I get a lot of request by friends and fellow gamers alike to write reviews for new games that are on the market or about to be on the market. I am usually more than happy to do it because that’s one of the things I like doing best—test playing new games and letting other people know the goods, the bads, and the uglies. But along with writing the reviews themselves, many of my friends have asked me how I go about writing them and what I consider and what I don’t while writing them.
So, by popular demand, I’m going to go through my entire review writing process and show you how I evaluate each and every game that I consider.
Make sure It’s Readable
The first thing I do when writing a game review is to remember who my audience is. When you think about it, writing a game review really is no different than writing for a newspaper or writing college essays. You need to keep you readers and audience in mind and make sure you are communicating to them what they need to know. And the last thing I try to do when writing my game review is to make it readable. You know what I mean. I try to take out any unnecessarily big words, and I try to keep my grammar proper. I make sure not to misuse the grammar of principal and principle because that tends to confuse the reader.
Firsts things first. I always consider game play above anything else. What is the game play like? Do you interact with other gamers, is it an open world or a sand box game?
After considering the game type, I look at the game based on similar games in the market. Is this just a rehash of something that we have already seen six months earlier or does it add something new to the genre? Unfortunately, a lot of game that are being released today don’t really add that much innovative game play but instead are just re-releases of old gaming technology.
One area that a lot of game design companies have been innovating in is the area of physics. Now, people have mixed reviews on physics—to certain degrees. You have your old-school console games who just want to have a control and that’s it. No movement, no motion, just give me the control and let me play. Then you have the ultra-physics nerds who want to literally be jumping up and down when they’re playing their games. That’s a little bit much.
I prefer something in the middle. I think what the Skate franchise has done to skateboarding games has been a major improvement and it’s something that both sides can get behind.
Longevity of Game
I might be an outlier in this regard, but another thing I look for in a game is a decent shelf life. Most games I usually “beat” in under a week, and there isn’t a whole lot publishers can do to fix people like me who binge play the games, but they can add missions and achievements that gamers can unlock.
I think that the GTA franchise has done a tremendous job of incorporating missions and achievements into the games that really put them up a notch in my book.
Review of Reviews
So to be short, I look at the basic game play and physics of the game. I make sure I easily communicate these features to my readers and I avoid the kind of basic grammar mistakes that cause people to second guess your opinion. Never mix up the meaning of immigrate vs emigrate when writing your reviews.