Kotaku's Scores

  • Games
For 0 reviews, this publication has graded:
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On average, this publication grades 0 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 0
Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of
415 game reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    This is a splendid creation, superbly written, with spellbinding art, and a unique approach to telling a story. It’s also a fascinating exploration of grief, loss, and more than anything else, how we react to change. That and secret underground organizations and their evil plans to control towns through fertilizer production.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you’re happy with the shakedown, or are happy paying full price for the half a game that’s unaffected, then by all means keep buying it. But if you’re tired of this game’s preoccupation with hustling you, and you want something to change, you’re going to need to stop buying it, and you’re going to need lots of other people to stop buying it along with you.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you are a diehard Miayazaki fan who doesn’t have time for imitators, Steelrising isn’t likely to grab your attention. Despite an imaginative premise and some great character design with digestible RPG mechanics, there’s just something missing here.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Immortality, the latest from Her Story creator Sam Barlow, is a game that functions like a movie. Its excitement lies within clever or opulent shots, lines delivered with pleasurable believability, and an alluring plot. But it has a real bad attitude about art.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Because that’s the real message at the game’s conclusion. Life blows up sometimes, especially if you’re trying to make a living as a creative. Art is extremely volatile under capitalism. But through support systems that uplift us, whether that’s pushing us to do better or joining our indie pop band, we come to find out that we are o-fucking-kay.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    You’ll need a powerful enough rig to get the best of the best visually speaking—4K 60fps with ray tracing set to max will have to wait for a patch—but even at lower tiers the game looks amazing. [Impressions]
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Digimon Survive, the new video game made in celebration of the anime’s 25th anniversary, attempts to juggle being both a visual novel and a tactical role-playing game. The result is a slog of a game that’s 70 percent visual novel, 20 percent tactical role-playing game, and 10 percent horror; totalling out as a 100 percent waste of my time. [Impressions]
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    And without giving anything away, Live A Live culminates towards a powerful conclusion that will have its time-spanning heroes living on in your memory long after its credits roll…for the ninth time.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s hard to get too mad about Aspyr’s just-released Nintendo Switch port for being a buggy mess.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I went into Stray expecting a platformer about a cat. I did not expect a deeply profound meditation on what it means to be alive. Stray adroitly points out how blurry the line is between artificial and natural intelligence, and then runs with that thought experiment all the way to the horizon. Are humans defined by flesh and bones? Thoughts and feelings? The ability to use thumbs and solve problems? It’s gotta be love, right? Can a computer feel love? But wait, what is the human brain if not a series of electronic signals and computations firing away at all times?
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    From its rapture beginnings to its M. Night Shyamalan-like twist ending, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a shining example that Kirby warrants his lion’s share of open-world treatment alongside other Nintendo properties like Legend of Zelda and Mario.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I can’t think of another Star Wars game that’s included so much of the franchise, in such a brilliant and well-made package, and does it all without becoming boring, or bogged down in canon details and retcons. Star Wars is silly. Star Wars is epic. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga knows this and embraces both aspects, while being a lot of fun and very funny. It’s one of my favorite games of 2022, and while some hardcore Star Wars fans may be loathe to admit it, yes, this is probably the best Star Wars game yet made.
    • 71 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    With the game’s ending hinting at a possible sequel, Mutationem stands as a messy first draft. If a follow-up does come, I hope ThinkingStars’ will have the confidence to boldly stand and tell its own unique story rather than remain so shackled to its inspirations.
    • 96 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Like most great works, Elden Ring is magnificently flawed, equal parts beautiful and ostentatious. In this age of cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers, triple-A development, what more can you ask for than something wholly confident in its bullshit? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m only about one-third of the way through the game and would love to see at least one of its multiple endings sometime this year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I feel that Rune Factory 5 gave up a lot of creative maneuverability by shifting from an overhead-view farming sim into a 3D, open-world game. Rigbarth doesn’t have the same intimate fantasy charm, the characters are forgettable, and the world feels emptier than Rune Factory has ever felt. Rune Factory 5 needed a focused creative direction, not open-world freedom. [Impressions]
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    In so many ways this is the best Total War game ever made, the latest example of a series that has spent the last 3-4 big releases (we don’t talk about the Saga games here) successfully refining a decades-old formula to keep it fresh and interesting. It’s a shame, then, that having come so far in so many respects this time around, Warhammer III stumbles right where it matters most: at the end.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I thoroughly enjoyed Horizon Forbidden West, and I suspect anyone who loves open-world RPGs will thoroughly enjoy it as well. But despite getting a kick out of fighting robot dinos, despite the enthralling time sink of “Machine Strike,” despite finding myself ravenous to return to this rich, inspired open world, I can’t shake how plainly Forbidden West misses the one philosophical throughline that helped its predecessor ascend to greatness: Sometimes, the question is more interesting than the answer.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Maybe the world doesn’t need another zombie game in 2022, but I’m happy we got one, and I’m happy it’s the wickedly fun sandbox of Dying Light 2.
