Wired's Scores

  • Games
For 214 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Spelunky
Lowest review score: 30 Legends of Exidia
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 214
271 game reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The game's greatest accomplishment is that it is a paradise of escapism, a lavish love letter to immersion. Diving into Skyrim's world feels both thrilling and comforting, like riding a rollercoaster or swimming in the ocean. There is very little padding. There are very few scripted quests that aren't worth experiencing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The truly stunning thing about Persona 4 is that it just doesn't have any glaring flaws. Even though it doesn't stand up to the graphics of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, the clever art style makes up for that. Those who despise reading large blocks of text in games will be pleasantly surprised by the solid voice-over work applied to almost every conversation.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Spelunky is designed to be played repeatedly, a randomly generated battle of human versus machine. Its goal is to challenge the player in a way that is seemingly impossible, but ultimately surmountable given the proper amount of training and skill. I can't recall another game that achieves that delicate balance as well as Spelunky. Its randomly generated nature and ecosystem of interactive elements challenges your decision-making abilities in a way that's nothing short of awe-inspiring.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most important change is that most everything feels new. The fights against giant boss creatures at the end of each dungeon don't rely on old ideas. The classic characters are replaced, for the most part, with novel ones. If you already know what's going to happen, is that really capturing the spirit of the original Legend of Zelda, in which we all went in blind? Skyward Sword shows that "a real Zelda game" is about more than certain items or certain gameplay rituals, which in the end is more meaningful than adding better sword controls.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Marvel vs. Capcom 3 can get complex, but it ramps you up with a smooth learning curve. I could feel my skills improving as I discovered more of the game's intricacies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On their own, the adventure and puzzle segments of Henry Hatsworth would not be especially interesting videogames. But this experiment succeeds because of how well the two genres play off one another. While certain level elements can feel monotonous, the core experience is sound, delivering controlled chaos into the palms of your achy, sweating hands.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Radiant Historia, Atlus has created the perfect blend of innovation and tradition.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s just a solid, addictive, finely polished game that’s easy enough for newbies and challenging enough for those who remember. Sometimes, they do make ‘em like they used to.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite minor quibbles about its online modes, Order of Ecclesia is a simply stunning handheld game. It ranks as easily the best portable game of the year and could very well qualify as the best Castlevania ever.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    WIRED One of the best games ever, remastered; looks fantastic in 3D; improved controls. / TIRED It's the same game you played 12 years ago and remember exactly how to beat.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even though I often struggled to find meaning within the game's mysterious world, Journey doesn't need to be explained. It's still a fulfilling experience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dokapon Kingdom's perfectly balanced multiplayer, cool aesthetics and pure addictive fun make it a new high-water mark for party games on the Wii.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brawl isn't perfect. The single-player mode isn't nearly as polished and fun as the multiplayer. The disc is crammed so full of content that the loading times can get annoying. But it's still without equal -- can you even think of another four-player fighting game?
