Polygon's Scores

  • Games
For 840 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 God of War
Lowest review score: 10 Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 840
989 game reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    God of War is, in a single word, holistic. Every aspect is excellent on its own, but more importantly, it all serves and accentuates the larger vision. Some die-hard fans may fear this isn’t really God of War. I suppose they’re right. It’s even better.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The ability to spend time with them, and with my player partner, is A Way Out’s biggest strength, even if the details sometimes lack pizzazz...A Way Out has many faults, but a lack of heart isn’t one of them. Seeing that heart translated into a cooperative play experience makes the journey worthwhile.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There’s not a wasted breath or a plot point that doesn’t manage to pay off in a significant way. Ni no Kuni 2 is a solid contemporary JRPG that brings a lot of design ideas that I love into sharp, clear focus while staying entertaining and engaging throughout.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Yakuza 6 succeeds because its core story is so compelling. Every seemingly disconnected part serves a purpose: Without fights, it’d just be a movie; without cutscenes, it’d just be a series of contextless fights; without exploration, it’d be an on-rails punching simulator. All of those unexpected pieces and the (oh-so-long) cutscenes interact to make an equal parts story- and punching-driven game that is heart-wrenching. This is so much more than that game about a crime guy that I had expected.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Moss is not so much a game as it is an experience. Polyarc sets an immensely high bar for storytelling in VR, exuding careful and deliberate artistry in every aspect — sound design, lighting, camera, visuals — to create a world worthy of straining your back to see the area in 360 degrees. In every sense, I felt like I was inside one of those beautiful, gilded storybooks. The only thing missing was the smell of the forest and old paper.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Where the Water Tastes Like Wine isn’t a visual novel, and considering how open-ended its journey is, throwing in some structured progression isn’t a bad idea. But the game’s best pleasures are derived from its best stories, and turning them into one-line memories robs them — and the art of storytelling — of what makes them special.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Fe
    Fe is a magical, expansive and multi-hued world that creates a sense of marvel. Like a real-life walk in the woods, it is a thing of elemental beauty that demands to be inhaled and admired.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At three hours long, A Case of Distrust held my attention all the way, but that’s not to say it’s without imperfections. The main character, I think, lacks the energy of her associates. She’s rightly angry about how she was treated as a woman on the force, but her feminism falls somewhere between overly earnest and glib. Despite a strong backstory, she lacks emotional force and presence. Even so, this is a damned fine game. Murder-mystery books and TV shows can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore, rolling through familiar procedures as they wend their way toward the whodunit. It’s a sign of the times that a point-and-click dialogue tree narrative adventure gives flight to a genre that’s been so thoroughly tilled in other media. I’m looking forward to playing more games like A Case of Distrust.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This expansion is a recognition that the magic of this series is in giving players lots of choices — sometimes difficult choices — as we all strive to stamp our own personalities on what is, effectively, a simulation of personal political leadership.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Dragon Ball as a series has always forefronted epic battles. In each episode of the cartoon, godlike warriors transformed the landscape in fantastic one-on-one fights with ease. In FighterZ, anyone can feel like that in any fight. I’ve been waiting for a Dragon Ball game like this ever since I first saw the cartoon in grade school, and I’m so happy this day has come.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Chronology, Atlus has finally made good on the promise inherent in the original Historia.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even with simplified grappling and submission controls carried over from the last edition, EA Sports UFC 3 is probably the least pick-up-and-play game in the sports genre. It takes real dedication, and understanding of one’s fighter, to draw out the game’s virtues. But they can be found in the anticlimax of a career bout that ends in a fraction of the time spent training for it. For those who can take a staggering punch and remain focused on their game plan, EA Sports UFC 3 is as close as it comes to professional fighting, without the bruises and welts.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    I’ve come to appreciate the realistic look of Colossus, which felt crass at first, but has over time expressed a warmth that I never quite felt from its predecessor. But it’s still respectful, recognizing that, however great the visuals, the magic is under the surface.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Monster Hunter: World scratches the itch for complexity, both in hunt for rare gear and skill with its weapons, but this time it’s a game that no one should be intimidated to get into.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Matt Thorson, the game’s designer, is clearly a master of platforming mechanics, as evidenced by his work on TowerFall and some truly insane Super Mario Maker levels...Celeste reaches beyond, showing that tricky, well-designed platforming challenges are really just the tip of the iceberg. There’s far more underneath the surface. And maybe that’s worth dying for.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Battlegrounds is the refinement of a new language of play, but what may earn it a spot in the video game canon is that conceptual efficiency. It isn’t accessible for every player, but it’s understandable. Anybody can easily learn to read this game, to watch it, to spot the tension and excitement and drama...[An] imperfectly perfect game.