    • 68 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The word “unfinished” gets thrown around a lot these days, often simply to refer to a game that is lacking in a bit of polish, or is missing a feature or two that fans wanted. But Battlefield 2042 truly feels unfinished, as though every menu screen and transition to a new map is a placeholder for something more final yet to come.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I do know this: As a longtime Halo devotee, it is so, so good to be back to a Halo that genuinely feels like a Halo. I’ve been playing these games for, f.ck, man, two decades now. Time was, somewhere in the era before (and momentarily after) Halo 5, I could picture myself hitting a point where I was take-it-or-leave-it on the series. Now? Absolutely not.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Ultimately, Solar Ash left me in similar standing as the protagonist: a little awed, a little confused, a little satisfied, a little frustrated, wishing I fully understood this thing that doesn’t want to be fully understood, that so badly wants to go where few have gone before, yet backs away moments before taking the leap.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    In Shin Megami Tensei, gods and demons alike are created by humanity’s belief in them. They are the products of the stories we tell. Gods, built by our own hands, shape our lives.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s a charming little game with just the right amount of “what the fuck?” to keep me on my toes for hours on end.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I try not to go into games of DLC with high expectations, lest those hopes be dashed. And Happy Home Designer, the spiritual predecessor to this expansion that also inspired many of the design mechanics that came with New Horizons at launch, seemed well-enough received. But the Nintendo 3DS side game seemed largely ignored. But Happy Home Paradise rose to the occasion, especially for a design-loving player like me.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    By the end of Unpacking, I felt like I’d been told an intimate story of the most important stages of a woman’s life, with all the ups and downs she had experienced along the way. The friends she made, the lovers who had come and gone, what had become of all her dreams and achievements. Yet what I’d actually been shown were just fragments. Trash dumped on my desktop. I’d put those pieces together and built my own story without even realising it, once again having been tricked into making educated guesses. Only here, there were no wrong answers, only different stories. As the credits rolled, that was one of the nicest realisations I’d had at the end of a video game in years.
    • 92 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If all this sounds a lot like Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Horizon 3 and so on, yeah, okay. So what? Sure, Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t need to. Forza Horizon 5 is constant rise. It’s 138 bpm. It’s uncut MDMA (or so I’ve heard). There are few true thrills in gaming that come without a catch, and Forza’s core is still, all these years later, one of them: It feels genuinely fantastic to be on the open road, zooming toward the horizon with nothing on your mind other than the pulsing beat of a killer song, and the unburdened knowledge that you can keep going as long as you want, with no one and nothing around to tell you otherwise.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    These many, anxiety-inducing time limits elevate a lot of the backtracking and exploration to something really interesting. Learning the fastest routes through each area isn’t just for your personal convenience; it’s a matter of life or death for the many automatons under your care.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Tonally, it feels more like the kind of rah-rah, imperialist propaganda that was so common in the early 2000s than a work that’s trying to leverage its concept and setting to speak to the true nature of the horrors of the Iraq War. While Iraq isn’t stockpiling warheads in House of Ashes, what they’ve got are functionally WMDs: a colony of murderous vampire spawn. The vampire nest is a feel-good justification for horror movie violence, one that undermines the game’s half-hearted suggestions of war remorse.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Just like the titular scrappy band of underdogs, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy defied all of my expectations. What I expected to be an awkward mishandling of one of Marvel’s most unlikely superhero teams turned out to be one of the most faithful and entertaining depictions of the Guardians since their 2014 movie debut, and one of my favorite games of 2021.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While I wish Back 4 Blood had a classic, stripped-down mode and wasn’t so annoying on harder levels, I’m still craving it. I still want to play it. I actually stopped writing this draft to load it up and play a few levels. You have to climb some hills to reach the fun summit of Back 4 Blood, but I think it’s worth it.

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