The logo for Zero Punctuation, featuring Yahtzee's cartoon avatar
|Genre||Video game reviews, Black Comedy, Insult Comedy, Satire|
|Created by||Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|Original channel||Internet: Zero Punctuation on The Escapist|
|Original run||July 24, 2007– present|
The series began when Croshaw created two video reviews, one for The Darkness demo for the PlayStation 3 and the other for Fable: The Lost Chapters for the PC, and uploaded them on YouTube. Among other organizations, The Escapist contacted Croshaw and offered him a contract shortly thereafter. Since then, Zero Punctuation has become very popular. The series remains one of the publication's most prolific and signature features.
In Zero Punctuation, Croshaw usually reviews a game or games using rapid-fire speech delivery (which was the inspiration for the name "Zero Punctuation", although he states that his fast talking was "by accident"). This is accompanied by minimalistic cartoon imagery on a distinctive yellow background, illustrating what is being said or providing ironic counterpoint to it. The videos are typically around five minutes in length and formerly featured commercial songs at the beginning and end, which were usually related to the game context (although sometimes only tangentially, such as Croshaw using Dave Matthews Band's Crash Into Me for the Burnout review). Other reviews have an opening song completely at odds with the game in question (such as Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven for Painkiller, a game which revolves around a man in Purgatory, or Leslie Gore's Sunshine, Lolipops and Rainbows for the overtly dark and violent game Manhunt). These have since been replaced by a single, standard opening sequence consisting of clips from past reviews and metal music, as composed and performed by Ian Dorsch. The end credits often feature humorous notes about Croshaw's reviews such as "Systematically alienating every type of fanboy" in GTA IV, and often also contain characters from the review engaging in slapstick.
Croshaw, who uses his "Yahtzee" nickname while reviewing, appears in the videos wearing a trilby (much like the main character of his Chzo Mythos games). A recurring character in the videos is a small imp-like creature (who also appears in one of the Zero Punctuation logos) who usually plays various supporting roles in the video as either the antagonist or the sidekick, often taking the place of enemies in the game being reviewed. The imp is in fact a stylized version of a "darkling" from the first game Yahtzee reviewed, The Darkness, that he referred to as an "Evil Imp". Croshaw frequently anthropomorphizes video games and game companies in his reviews, using them as characters by adding legs and arms to the game's box art or logo.
Croshaw, more often than not, provides highly critical reviews of games, usually pointing out the faults that he implies other professional reviewers ignore in high-profile releases.  He also provides negative reviews of less popular games, such as Haze and Amy, and tends to shun certain genres of games, e.g. JRPGs, RTS games and fighting games or certain overused conventions, e.g. Nintendo's continuation of its long-running franchises (or more precisely their continuation of these franchises while still making what Croshaw considers to be the same game), and "[his] old arch-nemesis" quick time events. He predicted that the Wii's control scheme would just be a short-lived gimmick. He often uses popular FPS series like Call of Duty and Battlefield as examples of bad modern games, although he gave Call of Duty 4 a positive review. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Amy and Call of Duty: Ghosts were named as his Worst Games of the Year of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively (Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 tied in 2011). Additionally, he gave mock awards to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Silent Hill Homecoming, Alone in the Dark, Dead Space, Prince of Persia, Grand Theft Auto IV, Sonic Unleashed, Wolfenstein, Wet, and Resident Evil 5 for some of their negative aspects. He also named BioShock 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Metroid: Other M, MindJack, Red Faction: Armageddon, Dead Island, Duke Nukem Forever, Resident Evil 6, NeverDead, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Star Trek, SimCity, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Beyond: Two Souls to his Worst Games of the Year lists. Finally, in 2013, Croshaw also awarded the "Zero Punctuation Lifetime Achievement Award for Total Abhorrence" to Ride to Hell: Retribution, claiming that "it's not a game, it's congealed failure".
The reviews are not always negative, and he has praised some games. For example, Portal, Psychonauts, and Silent Hill 2 all received positive reviews and first/third person shooters are usually compared to the Half-Life series as model examples of the genre. Saints Row 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Just Cause 2, Portal 2, Spec Ops: The Line and BioShock: Infinite were named as his Games of the Year of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Additionally, Limbo, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Red Dead Redemption, Dead Rising 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Infamous 2, Bastion, Driver: San Francisco, Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Far Cry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Saints Row IV and Papers, Please have been named in his Games of the Year lists. Croshaw started his review of BioShock by acknowledging that "Despite all the horrible things I'm about to say, it's still probably one of the best games of the year", but spent the rest of the review criticizing it, because "No-one likes it when I'm being nice to a game" (referring to his positive review of Psychonauts). He was also broadly complimentary to its sequel BioShock Infinite, calling it "good, maybe even great" and stating that he could not fault it gameplay-wise.
He also discusses popular topics related to video games, such as criticism of former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson for his opposition to mature-rated games in Australia, where he currently[when?] resides, and topics not related to video games, often for humorous purposes, such as Branston Pickle and the United States government.
Croshaw cites the work of British television critic and PC Zone journalist Charlie Brooker as the "main inspiration" for his own reviewing style, as well as the writings of Douglas Adams, Sean "Seanbaby" Riley, and Old Man Murray's Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw. He expressed respect towards the late Roger Ebert, noted that he "might one day aspire to being his videogaming equivalent"; even going so far as to respect Ebert's opinion that games could not be art; however, in the same article and a Zero Punctuation episode, he noted that Ebert was poorly informed on the subject and had never actually played a video game (until Cosmology of Kyoto, which Ebert would not play until later).
- Orland, Kyle (March 22, 2008). "PressSpotting: Ramblin' with Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw". GameSpot. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "The Escapist : Sound and Music".
- Zero Punctuation Mailbag Showdown
- Croshaw, Ben. The Orange Box review. 17 Oct 2007. Quote: "Absolutely sublime from start to finish ... Portal's great ..."
- Croshaw, Ben. Psychonauts review. 22 Aug 2007. Quote: "I obviously like the game .. It's something original ... It's genuinely funny ... It's fun!"
- Croshaw, Ben. Silent Hill 2 review. 17 Aug 2009. Quote: "Silent Hill 2 is not just a game I think is good ... What it does best – and better than any other game I know – is atmosphere."
- "Zero Punctuation Psychonauts review". Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- "Zero Punctuation BioShock Infinite review". Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee Interview: Ben Croshaw & The Escapist
-  Yahtzee Visits Valve, a Travelogue
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Zero Punctuation|
- Zero Punctuation at The Escapist
- Yahtzee's The Escapist Column
- Fully Ramblomatic, Ben Croshaw's personal website