Kotaku's Scores

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Average Game review score: 0
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385 game reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    What can I say? I’m just a sucker for the big maps, checklists, and pretty islands of Far Cry. I had a blast taking down yet another dictator and his army of warriors. I also get why, for so many, this formula has started to wear thin, and why they are tired of repeating history over and over. Perhaps I’m just out of my mind, damned to keep playing Far Cry games for the rest of my life. As someone once said, “Insanity is doing the exact...same fucking thing...over and over again.”
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I’m glad that Dread really goes for it, that it wants to make you feel hunted and disadvantaged and that it’s willing to feel hostile in order to accomplish that. The result is a feeling that survival itself is a reward more meaningful than all the upgrades in the world, a feeling I rarely get from games anymore. But ZDR never captivated me the way previous Metroid settings have, and as a conclusion to the story arc, Dread seems to misunderstand what made the early chapters resonate. Samus is wonderful, a survivor, an icon, and she endures. But when I think back on my time with her over the past several decades, Dread will forever dwell in the shadows of my favorite Metroid memories.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The biggest compliment that I can pay it is how sad I was when the breezy trip down memory lane ended so soon. Now I’m ready for Steel Assault II. Hopefully it’s not another six years away.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Sable imagines identity and growth as playful, joyous, and nearly impossible to fail. It promises you that changing your mind is okay. You wanted to be an Innkeeper, and now you don’t. It encourages you to become something else then, without rejecting or hating the person you’re leaving behind.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For a game that loves strangeness, it only extends that love to a certain kind of strange person who is harmless and normative, who looks and acts the right kind of weird. Sure, it has a big heart. I just wish it was bigger, and that its teeth were sharper.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I don’t want to have to work just to enjoy a game of basketball. I just...want to enjoy a game of basketball. In 2K22 the only place I can do that in peace is the meaningless collection of one-off “play now” modes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    As a story, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a warning about grief and the damage it can do to ourselves, our loved ones and the world around us. It’s a message about letting go and respecting the need for change, something I’m deeply keen to see from Ember Lab. Kena shows enough promise and reverence for some of the biggest third-person games. But what will be truly special is when the studio moves past that to craft more of their own identity. The studio has an abundance of promise and talent. The fascinating part is which publisher will channel that first.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    When I finished Lost in Random, I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to not just praise it, but really dig into the world and its combat system. It’s that kind of game that makes you wish you had a few people around you who also played it and who want to spend a few hours just going on and on about it. Sure, I wish there were bigger decks in the game, but that’s less a complaint and more an admittance that I just wanted more of Lost in Random.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Beneath its stylish mid-century modern decor and abandoned military installation intrigue, however, Deathloop can be a grindy and all too familiar affair. Its constituent parts are mostly excellent, but never cohere into something more than just a good shooter with a clever premise. This doesn’t stop it from being a good game, but it could have been a much more surprising one.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you’re simply seeking a solid if slightly overlong action-RPG about flawed people looking to sand down their rough edges, Tales of Arise is exactly that. Just know that it comes with some rough edges of its own.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Artful Escape began as a fantasy of what a teenage Johnny Galvatron thought the rockstar life could look like. Instead, it serves as a psychedelic reminder. Francis needs some help from flying turtles and transdimensional brainstems, but eventually he gains freedom from his Bob Dylan-esque uncle through his own intergalactic persona. And while we can’t all just step into the cosmos to escape our troubles, one way or another, we all need to be ourselves someday, free of shadow.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Playing WarioWare reminds me how, and why, I became a critic. It was by playing hundreds of games for two hours each, regardless of tone or genre. My grandmother, and her parallel love of movies, let me touch an entire Family Video’s worth of weird and messy art. My colleague John Walker recently asked if there’s any kind of video game I don’t play, and I told him no, there isn’t. Games I don’t like are still interesting, and still worth my time and energy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The destination is...interesting, which is why I consider The Forgotten City in the category of odd B games I’ll think about for several years.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Deck Nine got a chance to prove itself with Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, but if there were any lingering doubts about where the developer can take the franchise, they’re surely cleared away with True Colors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s making the right points—that people will so easily believe what they want to hear without a hint of scrutiny, that they’ll dismiss any dissent with a smarmy phrase, that the widespread tendency to do so has serious and very visible ramifications on how a modern society can function. But the reductiveness of it all is so on the nose that any statements are functionally toothless. The things Road 96 wants to say might have been profound several years ago, when the game was presumably gestating in pre-production.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    More than establishing a core meaning or truth to cut through the absurdity of reality, No More Heroes 3 is all about imparting a feeling. Those emotions, by design, will be different for everyone who takes the Jodorowsky-like pill Grasshopper has manufactured into the form of a video game.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    After 10 hours with the game’s campaign and a few more hours messing around with bots on various difficulty settings, I was happy to move on. Some soldiers may love the look and potential challenge enough to stay on the Endeavor a little longer. But for most, Aliens: Fireteam Elite doesn’t bring enough new ideas to the genre to warrant the $59 entry price.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Psychonauts 2 isn’t about gunning down the big boss at the end and cheering over their dead body. It’s about understanding that even the biggest asshole is still a person, and deep down they may just need some help. We all need some help sometimes. The key is asking for it. Today, in 2021, it’s easy to look around and see people who seem cruel and evil, and to assume they are lost souls, not worth saving. Psychonauts 2 says otherwise. It says that everyone can change. I’m not sure I fully believe that, but I’ll be damned if that’s not one hell of a hopeful message.
