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
    • 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.