How To Write A Game Review In 7 Steps
Writing a video game review can be a great way to share your experience and knowledge. Learn how to write a game review below .
When a new video game comes out, you can’t wait to play the game. If you’re deep into the game world, you’re also likely interested in what gaming sites have to say about your new game, whether review sites view the game favorably, and what the game mechanics will be like during your first-time playing experience.
It can be fun to share your thoughts on a new video game with others, and it can help other gamers decide whether the game would be a good fit for them.
If it’s your first time reviewing games, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions. You might be unsure of the word count you should aim for as you review games, or you might not be sure of whether you should give an objective view or your own opinion on a particular game.
Whether you’re writing your first indie review for fun or you’re ready to break into the world of gaming journalism, our step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know about writing reviews on video games.
Step 1: Choose Your Audience
Step 2: choose your game and start playing, step 3: collect information, step 4: create a review outline, step 5: write your first draft, step 6: revise, step 7: publish, the final word on how to write a game review, where can you publish video game reviews, what’s the appropriate word count for a video game review.
Before you dig into writing your first review of a video game, it’s key to know your audience. If you want to write for gaming sites, you might write differently than if you were crafting a review for your own website.
If you’re still working to develop your writing skills , you might consider writing for social media or your own website before you try to get a video game review picked up by a large publication.
If you feel that you’re able to write a good review for a gaming publication, be sure to check with the specific publication for their requirements for reviews. Some publications may require that you follow a certain format or meet a certain word count in order to be considered for publication. Don’t know how to copyright your book? Check out our guide on how to copyright a book . You can also check out our other how-to articles by typing “how to” in our search bar.
After you’ve selected the audience that makes the most sense for your review, it’s time to select a good game. It’s smart to start with a new game that hasn’t been heavily reviewed. As you begin to gain credibility in the video game world, you may find that companies reach out to you to allow you to test out games before they’re released to the general public.
You’ll want to spend seven to ten hours playing the game before you begin your review. Whether you choose a mainstream game (like an IGN-created option) or an indie game, you’ll want to be sure that you take the time necessary to provide your readers with valuable information.
You may want to set an alarm to go off every ten to fifteen minutes as you play to help you remember to pay attention to the positives and negatives of the game. Excellent video games can make you feel like you’re transported to another world, and it can be easy to lose focus on your review. Setting an alarm to remind you to jot down notes from time to time can help you stay on task as you play. Pay attention to sound effects, visual effects, and other factors that people debating purchasing the game may want to learn about.
Accompanying your thoughts with screenshots to help readers get a visual of what you’re trying to convey can be helpful. Be careful not to reveal spoilers (or fully warn readers if spoilers are impossible to avoid).
Your review should have a brief introduction (if it’s a new game, explain why the game is trending), followed by a few body paragraphs that explain what you did and didn’t like about the game.
This review on The Gunk does a great job at sharing both positive and negative points about the game:
What could be a silent, Metroid-style dive into buried secrets thus becomes something slightly different. The Gunk is as much about the bond between this duo and their difficult situation as what they find. The act of exploring is pushed and pulled between their two perspectives – a simple twist on an old formula that’s easy to appreciate. It’s a shame then that the planet itself renders their adventure a little flat.
There’s no need for your outline to be comprehensive—a few rough bullet points can help you stay on task as you begin to create your full review.
If you’re reviewing Xbox or Playstation games for an online publication, you may need to check in with your editor to discuss whether they’d like you to make changes before you move forward with writing your article .
Go back to your outline and begin to flesh out each point, expanding on what you did and didn’t like about the game. Be sure to keep your desired word count in mind so that you’re able to keep each section to a similar length.
As you begin your draft, create an introduction that draws the reader in, like this review on Solar Ash :
I’m increasingly convinced that movement-driven games aren’t just my type of game; they’re the best type of game. Demonstrably – mathematically, even. Because a game that turns the simple act of getting to point B into a constant delight, and then presents infinite points to get to, is always at its best. No dips, no clutter, just 100% uptime on the thing you signed up for.
If you find that you’re struggling to express your thoughts while staying under the appropriate word count, reach out to your editor to discuss whether they’d be comfortable with a longer game review. Focus on expressing yourself as you write your review, and try not to worry too much about mechanics during your first draft. You’ll have plenty of time to polish your draft during your revision.
When you complete your draft, it’s time to go back and revise. Carefully review your text, and keep an eye out for spelling and grammatical errors . You may want to run your text through an online spelling and grammar tool to ensure that you’ve corrected all mistakes.
Consider asking another gamer who has played the game to take a look at your review before you submit it for publication. Getting another set of eyes on your work can be a valuable tool in ensuring that you’ve hit all the necessary main points.
After you’ve revised and cleaned up your draft, it’s time to publish. Whether you choose to share your draft on social media, with friends, a gaming website, or a print publication, be sure to share your work. Looking for more how-to-guide articles? You might find our guide on how to write a testimonial helpful in writing that testimonial on a product or service you enjoyed.
If you’re getting started with writing video game reviews, you’ll want to identify your audience, get experience playing the game, and create an outline prior to writing your review. Then, you’ll move on to the writing, revision, and publishing stage. Enjoy the process—sharing your newfound knowledge of the latest video game with other games is fun, exciting, and worthwhile.
FAQs On How To Write A Game Review
You can publish a video game review on your own website, or you can submit your review to an online or print publication.
While requested word counts can differ from publication, most video game reviews are approximately 500 words.
Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.
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How to write a video game review.
Don't you know how to rate a video game and write a review? We will tell you what you should pay attention to, what parts the article should consist of and what mistakes should not be made.
In the modern world, video games are one of the largest segments of the entertainment industry. The scale of the gaming industry is comparable to, for example, the film industry. And in terms of growth rate over the past five years, the video game industry has significantly outpaced it. In 2021, the global gaming market will be $159,3 billion. Therefore, it is not surprising that writing gaming commentary is becoming more and more popular. Not sure how to structure your paper? Then our guide will be the best assistant for you.
Steps To Create A Video Game Review
Conventionally, the process of writing a review can be divided into two stages:
- Testing and notes.
- Compilation of a video game review.
Below we have described each step by which you will achieve the desired result.
Testing & Notes
First, decide for whom you are writing a review. For example, for game review sites, a magazine, or for an educational institution. If you are writing an article for a magazine, the question arises: "How do I get paid for writing for magazines?" Of course, you must agree on the moment of payment with the magazine. The amount for a journal article can vary from $ 50 to $ 200 - it all depends on your writing skills.
