Reviews. So useful...such a bone of contention. Nothing else can sublimate a message board or G4 office into a politburo of opinions, complete with shoe banging, like a game review. Reviewing a game is more art than science, as there is no "objective" evaluation based upon a control system and multiple subjects. With that in mind, it is advisable to remember that this is the opinion of the individual writing the review, not an editorial board consensus and to weigh the opinions according to your tastes. You see where I'm going...read the review, not just the score. Numerical scores are a convenient synopsis of the reviewer's opinion yet they are incapable of encapsulating the nuances of the English language.
We're now entering a new era thanks to the incorporation of half-stars in the review scale at G4. The descriptions below still stand as representative of their respective whole number ratings, but now there will be an option of a half star between each of them for those games that feel like a "high 4" or a "low 3." As a result, you will see the much coveted 5 out of 5 become a rarer score. A game will have to be something truly special to surpass the newly established 4.5 out of 5 barrier. We hope this will give both our reviewers and our readers a more granulated shorthand with which to encapsulate G4's opinions on game releases in 2012 and beyond.
Having said all of that, don't just rely on the score. . .read the damn text, too.
5 out of 5
An exceptional game that stands out based on its creativity, innovation and/or execution to raise the bar on what is possible in game design. This does not mean that the game is necessarily perfect in all regards but where it excels is so significant that any gamer would be rewarded by taking the time to play.
4 out of 5
An excellent game that offers a truly satisfying experience that should not disappoint those who wish to play it but falls short on technical issues or just offers a solid experience without that "je ne sais quoi" spark. Thoroughly worth checking out if one has the time and resources.
3 out of 5
A functional, if unremarkable, game that will be of interest only to those that have an existing affinity to the franchise, gameplay style or subject matter. Technical flaws, repetitive gameplay, confused writing are among the elements that are found intrusive to access and enjoyment.
2 out of 5
A severely flawed game that requires a remarkable amount of patience to endure. Primarily burdened with game-stopping technical issues it can also be of such rudimentary design that its pleasures are few and far between and only when trying too hard for your own good.
1 out of 5
A horrible game that is just unplayable and cannot be recommended to anyone still with a pulse. There is little need to elaborate further.