The A.V. Club's Scores

For 880 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Rayman Origins
Lowest review score: 0 Blood Drive
Score distribution:
1051 game reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s proof positive of the sturdy, mechanical skill of Nomada’s small team; even if Gris is ultimately a misfire, they’ve got a good game in them somewhere.
    • 68 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Looked at as a whole, there’s something defiantly refreshing about how brazen a departure Déraciné is from Miyazaki and his team’s flashiest, most cash-catching work.
    • 97 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The game takes its time coming into focus, but when it does, it’s a remarkably sober, stately experience, telling a large story through measured interactions and a handful of rich but clearly defined systems.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    In a medium that evolves by the day, 11 is content just to be a pretty good Mega Man game—for better and for worse.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The real pleasure of Odyssey, as in almost every Assassin’s Creed, is simply touring a vision of the past.
    • 71 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    A bit like Dark Souls, except the first huge difficulty spike happens not at the hands of some glowering minotaur, but during the graphics options page, as you battle to get the damn thing to run at all.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Shadow Of The Tomb Raider’s roughest patches push Lara around for the sake of the plot, reducing her to little more than the flat video game avatar she was in the ’90s. For one brief moment, though, while she’s standing on the roof of her home and wondering why she puts herself in such ridiculous situations, Lara Croft actually feels like a real person.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    What this new Spider-Man game gets is the spirit of Spidey, his world of friends and foes, and the impossible gymnastics—in all senses of the word—involved with maintaining an alter ego.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While Donut County is available for consoles, it feels at home on a phone, where you slide your finger around to directly guide the hole in the ground. And while it does have low-key puzzles that gently arc up in difficulty as they go, its pleasures are more aesthetic, with lush beats soundtracking your destruction and an appetizing assortment of pastel landscapes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Unavowed is, unambiguously, Gilbert’s best game; all the little technical annoyances endemic to the genre’s modern efforts have mostly been ironed out, and his writing and design sense have never been better. But even beyond that, it’s a contender for a top entry in the adventure game pantheon, period.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    With the way Gold brings 15 years of WarioWare together and slathers them in new layers of weird, manic energy, it serves as a much-needed salute to this underrated, often genius series. More than that, it’s a fitting testament to the last 15 years of daring ideas and handheld consoles from Nintendo, an era that’s possibly coming to a close.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Mothergunship is Terrible Posture’s follow-up, and it creates a fantastic hook to fill that void.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If the developers were able to design levels from the ground up with this new system in mind, the finished game likely wouldn’t feel quite like the awkward Frankenstein’s monster that Encore mode is. Hopefully, they get that chance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Jurassic World Evolution can never quite transcend a certain knocked-off feeling tied to its licensed roots. Fans of sim games looking for a new RollerCoaster Tycoon are going to leave disappointed, let down by its lack of power and creativity as a theme park-designing tool. But people looking to spend some time in the Jurassic world—and especially ones looking to bask for a while in the presence of some beautifully detailed virtual dinosaurs—will probably get a kick out of it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The story doesn’t unfold as elegantly as Subsurface, but Quarantine pushes Bithell’s formula for these shorts into some affecting new directions, both thematically and structurally.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The game is only a few hours long, though, and the levels are winding and secret-filled enough to support that kind of repeated exploration. And while the developers may not have figured out how to mercifully handle losing a party member, they did put a lot of effort into creating varied difficulty options that can appeal to different kinds of players.
    • 70 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It is astonishing that Vampyr is a new, full-priced video game being released in the year of our lord 2018, and not some obscure PlayStation 3 title that developed a cult following and sells for slightly more than you’d think on Amazon. I mean this—I promise—as a compliment.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Even if you’re not a bullet-hell person, it’s a definitive title to slot into your rotation on the system.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    But once the adrenaline has worn off, the hollowness sets in and you realize the game only told you the beautifully drawn, emotionally gripping story you expected, and wanted, to hear. It’s only in hindsight that you realize there’s very little soul staring out at you from behind Detroit’s pretty, almost-human eyes.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Beneath it all is something human and primal: the desire to carry on, despite unthinkable odds. The desire to keep rolling rightward, to see what lies just beyond the limits of the screen. Few games take that desire as seriously as Far.
    • 67 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Managing your survivors and paying attention to their needs keeps being interesting, but actually fighting off the zombies gets dull. For all its issues, Metal Gear Survive—one of this year’s other big games about killing monsters and staying fed—excelled when it came to combat. State Of Decay 2 would be significantly more entertaining if it took a page out of that book and allowed you to do anything as satisfying as stabbing zombies with a spear through a chainlink fence.
    • 94 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s a surprisingly emotional story for one of gaming’s most emotionally stunted characters, told with care and wrapped in a production that’s a flat-out technical marvel, visually spectacular from start to finish and captured with an omnipresent, unflinching camera that makes it look unlike anything we’ve seen before.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Refreshingly brief (unless you dip into the New Game+ challenge mode, which feels like an easy way to tear out one’s own hair), it only took me an afternoon to complete, but it was an afternoon where I had a goofy smile consistently plastered to my face.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Playing Sea Of Thieves alone is far from ideal. It’s not the way the game is meant to be played, and it’s certainly not the way the game should be played, but it’s not unbearable. You just have to know what you’re getting into: a world where it takes an hour to do one thing that you might get killed while trying to do, and in the end, you might not have a ton of fun doing any of it. You’d probably just be better off finding some friends to sail with.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While it most certainly has a simplistic way of looking at the world, when there’s so much cynicism surrounding us in our everyday, it makes entertainment this boldly, earnestly optimistic all the more revitalizing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Obviously, an ending can’t take away your experiences with a game. All the times I took an outpost down without triggering an alarm, or guided a missile into the wing of a banking plane, or just wandered into a meadow so beautiful it made my jaw quietly drop, are all safely intact inside my head. But an ending can shatter the belief that all those moments were building to something meaningful, a feeling so vital to actually caring about a world and not just treating it as a collection of well-crafted toys. Far Cry 5 destroys that illusion with one final, massive swing, and that might be its ultimate sin.
    • 70 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There are no real stakes to any of the puzzles or exploration because your AI partners always know exactly what to do and the game seemingly always offers up the powers you need to solve any problems. If the game’s gimmick ends up doing this much damage to the design, I’d rather it not have a gimmick at all.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Outside a few promising flourishes, it ultimately fails to distinguish itself from any number of more engaging co-op offerings, and its best moments hinge on caring about characters who never rise very far above the level of flat, unengaging caricature. There are the seeds for a legitimately great cooperative game buried deep within its cookie-cutter plotting, adequate action, and of course a whole lot of instances when one character has to hoist the other up over a cliff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It works on a thematic level—as if you’re telling these stories over and over and getting a better grip on your delivery and showmanship as you go—but it’s not particularly enjoyable in its own right, and it’s only made worse by a clunky management system for changing out your limited repertoire.
    • 64 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    On an aesthetic level, perhaps the most important level for beat-’em-ups, the sprite work is big and colorful but nowhere near as characterful or stylish as the games Passive Fist aims to emulate. The soundtrack fares better, though, powerfully evoking the 16-bit butt rock of the game’s early ’90s inspirations.

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