articles that subject these games to appropriate levels of scrutiny). We may review 'Early Access' versions of games that are commercially available if we think it appropriate.

We always seek to publish authoritative reviews which we don't need to update. If a game's circumstances change in a specific but important detail, we may update a review or change our recommendation, but these cases will be exceptional. If a game's circumstances change in more general and highly significant ways, we may publish a full re-review.