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    enoblade 2 may remind you of a host of older console RPGs ranging from Grandia to Tales of Symphonia, and in the end it even circles back around to touch on other Xeno games. Ultimately, though, Xenoblade 2 is its own thing, and that's something rare and precious these days outside of the indie gaming space. Cherish this weird little creature, warts and all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Fire Emblem Warriors is an exemplary marriage of two series. It’s recognizably Fire Emblem, unabashedly Warriors, and all in a way that fits together and feels perfectly complementary to each. Although the game’s storytelling and technical prowess fall short, there’s no denying that Fire Emblem Warriors is an energetic, familiar kind of fun.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most generous reading of The Frozen Wilds is not as a prequel or sequel, but as a collection of missing missions. I suspect those who skipped Horizon earlier this year and find time this holiday to play the game with The Frozen Wilds interwoven into the campaign will enjoy the offering more than those of us returning nine months later. They won’t have to relearn the controls, the value of so many items or the names of tribes and their leaders. The Cut will be just another beautiful stop in Aloy’s spectacular adventure.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    For a character nearing 40 years old, it’s amazing that Mario has remained not only a beloved character but one whose games are generally expected to be great. From that perspective, it’s no surprise that Super Mario Odyssey is, yes, a great game. But more than that, it’s a fantastic, even fundamental addition to Mario’s legacy. From a plumber to a doctor to a tennis star to, uh, a Goomba, Mario has endured. No, this will not be the last Mario game, but it is almost certain to be lauded as one of his best.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Killing isn’t all that Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus offers. It’s the rare first-person shooter that explores the first time its hero pulled a trigger; it’s the rare first-person shooter that is comfortable connecting with the primal, untamed parts of your brain while celebrating just how f.cking good it feels to lay out a Nazi.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In essence, Assassin’s Creed Origins is much the same game as the original Assassin’s Creed, which came out a decade ago. It’s a formula that people like to play, and it’s certainly been honed and improved over the years. Origins is, then, undoubtedly the best iteration of this formula yet. But I yearn for a fresh approach and new ideas, something that astounds the senses as much as the wondrous world this game inhabits.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Evil Within 2 represents one of the starkest and most astounding turnarounds from a debut title to its sequel that I’ve ever witnessed. It’s a brilliant horror game, one that understands when to ratchet up tension and when to pull back and let you collect yourself. If the first game was a failed attempt to capture the spirit of Shinji Mikami’s classic Resident Evil 4, the sequel is a successful attempt at something much better: finding a chilling, exhilarating voice of its own.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gundam Versus has really cut into my fighting game time. It appeals to me for many of the same reasons that more conventional fighting games do: a laser-sharp focus, the layered and complex mechanics, the mind games and the sheer speed and intensity of the battle. That it involves giant battling robots is just the cherry on top.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While Etrian Odyssey 5 may not be well-suited for genre novices or people who shy away from the combat side of RPGs, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stronger example of this particular slice of the genre. It offers enormous customization; fresh challenges both inside and out of combat; a setting rich with things to do besides simply fight; and best of all, that addictive mapping feature. Here's a game destined to appeal to the lizard brain of Type-A personalities, to people who love to line up details and see everything slowly take shape. With each line you draw on the in-game map, you bring a tiny bit more order to chaos and transform the unknown into the familiar. Etrian Odyssey 5 isn't simply the best game in its own franchise, it's easily the richest and most satisfying dungeon crawler to appear in the past decade.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Superstar Saga is the real meat of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, and it's nothing but approachable, engaging, real fun and the addition of the wearisome Bowser's Minions doesn't take away from it. There's nothing new in Superstar Saga itself, but what's there is worth it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If you can get past the microtransactions, Shadow Wars seems set to provide a much meatier extended playtime than Shadow of Mordor ever offered. But more than anything, that’s my biggest disappointment with Middle-earth: Shadow of War: Everything about it seems to come with a caveat, some small annoyance or two that you need to dig past to get to the still-very-fun game underneath. The Nemesis System is still a wonder that has yet to be replicated. The movement and combat are thrilling.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    This is a game for everyone who loves racing. It offers every helping hand to those who want to just thrown themselves around bends, while allowing die-hards to tinker with their rides, and really feel like they are there.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nightwar’s focus on style and character, coupled with a mostly excellent combat system, kept me hooked for much longer than I had imagined. Whatever your familiarity with its source material, this game builds a beautiful world with a surprising amount of depth just beneath the surface.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Cuphead’s deal with the devil eventually leads to hell, and so perhaps it’s fitting the conclusion should be so torturous. Though, honestly, even the residual headache has been soothed by the sweet, sweet salve of victory. When I think of my time with Cuphead, instead of frustration I’ll remember the dozens of tiny breakthroughs, when the impossible became possible, and a game that built an identity around difficulty helped me to feel, however briefly, undefeatable.

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