Mark Steighner


181 games reviewed
74.7 average score
78 median score
55.2% of games recommended
Are you Mark Steighner? If so, email [email protected] to claim this critic page.
75 / 100 - A Memoir Blue
Mar 29, 2022

A Memoir Blue has a beautiful, varied visual style, emotionally resonant music, and a sincere — if not terribly deep — narrative. The changing and mysterious relationship of parents and children is relatable. It’s a wonderful story to experience, told via haunting, surreal images. Where A Memoir Blue collapses is in its arbitrary and often unnecessary game mechanics. I get that the main character is trying to make sense of her puzzle-like memories. Pixel hunting and awkward object manipulation don’t make me feel invested or immersed. I’d argue they work against it. A Memoir Blue could and should have been a touching short animated film.

Read full review

Mar 25, 2022

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is unassailably clever. There is nothing remotely like it, at least visually. Many elements work really well, from the hand-crafted animations to the idea of the game springing from the imagination of a precocious, game-loving kid. I wish the story had been a bit more layered, and I wish actually playing the game matched the fun and panache of its presentation. Still, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright deserves praise for the audacity of its ideas and their generally successful implementation.

Read full review

Mar 23, 2022

Although it uses the Borderlands 3 engine and reprises several characters from earlier games in the franchise, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands does a great job of separating itself from its brethren. With a focus on high fantasy and cheeky humor that constantly pokes fun at RPG traditions, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands also doesn’t stray far from them, at least mechanically. Great writing, pitch perfect acting and frenetic action dominate the game, but exploring the nooks and crannies of the colorful overworld and detailed dungeons is equally satisfying. I had a blast in the Wonderlands and can’t wait to see what else the irrepressible Tiny Tina has in store for us.

Read full review

80 / 100 - Tunic
Mar 23, 2022

Tunic is a great game for a specific audience. The target gamer is someone who has patience, loves puzzles and isn’t bothered by dead ends and roadblocks. For those folks, Tunic is a delightful Zelda-inspired ARPG that unfolds into something bigger than its style suggests. Knowing the shorthand of Soulslikes mechanics will cut through some of the game’s opacity. For some, though, the game’s obstinate refusal to easily give up its secrets may be a barrier to enjoyment, no matter how lovely and inviting the game seems to be.

Read full review

82 / 100 - Ghostwire: Tokyo
Mar 21, 2022

Where Ghostwire: Tokyo loses some love is in the overall imprecision of its movement and mechanics, and a few elements that seem arbitrary or unexplained. Ghostwire: Tokyo’s combat is engaging and its environments are impressive, but that same combat can also frustrate and the environments are balanced against less impressive character models. As a new IP or franchise, Ghostwire: Tokyo is a great, but rough-around-the-edges step in a really interesting new direction.

Read full review

Thanks to its new weapons, excellent characters and nuanced narrative, Dawn Of Ragnarök comes closer than ever before to breaking free of AC Valhalla’s template. Though it can’t entirely escape some over-familiar mission types, Dawn Of Ragnarök does a great job of pulling together several strands from the main game and prior expansions. Svartalfheim and Odin’s quest give AC Valhalla renewed energy and should please both fans and maybe entice some newcomers to dip into the franchise. Dawn Of Ragnarök is a substantial and overall impressive addition to the series.

Read full review

Mar 8, 2022

Total War: Warhammer 3 is the perfect culmination to a trilogy of generally excellent games. The third installment has both a must-play prologue and story campaign that is fast-paced and takes the gameplay in new directions. Long after the campaign is over, quality of life improvements and the new setting guarantee a long life for single-player skirmishes and multiplayer games. Total War: Warhammer 3 is a winner for both casual and hardcore Warhammer fans or any real-time strategy player looking for a game with depth.

Read full review

80 / 100 - Conan Chop Chop
Mar 1, 2022

Conan Chop Chop is a combination of challenging combat and rogue-lite mechanics that reward repeated runs and never leave you feeling defeated, even when you die. This is a game with much more depth than its colorful and cartoony style suggests. It’s also much more fun with others. Played solo or with a group, though, Conan Chop Chop’s gameplay loop and enjoyable combat are addictive and compel you to try just one run, over and over again.

Read full review

70 / 100 - ELEX II
Feb 28, 2022

When Elex came out in 2017, it filled a niche despite its many issues. Elex 2 is bigger and its world is denser, but Piranha Bytes hasn’t really fixed much of what was wrong about the first game. Janky movement and weak combat top the list. Annoying mechanics and glacial progression are right up there, too. Elex 2 has ambition, I’ll give it that. If it pared that ambition with polish, a more coherent narrative, and better pacing, Elex 2 might be a more viable alternative to those other RPGs that are getting so much deserved attention.