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Weighed down by bloat though it may be, Batman: Arkham City is still one of the year's finest games, filled with the capacity to surprise even players who've skulked through every inch of its predecessor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Most notably, the game design is innovative and daring, straddling a precarious line between 2-D and 3-D gameplay to make a game that feels contemporary while retaining the classic Metroid appeal.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Well-balanced, fun turn-based strategy gameplay perfectly suited to mobile devices.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Killzone 2 does walk on mostly well-trodden ground, it does so with a keen attention to style and detail, pushing beyond the gray-and-red color schemes that define its competition while encouraging gamers to put a little bit of thought behind every bullet they hurl.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you enjoy playing first-person shooters with a team of friends or even complete strangers, Left 4 Dead offers an unparalleled social experience. It can be frustrating at times when the team's actions aren't synced, or strategies continually falter, but a bit of practice and, more importantly, communication will transform this zombie massacre into one of the most exciting and addictive gaming experiences ever.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gorgeous re-imagining of the original, lots of gaming for your buck.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A novel and original concept, executed cleanly and with style - in short, the ideal to which videogames should aspire.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Does an excellent job of making you think you can succeed if you try just one more time. That's often not the case, but the game will suck away hours of your life anyway.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Canabalt is my most-played iPad game by far. Its simple, fun concept distills platforming down to its bare essence of running and jumping.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There hasn't been a funnier, more singularly creative videogame since Brütal Legend. And where Double Fine disappointed some with odd game design choices, DeathSpank does nothing but please.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I played World of Goo previously on my PC, but the iPad version's controls are a lot more suited to the game. Stacking goo balls by dragging them with your finger is faster, not to mention more fun.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    3D Land is a grabby borrower of a game - enemies from Mario 3, music from 2006's New Super Mario Bros., gameplay from Galaxy. Eventually it starts borrowing from itself. It's an excellent game because all of these things work so well together; the only thing keeping it from perfection is that it cries out for more innovations to call its own.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There hasn't been a funnier, more singularly creative videogame since Brütal Legend. And where Double Fine disappointed some with odd game design choices, DeathSpank does nothing but please.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The moments when Modern Warfare 2 isn’t good are few and far between. That’s about all you can ask from a hero.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You can beat the entire main story of Fallout: New Vegas in less than 20 hours, but that would be giving the game short shrift. It is really about savoring every little detail and side quest until you've seen everything there is to see.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is the best 2-D platform game I've played in ages. Its level design meets the gold standard set by the 2-D Mario games. Retro Studios can add another feather to its cap.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first Assassin’s Creed had a bold, brilliant concept; the sequel delivers the execution.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Its blend of action, strategy and atmospheric tension perfectly complement the film series it's based on. Assault on Dark Athena sets a new standard for games based on films.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Electronic Symphony's best new feature is the ability to sort your favorite tunes into a specified order and play them straight through. Or you can have your favorite song run on an endless loop and relive that moment of pure ecstasy, where it's just you and the music.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Endless depth, gorgeous graphics, excellent polish for a new MMO.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it gives players that quintessential amped-up FPS experience, it isn't doing anything especially innovative or new. The firefights are intense, the pacing will keep you on the edge of your seat and quite a few scenes prove absolutely breathtaking, but the game's chief strength is the story that binds it all together, and the multiplayer modes that should keep us amused for quite some time.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Much like the original, it will be played for years to come. And that's why it lives up to all the anticipation.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Braid is so much more than just another XBLA release. What you're paying for is a groundbreaking title that offers several hours of pure game enjoyment. Buy this game now, and experience some of the best this medium has to offer.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From the war-torn home world of the lizardlike krogans to a planet so wracked by radiation that stepping out of the shade will eat away at your shields, the galaxy feels more lovely, lurid and dangerous this time around.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bastion's fantasy world doesn't feel derivative. Its world and characters are all its own, and the narrator's verbal descriptions of abandoned quarries, forsaken gods and terrifying fortresses breathe life into them.