Since being released last Thursday (September 9), Life Is Strange: True Colors has been review bombed due to the inclusion of a Tibetan flag in the game.
As spotted by CogConnected, Life Is Strange: True Colors has received a host of negative reviews due to an in-game shop called Treasures Of Tibet hanging a Tibetan flag outside its entrance. Almost all of these reviews have been posted by Chinese-speaking players, likely as the Tibetan flag is banned in mainland China and seen as a point of controversy.
Review bombing is a practice where users flood a Steam game with negative reviews, often focusing on events or political issues unrelated to actual gameplay. Valve has certain measures set in place to avoid the practice of review bombing, which are aimed at ensuring review bombs do not affect the overall review score of the game.
While most of these reviews are subsequently hidden from the first layer of Steam reviews, they are still visible by browsing reviews labelled as ‘funny’, as many players seem to disagree with the stance of these negative reviews.
Many of these negative reviews mention the inclusion of “private goods”, which seems to refer to American studio Deck Nine‘s decision to include something considered an internal Chinese issue. While one negative review highlights “its merits of sound, narrative, [and] beautiful game scene”, it adds that “it is not allowed for any foreign studios to discuss or to interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
Similarly, another asks why Deck Nine “can’t live without a bit of politics” by including “this kind of dirty stuff” and tells other players to get the “disgusting” game refunded.
In NME’s review for Life Is Strange: True Colors, we gave it four out of five and said, “The game introduces one of the best protagonists in the franchise yet and excels in its core gameplay mechanics”.