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 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
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
    • 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.]
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Stunningly beautiful and morally harrowing, but plodding in its execution.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The impressive graphics, compelling mutiplayer and even the basic gunplay in World at War are all iterations of "CoD 4," minus that game's character, urgency and relevance. The result is a forgettable, mostly middling shooter that will sell decently, but fall far short of "Modern Warfare's" boffo 10 million-plus units.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Rather than match the freedom in the gameplay, however, Spore forces players to use their creations in a series of levels that are derivative and dull.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    The thrill of the chase loses all its appeal in Electronic Arts' Parkour-inspired Mirror's Edge. Repetitive, difficult and visually dull, the game is undone by its use of a highly constrained first person viewpoint in a world of high-speed running and jumping where perspective is everything.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Mixing Japanese and more traditional, Western-style horror elements to eerie effect, Siren: Blood Curse delivers on its core promise to freak players out. But Sony's decision to deliver this game as a series of downloadable episodes is a frustrating head-scratcher, as the process of installing each of the 12 episodes on a Playstation 3 in two hour chunks -- even longer than it takes to play them -- is its own terror.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The handheld's two-dimensional action is charming and well designed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A solidly produced game full of kid-friendly cartoon violence.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Surprisingly fun and competent, though far from the shot of adrenaline the franchise needs to return to its former glory.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    Shrinking Guitar Hero onto the handheld DS system is an impressive achievement but doesn’t make for a particularly compelling game.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Developer High Moon Studios did a phenomenal job capturing the look and feel of the "Bourne" books and movies -- everything from the fighting moves to the camera work to the overall mood. But too many of the best moments are almost entirely out of players' control in this heavily scripted and disappointingly unresponsive game.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 55 Critic Score
    Though it will quickly bore vocalists acclimated to the challenge of "Rock Band," Lips excels as home karaoke, bringing style and pizzazz to a crowded genre. However, "Lips" is also exceedingly shallow.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Improves the original game considerably by adding better combat, sharper graphics and deeper online features.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    True Aerosmith fans will be turned off that the game so often strays from the band's career, and "Guitar Hero" purists will bemoan the lack of difficulty, which could lead to some disgruntled buyers for what's essentially an overpriced expansion pack.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are enough improvements here to please existing Spider-Man vidgame fans, but a shaky story and poorly implemented moral choice system -- and the lack of a new movie -- could leave it hanging by a thread in a crowded market.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A disappointingly substandard role-playing game buried under the debris of a thousand forgettable robots slain in a hundred vacant hallways by one man in a silly outfit. After an initial burst of curiosity, this repetitive, derivative and ultimately ridiculous game will be remembered primarily for how little resulted from so much work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    It is not a masterpiece, although decent in comparison with the games in the market. The story is powerful, although some flaws both in gameplay and camera control make it just a good try to enjoy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a decent action game, but doesn't remotely capture the spirit of its source material. Moreover, it falls well short of the year's best shooters, meaning it's unlikely to shake many gamers or stir 007 fans.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While it is a good way for individuals to learn different musical styles, Wii Music lacks the simplicity and vicarious thrills of "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," and likely won't attract nearly as many groupies.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 55 Critic Score
    Target kiddie audience will enjoy mixing-and-matching characters in ways never seen onscreen, as well as creating their own East High Wildcat, but will quickly get frustrated with the game's core "dancing" mechanic that's really just flailing with the Wii's wireless controller.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Fracture is a feature in search of a videogame. LucasFilm division LucasArts’ latest attempt to establish a new intellectual property beyond Star Wars and Indiana Jones takes one compelling innovation -- weapons that can raise or lower the terrain -- and plugs it into a standard "Halo-esque" sci-fi shooter with no other original ideas.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Storyless, arduous and tedious, it’s essentially a mediocre minigame collection that offers too little context for older fans and too many repetitive challenges for kids.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It's a fine idea, but in practice, Ultimate Band is a convoluted, inconsistent and inauthentic experience that emulates a phony lip-synching boy band more than a real rock experience.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 35 Critic Score
    This confused goulash of driving challenges, old-school puzzles, zombie battles, some late-game tomb-raidering and even a bit of “Grand Theft Auto” in the park fails at pretty much everything it tries to do.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A humorous ensemble film about self-discovery turns into an unoriginal two-character action game with nothing to say in Bolt, Disney's competent but uninspired adaptation of the new toon. All but erased are the film's comedy, its best supporting characters -- and even the titular canine's ability to talk.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Game's few interesting levels are more than outweighed by those that combine cliché with confusing storytelling, resulting in a title that will perform just as poorly as the film has.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's the closest a videogame has come to giving players mastery of the ultimate sci-fi weapon, though the controls are so simple, and the story and multiplayer options so lacking, that it will likely appeal only to the same young boys as the film, which hits homevideo this week.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    To be fair, there isn’t a word yet for “post-ultimate” destruction, but the lack of a subtitle is appropriate for this flimsier and less ambitious game that’s unlikely to set off a rampage to videogame stores.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    A distressingly shallow videogame in which there's nothing for players to do but beat the living crap out of everyone they see.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A beloved fantasy franchise loses its most distinctive quality -- the epic scope of its battles, backdrops, characters and themes -- in Electronic Arts misguided and poorly executed Lord of the Rings: Conquest. The game boils down each of the trilogy's great battles to a series of compact, generic missions that rarely resemble anything seen in Middle Earth.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    The resulting mashup is a chaotic jumble that's doesn't play well and only loosely is tied to politics at all. The minigames are too long and incorporate too many elements at once to make for good group play, the humor is disjointed and juvenile, and a few of the characters even lean into questionable stereotypes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Though it sharply replicates the film's look and sounds, the Wall-E game has none of the movie's romantic spirit as it sends the lead robot and his gal pal Eve on a set of uninspired missions pulled out of the videogame cliches handbook.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though it brings gusto, wit and a sharp eye for horror cliches, Legendary is still at its core a clunky, mediocre first-person shooter that’s likely to vanish under the mountain of topnotch actioners shipping this month.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hellboy may look better than ever clutching his Samaritan revolver, but Aussie developer Krome Studios’ riff on Mike Mignola’s comic series about a crime-sleuthing demon with a wrecking ball for a right hook feels like a couple of strung-together demo levels instead of a cohesive videogame.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Rock Revolution is overly complex where it should be simple and soulless where it should be rich. This revolution has little chance of overthrowing the genre's kings.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Sierra couldn't have picked a more forgettable swan song than an adaptation of the latest iteration in the blandly epic Mummy franchise that's as dull to look at as it is to play.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The Wii's 3-D gameplay is frustrating and occasionally broken.