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Portal 2 is in the business of defying players' expectations. Valve never wants you to predict what's going to happen at any moment, and delights in subtly setting those pins up and knocking them down. Even more than the clever gameplay mechanics and sharply written story, the smiles and laughter that such a carefully crafted game can extract from you mean this one will stay with you for years to come.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The game's audio is phenomenal. Throughout the game players are treated to a combination of Japanese-style blues, pop, techno and rock. Even those who have become tired of Japan's trademark stylistic alterations to American media will find the variety of tunes appealing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It was one of the best cooperative experiences I've ever had in a video game, and I don't even know who those people were. I've made my concerns about the storytelling in this game clear, but maybe that's not as big of an issue. I came away from Diablo III with a great story to tell, one of my own making.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rhythm Heaven Fever boasts a staggeringly extensive soundtrack of catchy tunes covering an array of different genres, from head-pounding rock to way-too-sweet pop, everything with a distinct Japanese style. Kicking back and listening to the music is the single biggest stress reliever when you're getting frustrated by the high difficulty.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply the most reliable gaming purchase you can make this holiday season. No other title will offer more content for the price.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rock Band 2 is a massive bullet-point list of new features, each of which makes playing the game a little bit more fun, a little bit less annoying. MTV has played it very safe: It has not broken anything, but neither has it taken any great risks to add any feature that is mind-blowingly new, the way it did when it added drumming and vocals to Guitar Hero in the first place.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gorgeous re-imagining of the original, lots of gaming for your buck.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rhythm Heaven is exactly the sort of novel, deep, challenging game that people accuse Nintendo of not creating anymore. Play it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a challenging game, too. I've logged enough hours in strategy games to qualify as an officer in certain South American militaries, but the last few levels of Adventure mode and many of those Puzzle mode levels require intense concentration and genuine skill.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This should serve as a reminder that a strong license shouldn’t be a millstone around a game designer’s neck but a gold mine, a vast stockpile of prebuilt characters and relationships that, properly tweaked, can work just as well in a videogame as they do in a movie or comic book series.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    BioShock 2 may be a clever spin on the are-you-good-or-evil convention, but it falls short of its predecessor by not breaking free of it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gorgeous re-imagining of the original, lots of gaming for your buck.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simultaneously more and less than its predecessor. It expands and elaborates on the gameplay in unpredictable ways, but the last one felt like a bigger, more complete adventure. That said, better core gameplay with less window dressing is infinitely preferable to the reverse.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    New Super Mario Bros. Wii is an excellent game with friends, and I had a great deal of challenging fun with the solo mode. But if you’re looking for a new Mario adventure that’s tailored to creating the maximum amount of fun for just one person, you’ll have to wait for next year’s Super Mario Galaxy 2.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game completely lacks scary moments; there is nothing going bump in the night. Actually, most all the levels take place in the daytime. They are very pretty levels, yes, although the RE5 team hasn't yet learned the tricks of the trade that other developers use to seamlessly blend them -- there are lots and lots of loading screens.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the clunky menu system and nearly useless real-time combat options, the biggest complaint I can level at Fallout 3 is that it isn't by the original developer, Interplay. But since we'll never see that game, Bethesda's take on the series is a very acceptable substitute.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Wii Sports was the Pong of our day, Wii Sports Resort is the Super Pong machine with color graphics and handball and hockey modes: Some of it is superfluous, but it’s worth the upgrade.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's another three or four hours of solid entertainment.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its undeniable polish and fun gameplay, Mario & Luigi is starting to feel less like a clever bridging of the gap and more like an indecisive straddle. It’s time to rethink the Mario RPG.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game isn’t about slavish devotion to original recordings. It’s about the power of the DJ to transform.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dead Space 2′s final chapters seem like an endless string of featureless rooms filled with monsters. Some wonderful moments emerge that make it a must-play, especially since the game wraps in less than 10 hours, but the last act seems rushed.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I wish I could recommend Sleeping Dogs with no reservations. The story is excellent, the gameplay has flashes of brilliance and the mission structuring makes it rather addictive. It's hard to ignore all the little problems that keep presenting themselves, but not one of them is troublesome enough to make you stop playing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The campaign mode is a fun, lengthy, well-polished experience. But the reason most people pick up a strategy game in the first place is to meet new and interesting people and crush them mercilessly.