The Escapist's Scores

  • Games
For 781 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 75
Highest review score: 100 Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Lowest review score: 10 Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 781
782 game reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was as vast and interesting as many seasons of Game of Thrones, think of Wrath of the Druids as the forthcoming House of the Dragon spinoff. It’s not going to change anyone’s minds, but if you were still on board, it’s exciting to return to that world.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While The Medium’s design stumbles are disappointing, its human characters and gorgeous world are ultimately the things that stuck with me. Once I finally made it to the end of the road, I immediately restarted the campaign to experience all of the narrative breadcrumbs with the newfound clarity of the ending in mind, which is the sign of an effective story. And the game’s day one availability on Xbox Game Pass is just another in a long line of reasons why the service is a must-have. It might not reach the unforgettable highs of James Sutherland’s time in the town of Silent Hill, but The Medium carves out its own corner of the genre that’s worth losing a bit of sleep over.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is a strong entry in the series and is an improvement on the previous game. It introduces new mechanics that fit well within the context of the story without feeling like they were forcibly implemented just for the sake of it, while also refining existing core gameplay elements. While I’m not entirely satisfied with a change, or lack thereof, here and there, this game is certainly worth your time, especially if you enjoyed Ryza’s first adventure.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Outcasters mostly seems ready to settle into its niche that it’s created. It’s not designed to be the killer app that reels in a mass of new players, but it should attract some. Better yet, since it launched directly into Stadia Pro, it’s there on day one for the folks who are already the most committed. For a platform trying to find its footing in a crowded, competitive space, solidifying the publisher-player relationship is crucial. There will be bigger, flashier, and likely better games to come from Stadia Games and Entertainment in the years ahead, but for now, those already playing via Google’s tangerine-tinted cloud will find they have their first example of a fun, albeit flawed, multiplayer game they won’t find anywhere else.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Still, Immortals Fenyx Rising is one of the best games of the year. It doesn’t matter if its inspiration is so blatant when the team uses that as only a springboard. This isn’t a repaint of Breath of the Wild, but rather an evolution of it, and more often than not it makes smarter gameplay decisions that in full create a more enjoyable, irresistible world. The disjointed, sometimes crass tone leaves a bad taste, especially among those looking to enjoy this with their kids or siblings, but as clear as the throughline is between Breath of the Wild and Immortals Fenyx Rising, it’s just as obvious that Immortals will live again. This is just the start of something special.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By virtue of its smaller scale, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a tighter, better designed package. It might not boast as many hours of content, but what it has is far more worth your time. If you felt the original Marvel’s Spider-Man was a bit average or too bloated with open-world gaming cliches, Miles Morales might just be what you’re looking for.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    My 40 hours in Yakuza: Like a Dragon were a great experience regardless if I was playing on my original Xbox One or seamlessly transitioning my save onto the Xbox Series X for improved resolution, frame rate, and loading times. I loved its characters, humor, and willingness to balance complete absurdity with utter sincerity. And even though the battle system would occasionally trip over its own feet, I still adored watching my crew beat the hell out of some weirdos, grow a little bit closer, and celebrate their victory with karaoke back at the pub.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it’s sure to be overshadowed by the excellent pair of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a wonderful platformer and a strong part of what makes the PS5’s launch lineup arguably the best in video game history. The aesthetic beauty, incredible use of music, and wealth of unlockables overshadow some of the finicky control issues. Whether you’re going it alone or partying up with some pals, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a great entry to one of Sony’s beloved franchises.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is ultimately a charming and fun adventure. The farming mechanics could have been explained more explicitly, but once everything clicks, you come to appreciate how well both the farming simulation and sidescrolling action adventure aspects complement each other. Sakuna starts off as a spoiled goddess with no concern for anyone but herself. But as she learns the value of hard work through harvesting rice and bonds with her group of outcast humans, she truly grows into a heroine fit to conquer the Isle of Demons.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Since nearly all the various trinkets and relics and map markers have meaningful purpose, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a rare open-world game where virtually every activity feels worth doing. Like Eivor scaling the snow-covered mountains of Norway, Valhalla achieves new heights for the RPG era of Assassin’s Creed, and I’ve never been more excited to see where the series goes next.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Anyone who’s invested time into playing the previous games in the Trails series will know exactly what they’re in for. Satisfying combat, impressive world-building, and deep characters are all part of the package. It does have pacing issues, and players may get lost if they didn’t experience the arcs in Liberl and Crossbell. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is still a solid game though, despite the stumble in the second act, and is a viable option for those itching to play an epic, immersive JRPG.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    I don’t blame Stormind Games for sensing that urgency, but it seems obvious now to me, and perhaps to the team, that a more polished Remothered: Broken Porcelain is a better proposition than the version we got, rushed to the store before it was ready. Remothered: Broken Porcelain doesn’t deserve to be your Halloween stream of 2020, but give the team some time and they may be able to piece it back together.