The A.V. Club's Scores

For 880 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Halo 3
Lowest review score: 0 Torino 2006 - The Official Video Game of the XX Olympic Winter Games
Score distribution:
1011 game reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Banner Saga 2 still tells a great story, and it’s hard to imagine someone who enjoyed the first installment not feeling impatient for the trilogy’s conclusion after playing the sequel. But like its army of weary travelers, the series would be better served by the solemn pace of the death march rather than a wild scramble to impress its already loyal fanbase.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The result is more a loose collection of segments than anything approaching a complete experience. It’s a tech demo for equipment long past its prime.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There is an ominous inevitability, a sense of impending tragedy, about our hero’s lonely trek and stubborn refusal to go gentle into that good night that makes Hyper Light Drifter a rare experience and the battles of its otherwise inscrutable protagonist our own.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That mix of customization and convenience allows Bravely Second to have the best of both worlds. It gives you the chance to relax and get into a rhythm at some points, and then demands your full attention to succeed at others. By piling complexity on atop the simplicity of a tried-and-true formula, Square Enix has produced a worthy successor to Bravely Default. I’m sure the developers are already thinking about what it would mean to “Bravely Third” in battle.
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I’m not so sure how well the series will hold up to another reincarnation. With all the constant recycling of ideas, its flame is starting to fade. Luckily, it was such a magnificent fire to begin with that it’s still a roaring success even after a little dwindling.
    • 64 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The game trembles on the knifepoint between poetry and tedium. It presents something magnificent but sustains each note just a little too long—shifting from awe-inspiring, past meditative, and into repetition as the unchanging station interiors and tedious tasks stretch on just long enough to drain an otherwise unique creation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Remedy’s latest is the sum of its parts—a decent third-person shooter paired with a fair-to-middling television series—but it wants to be something greater than both. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s very possible that Quantum Break is the highest evolution of this hybrid form. The problem, I suspect, is with the approach itself. As Jack and Paul learn, some things sound great in theory, but just aren’t meant to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Division is a brutally mechanistic game, right down to having one of Ubisoft’s now-signature giant maps full of icons and a GPS that leads you from point to point with no need for actual thought. It throws thousands of faceless opponents at its players, distinguished only by the numbers and icons floating over their heads as they’re fed into the meat grinder of their guns. It is polished and rote, with every rough edge sanded off in favor of keeping players guided in lockstep down its loop of continuous, primitive satisfaction. And yet, in those brief moments in the Dark Zone when actual human choice and feelings come into play, it feints toward something new. It’s a pity those moments represent only a tiny fraction of what The Division has to offer.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Hitman’s emphasis on disguise and infiltration, its sleek presentation, and its gritty tale of information smuggling and corruption are clearly meant to evoke the likes of Mission: Impossible, but in execution, it instead recalls Naked Gun. If that sounds like condemnation, rest assured, it’s intended as high praise.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Those who came on board for cartoon action can stick around without fear of alienation, and those looking for a knock-down drag-out fight can get one without adulteration.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    With something to work toward and create, the thrill of arranging, executing, and watching back a flawless performance never has to go away.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    When Layers Of Fear aims for the head with its sordid tale of bad men and the bad things they do, it misses. It only hits when it aims for the heart instead, when it allows itself to be no more ambitious than that theme-park haunted house.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The nagging sense of never quite doing enough, of leaving so many red and orange spots on the map unresolved, doesn’t ever go away, and the plethora of options has the unfortunate effect of robbing the game’s slight story of what little tension it might have had.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    In truth, Street Fighter V is a lonely and impersonal game. You can’t chat with your opponents, nor can you request a rematch once the initial fight is done. All you can do is take a deep breath and charge back into the endless horde of faceless opponents. We’re all Ryu, standing alone under a waterfall, silently uppercutting at the pounding deluge in search of enlightenment. The answer, as always, lies in the heart of battle.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If XCOM 2 leans too heavily at times on its ferocious difficulty to produce those moments, forcing players to find their happy medium between the brutality of Ironman and neurotically saving at every turn, it at least manages to do so in a way that makes your victory feel all the sweeter when it comes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Until then, there’s really not a bad choice you can make at that pivotal sixth chapter. The decisions you make at each turn on the battlefield are much harder.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The warmth and care the design team put into every aspect of the game is undeniable, and if that love can sometimes be overbearing in its sentiment, the game’s fundamental charm serves as excellent compensation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There is no fast-paced action or head-scratching puzzles, so the dialogue needs to carry a lot of Firewatch’s weight. Thankfully, the nuanced and intimate performances led by Mad Men’s Rich Sommer and Cissy Jones, of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, are more than up to the task.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It feels unfair at times, but it’s actually the opposite. The best you can do is maximize your odds for success and (figuratively) roll the dice. The poet Theodore Roethke once wrote, “What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance?” It’s a question worth asking yourself every time this excellent, deceptively complex game sends you into the depths.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    When you are struck by an elegant solution in the game, you not only get the thrill of your achievement, but you can also sense a faint echo of the larger epiphanies that have driven humanity forward. The Witness draws a line from your singular consciousness to a collective spirit—in a limited fashion, of course. For a game, the limits make all the difference.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Those clever, dialogue-driven interludes are all the downtime Paper Jam needs. Yet it pads itself out with mindless chores that waste time and momentum. It’s maddening when you have to endure so much chaff just to reach that rewarding point of forward progress—and it is rewarding.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    At just the length of a double feature, The Deadly Tower Of Monsters left me wanting more. The gimmick might not hold up to a marathon experience, but in the spirit of the B-movies it loves so much, it might be worth exploring in some derivative sequels.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s to the credit of Oxenfree and its creators, Night School Studios, that its young heroes not only feel authentic, but endearingly so.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That Dragon, Cancer is smart about presenting that tragedy through a series of stylistically disparate interactions to prevent itself from becoming dull or numbing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Amplitude may be explicitly about a medical procedure, but it also makes for an interesting depiction of the creative process.
    • 43 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Today, Devil’s Third is a fossil, its best ideas buried under layers of strata. And almost nobody has—or should have—the patience to dig them up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The only thing you should have left to learn is that your life depends on always taking the craziest option available—that you should never bring a knife or even a gun to the game’s gunfights, but should instead bring a fighter jet. Fortunately, Rico Rodriguez is a fast learner.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Climax Studios seems to remember what Ubisoft has long since forgotten: Assassin’s Creed isn’t about captaining a ship or poaching animals or curating an art gallery. It’s about wearing a hood and assassinating people.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It requires careful, attentive play and won’t hesitate to punish you for not giving it what it wants. It remains a loving relative to its ultra-hard brethren like Spelunky and The Binding Of Isaac, even as it departs from them in form. But unlike its kin, NecroDancer’s style and songs encouraged me to try again every time I failed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    A dark parody where every problem can be solved with bullets, and even Aunt Ruby is eager to get in on the action. Get to it, you sexy murder machines. Re-election time is just around the corner, and we’ve still got to deal with that scrotobiker gang BunnyLord keeps talking about.

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