Steven Scaife


82 games reviewed
64.8 average score
70 median score
46.9% of games recommended
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Unscored - Carto
Nov 11, 2020

Carto gets a lot of brain-bending mileage from its central mechanic.

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It experiments with all the weakest parts of the series and ties them together with a new, tedious progression system.

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Apr 25, 2019

The game meets the baseline level of quality we might expect from a big-budgeted joint, yet it remains a tiresome, empty experience.

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Aug 5, 2018

This Is the Police 2 never contemplates police brutality, wrongful arrests, or anything whatsoever about race.

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Dec 6, 2017

Black Mirror often alludes to the Gothic classics that inspired it, to stories full of disturbing, evil forces that threaten to overtake their characters, but the only unsettling thing about it is a glut of technical issues.

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Mar 31, 2022

Playing Weird West, it’s hard to shake how much more gracefully other games of this type avoid similar pitfalls, with the abbreviated scavenging of Void Bastards and the easy-to-read interface of Desperados III, another western with a top-down perspective, immediately coming to mind. The latter game also supports far more complex maneuvers despite lacking the sort of pointless granularity that has the player comb through indistinguishable shelves for a handful of ammunition. By contrast, Weird West is a slog dying for an extensive streamline.

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- Sifu
Feb 6, 2022

Though Sifu features a few dialogue choices and scenes throughout its campaign where you don’t have to fight anyone, its surface-level engagement with martial arts film iconography betrays a lack of humanity that feels typical of works created well outside of the culture that they intend to depict. The game’s story grouses about the downsides of seeking vengeance, but this is plainly the work of people who like to fast forward to the fight scenes.

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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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Jul 22, 2020

Few of the game's problems would be insurmountable in the face of an engaging narrative.

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The game's themes feel like facile wallpaper over mechanics that feed into the ideas being critiqued.

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Jul 11, 2019

Its repetitive tasks are like the usual arbitrary gates to reach a cutscene in a mediocre video game.

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Apr 10, 2018

Extinction compensates for a lack of variety by treating every minor detail as a momentous occasion.

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Oct 4, 2021

Beautiful and elegant though it may seem on the outside, Jett: The Far Shore too often lets its stylistic tics drag the experience into varying degrees of frustration.

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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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Oct 28, 2020

It's difficult to escape a sense that the game's ambition far outstrips the number of unique people it can plausibly render.

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Oct 8, 2020

In theory, its intricacies should be bracing, but in practice the fixation on spacing and formation further slows down the pace.

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Aug 28, 2020

Windbound is an exploration game whose sense of exploration is painfully rigid.

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Apr 30, 2020

For Cloudpunk, hardship is merely the wallpaper for a pretty yet thinly conceived gaming experience.

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Feb 12, 2020

Its point-and-click adventure elements eventually feel alternately rudimentary and more than a little tedious.

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Dec 5, 2019

Did you know that corporations are bad? That the drudgeries of adult life are soul-crushing?

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