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mafia: Definitive Edition is a curiosity. Newcomers to the game will find here a soft landing via a strong narrative and gameplay that will readily welcome them. Meanwhile, veterans will find enough changes to make another visit to Lost Heaven worth their while, though whether they will be pleased with the modernization is a separate question entirely. With one eye on the past and one on the present, Mafia: Definitive Edition is less dated than Destroy All Humans!, though it never feels as distinctive or necessary as Resident Evil 2. Whether that’s enough to coax you back will be up to you.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While the game is certainly not perfect, for the developers’ second attempt at an RTS, Iron Harvest has a lot of potential. Once the multiplayer, competitive, and co-op features are added, Iron Harvest is sure to become a staple of the RTS genre.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Square Enix heavily marketed the title as a games-as-a-service affair, so a long road is ahead. With a substantial amount of new content in the future, as well as some variety in mission objectives, Marvel’s Avengers could be worth a player’s time and effort. At the very least, the roughly 8-10 hour campaign is worth experiencing if only for the amazing portrayal of Kamala Khan. Right now, though, you may want to steer clear until more updates arrive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wasteland 3 succeeds on its narrative, choice system, strong characters, and compelling factions. It stumbles in its lifeless world, inconsistent presentation, familiar gameplay, and technical side – it often feels like a snow-themed reskin of Wasteland 2, with many of that title’s limitations and janky systems. Nonetheless, designer Brian Fargo has here made the best post-apocalyptic RPG since Fallout: New Vegas. It’s just not as good as the one he made 23 years ago with Fallout.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is absolutely wonderful all around. Each of the 13 protagonists gets relatively equal screen time, and they’re all brought to life by both the great English and Japanese voice tracks. You’re sure to have your favorites, but it’s incredibly satisfying to see how each of their stories intersects through time and space and coalesces into the battle for mankind against the alien invaders. This is one adventure you simply don’t want to miss.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the time skip, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night feels like it could have come out just a year after Order of Ecclesia, when IGA and his team were still riding a hot streak and at the height of their abilities. Even after all this time, the house that IGA built has collected no cobwebs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I had the same response in general to playing The Sinking City. There’s so much wonderful potential in this game that its flaws are all the more maddening. I wished that it had followed Call of Cthulhu in abandoning combat altogether and just used its larger space and considerably more nuanced investigation system to tell a great story. But it seems I’ll have to keep waiting for the perfect Lovecraft game.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Samurai Shodown is a pristine work of fighting game clarity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Judgment is as magical and grounded as true city life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I was grateful that Observation lets players take their time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Playing Rage 2 is infuriating. Despite the exemplary action and fluid controls, the shooter is cluttered with core design flaws that impeded my enjoyment. There is a damn good game buried underneath the low stakes story that’s filled with cutscenes that are interrupted by other cutscenes meant to explain a new character’s contrived backstory, and set in a world that lacks personality. Unfortunately, what we got is Avalanche’s Rage 2. Any game bearing id’s legacy should be all-play and no work, yet Rage 2 is too much work with not enough play.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The merits and flaws of Persona Q2 are exactly what you’d expect from the series. It’s delivering the same mechanics which are alternately tedious, punishing and strategically exciting and the chance to have a host of dysfunctional heroes tease, flirt and ultimately fight alongside each other. Like Endgame, Q2 is both a fitting finale but also a look forward. So long as people love watching larger than life figures pummeling each other on the big screen, there will be Marvel movies. So long as people love spending dozens of hours building parties and exploring dungeons, Atlus will keep making Nintendo handheld games. This era is over, but the genre lives on.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Add in some surprisingly good plot twists and emotional arcs and SteamWorld Quest is a game that storied RPG developers like Atlus and Square Enix could be proud of. The fact that this is Image & Form’s first outing in the genre begs the question of what exciting adventure the developers will rush headlong into next.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Days Gone offers an emotional rebuttal to apocalyptic nihilism.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mortal Kombat 11 is a very good game that could have been great.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Would my love for Sekiro have deepened if it allowed me to make it easier by softening its combat or giving me endless resources to survive? Probably. I’ve always wanted to be a tourist in From Software’s worlds rather than a permanent resident. I prefer my leisure masochism to be based around exploration and discovery, not challenges of timing and pattern recognition. But I also can’t indict the game for being something it isn’t. I may loathe playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but I also have to acknowledge that it’s wholly committed to its artistic vision and executes it with astonishing care. I may hate that I’m physically incapable of finishing it, but my god do I respect it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A pleasant surprise. I was just expecting a solid little platformer, but I was floored by Yoshi’s Crafted World’s sophisticated imagery, abundant heart, and charmingly fun level design.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Humor keeps Tropico 6 from getting too stressful.

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