Reviewing a game at Fextralife is one of the most important things we do as journalists, because reviews often have an impact on the purchasing decisions of gamers. We take this into consideration when publishing reviews and as such take their construction seriously. When we publish a review for a game, we are giving it a score based on its state at release, and we evaluate it according to the genre and nature of the content. A game is not scored until the review is considered by members of the editorial staff, and the score will always reflect a logical conclusion to the written body of the article. After all, this is an online publication, and the content of the words should always be the focus, with the scores a culmination of those thoughts. Despite our careful choosing of scores to match the written review, we encourage our readers to read the review in detail, and use the paragraphs within to help formulate their own opinions on the merits of the game.
Because time is often a consideration for many, we will always provide an encapsulated summary of the review at the end along with the final score. This is not meant as a substitute for the proper review and instead can be viewed as a mental bookmark to come back to later, when time allows for a thorough reading.
In the modern era of day one patches and ongoing development, we recognize that games can improve over time. In certain instances we may choose to revisit a game that has received dramatic overhauls to its core systems and gameplay with an update article, but we will never change the score of a review. We owe it to the entire industry to maintain the integrity of our published words. If a game has really made strides in post-launch development, we will be the first to sing its praises in future articles.
We grade games based on the following criteria: Story & Setting, Gameplay, Design (Visual, Audio), Replayability, and Pricepoint (Value). The cumulative final number is a reflection of the game as a whole, after taking all those elements into consideration. The following is a breakdown of what our scores mean:
10: Perfect. The perfect game of its kind. A peerless entry into the pantheon of gaming legends. This is an exceedingly rare score, and rightfully so, as games of this nature are often at the height of game innovation and push the industry in new directions.
9: Brilliant. These games are fantastic experiences for their genres, and are near flawless in every area. They may be innovative in certain elements even if they are not groundbreaking overall.
8: Great. These games are not only fun to play but very well designed examples of their genre. They may be held back by less than stellar execution in a single area, a slight lack of content, or a handful of minor bugs but nothing that overshadows a high quality experience. Fans of the genre will definitely want to give this game a play.
7: Good. These are quality games that are fun to play and do a few things well. They may be uneven experiences where certain areas outshine others, or games that do many things effectively, but perhaps lack an overall polish. Bugs may be present, but not game altering. Fans of the genre should find the game worthwhile.
6: Passable. These are ok experiences that may perform well in one area but mediocre in others. There may be memorable moments sprinkled in the game. Bugs may be present, some potentially annoying. May be a game most enjoyed by a niche section of the genre, because of a singular element, story or setting.
5: Mediocre. Average in every sense. Nothing great, nothing horrible, a playable game with a basic story and gameplay. Bugs may be present, some annoying. Most likely a game for fans of the genre who are devoted to the story or setting.
4: Poor. A game that is not well executed in design, gameplay, or story. The game may be playable and at times passable but overall design choices have made the game a frustrating experience. Bugs are likely present and they affect the gameplay experience.
3: Bad. A bad game that fails to execute anything in even an adequate fashion. Likely a confusing, obtuse, or low quality production. Aggravating at parts, and may have bugs that have dramatic impacts on playability.
2: Terrible. The only thing that separates this from a 1 is that it may actually successfully launch. A low effort experience that can’t even be compared to a cash in.
1: Broken. A game receiving this score is not something that should be considered a game. Miserably fails in execution of every area, and may even be unplayable due to crippling bugs. Stay away.