If you are writing an article for a website, you may be concerned about the question: "How much should I charge for a 500-word article?" Writers who write in this area charge $ 50 per article of 500 words. This is the most reasonable price to which website owners respond well. However, you can set a higher price list, provided that your article is entirely original and does not contain errors.
Separately, we would like to pay attention to articles for the educational institution. Teachers set very high requirements: the paper must be 100% free of plagiarism, properly structured, formatted in the same style, and include a list of citations. In this case, we recommend you to ask to write my paper for me from experienced experts. An expert's advantage is that he gets into the subject and knows how to please a strict teacher. Note that research papers help - is cheap, reliable, fast, and safe because professors, and sometimes doctors of sciences work with the texts. Now let's get back to how to take notes and test the game.
Play the Game 7-10 Hours
Sometimes it can take you a month to test a game. However, most websites that publish articles expect to see a video game review a couple of days after its release. Therefore, you should spend 7-10 hours playing the game to see all the functions and get a feel for it. During this time, find out the advantages and disadvantages of the game. If the game has levels, try to get to a high level to see how the game develops. If the game is like an open world like Minecraft, explore it thoroughly.
Write Down What You Liked About The Game
Notes while testing the game will help you when creating an article. You can use a simple notepad or apply modern technologies: voice recorder or screen recording. The experts from essaypay.com offer to uncover game features and add-on purchases. Uncover game features, add-on purchases, graphic design, and sound effects. Write down what you remember and liked the most. For example, you are attracted by 3D trees and the player's clothing. Describing these points in detail will help the reader understand what the game world looks like.
Write Down What You Would Like To Change In The Game
Games cannot be perfect, so your review should include any flaws or points you would like to change. Perhaps the graphics are too simple, or the sound in the game sounds loud. If any of these elements irritate you, be sure to mention them. Don't write in general phrases. Use specific examples.
Compare the Game with Previous Releases
If the game is not new, such as The Sims, you can compare it to previous releases. For example, indicate that the updated version has more features or additional customization functions. You should also note the genre the creators submitted the game: action, horror, racing, building, etc.
Compilation of a Video Game Review
When you have made all the notes and have tested the game well, you can start the writing process. Below we have described a few steps that you should pay attention to.
Review papers samples before you start creating your review. This is necessary for you to understand how many words you will need for the article, what parts the paper should include, what to look for. Readers appreciate reviews that don't exceed 1,000 words. Papers over this volume tire readers, and most likely, people will ignore your review.
Write an Introduction
How do you start a review? We recommend that you remember the essay format, which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. Introduce the reader to the game in the introduction. You can use the hook to grab attention: statistics, quotes, aphorisms, examples, etc. For example: "Among Us is the most played game in history, and it amassed half a billion monthly active users."
In the central part, you can discuss all those points that you tested in the game. For example, discuss sound effects and graphics. You can also tell readers if the game is available on a computer, TV, smartphone, or other gadget. If the video games contain characters, describe them. Mark the character that is best to play with. If the game is racing, describe the cars and their functions. You can also give examples of what your feelings were during the game. Add images to make the review more informative.
Write a Conclusion
At the end of the review, add your own opinion. Write if you recommend your readers to play the game or if it's not worthy of their attention. You can also rate the game on a ten-point scale. For example: "The game left a pleasant impression, so my score is 10 out of 10." Remember! Before submitting your review, proofread the text and eliminate any errors. Good luck.
The Final Insight
The video game review is usually an easy task since most of the games are interesting. Thus, you will be involved in the task to the fullest. Nonetheless, you have to be very attentive and follow the outline to make your review amazing.
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Writing contests, make money writing, hottest topics, writing your first freelance video game review.
So the big moment has arrived. An online gaming publication has given you the greenlight to write your first game review.
- Where do you begin?
- What should you talk about?
- How long should you play the game for?
- How much time do you need to write your review?
These and other questions are probably swirling through your head right now. But fear not! I am here to provide you with some handy tips for crafting a review that is both professional-looking and infused with your personal flair.
Time Limits & Commitments
Since many online gaming publications don’t provide reviewers with an advanced review copy of a particular game, chances are high you’ll have to snag a copy of the game after it is released to the public. And since many gamers usually read a game’s review on the day it comes out or maybe a few days after, that means you’re working within a narrow window to play through the game, write the review, edit it, and get it to the site you’re writing it for.
As a general rule of thumb, most online publications usually expect a game’s review to be up on their site no more than a week after the game has been released.
Now, don’t panic, because if you do it right a solid review doesn’t actually take too much time to write. You also don’t have to devote hours upon hours playing a game to form a solid opinion on it (7-10 hours is more than enough).
Jotting Down Notes
One important habit to develop early is to take notes as you play.
- Does a specific element of the game stand out to you?
- Are there any glaring problems?
- How well do the game’s unique features (if any) work for you?
- What elements excited or bored you?
- How does the game compare to competing games?
Having a handy list of notes can help you quickly recall your likes and dislikes, and even certain emotions you had experienced during and after gameplay.
Word Length & Substance
Writing a good review is all about maintaining balance. You want to provide the reader with essential details and insightful opinions without bogging them down with unnecessary details and useless musings.
A typical word count for a finished review should be around 1,000 words: some sites might want more (maybe 1,200 to 1,500 words), and some might want less (800 to 900 words).
Several factors can determine the length of the review, two of which include:
- A big triple : an expansive or in-depth game like an RPG. You’ll want to shoot for that 1,000+ word goal.
- An indie game : a lesser-known indie game or a smaller game like a mobile phone or handheld app. You can focus less on length and more on substance, 800-900 words.
When deciding what to cover in your review, many gaming sites will want you to discuss:
Even if you don’t normally pay attention to a certain element, such as a game’s music or graphics, it’s important to mention what the game offers in those key areas as they could matter a great deal to the reader.
However, don’t force yourself into devoting more time to a subject than you feel comfortable doing. If you admire a particular part of a game, write about it! Readers always enjoy reading about how much the reviewer enjoyed a certain element of a game, rather than staring at a few stock paragraphs showing how “neat” or “interesting” the reviewer thought another element was.
Polishing Your Review
Once you’ve played through the game, jotted down notes, and crafted your review, the next steps are important:
- Step away from your review and wait a couple hours, maybe even a whole day if you can spare it.
- Give your brain some time to refresh itself and then go back and read through your review again.
- Correct any spelling/grammar/punctuation errors you find.
- Fix any sentences that look awkward. (If a sentence sounds awkward when you say it out loud, then it’ll probably look awkward to your readers.)
- Break up any paragraphs that are too long.
- Let a trusted friend or relative read through your review to find any errors that you may have missed.
Any error that you catch now is one less error your site’s editor will have to fix.