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yes, it feels pretty much exactly like 2005′s Mario Kart DS with better graphics. But it's still too good to put down.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Condemned 2: Bloodshot has plenty of creepy moments, but it favors action over atmosphere. To that end it performs very well, and even throws in some juicy plot twists and a cliffhanger ending. But I miss the tension of the original, just the same.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The original Gold and Silver are getting a bit long in the tooth, but a decade of extra gameplay polish makes HeartGold and SoulSilver extremely appealing. The games are next-gen nostalgia done right.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    And I fail to see how the all-important menu that lets you reassign the buttons on your controller could have been designed to be less intuitive. You'll be using that a lot, too, especially if you buy an arcade-style joystick — which I cannot recommend strongly enough, especially if you have an Xbox 360. The console's default controller is absolutely infuriatingly useless for this game.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Boom Blox does what so many Wii titles wish they could, by splitting the difference between casual players and lifelong gamers. You can pass the Wiimote to your grandma or a 5-year-old and they'll have a ball with its clever mix of brainy puzzles and satisfying explosions. But hard-core players like me will find a surprising amount of depth to the gameplay and a satisfying, addictive challenge.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Diabolical Box’s gameplay, animation and plot are quite a bit like its predecessor’s, slight improvements make this installment of the Professor Layton saga even more enjoyable than the last.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those thrills, ripped straight from summer blockbusters, tend to be both Uncharted 3's biggest strength and biggest flaw...Drake's Deception never lets up on the action, and it has an obsession with constantly one-upping itself. Before the end of the game, you will have escaped from a burning building, outran a massive wave of water aboard a sinking cruise ship and traversed a seemingly endless desert...These segments are thrilling, heart-racing stuff, but predictable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But I was pleased to discover at least one genre of music that fits in surprisingly well with all the limitations of the system: classic videogame music.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A contemporary classic — but not necessarily in a good way. Yes, slightly antiquated design elements like health and armor packs give it a familiar feel. And quite a few genuinely scary moments are guaranteed to make you feel a little silly for being so freaked out. But the game tries to be too many things at once, and the transparent, jarring transitions from horror to next-gen action sequences break the otherwise carefully executed atmosphere.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wii Fit feels very much like a version 1.0 trial run that's going to be made obsolete by a better sequel in six months. For now, it's absolutely worth giving it a try if you have a Wii, $90, and some extra pounds to lose.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kratos' latest action-packed journey across the tales of Greek myth has lightning-fast pacing, designed to keep you addicted straight through to the end with tiny loading times in between. The problem is that you come upon the end of the game very quickly, way before you want it to be.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The translations are occasionally botched. In two instances, the cheat codes were incorrect. This, plus the fact that some of the challenges send you back over territory you've already covered, keeps the game from achieving true retro perfection. It's still awesome, and a must-play for fans of the NES era.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Peggle Nights, like its predecessor, is extremely polished, challenging and fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Condemned 2: Bloodshot has plenty of creepy moments, but it favors action over atmosphere. To that end it performs very well, and even throws in some juicy plot twists and a cliffhanger ending. But I miss the tension of the original, just the same.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The one major qualm I have with the game is in its voice acting.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon is a series that never reinvents the wheel, but instead continues to polish the basic design until it sparkles.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon is a series that never reinvents the wheel, but instead continues to polish the basic design until it sparkles.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A tumultuous blend of Prince of Persia-style jumping action and the "bullet hell" of insane shooters like Ikaruga. It's complex, difficult and a lot of fun.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Doesn't take gamers anywhere as exotic or over-the-top. And that's its charm. The realistic setting and complex control scheme make for an engaging single-player experience, but it's the wide range of online multiplayer options that make Skate gleam the cube.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mark of the Ninja is easily one of the best Xbox Live Arcade games of the year. In a time when no one thought they wanted another stealth game, Klei Entertainment surprised everyone with a truly wonderful one.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But If you're willing to put in the time to learn the game's nuances however, and don't mind losing days of your life to faux interstellar conquest, Sins of a Solar Empire is easily the finest game to hit PCs this year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The original Gold and Silver are getting a bit long in the tooth, but a decade of extra gameplay polish makes HeartGold and SoulSilver extremely appealing. The games are next-gen nostalgia done right.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Case Zero does a fine job of illustrating the tension between the pure fun of offing the undead and the time-sensitive tasks that Chuck must accomplish to get his daughter her medicine.