"In more than 1,100 articles I have written for this paper since 1996," he concludes, "I have never before called anything a tour de force. Yet there is no more succinct or appropriate way to describe Red Dead Redemption."
And he's right! Okay, it's hard to imagine how he might have squeezed "tour de force" into his November 4, 1996 news story on fiber optic cable demand, but whatever.
It does seem that Schiesel is prone to a bit of hyperbole when it comes to video games he likes. Here's a few examples from the last couple of years:
Warhammer is the best new massively multiplayer game since World of Warcraft, which was released in 2004. Warhammer provides a more engaging and diverse experience than either Lord of the Rings Online (unless you’re a serious Tolkien fan) or Age of Conan (unless you really need topless barbarians in your life), the other major online fantasy releases in recent years....For a lot of online gamers, Warhammer is providing the most significant competition for their leisure hours in many years. It’s about time.
--Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning," reviewed on October 11, 2008
Only one year later came this:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, developed by Naughty Dog and published recently by Sony for its PlayStation 3 console, is a major step forward for gaming. Uncharted 2 is perhaps the best-looking game on any system, and no game yet has provided a more genuinely cinematic entertainment experience.....The designers at Naughty Dog have absorbed the vernacular of film and then built upon it productively, not slavishly, to create something wondrous. I only wonder when I will next see an action-adventure movie as compelling as Uncharted 2. It may be a long time.
--"Uncharted 2: Among Thieves," reviewed on November 7, 2009
Usually, Schiesel just sticks with mixed bag of superlatives to make his point.
Whatever the Italian tourism board is paying Ubisoft for making the spectacular new game Assassin’s Creed II, it isn't enough. O.K., that’s a joke. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that any secret payments are flowing from Rome to Ubisoft’s headquarters in a Paris suburb. But perhaps there should be. That’s because Assassin’s Creed II may interest more young men around the world in visiting Italy than any advertising campaign or entertainment sensation since Sophia Loren.
--"Assassin's Creed II," reviewed on December 8, 2009
Tiger Woods Online is a fabulous game. Millions and millions of hours of work will be lost forever because of it, which is the highest praise a game of this sort can earn.
--"Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online," reviewed on April 6, 2010