If your editor wants you to provide images for your review, Google’s Image Search is your best friend. Just make sure:
- the image fits the site’s size requirements (if any);
- the image doesn’t contain another site’s watermark (which is usually located in one of the image’s lower corners); and
- you have permission to use the image, or the image is released into the public domain, or is sharable under a Creative Commons license.
If you need to resize any images or screenshots, you can use the free online browser program Pixlr.com to do just that.
Submitting Your Review
When your review is all set, spell-checked, proofread, and edited, and you’ve picked out a few images if needed, now all that’s left is to submit your review and breathe a deep sigh of relief. Usually what will happen next is one of the site’s editors will look over your review, make changes that are needed, and then post the review to their site for the world to admire. Most editors offer some form of feedback, whether it’s advice, praise, or criticism. Be sure to share your live review with anyone you know!
While writing a solid game review may seem like a daunting task at first, it gets easier the more you do it. You’ll also find that the more reviews you write, the better quality they’ll become. Just remember that a review is about more than just listing what’s good and what’s bad about a game. It’s an opportunity to delve in and express your thoughts through a medium that can reach millions of Internet users worldwide. Every great game reviewer has to start somewhere; hopefully this article will make your first game review less intimidating to tackle.
About the author :
Shortly after graduating from college, Nate realized that his writing skills were at their strongest when he applied them towards what he is truly passionate about: gaming. While he does enjoy covering the latest happenings within the gaming industry, Nate is also keenly aware of how gaming affects other aspects of our culture such as politics, history, social media, and the arts and, naturally, enjoys writing about them even more so. Nate is currently based in his home state of Massachusetts where he balances his freelance writing career along with helping his folks care for their three horses.
Also by Nathaniel Hohl: 1. How to Use Your Publisher’s Backend Content Management System (article) 2. Engage Your Video Game Readers with These Five Article Templates (article)
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- Most Hardcore
How to Write a Great Video Game Review
- January 25, 2022
- Ajax Moroni
Playing video games can be a lot of fun. But, writing a critique on them can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the gaming world. We’ve put together some crucial tips to help you craft an impressive video game review.
Playing the Game and Taking Notes
One of the best ways to write game reviews is to keep taking notes while you play. Do not get too indulged in the game. Keep reminding yourself you’re playing it to write a review. While you’re playing, you’d note several features and different aspects of different stages. It is better to pause the game right away and jot it down. Otherwise, you’ll forget some of the details when you’ll sit to write later. Remember, there are professional essay writers and law essay writing services available that can provide guidance and support if you need help with your academic writing tasks. Experts at Essay Zoo also suggest that playing a game to write a review is the best way. You can ask your gamer friends for feedback or read online reviews, but you won’t be able to craft an impressive piece until you experience it yourself. So, never rely on others’ feedback to write your own. Experiencing it yourself gives you the advantage of checking all its features. Besides, it also allows you to make an opinion about it.
Consequently, you’d be able to write a great piece. But remember to keep noting everything down, even if you’re good at making mental notes. Taking notes will help you create an outline and not miss anything important. And it will also allow you to write your draft fastly and appropriately. So, spare a reasonable amount of time for playing and taking notes. You can play it for several hours before you start writing your first draft.
Prepare an Impactful Introduction
Want to know how to write video game reviews that leave an impression? If so, make sure you understand the proper structure. Your draft should be divided into three parts:
But this doesn’t mean you have to put a heading before each section. Simply divide your video game review into logical paragraphs. The first paragraph is the introduction. The last paragraph is the conclusion. And the paragraphs in the middle are the body. To create an impact, ensure your introduction is impressive. Here are some suggestions to craft a great intro:
- It must include a hook to engage the reader right from the start
- Avoid using cliche statements
- Start with an exciting background statement
- Mention the name of the game you’re reviewing and its launching date etc
- Give an interesting fact and your opinion about it briefly
Explain The Gameplay
After the introduction, explain the reason behind your opinion. Tell the reader more about the different aspects of the game, such as:
- Sound effects
- Difficulty level
But, above all, you must explain the story and why it is played. Explain it in a way that you’re telling someone who has never played it.
- What are players required to do?
- Why is gameplay compelling?
- What is the ultimate motive of players?
- What challenges do they have to face to achieve it?
- How are these challenges overcome?
There is a lot of explanation other than the graphics and sounds. But, if you feel stuck, check out some essays on video games available online. Reading them will give you an idea about how to go about it. You can also opt to take professional writing help if you think you can’t do it on your own. Writing reviews can be challenging, especially when you have a lot on your plate. And, it’s okay to ask for help.
Be Concise and Straight To The Point
Are you wondering how to rate a game? The simple way to do so would be to gather the overall experience and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Do keep these questions in mind when rating:
- Did I enjoy it while playing?
- Did you feel like playing again after quitting it?
- Were the sound effects pleasing or annoying?
- Was it easy to understand?
- What ages of players can play it?
- Does it have a message?
- Does it contain violence?
Having these questions in mind will help you craft an impressive game critique. However, make sure you don’t go overboard. Include only relevant details that are concise and straight to the point. Explaining the same issue in different ways won’t do you any good. It will give a wrong impression to the reader. So, have a clear outline in your mind. And write your critique precisely. Besides, ensure you have divided it into logical paragraphs and have maintained cohesiveness.
Don’t Add Spoilers
It is effortless to give spoilers when reviewing something without even realizing it. Remember, you don’t have to reveal the plot twist or climax. Although giving spoilers won’t decrease the reader’s enjoyment when they play it, it is not recommended. If it is inevitable to reveal some crucial details, provide a spoiler alert. It will allow the reader to decide whether or not to continue reading it. If you’re writing this critique for your blog, you must remember this tip. If you’re writing it for a class assignment, your professor will also note all of these points. So, make sure you follow all the rules of crafting an excellent critique. When writing an essay about video games, don’t forget to give your opinion. Also, your conclusion must have a rating and whether you recommend it to others or not.
Compare the Game with Previous Releases
Another crucial aspect to keep in mind is to discuss the previous releases or versions. If the game you’re reviewing is the latest version, compare it with the earlier versions. Here are some questions to consider:
- Which version is the most popular among gamers and why?
- What are the differences and similarities between these versions?
- Was it necessary to launch a new version?
- Does the new version cater to the issues found in the previous versions?
- Can the players easily transit from the earlier version to the new one?
The answers to these questions will give a unique angle to your critique. Inscribing about the current game features only could be boring. So, don’t forget to add exciting yet relevant details.
All in all, crafting a critique requires good writing skills and some techniques. Now that you know the techniques of writing a great review make sure you keep them in mind. These tips are sure to help you craft a perfect piece.
