Gameluster uses a 10-point rating system when reviewing games. The lowest possible score is a 1 (Lackluster) with the highest possible scoring being a 10 (Lustrous). The numeric rating is meant to give a general overview of the quality of the game, with more detail to be found in the review itself. Each numerical score will be accompanied by a logline of 1-2 sentences that sum up the reviewer’s thoughts on the game, as well as a directive of either “Recommended”, “Cautiously Recommended”, or “Not Recommended”. These ratings can be independent of the score; some writers may cautiously recommend a 5/10 game while others would not recommend it.

Each reviewer will consider all facets of a game, such as art, gameplay, visuals, audio, technical competence, writing, online functionality (if applicable), and more, but each reviewer will weigh these factors differently. In practice, some of these factors are judged based on the limitations they are working within. We do not expect a multiplatform game to run on the Nintendo Switch as well as it does on the PlayStation 5; we expect our reviewers to keep expectations in check while not giving leeway for major issues in any part of the game.

Each review from Gameluster is indicative of the state of the game at the time the review was published. Patches and updates will come for most games after launch, and Gameluster may make an editor’s note on the bottom of a review if a patch fixes a major problem of the game. Expansions for live games will not change the score of the base game but may be given their own review scores. The score will not be adjusted after publication.

Review Codes

Often, we will receive review codes for upcoming or already released games provided by a developer, publisher, or PR team. If Gameluster accepts a code in writing, one of our writers or content creators will make coverage for it, either in written form or video form. When keys are provided before release, we hope to publish reviews when embargo lifts. However, sometimes this is not possible when a code is received too late or a game is too long. In the instance that we are unable to meet embargo, or we are given a code after embargo, we will attempt to create coverage as quickly as possible and will take no longer than two weeks to do so.

If we receive an email or Twitter DM or other means of communication containing a code and do not write back confirming that we will create coverage, we have not accepted the code and it should be understood that we will not be covering it.

If we have received a review code, a disclaimer will be posted at the bottom of the review as such: “Nirav played Elden Ring on PC with a key provided by the publisher. Elden Ring is also available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.”

If one of our staff purchased the game on their own, a disclaimer will be posted at the bottom of the review as such: “Nirav purchased Elden Ring on PC for the purposes of this review. Elden Ring is also available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.”

If the coverage provided is a video or stream, a verbal statement at the beginning of the video will thank the publisher for providing the key.

Review Rubric

1 - Lackluster. This game is a defiantly bad experience, and not recommended for anyone to play under any circumstances. A game this bad is uncommon and would typically gain a reputation for being unplayable for various reasons.

2 - Dull. This game is not fun. Anything good it has to offer is completely overshadowed by the negatives to the point the positives are not worth discussing. This may mean a slew of game-breaking bugs, broken systems, inability to run, or a myriad of other things.

3 - Dim. This game makes constant bad decisions in game design, presentation, implementation, and technological competence. It will likely not be enjoyable even for fans of the genre.

4 - Cloudy. This game has a few good ideas floating around, but ultimately the bad outweighs the good and it’s difficult to enjoy what’s there. It’s possible fans of the genre will enjoy it, but it is certainly not recommended for the wide audience. This game suffers from a lack of vision, or else several conflicting visions.

5 - Flat. While not actively bad, this game is uninspired and will likely be forgotten quickly. The parts don’t quite come together, although with a few game design changes it’s possible they could have. Fans of the genre may enjoy this game, but it’s likely there are other games like it that are more worth your time and money.

6 - Sparkling. This game is likely worth your time if you were looking forward to it. There are some notable design flaws here and there, but ultimately the package comes together somewhat and provides an interesting or enjoyable experience.

7 - Shiny. This game stands out among its peers and fans of the genre are likely to enjoy it. Typically these games have at least one exceptional feature, and overall it’s recommended to anyone looking forward to it.

8 - Radiant. This game is one of the best of its kind in recent years, and does a number of things in a notable or exceptional way. The overall design of the game comes together well, with notable polish in gameplay, writing, graphical fidelity or another major feature. This is a game you’d recommend to any of your friends.

9 - Brilliant. This game is among the best of the year, full stop. We recommend this game even to those who are not fans of the genre. Innovation, perfection of specific ideas and systems, and a very long shelf life are usually present in these games. People will be talking about this game for years.

10 - Lustrous. This game has achieved such an impressive feat that it will be remembered for generations to come. This game does nearly everything right and will become a benchmark in the coming years that all games in the genre will be compared to. This game is recommended for everyone, regardless of genre preferences, and will come to be known as a classic.