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 Art Style: light trax
Lowest review score: 0 Blood Drive
Score distribution:
1030 game reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There are no stunning reveals, but it’s more enjoyable experienced than explained here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Much of this first episode is just table-setting, and for all its familiar elements, by the final scene, Batman has effectively built an intriguing mystery—one that tackles the fundamental question of how someone can live a split life—without merely retreading classic tales of the caped crusader.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Instead of being a masterpiece, Quadrilateral Cowboy is “just” excellent. Every element that has previously elevated Chung’s work above his peers is present: the unique visual aesthetic coupled with, possibly, the best use of public domain music in the medium; the unbridled imagination painting every corner of Nuevos Aires as at once otherworldly and instantly familiar; the constant subversions in form and structure culminating in a mid-game shift that is as striking as it is inexplicable.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Neither fantastical enough to satisfy the sci-fi aficionado nor silly enough to placate the comedy junkie, Headlander delivers only the scraps of what could have been a truly noteworthy space romp.
    • 59 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For all of the lack of variety in Necropolis, or the woes of its combat system, perhaps that is the most severe of all its flaws. Despite our collective hopes for reconciling two admired approaches to game design, it’s a title that embodies an intrinsic conflict between the sustained long-term engagement and clockwork precision of Dark Souls and the rapid-fire bursts of calculated chaos in contemporary roguelikes. Harebrained Schemes’ ambitious, but ultimately miscalculated, attempt inevitably collapses under the weight of its own insurmountable tensions.
    • 58 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Integrity And Faithlessness resembles some of the worst of Star Trek. While the game shares some plot elements with Star Trek: First Contact, it only achieves the writing quality of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s got the ambition of being as flashy and action-packed as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, but the rough battle system can make it as awkward as watching a Vulcan martial arts lesson on Enterprise.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Infuriating and brilliant.
    • 52 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There is a germ of a great game at the heart of Mighty No. 9. The central rhythm of barreling through stages and softening up foes with expertly placed shots before zipping in at the perfect moment to collect your reward deserves to be better fleshed out and more thoroughly explored. But it also deserves a game that doesn’t send huge amounts of your progress up the chimney because you got a game-over, a technique that ought to have gone extinct back in the arcade days. It deserves a game that isn’t so tragically generic looking and a soundtrack with at least one song worth whistling.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Discomfort is what Playdead has proven itself to be best at creating. The studio understands that there’s disquiet in the unknown and the undefined, and that what’s unheard and unseen can be even more powerful than what’s right in front of us. This is a philosophy that informs Inside’s every trait, from its ambiguous narrative to its uncomplicated character designs and fragile soundscapes. What really cements the developer’s prowess is the finale, a shocking sequence that proves Playdead is just as capable of recognizing when to break free of those restraints as it is knowing when to apply them.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That spirit of collaboration, of helping one another so we can all achieve our goals together, is where the game ekes out its edge against similar RPGs. It’s not simply enough that we all combine forces to beat the bad guys; we also help each other realize our dreams and become the very best we can be. And also beat the bad guys.
    • 94 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Fortunately, these are momentary hitches in a much longer journey that, depending on the decisions you have made along the way, could end on a surprisingly sweet note.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    By celebrating freedom, the game enables the player to marvel at the richness of its action. When that freedom is restricted, everything that goes with it—movement, agency, nuance—are muted to the point of being dull and dreary, a far cry from the saturated playground we’ve come to expect.
    • 91 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    From its commendably inclusive roster to its varied, dramatic action, it’s brimming with an welcoming liveliness that’s all too rare in games, multiplayer or otherwise.
    • 48 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While some tasks are entertaining (assassinating a luckless KPA official, for instance), it’s difficult to overemphasize how boring these missions can be, especially when they’re mandatory. It’s enough to make one rethink the real-life opportunity cost of dumping hours into playing video games.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    More impressive is how Far Harbor’s writers took Fallout 4’s themes of community and the meaning of home and turned them inward. It’s important to remember that no matter what faction you belong to, we’re all just trying to survive in this world.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Any game that demands to be measured against one of the medium’s towering accomplishments and comes out ahead in many aspects has to be admired for its huge guts. The fact that this game also has the honor of doing the Doom name proud is just the gory icing on this exquisitely violent cake.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Battleborn isn’t a bad game. Gearbox has obviously lavished a lot of work onto its world, its characters, and the ways players move and fight. But it is a frustrating game, full of details that drain the joy it’s meant to invoke. From its emphasis on ornamentation over clarity, to the randomness and cruelty of its cooperative missions, it constantly trips itself on its attempted journey toward the pantheon of great, long-lived online shooters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Shadow Of The Beast is so wholeheartedly immersed in the design sensibilities of a bygone era—not the rehabilitated and domesticated principles of permanent death and procedural generation that have become so common today, but ancient trends better left undisturbed like painful restarts and progress-halting puzzles—that it transforms into a refreshingly alien experience, if not an entirely enjoyable one.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    These issues are easy to overlook in favor of the game’s pleasures: its grasp of narrative, its pacing, its sense of scope, and the charm of its heroes. They squabble and suffer and feel real in a way that makes every jump, dodge, and victory count.
    • 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.

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