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Writing a Video Game Review: A Guide for Gamers
The gaming industry is humongous, and today, it encompasses much more than the games or consoles themselves. One aspect that is almost as popular as the games themselves is game reviews, whether written or video. A lot of fans appreciate the reviews, and they can be really influential for fans when they’re trying to decide whether or not they want to buy or play that game.
That’s why so many gamers curate reviews, so that they can help fellow games make a decision on if a game is for them or not. If you have ever played on Steam before, then you will be familiar with how the community of reviews works here! Some will be funny , some will be serious, but they all offer an opinion. If you want to leave a review for a game, but don’t know how to get started or what to think about, then this posting will be ideal for you!
Playing the Game
Before you start writing anything, it will be ideal to actually play the game first! How else can you offer an opinion? If you haven’t already given it a go, then you should really get to it. If you manage to make a name for yourself and write reviews professionally , then some developers do give their new games to reviewers before they are released to the public.
Ideally, if you want to carve out a niche, you should try to choose a game that hasn’t already been heavily reviewed and debated online. To craft an honest and informed review, you should spend at least ten hours playing; you need to make sure that you have really given it a chance.
Collecting Your Thoughts
As you play the game, you need to start collecting your thoughts. Try to take regular breaks to write down your findings. To be unbiased, you’ll want to include both negatives and positives. It is really easy to get lost in a good game, and in fact, doing so is often the mark of a good game, but if you do, you probably won’t have a whole lot to say.
It’s important not to let your emotions run wild here, and you should try not to be too reactionary. It’s best to think about the game as a whole, including the visuals, dialogue and sound effects, rather than just focus on one little bit.
You might also want to take screengrabs – if you can – to illustrate your points. Be mindful of leaving spoilers in your review. It is also worth thinking about whether there is any other pertinent information that you should include. For example, if you are reviewing a casino game like the ones from Jackpot, you will definitely want to include these promotions in your review.
Writing the Review
The next step is obviously to start writing and compiling the review. For the most part, you’re going to want to start with an introduction which outlines the game and provides a bit of background. If you are writing for someone or something, then they may have a word count that you need to adhere to; otherwise, you have free reign.
You might want to start by just looking over your notes and beginning to give them some structure. Then you will need to do the first draft, whereby you go back over it and flesh out all of the points that you have made thus far. After you have the first draft out of the way, it is time to go back over it and revise and redraft it. When you are going back over your review, you should look for spelling and grammatical errors , as well as check the content itself.
If you have ever written before, you will be familiar with the dread feeling of re-reading your draft and doubting yourself. It could be best to let someone else take a look, just to get reassurance, if nothing else!
After all is said and done, you can go ahead and post it! It doesn’t matter whether you are simply sharing your review on your social media platforms for your friends and family, on a forum, print publication or wherever else; just getting your work out there can go a long way in building your fan base. It can be rewarding in and of itself, too, even if game reviews are only ever supposed to be a hobby for you.
If you are only just getting started with video game reviews, then the above advice can really help you to get started. Identifying your audience should really be common sense, but it isn’t something that a lot of people think about. In order to write a review, you also need to have dedicated a significant amount of time to playing the game – you can’t write a review after an hour of gameplay.
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What you should look for when reviewing video games
The gaming industry is thriving. With more people starting to write reviews, there’s a huge opportunity to stand out as a trusted source. Many reviews are confusing and hard to navigate, but this is easily fixed by following a few best practices. You don’t need to be a great writer to write a great review, you simply need to know what to look out for.
Whether you review video games for fun or are looking to turn it into a paying gig, here are some tips that will help you write a review that’s polished, personal, and truly useful for your reader.
1. Play the game for 7-10 hours
Most gaming publications don’t provide reviewers with advanced copies, so you’ll likely have to wait until release day to get a copy of the game. Since most gamers want to read reviews within a week of release, this doesn’t leave much time to play the game and put together a review.
However, most people agree that 7-10 hours of play is all it takes to get a strong enough sense of the game to write a useful review on it. If you haven’t finished the game at the time of writing the review, be sure to say so. Be honest with your reader. It helps them make an informed decision. You can always write a more detailed review later, especially if it becomes a highly-rated game .
2. Take notes while you’re playing
Develop the habit of taking notes as you play. This will make your life easier when it comes to sitting down to write your review. A great review is specific. Instead of simply listing features, it gives the reader examples and comparisons. By jotting down notes as you go, you’ll be able to note specific examples within the game to illustrate your points and make your review more engaging.
For instance, instead of noting, “The sound is bad”, note, “The explosion sound effects are distracting because they lag.” Then you’ll be able to explain why and how this distraction affected your experience playing the game.
Here are some helpful prompts to keep in mind as you play:
- What elements are engaging or distracting?
- How did the game live up to preview footage?
- What is done well?
- What could be improved?
- Are there any obvious problems or glitches?
- Do any parts surprise you?
- What other games does it remind you of?
3. Compile your notes and write your review
Organize your review into sections so it’s easy for your reader to navigate. You don’t need to be a graphics or sound expert to write a great review. Your personal reactions, impressions, and experience is what will be valuable to other gamers.
In general, your review should cover the following elements of the game:
Control and gameplay
- How easy or difficult is it to control the game? Let the reader know by giving examples. If there’s an area you struggle with chances are they will too.
- This is also where you can include the control setups that were most useful for you and other tips that would make a gamers experience more enjoyable.
- Graphics are an extremely important element of any game. Note your initial reactions to them. Do the graphics keep you immersed in the game or are they distracting? Evaluate graphics based on clarity, believability, and performance.
- While sound is often seen as secondary to graphics, it’s a vital element and what can separate a good game from a great one. Again, judge sounds by how realistic and clear they are. If they contribute to or detract from your experience, note that.
Story and characters
- Story is what puts characters into context. This is the heart of the game and what makes you invested in playing it. Does the story flow well or is it awkward? Explain the style by giving examples of other games it reminds you of. This will help the reader judge if they’ll enjoy it or not.
- Gamers want to know if they’ll be able to play a game repeatedly. Give the reader a sense of game length and addictiveness based on your initial playing experience. This helps people decide if the game is worth investing their time and money into.
Your personal opinion
- Finally, include your personal take on the game. Share what you liked and disliked, and what you think could be improved about the game overall. Be specific. If you didn’t like part of the game explain why by giving an example.
- Be honest. Disclose if you received the game for free or are being paid to write the review.
These six elements will make up the body content of your review. After that, you’ll want to write a short introduction and conclusion that highlights and summarizes your overall thoughts. Make sure the intro hooks your reader and the conclusion offers clear takeaways.
