Guardian's Scores

  • Games
For 650 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 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Quarrel Deluxe
Lowest review score: 20 Hatred
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 650
656 game reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The pain and the pleasure of platformers such as this is their precision: the controls must be so tight, the jumping and running so perfectly predictable, that your failures are always your own. In Super Meat Boy Forever, though, enemies can turn up in especially unfair places, and the architecture of the levels sometimes feels thrown together as opposed to carefully placed by human hand. Its difficulty feels vindictive rather than playful, and oddly soulless, like trying to beat a computer at chess. For all its challenges, it felt as if I could feel the creators cheering me through the original Super Meat Boy’s death chambers, willing me onwards. Here, the algorithm is coldly indifferent to your efforts, and, despite the offbeat art and quirky vibe, the game is a punishing gauntlet that’s not worth running.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For the most part, the acting is pretty dismal, as if the cast were exhausted by the number of takes they had to make for each branch path of action. Nevertheless, the always welcome Kate Dickie pops up as the tech company’s CEO and gets to sport a particularly amusing pair of tartan pants – the kind of clothes you dig out of the closet when you have been in isolation for too long.
    • 90 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Animal Crossing is everything I have been craving: it is gentle, soothing, social and creative, and my group chats are already buzzing with hype about beetles and villager fashions. If there was ever a perfect time for a game such as this, that time is now.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There’s a fine line between playfully obtuse instructions and infuriatingly vague game design. Being unable to complete a task because it’s challenging is one thing, but not knowing exactly what the task is (and being blocked from doing it by bugs) is another. Table Manners has a brilliant premise and provides incisively funny commentary on modern romance but, just like when a Tinder date doesn’t match their profile and then proceeds to behave inexplicably, sometimes you just want to make your excuses and leave.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There’s nothing wrong with a game making you work hard before it yields rewards, but Ghost Recon Breakpoint takes that principle so far that, in its early stages at least, playing it is a chore. The latest iteration of Ubisoft’s future-soldier open-world shooter has plenty of good points, but those are marred by basic elements that so broken that the game feels like a backward step from Ghost Recon: Wildlands (2017).
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Oninaki’s sin, then, is to be so achingly close to quality and yet so far; to have almost everything needed for a top-tier role-playing game – an interesting premise, hauntingly evocative aesthetics, a deep and complex approach to combat – only to be betrayed by fundamental issues that keep it tied to this earthly realm.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There’s plenty of intrigue here, and in better circumstances you’d want to spend more time with the characters in order to understand their perspectives. But by the fifth time you’ve opened a lock that could have so easily have opened automatically, all you really want to do is find the quickest possible route to the exit.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This is a game from another time, best enjoyed with your brain switched off, some friends to laugh with, and perhaps a bottle of extremely cheap spirits.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    An accomplished but rather tedious and macabre game.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Even where it is strongest, Anthem rarely stretches beyond the derivative. The combat, while well-designed, is little more than Gears of War with jetpacks, and narratively it veers between inconsequential and downright irritating. This anthem is, sadly, a tedious and conservative dirge that we’ve all heard before
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Previous Fallout games always had something to say about the post-apocalypse and the human factors that led to it; here, it’s reduced to shooting mutants and picking up rubbish. Even if, in the future, it mutates into something more stable, it will still feel eerily soulless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Phantom Doctrine may find an enthusiastic audience with strategy-game masochists. It is complex and open-ended; there are multiple ways to finish missions, and they’re are not always about taking out targets. But it’s also punishing and opaque, poorly explained and hampered by a flummoxing plot. For most of us, it’s a confused and very niche experience.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The ability to explore space with a party of up to three friends makes it feel much less lonely than before. And where it once was difficult to return to a previously visited planet, establishing bases allows you to make some small corner of the universe feel like home.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Crew 2 has the whiff of a game that might become something wonderful in a year’s time, after numerous patches and additions. But right here, at the beginning, it doesn’t do enough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    After the touching emotional drama of Dontnod’s previous game – the coming-of-age adventure Life Is Strange – Vampyr’s ambitious but awkward chin-stroking is disappointingly inert, while its failure to reconcile its ethical hand-wringing with its gratuitous combat leaves it as conflicted as its undead protagonist.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a dull game with a great concept, made borderline unplayable by its hyper-aggressive monetisation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Fe
    It’s plausibly a commentary on the nature of an ecosystem, but the emotional reward doesn’t compensate a player for the amount of busywork.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    When set against the non-VR first-person shooters, a genre in which only those games that have benefitted persistent, focused iteration and a king’s ransom of investment can now compete, Farpoint seems embryonic and amateurish. Its thrills are short-lived, but the lessons that can be drawn from its struggles in trying to transpose the genre into VR will surely echo for a long time to come.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It tells its story well, with smart writing and some superb characterisation that elevate its simple revenge plot. Ultimately, however, it never capitalises on its open world potential, instead succumbing to an almost constant lull of tediously unimaginative repetition that makes for a boring and dated open-world shooter.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    To put it bluntly, Pokémon Go is not good as a game. Until it gets updates which iron out kinks and offer content promised in early trailers, such as trading Pokémon, group battles, or even just more interesting combat, this isn’t likely to change.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With its open-world environment and emphasis on crafting, this is an interesting sequel, marred by glitches and frame rate issues.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With this time-spanning opus, Remedy Entertainment hoped to unite narrative gaming and linear television for its Xbox One title. But neither comes out of the experiment well.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you’re old enough, if you love Nintendo enough and if you have enough friends who fall into both categories, Miitomo is an inventive and fun, first mobile app for the company. Everyone else? The wait will continue for Nintendo to make some more ambitious mobile games based on its most-loved brands.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Of more importance is how this world will evolve once enough players have completed all the current missions and find themselves in an end-game that is effectively a treasure hunt in an anarchic moral wasteland. Even at this early stage though, The Division is an experience that’s worth having if you’re at all interested in mainstream action games, or role-playing adventures, or co-operative online play. You will not be bored as you blast your way through.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There has never been a better way to confront, or indulge, your inner assassin.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Like throwing a punch in the dark, buying Street Fighter V today is a speculative gamble.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    That dearth of fun is the crux here. As the series finally begins to carve out an identity for itself, shed the dead-weight of its futuristic fluff of a sub-plot, and really let fly with its caricatural depiction of human history, it’s simultaneously failing to keep up with even middling mechanical, technical and design standards. With searing irony, the series feels more historic with each profit-driven iteration.

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