Guardian's Scores

  • Games
For 640 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 EVERYTHING
Lowest review score: 20 Hatred
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 640
646 game reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Age of Calamity is a bizarre, enjoyable beast that pays homage to an incredible game, while merrily doing its own thing. Scything through thousands of identical baddies might not be the most sophisticated power fantasy, but the compelling rhythm of intense battles and constantly achievable microgoals ensures it’s certainly a fun one – to the point where only thumb pain was preventing me from playing even more.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does everything it needs to with polish and zeal, and those who plan to spend the next year levelling up through its multiplayer ranks won’t be disappointed if they get this for Christmas (although they might have liked a few more maps than the currently available eight). But given how disruptive March’s battle-royale Call of Duty game Warzone has been, both as a competitor to Fortnite and Apex Legends and as a new meeting place for CoD fans, Cold War could definitely have used some more innovation. The campaign hints at it, and the 1981 setting offered so much promise, but, sadly, this is not the subversive goth-punk krautrock shooter I was waiting for.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It’s a satisfying experience as you glide gracefully over the ocean, but too often the dogfighting and bombing runs play out as erratic scrambles.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sweet and occasionally salty, Bugsnax is certainly one of the PS5’s most interesting launch titles. If you look at it as a checklist game where you need to catch creatures in order to win, it wobbles: it gets repetitive, some parts are harder than they need to be and it won’t help much if you get stuck. But the sheer range of creatures on offer, and the villagers’ hidden depth, filled my time in Snaxburg with joy. It’s funny, thoughtful, inventive and warm.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There just isn’t very much to do in The Pathless: you run across empty fields for a while, before solving a small variety of puzzles. Boss battles, with their blend of dashing, fighting and light brainwork, drive home that the Giant Squid formula works best in small doses. The score is reduced to sparse percussion in the open field, and the world itself doesn’t offer much in terms of visual variety or secrets to uncover. The problem isn’t the rudimentary gameplay itself, but how The Pathless tries to stretch its few puzzles across several hours. I was bored after the first hour, and no new ideas or clever twists arrived to rescue me from torpor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Offering a unique brand of tongue-in-cheek escapism that should induce a laugh roughly every five minutes, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a perfect lockdown game. The one unintentionally amusing element is the voice acting, which you can thankfully eliminate by opting to keep the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles. Sega’s Yakuza games have always seemed like a well-kept secret, but they’ve recently been enjoying much more appreciation abroad. If you like the idea of a very Japanese, gangster-themed, interactive comedy soap opera, you’ll absolutely adore it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes a while to get going, but don’t be disheartened by its mirthless opening, because the smart, inventive and witty open-world game you’re hoping for is lurking somewhere over those gloomy hills and dales.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sakuna is more than the sum of its parts. Individually each element is just a bit lacking: the exploration is limited, the pacing a little tedious, the combat doesn’t quite have the depth of a true action-brawler and even the farming proves repetitive. But just as sunlight, fertiliser, water and toil together produce a bountiful harvest, all of this game’s elements come together to make something hearty and unexpected.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Inspecting all that gaming gubbins up-close as a tiny robot gave me a new appreciation for the art of Sony’s hardware design. I’m not a technically minded gamer, and for me the appeal of individual consoles has always been decidedly secondary to the games I can play on them. But there is proper magic in how engineers and programmers create the machines that enable our gaming experiences, and Astro’s Playroom helped me to see it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which was also billed as a shorter, complementary adventure, Spider-Man: Miles Morales gains something from its more limited focus. The story isn’t massively innovative, but it is full of heart and genuinely engaging, and the action feels as enthralling and intuitive as it did in 2018’s Spider-Man. The message at its core is that self-belief is infectious and that individual actions can reignite whole communities: perhaps not something we might expect from a combat-focused superhero adventure, but here we are. And in 2020, many people will gratefully and wholeheartedly embrace this kind of positivity, wherever they find it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I haven’t played a game as odd as Legion in a very long time. Unlike the glossy, beautiful, but samey open-worlds that have dominated the genre in the past few years, it is ambitious, imperfect and unashamedly weird. To me it’s a fascinating, flawed, well-intentioned experiment in what a game can have to say, and how it can say it, while still conforming to the established fun-first template of an open-world action game. London’s landmarks are all here, from the Tower to the Eye, but rather than reducing the city to a pretty backdrop for generic madcap violence, it lets you find your own fun – or even your own meaning – in what you do there.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not since Mirror’s Edge has first-person movement felt this good.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rebirth will feel familiar to anyone who played The Dark Descent 10 years ago, but Frictional still know how to set up a damn good scare. A level set inside crumbling Roman catacombs had me feeling wrung-out with anxiety by its heartstopping end. Just because it’s curled up in the darkness, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the monster is dead.