Variety's Scores

For 64 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 de Blob
Lowest review score: 10 Hail to the Chimp
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 64
  2. Negative: 17 out of 64
64 game reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Dabblers and newbies will find the convoluted, metaphor-driven storyline as baffling as ever, but the tight controls and unparalleled production values should draw enough of them to make this Playstation 3 exclusive not just a big hit, but a system seller.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most innovative multiplayer videogame since pioneers "Quake" and "Doom." Thanks to a brilliant marriage of gameplay mechanics with cinematic genre, Left 4 Dead creates genuine fright while not only enabling, but forcing cooperation between four players fighting for their survival. Endlessly engaging and virtually flawless, it's destined to be one of the most successful original vidgames of 2008, and set a new standard for cooperative gameplay.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A wonderfully simple, infectiously enthusiastic joyride that maintains the spirit of the original while adding depth. If enough gamers notice it during the holiday deluge of sequels, de Blob could become a cult hit.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    No interactive world has ever felt quite so alive as Fable 2, where many paths are open, but all choices have consequences. Deep, accessible and endlessly adaptive, it's a boundary-pushing experience that players will still be exploring long after the hype has faded.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 97 Critic Score
    Although Fallout 3 is fundamentally a role-playing game, its success lies in the way it balances -- and sometimes betters -- the approaches of other videogame masterpieces: the retro immersion of "BioShock," the paranoia of "Portal," the exploration of "Oblivion" and the seamless storytelling of "Half-Life 2."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    A true heir, lovingly crafted with the same psychological intensity as its predescessors while improving on their weak combat controls. All but the most closed-minded afficionados are sure to embrace it and savvy marketing by Konami could expand the fan base.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Innumerable games strive for a cinematic vibe, but most fail to pull it off when they take themselves too seriously and overburden the gameplay with content better left in movies. Mercenaries 2 is the rare videogame that gets the balance just right.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Inconsistent, occasionally maddening level design may turn off hardcore gamers, but this potent mix of vicarious thrills and a compelling drama that bridges the third and fourth films is exactly the videogame Star Wars fans have been looking for.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wrath of the Lich King offers the game’s 11 million-plus players more of what they love, with new areas, quests and character types focused on frigid northern climes, all highly polished and designed to compel. But Lich King particularly stands out for the ways it welcomes less experienced players into the fold by making the best experiences easier for them to access immediately.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A cheesy, lighthearted and consistently fun merging of the Caped Crusader's comicbook world with the Lego videogame formula, which is expanded but not fundamentally changed here. The format may be getting a bit tired, but Batman is the best fit for it yet given his huge array of villains, vehicles and gadgets.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Detailed beyond most players' interests, the game still manages to be broadly accessible thanks to simple controls, a smooth mission structure, and jaw-droppingly stunning graphics.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Civilization: Revolution ingeniously brings the series back to basics and, despite a few faults late in the game, should appeal to new players without alienating the devoted fan base.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Blithely chaotic and exuberantly sadistic, developer Volition’s gang-banging spree supposes players have the attention span of a nervous chihuahua, distracting with zany to-dos that fire like a tennis ball machine loaded with Ritalin.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Gears 2's only major shortcoming is a mawkish and cliche-ridden story, but such minor concerns are unlikely to slow the hordes of young men who will slaughter the original's 5 million-unit sales mark.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While World Tour beats "Rock Band" with an innovative music creation and sharing system and a more realistic drum kit, it lags behind in subpar animation and the racket those drums make.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The lack of innovation is disappointing, but there's still more than enough here to attract existing players and lure new ones to what remains the best way for music fans and gamers to party together.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    One of the most visually stunning videogames ever made, it melds a hand-painted look with spare sound design and haunting music to create an aesthetically consistent work that's meditative but rarely boring and should enjoy solid sales, particularly as buzz starts to build for Disney's 2010 film.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coupled with a robust sharing system that borrows the best elements of YouTube, LittleBigPlanet is less a game than a platform for making and downloading videogame levels. Ultimate success beyond a niche of wanna-be game developers will depend on an extraordinarily active community that gives everyone else a reliable dose of new creations. [<B>*Note: All Variety scores are provided to Metacritic by Variety's Games Editor</B> - Metacritic is not estimating here or on any other game review.]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A slick, physics-defying racer that makes up for its lack of substance by hitting all the right notes on style.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Improves the original game considerably by adding better combat, sharper graphics and deeper online features.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A solidly produced game full of kid-friendly cartoon violence.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though the tastes of pre-teen boys are as fickle online as on the air, "FusionFall" is sure to grab its target aud's attention and, if it's well supported and marketed, could even turn into a solid business of its own.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Warhammer matches its competitors in most categories and even exceeds them with its pervasive social options. Unfortunately, that advantage is outweighed by a steep learning curve that makes getting started a chore.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Forget depth, sophistication or anything remotely resembling logic: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe takes gamers back to the days of cheesy arcade fighting with bravado, style and an unironic sense of fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An opaque plot, tacked-on combat and distracting camera issues prevent it from competing with the top tier holiday titles, but Underworld gets enough right to make for a modest success.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A major success, particularly in the areas of animation and characterization. However, The Lost and Damned is also a structural mess, with elements awkwardly borrowed from GTA IV and a story that never gels, resulting in an experience that will leave fans a bit unsatisfied.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A mix that often impresses but rarely surprises. More gory than frightening, more technically adept than substantive, "Dead Space" will find a healthy crossover aud between gamers and horror fans, but won't leave them with a single new idea to ponder besides the release date of the inevitable sequel.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The game employs Ramsay’s high-intensity style to make an unoriginal but competent restaurant management simulator crazier and more fun than it has any right to be. Casual players who want to be authentically cursed out while running a kitchen should make this adaptation at least a modest success.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A much improved but still significantly flawed sequel to the disappointing 2006 original. The massive, deep and accessible online multiplayer modes will appeal to a core group of fans, but the miserable single-player campaign leaves Resistance 2 as more of a party barge than the flagship Sony needs.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though it's short on content and marred by a few notable glitches, the loyal replication of the virtual world's look and feel along with innovative online features that tie the two together should draw a healthy flock from the millions of Club Penguin players.