In a world of online games, patches and downloadable content, a review of a game on day one may not truly reflect how the game plays months after release. To that end - and considering how many games are in an unfinished state on Early Access - Valve has announced that it's making a small, yet important change to its user reviews system on Steam.
As explained on the official Steam site, "One common theme we've been seeing in customer feedback about the Steam review system is that it isn't always easy to tell what the current experience is like in a game months after release. This new set of changes released today is designed to better describe the current customer experience in those games. We do this by better exposing the newly posted reviews and by calculating a summary of those recent reviews."
The summary of those most recent reviews will be displayed with a new review score that calculates the positive percentage of reviews within the past 30 days, "as long as there are enough reviews posted within those 30 days and as long as the game has been available on Steam for at least 45 days." The recent review score does not replace the overall score, so users can still see how a title was first rated and how it's changed.
Another important enhancement to the user reviews system is the addition of a new checkbox for people writing a review to easily disclose if they received the game for free - of course, nothing forces a user to check a box, but at least the option is available.