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There is a lot of soul in The Collage Atlas, and a lot of beauty. Aesthetically, it is extraordinary, and worth playing just to gawp at. It lacks direction, and might have been more affecting without words – but a few hours’ wander through its dreamscapes filled me with admiration for its creator’s artistic talent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whatever your pleasure, Fifa 21 is off to a strong start. If you’ve played Fifa in the last few years, you’ll have no trouble picking it up and scoring for fun, and if you want to dig deeper, there’s a ton of new stuff to learn and the endless siren call of regular Ultimate Team events to keep you coming back, even in the absence of any massive new features. Football has been hard to enjoy in 2020, but Fifa 21 certainly makes it easier.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I’ve been waiting 23 years for a game to come along and take the crown for the best Star Wars flight sim from X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, and have had to endure guff like 2001’s Starfighter in the meantime. Well, it’s finally here. This is now the high watermark for interactive Star Wars experiences.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s nothing so gauche or straightforward as a Miss Marple denouement reveal, where you discover whether or not your conclusions were correct. In Paradise Killer the truth is more complicated and, counterintuitively, all the more satisfying for it.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the kind of video game fighting that puts your heart in your mouth, an exhilarating whirl of slashes and strikes and dodges. Each jewel in Zagreus’ armoury – brass-knuckles, greatshield and sword, railgun, spear – has its own rhythm: some favour quick flurries at close range, others charge up to unleash hell on rooms full of gorgons and cursed chariots. Conquered chambers sometimes bring a new blessing from one of Zagreus’ relatives up on Mount Olympus, boons that add a watery damage-dealing flourish to your dash or imbue your weapon with lightning, calls that summon gods to unleash magical arrows or make you invincible.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This Definitive Edition might have been wiser to double down on the original, slightly hokey script and performances, rather than strive for something more sophisticated in the rewrite.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    BPM is a brash, earwormy delight, aimed at the heads of Doom fans and lapsed Guitar Heroes alike.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perhaps it’s a little safe in the way it goes about things, anxious not to lose that Spelunky magic by disrupting the familiar flow. But that spell hasn’t worn off after 10 years. With its dastardly remixes of existing themes and a bunch of brilliant new additions, this will certainly replace Spelunky HD as the definitive cave-diving Derek Yu roguelike. I wouldn’t change a thing – though some of my former turkey friends may have different feedback.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Running at a breathless 60-frames-per-second and with tiny loading times, Hotshot Racing is a slick callback to a much-loved era of racing games made by people who are clearly passionate and knowledgeable about the genre. Older players will get all the references, and newcomers will enjoy a bright, exhilarating game that forgoes modern frills for pure, seamless racing entertainment.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This extraordinary game tests you to the limit – even as it insists that it absolutely does not exist.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even if you are not nostalgic for the originals and or interested in skateboarding culture, there is still plenty to enjoy. The levels feel small by modern standards and the systems behind the skating aren’t always well communicated, but the first two games remain deeply engrossing, refined creations. Chasing scores, puzzling your way to seemingly accessible collectibles and drumming up some friendly rivalry with another player is as exciting as it ever was. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 open a portal to a place, time and subculture – and it’s a delight to step through.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wasteland 3 is treading creatively irradiated ground. The nuclear post-apocalypse has been explored to exhaustion, in video games and elsewhere, and no amount of weird factions or sex jokes can prevent it from feeling like an aged rock band on a comeback tour: the tunes are still decent, but there’s no youthful vigour.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The idea of a literal battle of the bands is a good one, and I was always keen to see what the next encounter would look like. But the lack of substance to the actual fights was invariably disappointing. Despite some impressive sights and sounds, in the end No Straight Roads has too many potholes to make its musical journey worth recommending.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is stuck between abstraction and fan fiction, ambition and restraint. At its best, it’s streamlined; at worst, stifling and predetermined. Give me an Alfie Solomons rum-empire management game, and you’d have my attention.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wherever you go, this game captures the wonder of flight, and the spiritual and emotional rush of seeing the world in a different way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the game’s style is like a Homeric epic seen through the panel of a comic book, the soundtrack of melancholic twanging guitar complicates the theme to something new and unexpected, a kind of undead western. It’s slickly compelling stuff, if repetitive after a few hours and, invariably, punitive. Yes, in West of Dead, death is an inconvenience rather than a sentence, but it’s one that is often delivered quickly and without reprieve, which makes selecting a “New Run” a little bit harder with each cruel setback.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is an unmissable, sugary treat, bursting with kaleidoscopic entertainment, and is available for £15.99 on Steam and free via PlayStation Now. It’s a perfect entry point to battle royale games for those who are intrigued by their structure but put off by their violent undertones. And even though you can’t play against your family, you can all gather around the TV and enjoy the hilarity of 60 bean-shaped critters trying to simultaneously cram themselves through a narrow doorway, or across a rotating platform. It is lovely to see a game like this – so aware of its own silliness and so aware that it is exactly what we need right now.

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