    • 67 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The three protagonists of Last Stop spend much of their respective lives in various states of loneliness, from John’s friendlessness to Donna’s teenage angst to Meena’s “screw everyone” career blinders. By the time the credits roll, no matter what ending you chose, it’s clear these three individuals—who otherwise would have nothing in common and have no reason to interact—have cemented an inextricable bond. You too might’ve felt alone, once or twice or thrice. You might feel that way right now. You don’t need to. You just need to turn the page.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Iki island is just more Ghost of Tsushima. I wish it had done more to differentiate its action, or tell a bolder story. There are definitely good reasons to visit Iki. I won’t soon forget that moonlight filling the cloudy sky. But it’s too conventional an expansion to be the bid for greatness that this game’s vivid world deserves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For now, though, all I’ve got to talk about is this original vision for Humankind, a game that promised to be revolutionary but ended up as a very good evolution instead.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    And yet, painful as some aspects of No Longer Home are, there’s a poignant comfort to it as well. Ao and Bo may be bidding farewell to their apartment and to living together, but they’ll still be in each other’s lives. I may be leaving the Bay Area soon, saying goodbye to my favorite coffee stands and parks and movie theaters, and I won’t be able to meet those dear friends of mine for drinks at my favorite bars soon, either. But it’s okay. There’s something else No Longer Home understands about those rare, special connections in our lives. Those people who truly know us and see us? We carry their love with us when we go.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Within five minutes of starting Death’s Door I knew I was going to love it. The combat was basic but weighty. The visual presentation was sparse but bespoke. Its music, sometimes pastoral and serene, sometimes grim and despairing, made no secret that something special was going on, and my love for the indie action-RPG only continues to grow.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    In fact, that’s what Neo: The World Ends With You has been for me in the 30 or so hours I’ve put into it so far: just a constant barrage of good feelings, glowing on my monitor screen and blasting out of my speakers. It’s an endlessly cool and controllable sort of chaos that I don’t want to ever end.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For all the flaws, the regular stutters, quirks with the UI, the bug in co-op where you can’t mute your microphone and occasional restarts to get a quest door to open, The Ascent is astonishingly good fun. I’d be stunned if it didn’t end up on many game of the year lists; I’m absolutely certain it’ll be on mine.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures is your first Ace Attorney game, welcome! This is a wonderful place to start your Ace Attorney journey. If it’s not, you may get frustrated by the hours of exposition as you eagerly button-mash your way to your next courtroom appearance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    So yeah, there are still too many Warhammer games, but this is exactly why that’s a problem, because if you start to ignore them and let them wash over you, you risk missing out on the good ones. Like Battlesector.
    • 70 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    But what I really like—what I love, even—is grabbing a character and a set of clubs and taking on a course on my own terms. Mario Golf: Super Rush might make many players feel the need for speed, but its chill, regular old golf game is pretty super in its own right. [Impressions]
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Though I thought I knew what it was all about, Scarlet Nexus has consistently surprised me at every turn. Even though I played the demo—which showcased some of the various powers you could activate in combat—I did not expect combat to be as deep and varied as it is. No spoilers, but I’ve even found myself caught completely off-guard by plot twists at points. If the game keeps up the surprises, I’d be confident defending it as one of the greats. If it doesn’t, well, it’s been fun. [Impressions]
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The game also made a hard tonal and genre shift after the big climax. It was a bold choice, but some players might find the drastic change too jarring. I was ultimately unsatisfied with Backbone’s lack of resolution. I enjoy cliffhangers, but the story concluded with so many questions that I felt like I had only played through half of a game. Though the epilogue resolved one big plot point and fleshed out a major character, everything else, from the conspiracy to the true history of the Kind and Vancouver, was left lingering in the air.

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