Read full review

74 / 100 - Shadow Warrior 3
Feb 28, 2022

Shadow Warrior 3 is a real study in contrasts. There are times when its environments and cutscenes are triple-A game adjacent. Its combat is fast, furious, and fun. On the other hand, there’s not much story to tell, and that engaging combat gets frustrating and numbingly repetitive. Shadow Warrior 3 embraces much of what we remember about early shooters, with a lot more visual panache and polish. By the end, though, we’re desperate for the kind of variety and sophistication that later shooters brought to the genre.

Read full review

98 / 100 - Elden Ring
Feb 23, 2022

Elden Ring is an awe-inspiring achievement. Both a summary and bold step forward, it fuses FromSoftware’s best and most effective ideas with an endlessly engaging open world. Its combat is the most refined of the series, challenging yet accessible to new players. Elden Ring includes an incredible amount of quality content. More importantly, it offers a captivating, polished experience fraught with danger and filled with beauty.

Read full review

60 / 100 - CrossfireX
Feb 15, 2022

Overall, it’s just hard to recall a less ambitious multiplayer shooter than CrossfireX. Its generic single player campaign fares much better than its multiplayer, which is simply lacking in everything we’ve come to expect from the genre. Smilegate’s previous shooters have obviously connected with millions in the Asian market, but it’s hard to imagine CrossfireX igniting anything near that kind of enthusiasm in the very competitive multiplayer scene.

Read full review

40 / 100 - Claustrophobia
Feb 10, 2022

I want games to be good. Hell, I want them to be great. No game is perfect and even the biggest blockbuster has flaws. There are even games we love that are mostly broken, because they went big and couldn’t quite deliver. Claustrophobia doesn’t go big. It takes time-worn ideas and still manages to fall flat. It looks, sounds and plays like a game that wasn’t ready to leave the drawing board, much less be released. Claustrophobia will make you feel trapped, for sure. Maybe just not the way the developer intended.

Read full review

70 / 100 - Dread Hunger
Feb 8, 2022

Dread Hunger has a solid premise, but whether it’s a good time depends almost entirely on the people you play with. The survival elements are fun, but the social deception mechanics are where it’s at. Dread Hunger has some built-in limitations, but its theme and setting help it stand out from other games in the genre. Whether you’re trying to maintain order or create chaos, Dread Hunger will put your ingenuity and acting skills to the test.

Read full review

82 / 100 - Lost Ark
Feb 8, 2022

Lost Ark is a polished, solid, substantial, and engaging free-to-play MMORPG that is very solo-friendly and offers a vast amount of well-made content for just about everyone. The combat is exciting and fun, the classes are appealing and varied, and the world is colorful and lush, if not necessarily state-of-the-art. The story isn’t going to turn heads, but the number and range of quests and side activities will keep you happily entertained. I’ve only scratched the surface, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the end game has to offer and what kind of community coalesces around Lost Ark.

Read full review

58 / 100 - The Waylanders
Feb 4, 2022

I’m not sure if more time in the oven is the answer to The Waylanders’ problems, but it couldn’t hurt. I really liked the setting and core story, but I’m afraid that the game’s bland combat and awkward controls are baked in by now. It has character, charm and style to spare but swings and misses in the execution. The Waylanders is a collection of really good ideas, almost none of which are allowed to shine without compromise.

Read full review

For one, the upgrades are primarily in support of higher resolutions or better framerates, and while the games look stunning in native 4K, you’re not getting a ton more for your ten bones. Given the lack of extras, this should maybe have been a freebie for owners of the PS4 version. On the other hand, if this collection’s reasonable price prompts you into playing these masterpieces again, that’s absolutely a win for you.

Read full review

59 / 100 - Blackwind
Jan 26, 2022

There aren’t enough hack-and-slash action games with a sci-fi setting, but Blackwind stumbles pretty hard and makes enjoying it consistently a challenge. The game’s camera is the worst offender, but issues with platforming, balance and combat are also parts of the problem. I didn’t care that the story could find a consistent tone as much as the game’s mechanics made me want to step away in frustration. I enjoy difficult games, but not unfair, busted or buggy ones.

Read full review

70 / 100 - Pupperazzi
Jan 24, 2022

Pupperazzi is a lighthearted, chill little game that anyone can enjoy. If you’re not too worried about realism and don’t need a lot of high-level content, you’ll be happy with what Pupperazzi has to offer. The bad news is that it’s over pretty quickly, and there isn’t much reason to go back. The dogs are cute, and the whole thing is marginally surreal, but a bit of story or maybe some strong canine characters would have added to the experience, especially for older dog lovers.

Read full review

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction is a thoroughly competent shooter. It’s a good companion piece to, but not replacement for, Siege. Though it’s best when played with a three Operator squad, it’s still functional as a single player game, though pretty challenging and not super rewarding as a solo experience. I enjoyed the mechanics of the Incursion missions, and learning the maps. Though the alien designs lacked originality, fighting them was still engaging. It was a nice break from combat with humans. I wish there was more to the package at launch, like a real campaign and characters to care about, not just avatar Operators to level up. Still, alone or with a couple of friends, Rainbow Six Extraction meets or exceeds the expected amount of fun. I wish it tried to do more.

Read full review