4. Edit and polish your review
Whether you’re self-publishing your review or submitting it to a publication, take the time to edit and clean it up. Grammar errors are one of the most common video game writing mistakes, and having these in your work can put a dent in your credibility.
Here’s what to look out for when editing:
- In terms of article length, your review should be around 1000 words. If you’re writing for a publication they may specify desired length, but 1000 words is a good benchmark to aim for.
- Break up long paragraphs and use subheadings. This will make your review easy to read and navigate.
- Make sure there are no spoilers. While examples are important, don’t give away the plot of the game.
- Be concise. Don’t repeat yourself or say in three sentences what you could say in one.
- Use an editing software, like Grammarly, to correct any spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Read your article out loud and fix any awkward sentences. The goal is to write like you talk.
That’s it! That’s all you need to know to write a great video game review. Keep your process simple and focused by following this basic outline every time. With practice you’ll become a stronger, more efficient writer. And who knows, you might end up making great money doing it!
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How To Write a Video Game Review
Hello! This guide is intended for people that do not have much experience in writing reviews, and are looking for a good guide or template to get started about how to write a video game review. It can also be used by people more experienced, to help evolve their own style. Ultimately, everyone ends up writing reviews in their own way, so the information in this guide is useful as a starting point, but is by no means definitive. Reviewers should feel free to adapt and enhance their style over time, to make their writing unique!
The first, and most obvious part of writing a review, is to play the game. Spend as much time as you can playing it, and take notes too. These notes don’t have to be extensive, short-hand is fine, as long as you can understand them later on. It’s also useful to take screenshots or record footage at this point, especially if this is intended to be a YouTube review. If you record too much footage, you can always just delete it later! When you are taking notes, make sure to note not only things you liked and didn’t like about the game, but also general parts of the experience. i.e ‘After level 2, the difficulty increases’ or ‘The bosses aren’t animated as well later in the game’. Items like that help to show people that you have played the game, and help give context to any opinions you may give out during the review.
It can sometimes be important to learn some of the history of the game or the game developer. For example, I recently reviewed SUMADRA which was funded by a grant intended to help developers create games with a positive message. If players didn’t know this, they may not understand why the game was made in the way that it was made. Additionally, some games may have an interesting history themselves, such as Duke Nukem Forever, which took fifteen years to develop due to various issues with the games development. This doesn’t mean every review has to be a history lesson, but any additional background information helps the reader understand the wider context in which the game was created.
Before starting the review, it’s important to understand your target audience. This matters because the information within the review could vary wildly depending on the target. For example, let’s say you are writing a review of ‘Pokémon X & Y’. If you was writing this review on a Pokémon fan site, you wouldn’t have to explain what Pokémon are, how they are caught, or any of the basics. Conversely, if this was written on a more mass market site, you would have to explain those things. On the former website, they may be interested in some of the more advanced information that only expert players care about, whereas the mass market reader may not need to know that kind of information. Ensuring a review is targeted correctly is key in getting across the information that matters.
The first section of any review should usually just contain factual information. State the name of the game, the platform it is being released on, and the genre the game fits into. Explain some of the core mechanics, how the game works, how long it is, what sort of things are included in the package and who the developer and publisher are. Put yourselves in the shoes of someone whom has never played or even heard of the game you are reviewing. If you jump straight into your opinions, they will have no idea what you are talking about or how to relate it to any game. Giving the context and factual information up front is key.
At this point, you can start discussing your opinion on the game. This should include all the key areas that make up a video game. The gameplay, the controls, the music, the graphics – talk about all of it. Talk about the things you liked, the things you didn’t like, anything that could potentially change with an update. Try to explain things from different angles too, if there’s an aspect of a game that you don’t like, maybe the reader will, so make sure to be thorough in your explanations so they can make up their own mind. This is where you can be creative, and use different metaphors and jokes to get across your opinion. It’s this section of a review where most people develop their own signature style of getting their points across.
After getting across your opinion, it’s time to get across some more factual information. List the different systems the game is available on, the price of the game, and where the reader can purchase the game. It’s typically useful to give your opinion on the price too. This is because video game prices naturally change over time – so if you put in your review that it isn’t worth it at one price, but is worth it at another, if someone comes across your review at a later time when the price has changed, it may influence their purchase.
Finally, give your overall conclusion and a rating. The conclusion should sum up your overall feelings on the game and your feelings on your experience of playing it. Keep it relatively short and punchy, as parts of it can also be used as an excerpt or summary. In terms of a rating, this can be anything from a score out of ten, to a recommended or not recommended, that is up to you! Some people also like to make lists of pro’s and con’s, but this is a personal choice and it’s by no means essential. Before publishing, make sure to give the draft a once over, before sending it out into the world for all to see.
If you want an example of a review I’ve written, check out my review of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on the PS5.
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How To Write A Game Review
Writing A Game Review
Grow your skills as a game reviewer.
Ready to write video game reviews.
Wondering how to write a video game review? There are plenty of gaming review sites and you don’t know where to start? Start now with GameSense, with more influence on scores, ranking, and organization.
Gamers are skeptical of reviewers because of fake user reviews and paid “professional” reviews. Honesty from a professional is uncommon. Clarify that you’re an authority. Give gamers confidence by sharing precise details, tips and advice players rushing through the game missed. Games journalists have gotten so sloppy at their jobs, that they’ll beat games on easy or not even complete them before creating a review. Make them regret not playing the game, or playing it on easy by showing how much better you are positively.
The most important part of video game critique is playing and understanding the video game. It’s honestly not enough to breeze through it. Video games today often have an easy mode that doesn’t need comprehending core video game mechanics. Missing these key mechanics can skew someone’s perception of a video game. It’s your job as a video game reviewer to give someone an honest opinion on how you expect them to play the game.
You’d want to take notes as you play the game. GameSense reviews are more forgiving. Write small, yet detailed video game reviews. You don’t have to create a full review covering the entire game. You can write one review covering specific things l gameplay, graphics, etc.
Some examples of quality reviews written for GameSense include examples of a remastered game falling off towards the end, poor localization, poor game design choices, plot holes, and more. Writing video game reviews on GameSense only needs to cover different instances. You’re free to write entire reviews for the whole game, but you don’t have to.
Becoming a great video game reviewer is about balance. If you’re an expert at a game, it’s easy-to-use terms people don’t understand or be vague. Never make assumptions the reader knows beyond them not knowing anything about the video game. Be careful not to get carried away when writing a video game review. You should focus on the best and worst parts. There is no need to give a play by play.
