Steven Scaife


71 games reviewed
65.3 average score
70 median score
48.6% of games recommended
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Jul 27, 2021

The Forgotten City certainly doesn’t need to answer the philosophical questions that it poses before it’s allowed to examine them in a narrative context, but the ludicrously tidy conclusions to the main story and most side quests feel like substitutes for any deep engagement. The game handily transcends its mod origins and tells an ambitious and thought-provoking story, but it eventually reaches a point where it doesn’t seem sure how to end.

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Jul 21, 2021

Eventually, each story hurriedly resolves itself, foregoing tidy lessons or ironic endings but still lacking that crucial, elusive sense of lived-in authenticity. For as much effort has clearly gone into voicing and animating these characters within their 3D environments, we never spend enough time to seem like we really know them; quirks of the game’s strict linearity ensure we remain at a distance, observing relationships that are otherwise too thinly sketched to sustain the game’s emotional ambitions. Last Stop eventually arrives at an all-too-familiar game-design destination, hamstrung by its attempts at verisimilitude.

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May 24, 2021

Where other games tend to have a greater purpose and complexity behind more granular mechanics that demand closer attention from the player, Biomutant remains a rather simplified, if overstuffed, game of loot-hoovering. In practice, you’re still chasing objective markers and wandering salvageable areas in hopes of spotting the “interact with object” indicator. But while Biomutant’s breadth of options does indeed make that familiar process more rewarding than the norm, it never quite offsets the accompanying increase in tedium.

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May 20, 2021

While these limitations have the potential for forcing nail-biting compromises, the irritating micromanagement clashes with other elements that otherwise suggest a breezier game experience, like the rudimentary combat and the way the environment practically overflows with currency and crafting material. So much of The Wild at Heart elegantly sidesteps the usual pitfalls of a resource grind that it’s disheartening whenever it devolves into busywork.

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Mar 17, 2021

Mundaun's greatest achievement is the Swiss Alps setting that's brought to life with tangible vigor.

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Mar 8, 2021

Loop Hero functions as a statement of persistence in the face of the seemingly insurmountable.

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Jan 24, 2021

Hitman 3, for better and worse, splits the difference between player freedom and focused storytelling.

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Dec 21, 2020

To criticize Cyberpunk 2077 for being hypocritical and conservative feels almost beside the point.

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Nov 20, 2020

The Pathless ultimately buries anything it might have to say in a stupefying level of cliché.

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Nov 12, 2020

The game noticeably stumbles as it attempts to more overtly address the darkness beneath its concept.

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