And it was at the time, I suppose, but I delivered that write-up with unvoiced reservations. Reservations drowned out by a louder, subconscious voice.
See, here's the unspoken thing about reviewing games. When you're a professional games journalist - which I no longer am, alas, because I am neither young nor cool and nobody's asked me to be - it's important to have the strength of your convictions.
Changing your mind, reversing your opinion, and admitting you were wrong, is harder to do when A) You're being paid for your supposedly professional and informed opinion, and B) You're a bit younger than you are now, and you think admitting you're not perfect is a sign of weakness.
But, as I've said before, no reviewer or journalist, or human being, comes to the party without bringing a whole lot of baggage... baggage that they might not even be aware of.
So, because integrity is seen as an important commodity... this column is something you generally won't read on websites or in magazines: it's me saying that I think I might've been wrong. Maybe.
Or, at least, that I allowed my verdict to be influenced. Because that happens. We do it every day. It's hard to cancel out the voices. We don't see things as they are we see them as we are... or so the saying goes.
We project onto situations and people our own... stuff. You can see it at the moment on Twitter, with the writer Anthony Horowitz getting grief for saying Idris Elba is "too street" to be James Bond. I might disagree with him... but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it overtly as a racial slur.
It might've had a racial component to it - I dunno, I'm not inside Horowitz's head - but certainly it was perceived by a large swathe of Twitter's black community as being deliberately racist. No doubt, because they've got their own, deeply understandable, chips on their shoulders about privileged white people. Even if some of them, like Horowitz himself, don't understand their own engrained prejudices and ignorance, because they run so deep.
Basically... cue Horowitz getting ripped to pieces, and him going "Wha... wha... what did I say?!?".
THE PHANTOM MENACE... ROLF HARRIS
I remember when I first saw The Phantom Menace. I convinced myself it was great, because I so wanted it to be. I took a while before I could cancel out that belief, and acknowledge what a weird, steaming mound it actually was.
I wasn't looking forward to Rapture as much as I was Star Wars Episode I... but I had been really looking forward to it. I didn't enter into playing that game without pre-conceived beliefs. Specifically, my goodwill towards the setting, and what I expected to be a game that I'd literally imagined playing for decades. And when that mixed in with the general acclaim it was getting... it was enough for me to push aside my reservations without meaning to.
See, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture has stayed with me since playing it through. It has niggled at me. There have been little voices in my head which have questioned what I wrote in the review.
It's basically the Rolf Harris effect. Even now, after everything that's been revealed about the horrible man, after his conviction and imprisonment, and the fact that I'd heard TV industry whispers about him years ago, my first reaction to seeing a photo or video of him is one of benevolence. My initial gut reaction is still seeing him as that sort of loveable TV uncle... before I catch myself, and remember what he did.
I'm not saying that Rapture is the gaming equivalent of a paedophile, but you do - I hope - get the general idea.
I really had dreamed of Rapture for years. Literally almost that exact game: empty English village, no shooting, nosing around other folk's homes... I knew it was going to be great.
Plus - barring those early complaints over the apparent lack of a run button - the reviews were glowing (except for Jim Sterling's review, pretty much), confirming that belief. Cementing it.
I had all that in my head when I wrote the review, and I think it conspired to make me perceive the game as better than it was. Because I really wanted it to be. But with the benefit of hindsight, I don't even think Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a game at all. It's basically a radio drama, sort of. And not actually a particularly good one.
The acting feels wooden, the story has its moments, but it's a bit cliched, and the emptiness of the village - with its proliferation of locked doors - renders the game actually rather tedious. While playing it, I assured myself that it was something other than boring - serene, beautiful, peaceful. But no. Looking back... most of the time, I was pretty bored.
So... sorry about that. I don't hate Rapture - it remains a pleasant change of pace, and the music and visuals are lovely. But there's really not a lot going on. If anything, it feels like a demo that they've tacked some voice-overs onto in order to justify charging money for it.
I'm not changing the review as it stands - let it remain as a testament to my own stupidity. Just bear in mind that when you read anything - an opinion piece, a review, whatever - that it's being written by a human being, not Infallible Fact-Bot 3.0.
Sometimes even the writers themselves tend to forget that...