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    100 Rogues is the most user-friendly roguelike game - a type of RPG where dungeons are randomized, death is often permanent and movement is turn-based - I've ever played.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bit.Trip Beat wouldn't survive on any of its individual elements alone, but the perfect synergy between design, sound and graphics makes the game much more than the sum of its parts.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cut the Rope HD's level design is brilliant. The game frequently introduces new play mechanics and can squeeze enough mileage out of a single idea to fill several levels without getting repetitive.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game's menus are clunky, which gets annoying since you're constantly going in there to tweak your button settings and check the list of special moves. A menu will often tell you to press the A button to confirm your selection, but pressing it does nothing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fighting stays fast-paced and engaging because you must constantly issue new orders.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Clever deduction sequences, likable characters, some of the best writing in videogames.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even without a story to speak of, Etrian Odyssey II does exactly what it was meant to do: It provides a ridiculous level of challenge coupled with weeks, if not months, of classic gameplay to an audience who still desires that sort of thing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Witcher 2's technical and design glitches didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the game, however. It's one of the most realistic role-playing games I've ever tried - just like in real life, the decisions you make have wide-ranging effects, and you won't learn what those are until much later.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game delivers the same grizzled, gore-laden action we've come to expect, and it does it extremely well -- but it's as if the original Gears has gotten a face-lift, and been expanded upon, without much real change.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But like a jazz-master bringing new life to an old standard, or a Jazzercise-master making leg warmers fashionable again, Bloons TD 4 transforms the familiar into something fantastic. If, like me, you've wandered away from the tower-defending fold, this might be just the thing to bring you back.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The camera angles could have been placed better. The characters could have been more developed...But damn is it fun.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The team at Kojima Productions has at the very least set a new high-water mark for cinematic presentation that I wager any other videogame will be lucky to reach, let alone exceed, for the next few years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That's all Max Payne 3 is – a beautiful, playable action movie.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's done some brilliant things with its genre to create a brand new experience, but no game mode aside from team deathmatch is well-balanced or interesting, and there are precious few maps.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Much like Sony's Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire is a game you simply must play if you are interested in the development of storytelling in videogames. Also like Heavy Rain, the gameplay occasionally struggles to walk the tightrope between being robust enough to hold up the story but easy enough that the player doesn't give up halfway through.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gorgeous, Beatles-themed graphics make the game more than just a list of songs, although the short track list (and some questionable song choices) keep it from being the perfect Fab Four experience.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.

In Progress & Unscored

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    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you can master the foreign language of its combat, you’ll find Hyper Light Drifter screaming with life and unfamiliar menace, waiting for you to awaken its technological giants.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Batman: Arkham VR is quite a short game. You step into the Batsuit for just a little over an hour. In that span of time, it can be quite a frightening experience. But it’s definitely worth playing if you’re an early adopter of PlayStation VR.
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Titanfall 2‘s campaign is fast, it’s responsive, and it lets you move like John Woo’s most violent dreams of the future. If you’ve played Mirror’s Edge and wished more games would learn from it, this is what you’ve been looking for.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It bakes a string of unnerving themes into its gameplay that stand wholly apart from the bevy of shooters it’s competing with.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s a paranoid nightmare vision of my own cell phone, and I can’t look away.
    • 43 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Prospekt doesn’t quite match the brilliance of the official games.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Gameplay and narrative are inextricably intertwined, and ought to reinforce and point toward one another. In Song of the Deep, they feel at odds in a way that’s made even more grating by the loving, attentive eye Insomniac casts on the world it created. These people care about Merryn and her journey, and they do so much to make you care, too. Now they just need to get out of her way.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Its best moments crackle with creativity and skill. It feels like a successor to some of the best games of its type, a game in the mold of Thief and Deus Ex in an era where even the people who make new Deus Ex games don’t make them like this anymore. This is a game that should be played, and all I want to do now is go back in. I know it’s waiting for me, to see what I try next.