Traditional video game reviews need you to at least mention aspects of a game you don’t care about. If music isn’t a priority, you’d still have to include something regaring the music. Since writing reviews on GameSense is different, you only have to discuss about what you love or hate about a video game.
When you write your video game review, be sure to include at least one example of what you like or dislike. A fine review example is if you aren’t happy with the graphics, give several examples of where the graphics have problems and why you don’t like them.
Video Game Review Examples And Inspiration
These examples of game reviews provided below are a great place to get started writing video game reviews. The largest hurdle is if you don't know how to write a review because you don't know where to start. Traditional video game reviews would need to take all of the following into account for a single review. GameSense reviews can focus on only one of the suggestions below. Or, when writing your video game review, you can come up with your own idea.
Write A Brief Synopsis . Tell gamers what a video game is by explaining the format. Explain whether it's a fighting game, racing, shooting, puzzle, and whatever makes this video game stand out from other games. Be sure to touch on the story, if applicable. If the game is good, you want to write enough to get others interested in playing the game. If it's bad, you want to explain very clearly what makes it so, without spoiling it. Just because you don't like the game, doesn't everyone dislikes it.
Explain The Gameplay . There are a lot of things that can go wrong (or right) with gameplay. You can always explain how gameplay works. How is the battle system? What's the point of actually playing the game? Mention some of your favorite or least favorite parts of a game. There are so many topics here, you can write a ton of reviews. Gameplay is usually the core of a video game and includes things like controls, jumping, walking, shooting, attacking, defending, hiding, etc.
Write About Difficulty . Explain what parts of a video game were too easy, too difficult, or just right. Give examples of easy or difficult parts of the game. Be sure to include enough context so someone who knows nothing about the game can understand what's happening.
Rate The Graphics . How visually appealing is the game? Give some examples and add some pictures of things that look great or things that look horrible. Did you notice any glitches or visual problems in the game? Discuss any graphical effects that can add or detract from the game.
The Length Of The Game . Another great review example is to talk about the length of the game. Was it long enough? Was it worth the money considering the length? Was the game padded to make it longer? Some games can be short and great, others long and boring. Explain why the length of the game fits. Short games aren't always bad.
Replay Value . Would you enjoy playing through the game again? Are there any reasons you'd want to? Like "New Game Plus", different storylines, etc. Explain why you'd want to play the game again or why you are content after beating it once. Or maybe you never even felt compelled to finish it. You could explain why you didn't want to finish it.
Navigation And Exploration . Did you find yourself getting lost when you weren't supposed to? Were you left without a clue on what to do next? Give some examples of when this happened. Maybe it's an open world game, did it make exploration fun and interesting?
Sound Effects, Music, And Voices . Does the sound seem real? Is the music out of place? Is the video game music just flat out bad? Is it good enough to listen to when you're not playing? Is the voice acting, if it exists, good? Audio can be an extremely important part of a video game. Who likes shooting a gun in a game when it doesn't sound rewarding? No one likes to explore an area in a game while horrible music blasts in the background. Give some examples, you can add YouTube videos of the music, sounds, or voice acting to your review to highlight strengths and weaknesses.
Talk About The Story . Stories have become increasingly popular and central to video games. Some of which are notoriously bad, and some of which are good. Characters affect the story just as much as the actual plot. Focusing on both when writing a game review about the story is important! Were you engaged through the whole story? Did it fall off? Were there parts you really disliked or loved? Be sure to mention how important the story is to the game, if it even has a story.
Censorship And Localization . Gamers are growing increasingly aware of censorship and localization changes made to video games when adapted to other markets. Telling other gamers about these changes and how they negatively impact the game is a great post topic. Provide video or picture evidence to support your claims.
These are just a few game review examples. This should provide you enough inspiration to get started. Once you start, it'll start coming more naturally. GameSense reviews only need to focus on one or two subjects. They can be short in length, too. Writing video game reviews on GameSense is a great way to get started and get the feel for being a game reviewer before having to write complex, long gaming reviews.
Where To Post Game Reviews?
One of the biggest questions is where to post game reviews. GameSense offers a unique and powerful scoring system, with comments, voting, and ratings. Your video game reviews can be voted on by other gamers, which changes scores of games. They can also comment on your post and you can talk to them.
Writing at GameSense is easy, since you only need to focus on specific parts of a game, besides writing an entire review. It's perfect whether you want to write long, in depth reviews, or you just want to write quick thoughts down about your reviews.
To make a post, head over to the GameSense dashboard . Search for the game you'd like to post about, then start writing. You can save a draft and keep working o your posts, or post right away. We recommend saving a draft and working on it over time, but you can always go back and edit your review later.
Once established on GameSense, you can apply to become a GameSense Guru . Your posts will be featured on GameSense official social media, which includes around 20,000 followers on several different accounts. Once you're a GameSense Guru, your posts are promoted automatically, for free.
You can talk about any games you want! It's all up to you, but as you start to get the feel for writing video game reviews, we recommend you start with games you have a lot of experience with. Think of your favorite games and write about why it's your favorite. From there, you will grow as a writer and can start reviewing other games.
We hope these video game review examples and our guide to writing video game reviews can help you get started. Join now and start practicing and getting better.
Create an Account
Game Sense is free to join and open to anyone.
Write Game Reviews
Start writing about any video games you want.
You will start to promote yourself and grow as a reviewer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can join.
Anyone, including you, can join. It doesn't matter if you're an experienced game blogger or journalist sharing opinions you normally can't. Or if you want to get started writing reviews. We have a merit based system that lets anyone progress in rankings and power, rewarding quality writing and videos.
What games are allowed?
Any video games that gamers would like. Gamers have people telling them to play bad video games. Bring the best video games to gamers. It's fine if they're older games, brand new games, AAA games, indie games, or whatever. Use your power to show gamers some really good video games. Adult games are allowed, but you can't post adult content. Please keep your adult and hentai game posts PG-13.
Are you looking for official reviewers or mods?
We will be in due time. We will be looking for gamers who are active on GameSense and understand what we're trying to accomplish. Help us grow and we might hire you to write for us as a premium user.
What are the expectations?
Knowing a lot about video games and focusing only on video games. We care about the video games, join us in building an alternative that's powered by gamers who love video games. GameSense is designed to reward you the most if you make quality posts, become a Video GameSense Guru , and help share what you've posted on your own social media.
Can I post my own website/gaming channel/game/etc?
Absolutely. Having your channel, website, or game on Game Sense is what we made it for. Building a place for gamers to share their knowledge and skills includes showing off. We've worked hard to give you what you need to help grow your channel, website, or game with us. We're always looking for feedback on how we can improve and new features we can create, so don't be afraid to talk to us!
Do I have to complete games to post about them?
