Overview

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.

Gameluster’s reviews are posted on review aggregator Opencritic at the time of publication as of October 1, 2022.

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.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jbumi
Jbumi
5 months ago

Thanks for the info! This may be obvious to you, but quick question – do you guys finish the game prior to reviewing it? Let me explain (& this isn’t in reference to your site, but gaming sites in general) – I wait for reviews on most of my purchases. I read the reviews (not just skim & check the number rating). I can’t visit every site, but I go to a few so I’m not just reading one person’s opinions. Now here’s the banana peel on the floor – when Disciples: Liberation released I read about a half dozen reviews; came to the conclusion it was my kind of game; bought it & had a ton of fun UNTIL, after over 150 saved hours, I got to the end only to discover you HAVE to fully play through it again to get the “true” ending!! Bollocks on that! Thing is, not one reviewer mentioned this – if they had, I wouldn’t have purchased it. This says to me that these “reviewers” never actually finished the game.

Jess Clayton-Berry
Jess Clayton-Berry
5 months ago
Reply to  Jbumi

Hi, thanks so much for your question!

We always make sure to complete a game before reviewing it because, as shown in your playthrough of Disciples: Liberation, the ending of a game will be your lasting impression, making it an essential aspect of any playthrough. A bad ending can really ruin the experience of a great game. As stated in our section about review codes, we will often sacrifice releasing a review on embargo/release and getting more reads on our articles in exchange for actually completing the game and being able to write up an honest impression of the whole product.

Any occasion when we were unable to complete the game will be mentioned in the review. But this will usually only happen if the game is seriously broken with bugs and glitches. For longer games with many side quests, we will complete the main story for the purpose of the review, or will only write up an impression of the first ten or twenty hours of gameplay (which is what we did for Elden Ring because none of our writers wanted to rush playing it) and this will be mentioned in the article too.

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions!

– Jess, Reviews Editor