    • 64 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Yes, it is quite a bit more fun to run down Federation Force‘s hallways and headshot its Space Pirates when you have a group. But a lot of that, it seems to me, is because the game is designed to be much easier when you have a team and very challenging, even inhospitable, to a solo player.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The fourth installment of Gears of War tells a lighter, more personal tale, but it always returns to the defiant thrill of survival. The silence of the music cutting out and the guns going quiet after the end of a terrible battle. The deep breath. It’s what the old character here is getting at, I think. In a place like Sera, where everything wants to kill you, the opportunity to fight—and win—is a blessing. I missed it, too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It feels like I stepped through a time warp and am reviewing the original Mirror’s Edge again. It recreates the original game’s strengths—and, more importantly, its fundamental errors—as if no time had passed.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While Mirror’s Edge Catalyst opens up the city rather than confining you to discrete levels, its design woes feel precisely like the original. The odds of me clearing a mission on the first try were approximately zero. Not because my reflexes weren’t up to snuff—I swear it!—but simply because the missions are so tightly timed, the positioning so precise, that there really isn’t any time to figure out what the plan’s going to be: you simply have to do. And while that may (I can only assume) genuinely recreate the sorts of fast decisions you’d have to make if you were really trying to outrun the cops on foot, it doesn’t make for a game experience that feels fair.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Infinite Warfare is not a bad Call of Duty. I’ve played nearly every game in the series, and as someone who sees the merits of the systems that make up the moment-to-moment experience of playing a shooter like it, I enjoyed myself, sometimes a good deal. But Infinite Warfare stalls out in the terrestrial shadow of itself and the political context it’s trying to run from. It wants to be a lot of things, but ultimately it’s a lesson: We can go as far into the cosmos as we want, but we can’t go alone. Our problems are stowed away in the cargo hold, and they’re coming with us.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That’s not to say that Ratchet and Clank is a lifeless cash-in. It’s replete with care and vitality, and it feels like an honest return to a world the creators love. But as a utilization of its own past, it’s dull and safe. A game that so directly recreates a relic of gaming’s past needs to justify its own existence—to use the past in an interesting way, to imbue it with creative vitality. 2016’s Ratchet and Clank doesn’t. Nothing here surprises. Nothing here transforms.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Frankly, I think I might hate The Witness. Even after hours of playtime, I don’t know enough to tell.
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Everybody—Nintendo, players—knows that this is a stopgap in a barren release schedule, but if you’re going to have a stopgap, you might as well give an excellent game the graphical overhaul it lost when Nintendo decided to skip over high-definition.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Inside, like the studio’s freshman effort, is again a monochromatic, tense, haunting, side-scrolling puzzle game, but with six years of effort under its belt, Playdead now delivers a masterclass in its form.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It manages to keep the core gameplay of battling and trading magical monsters intact, while weaving in ideas that were vital to the television show and to the idea of Pokémon in general.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Helping and being helped, working together, and loving everyone, regardless of where they’re coming from, is a lesson that we can all forget at times. And I’m overjoyed to know that children picking up these games today might just walk away better, more empathetic people even though at the end of the day they’re still teaching digital animals to tear each other apart.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    1979 Revolution forges something gripping and personal in the fires of a murky history...Khonsari hopes it does something even more powerful: Define a new genre of games, one his studio will lead.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you resent games walling the player off or insisting on where they go next, you will hate Yakuza 0. But it uses its distinctly un-Western sense of constraint and mise–en–scène to tell a story more intelligent and subtle than anything you’d find in its foreign counterparts.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There are so many reasons this game shouldn’t exist, but I’m thrilled that it does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Firewatch may leave you before you’re ready to be done with it; like Gone Home, Oxenfree et cetera it’s a six-hour experience that you can easily start after lunch and finish before bed. But it’s an emotional gut-punch all the way through, for many reasons, and largely a pleasure to explore and find yourself lost in—mentally, if not geographically. This is your next must-play story, another voyage to a place games don’t often take us.
    • 71 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For all this, for all of its pretentiousness, for all of its own flaws, No Man’s Sky rightly deserves a place in a modern art museum. Like a home with doors that may never open, begging us to ponder what lies beyond, No Man’s Sky is an unanswerable question, but one I’m glad I asked.