No. It doesn't take playing the entire game to learn what you need to know to make a Mini-Review. It just takes a little bit to know if the gameplay, graphics, controls, music, etc are good or bad. You don't even have to have played a game to post links to trailers, news, and more.
What standards for posting are you looking for?
We understand gamers are competitive. We also understand gamers are people who want to keep getting better, and learning how to improve, whether it's a video game or real life. We appreciate you putting in effort to make your posts as good as possible. But, if you're not an expert writer, that's perfectly fine. We give you the tools you need to see if different strategies give you better or worse results. They've have access to valuable tools we're developing to help them grow their channels, blogs, or whatever.
How much of my posts do I own?
You maintain rights to your posts, you can re-use them where you like. We do ask, however, that you give credit to your original post on GameSense. We want to build an awesome alternative to game media with you and we need your help too!
GameSense.co is a video game database, review, news, video, and social website for managing your video games and filtering video game information. Manage your video games with your GameSense.co video game backlog.
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How to Write Movie, Music, and Video Game Reviews
Last Updated: May 2, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 82,800 times.
If you are a fan of movies, music, or video games, writing reviews can be a fun way express your opinions about media. For some people, it can also be a source of income, as some websites and publications will pay for well-written reviews (or at least give you free copies to review). While music, game, and film reviews are somewhat different from each other, there are also similarities both in their features and the process of writing them.
Sample Movie Reviews
Researching the Game, Movie, or Music
- For movies, you should plan on watching the film at least 2 or 3 times. The first time, just watch and enjoy as your normally would. During the later viewings, try to think about the more the film in more critical terms.
- For music, you'll likewise want to listen to an album or single several times. There's no magic number for how many times is enough. Several listens over a few days is usually adequate, but you also don't want to overdo it, because you can end up second-guessing your initial reaction. For at least some listening, do it in a couple of natural settings, such as while jogging, driving, doing dishes, or however you would normally listen to music, rather than focusing too intently.
- For game reviews, it's common to need to have the review completed very quickly, as gaming websites and publications try to have reviews out the day the game is released. This can present a challenge, because games are generally longer than movies or albums. You may not be able to complete the game by the time the review is due. Usually, 7-10 hours is enough to form a solid impression of the game.  X Research source
- For movies, take notes on the acting, lighting, editing, and special effects. What specific aspects of the film stood out to you? What did you like about the film's technical features stand out, such as the lighting, editing, writing, costumes, cinematography, etc.?
- For music, take notes on the production and performance. How would you describe the sound of the music? What instruments did they use? What stood out about the music? How was the music mixed? What was the melody and rhythm of each song? What was the singer's voice like? What was the tone, melody, style, timing, volume, etc.?  X Research source
- For games, you'll want to make some notes about the control, level of difficulty, music, sound, and graphics. What were the visuals of the game like? How do the controls compare to other types of games? What was challenging about the game?  X Research source
- For movies and games, what makes the story interesting or boring? Is it believable? Why or why not? Is there a deeper message you think the movie or game is trying to communicate or issue you think it is seeking to address? What is it? How do you know?
- For music, what are the features that stand out about the lyrics? Are they interesting? Meaningful? Poetic? Unintelligent? Are there common themes that come up repeatedly over the course of an album or body of songs?  X Research source
- Much of the basic information you need will usually be found in the credits, for movies and games. For music recordings, you may have to do some more independent research to find out who all the musicians are, who the producer is, etc.
- Find out what projects the key artists have been involved in in the past, and read anything you can find about them.
- It's also a good idea to look at reviews for similar movies, music, or games. If you aren't a regular reader of such reviews, spending some time familiarizing yourself with how others have written about similar media will give you a better sense of the format and conventions.
- It can be very helpful to make comparisons in your review to previous works by the same artists.  X Research source This allows you to make statements such as "This album is much more melodic than the band's previous work" or "This film is par for the course for this director. All he ever seems to produce are silly slapstick comedy films."
Writing the Review
- Keep in mind that, depending where you hope to publish your review, you will typically only have 600 to 1,200 words to get your ideas across.  X Research source Make sure to familiarize yourself with the publication where you hope to publish your review.
- Some reviewers find it helpful to think of reviews in narrative terms: what story do you want to tell about this movie, album, or game?
- Some writers like to create an outline to determine which points they want to make and in what order. This can lead to a more smoothly flowing review.
- The introduction may be one paragraph or a few short paragraphs.
- It should include information about who the key artists involved are.
- The introduction should give the reader a general idea of what the film or game is about, or for music, what style or genre the music is.
- For example, was the theater crowded with excited movie fans, or was it empty and quiet? Did listening to the album make you feel happy? Sad? Did playing the game get your heart racing?
- For a movie or game, this is the portion of the review where you would describe the plot. Don't spoil the ending--remember that your readers may not have seen the movie or played the game yet.  X Research source
- As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to describe at least five events that occurred in the story, spanning most of the plot for movie reviews.  X Research source For a plot-driven game, this probably also works well. Make sure that you are being as descriptive as possible, such as by saying the guitars sounded “angular and clean,” rather than saying that the guitar sounded “good.”
- It should be very obvious whether or not you enjoyed the media you are reviewing.  X Research source It should also be very clear why you did or didn't like it.  X Research source
- Be detailed in your evaluation of the actors/musicians, plot/lyrics, as well as the lighting, graphics, production, and other relevant technical themes.  X Research source
- Don't, for example, say, "the graphics were bad." Describe what it was that bothered you about the graphics. Were they too pixelated? Were the characters to blocky? Were the scenes too dark? Were the backgrounds distracting? Be specific!
- For example, you might say, "If you like heavy metal that sounds like it came out in 1987, you might enjoy this record. But if you're looking for something with a more modern sound, I recommend skipping this."
Editing and Submitting the Review
- Taking some time away from your review will make it easier to see the flaws in it when you come back to it later.
- It goes without saying that you should fix any typos you find. You should also look for sentences that might be confusing, or places where you could have stated things more effectively.  X Research source
- Don't be afraid to make major revisions. You might decide, for example, to move, delete, or rewrite an entire paragraph. If it makes the review better, then embrace this opportunity to improve your work.
- Someone else will be more likely to spot typos or grammatical errors than you might be at this point.
- Ideally, this should be someone who is already familiar with the type of media you are reviewing. Giving a review of a new first-person shooter to someone who hasn't played a video game since the 1970s might not be the most helpful.
- It's possible the editor will ask you to make some more revisions before the review is published. Other times, the editor will makes changes him or herself. Don't be surprised if the published review doesn't look exactly like the one you submitted.
