It would seem, to my eyes anyway, that the recent review site corruption dust up has scared a lot of outlets into treating games more objectively this holiday season. The biggest titles seem to be getting scores that feel more reasonable all things considered. Mid 80's is what I'd expect for games like Halo 4, AC3 and Black Ops 2. I expect them to be high quality titles but they're simply another version of an existing franchise and as such likely won't be reinventing the wheel.
The scores seem to be fair in my opinion. Xcom and Fifa 13 end up being the only 90's for the recent releases. I'm not sure I agree with Xcom getting a 90 though. I really enjoyed the game but once you beat it the game mechanics really start to annoy the crap out of me. And internal navigation (inside alien ships) is a fucking nightmare. I wonder when that dust up started... Xcom says oct 9th, looks like oct 12th was when that guy at eurogamer stepped down. So seems like xcom was under that umbrella of heavy publisher influence.
99gamers.com-Going down in flames after discounting their currency! Kickstarter "Game Developer"!