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Most games don’t try to break you, don’t ask you to band together and conquer something that seems impossible. Still, Miyazaki says, Dark Souls is made to beaten: “When [we] set the difficulty level… our objective was to make the game possible to accomplish.” It takes time, and it takes effort, but no matter who you are, or how you want to play, Dark Souls wants to see you succeed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Witness is a sterile, lifeless videogame. It revels in the idea of knowledge, fascinated by how it’s earned and what it signifies. But it seems uninterested in players and their accomplishments, and with that lack of interest comes a lack of the human touch necessary to make sense of the knowledge it offers...The Witness is like the island on which it takes place: a machine, to the core. Anything within it that seems lifelike is superficial.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Molasses Flood’s debut is a brilliant tone piece, drawing skillfully on an established well of symbolism and cultural preoccupations that rarely get showcased in games. The Flame in the Flood is a journey toward hope at the end of a long river, a journey worth taking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you enjoy Hell’s Kitchen or Master Chef, having Ramsay’s constant banter in the game really does enhance the experience.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Obduction succeeds as a follow-up to Myst not because it invokes nostalgia for 1993, but because it builds realities like Myst did. A new world, one that feels true, one that breathes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    You may find that you race through PinOut! real fast, especially if you put up for those sweet, sweet two-buck continues. But if you’re like me, you’ll look back on your neon-soaked journey with fondness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Unravel isn’t a bad videogame. It has some mild charm, and it’s one of the most visually stunning things I’ve seen in a long time. It’s just unremarkable. Which is a pity, because with the clear passion that went into its development, it’s easy to picture it being so much more.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The miracle of The Last Guardian is not that it escaped development hell, but that it did so with an unwavering vision as clear and uncompromised as it was on its first day. Not only is there a game available this week called The Last Guardian, that game is The Last Guardian.
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    From its opening unhinged riff on Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the more traditional bulk of its gameplay, it’s an eerie, consistently entertaining puzzle box drenched in Southern gothic dread. And the videotapes are the stroke of genius that turn that puzzle box into a tesseract.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That commitment to the time period and dedication to an earnest presentation of what war was really like can’t help but clash with the raucous fun we’re expected to have when we dip into the multiplayer modes with friends, however. Battlefield 1 uses the same language of play for both sections, and in so doing shows that this dichotomy can’t last. For a game to do war right, it’d have to be about the struggle to exist. It’d have to be about the starvation, the panic, and the agony of it all. Battlefield 1 comes tantalizingly close to this.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you’re looking for novel virtual reality experiences, I do think you should check out Eagle Flight to get a sense of how much fun it can be to soar in VR. After playing it, though, I feel like I’d really enjoy a game with these precise mechanics, but without constraints: a more free-form, less demanding play style that would accentuate the freedom of flight—not detract from it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The smartest design choice in Duskers is also the one most likely to put players off, initially: the command-line interface.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The original Doom transcended videogame to become cultural icon, the inspiration for a hundred imitations, ports on virtually every digital medium imaginable including airplanes, and even a terrible movie starring The Rock. The new Doom succeeds by taking that legacy seriously, rendering it as a religion of sorts: the cult of Doom Guy writ through generations. To play is to enact a mass-media ritual, to go where a million other players have gone before you and will go again...The legions of hell should be quaking in their boots: Doom has been reborn.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The lighting, the detail, the mocap and animation of the characters, the delivery of the dialogue are all so near-flawless that I forgot I was watching computer people. It just felt like a movie. The transitions between cinematic scenes and gameplay are seamless. The load times are non-existent (unless you jump around from chapter to chapter or reset from a previous point).
    • 91 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    By attempting to push the cynicism out of competitive gaming, Overwatch is working towards the seemingly impossible. Out of all the internet’s dark places, competitive shooters are among the worst. They’re the home of teabaggers and trolls, brimming with toxicity and vitriol. Blizzard is trying to make a place where people can enjoy themselves and relax without the fear that so often accompanies these types of games. I can’t say yet where it’ll succeed in the long run, but this is the first time I’ve had hope.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Far Cry Primal is best played through subtraction. First thing, go into the options menu and turn off the mini-map. Takkar certainly doesn’t have a map, and using one is distraction that detracts from the beauty and horror of Oros. Ignore the extraneous missions, the ones that rely on formula and filler by, say, having you kill the same two warriors to save the same kidnapped Wenja. Seek out the upgrades you find most useful and skip the rest. Ignore the completion percentages. Take it slow.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I truly believe that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided wants to be a political tentpole videogame. It just won’t let itself. It’s a metonym for big-budget gaming as a whole. These games, after all, are changing. In an increasingly broad and complex marketplace, they’re going to have to. And with those changes, there are going to be teams who want to use their platforms to tell authentically complex stories, to create games that aren’t afraid to believe things...Mankind Divided is a messy and ultimate broken step in that direction. But I sincerely doubt it’ll be the last.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There’s a buttload of money to be made here, and Nintendo has done the exact minimum amount of work necessary to make that very buttload, just in time for what’s probably going to be 3DS’ last big holiday season. Too bad it couldn’t be bothered to make this the definitive version of the game that it could have been.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    What saves this radical concept from total disaster is the fact that the live-action segments are well-acted and tightly paced. They look and feel exactly like… well, like a mid-season replacement on the USA Network, if we’re being honest. But the action is just intriguing enough that you won’t mind being asked to watch a 20-minute cut scene before beginning the next level...Once you get over the novelty, Quantum Break shakes out as a mediocre shooter with a lavish budget. It will be remembered for blending game and live-action in a formula that actually kinda worked, not for its gameplay, which feels unambitious, half-baked.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It sounds confusing. It is confusing. It’s also not optional. This is how you play Star Fox Zero. It’s the shooter equivalent of rubbing your stomach while patting your head and also keeping a hacky-sack in the air with your foot.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The difference with Star Fox Guard is that, for me at least, it clicked automatically, and I was having a blast from the first moment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Let it Die is certainly addictive. There’s something there, in its madcap core, that is good and possibly great. I’m just not entirely sure what it is.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Like its subjects, Blendo Games’ new PC puzzler Quadrilateral Cowboy is unafraid to be messy. It’s a puzzle game that doesn’t feel like one, a narrative game without a single speaking role. Taking place in a William Gibson-esque dreamscape, it puts you in the role of a slick hacker armed with clunky tech.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Hitman, the franchise, has always been known for elaborate assassinations and long missions that flow beautifully from one moment to the next. And it’s wonderful to see the subtitle-free sequel keep to that tradition. This is only the first of several planned episodes, but one with an emotional rollercoaster with enough depth and challenge to last some time.
    • 90 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I don’t expect to ever beat Stephen’s Sausage Roll, but that won’t stop me from recommending it. Unlike The Witness, which muddled its message with pretentious framing and unfriendly design, Increpare’s latest is smart and welcoming. It’s a loving ode to puzzles and the people who love them. If you check it out, be sure to eat something first.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The game is magical. As test of your ability to think strategically, Civilization VI is almost unparalleled.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Dragon Ball is ultimately a story about transformation, about the idea that people can change to become more than they are.
    • 54 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Amidst these odd, singular moments lies a nexus of something fascinating and powerful, a new almost dadaist landscape emerging from the confluence of bad aesthetic decisions and largely pointless gameplay conceits. I could imagine another game that takes advantage of the distinctive strangeness the developers have created here, that harbors it and shores it up into something worth spending time with. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that. We got The Tomorrow Children instead.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you can bear the frustration of that early grind, there’s a reward waiting for you. The thrill of pushing your thrusters to full burn, looping around the asteroids near Karahdor Outpost, the Prince Ol in your sights, his fighter dancing in evasion. Vulcan cannons blazing. The stars watching, an entire universe built for for one exhilarating fight after another.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Starseed is all over pretty quickly, maybe a couple of hours at best. And I don’t think it’s going to age very well, truth be told—we’re going to expect more complexity out of our VR sojourns, soon enough. But right now, at this moment, if you’re looking for something cool to show you what it’s going to be like to go adventuring in VR, this is a great place to start.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Besides its unique approach to game storyline delivery, which I think will be studied and copied in the future, Oxenfree shows some smart thinking about the relationship between games and players. It’s a unique mix that should make Night School’s future productions ones to watch, and this an auspicious debut.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    After spending a few hours with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division, one thing I can say with certainty is that it has a powerful sense of drama. For a game based largely around shooting bad guys online with friends, it has a remarkable sense of pacing and mood. It’s dynamic, in the musical sense: loud, tense gunfights, separated by periods of exploring a ruined New York City in overwhelming silence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Darkest Dungeon is a mean, capricious game. Success is a gambler’s thrill, addictive and illicit. It comes rarely.