- When taking notes, be as detailed as possible, so that you can easily draw from specific examples when writing your review. Readers won't want to read a review that says "The acting in this film was great." They'll be much more interested if you can describe what makes the star of the film's portrayal of their character compelling or convincing.  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Tailor your review for your audience. If you know who you're writing for, write the review in such a way that it will be fun and informative for them. If your review is for a website that caters to "music nerds," for example, making obscure references to bands from the 1970s might be just fine. If your review is for the local paper's arts section, this might be confusing for your readers.  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Not every review needs to follow the format described in this article. It's a common way to write reviews, but there is no single right way. After you get comfortable writing reviews, feel free to get creative and experiment with other approaches. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- In rare instances, being overly harsh or nasty in a review could lead to legal action from the artist or company that produced the media produce you've written about.  X Research source Be honest in your opinions, but avoid being unnecessarily mean, and don't make factual claims that you can't support with evidence. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iv734xC4Y8
- ↑ http://gallery.carnegiefoundation.org/collections/castl_k12/ewojcicki/Writing%20Styles/musicreview.html
- ↑ http://www.moviefilmreview.com/ht
- ↑ http://www.dailywritingtips.com/7-tips-for-writing-a-film-review/
- ↑ http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/FF-writing-a-video-game-review.php
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10 Tips For Writing a Game Review
Writing a game review can be nerve-wracking. You will come across some sites that review gaming online. Most people take these online reviews with a pinch of salt because many reviews are fake and some pay “experts” to write reviews. You need to illustrate that you are an expert by giving out exact information, instructions and tell the person playing the game about chances they have missed if they rush through.
Journalists that write game reviews have become careless that they are not patient enough to play the whole game or just choose the easy ones then rush to write a review. Show them why it is important to play the game and not choose an easy way out by outplaying them.
Playing and knowledge of video games is the most important element of video games. Today’s video games usually have a simple path that does not require you to understand the basic mechanics of video games. As a video game critic, your job is to give someone an honest opinion about the way you expect them to play. Becoming a good video game critic is a matter of balance. If you are a gaming expert, then these are easy-to-use terms that most people do not understand or are pretty much vague. Never assume that readers know more than they know, as this also targets potential gamers.
Traditionally, most video game reviews require you to mention at least aspects of the game that are not of interest to you. If music is not a priority, consider adding something to the game nonetheless. Since writing professional reviews and essays on Advanced Writers is different, you have to talk about what you like and hate about these video games.
When writing a video game review, please include at least one example that you like/dislike explaining why that aspect does not suit you, for example: If you are not satisfied with the graphics, please give examples of where the graphics problems occur and why you don’t like them.
1. Get yourself into the gaming practice
For a proper evaluation, it is important to play the game, as a result noting its typical enjoyment and quirks, if any. However, you need to be speedy in going through the game to have an assessment ready earlier than your competition does. To do this, order the game earlier than its official release. However, don’t be eager or hurry in publishing an evaluation as this could bring about one filled with errors. While at it, take notes on diverse elements of the game, for that reason invoking simpler recollection of factors when you begin writing.
2. Prepare an enticing entry
The best way to influence readers is at the beginning (opening remarks). Start with mentioning detailed information about the game and how it differs from other games of its kind. Additionally, you can also reference the game developers and point out some of the most known accomplishments in the game space. You can also share the approach of the game and why you would or would not recommend it to gamers.
3. Use tones that the readers can connect with
Out of all the important tips for writing video game reviews, the tone will be an important factor in ensuring that readers are satisfied with your article until the end. To keep your readers interested, please use an imaginative and informal tone. Nevertheless, avoid using a lot of complex terminologies, as this will limit their understanding of the review.
4. Don’t give any spoilers
Although sharing gaming knowledge is fun, spoilers can prove to be a bore. Because of this reason, be attentive to the surface details of the game. Avoid in-game tasks. To ensure that your work is free of spoilers, please check for grammatical, structural, and contextual errors. Please provide detailed information about the game’s graphics, sound, playback quality, and overall rating.
5. The essential things of a game
No two games are the same. When testing the game, pay attention to the small details that make it unique, so that buyers have a good idea of its value. However, this is not limited to how the game performs on different devices.
6. Go through the advantages and disadvantages of the game
To avoid prejudice, it’s important to combine the advantages and disadvantages so that you do not seem negative concerning the game. Also, be honest with the game’s features, because your goal is to provide a real review of the game, not to sell it. For a deeper understanding, please involve other players on different platforms and participate in a game. However, don’t take the comments of other players as true; instead, repeat the game and check the various options discussed.
7. Hit the nail on the head
You should avoid writing a lot of fluff to reach the word limit when writing game reviews. The article should be well-written to fulfill the framework, involve your summaries and clearly explain every point.
8. Take a breather before editing and proofreading
Although many people start editing immediately after finishing the report, it is recommended that you take a break to stimulate your recollections. Here, consider taking a day off and reading the article once again. Or, hire a professional editor, because some mistakes are easily overlooked when writing.
9. Give endorsements
Readers are always looking for quick solutions. Give endorsements which highlight the advantages and disadvantages, and areas of development in the article.
It is important to determine the best marketing strategy to attract your audience. Go to forums your audience is in and provide information with a link to your article. Once these parameters are met, your scoresheet is ready to use. However, depending on the age of the players you are targeting, you can change the different sections to make the analysis more attractive.
An academic writing expert Joan Young conducted a “field trip” titled Flipping the Field Trip, she invited edtech entrepreneur to visit her 4th graders. Here’s what happened: The Motion Math blog , company co-founder, Jacob Klein, reached out and asked if my students would test a game still in the works (not even named).
Not only did my excited 4th graders try out the game, but they were thrilled to meet the developers. After a brief introduction, the developers met with each student to test out the game and listen to their feedback. They even invited them to “draw the next level” of the game and suggest possible names for the app.
Each review is a short story where you take the audience on a similar journey as you took in the game. Share your knowledge as clearly and simply as possible by writing compelling reviews that may be well-read through and noticed.
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You Got Game, But Can You Write?
A beginner's guide to what it takes to become a computer game reviewer..
Breaking Into the Industry
If you yearn to work in the gaming biz as a programmer, artist, game designer, or journalist, working as a PC game reviewer is an ideal starting point. You may not choose to leave, as it's one of the best gigs on earth. As a game critic, you have to be on top of everything that goes on in the gaming market, and as a result, you end up learning the ins and outs of the industry better than the contours of your mouse. It's also an easy way to make valuable business contacts. Although the job market for these writing positions is fairly competitive, the business of gaming grows profoundly each year. Last year, the computer and video game industry did several billion dollars of business, second only in revenue in the entertainment industry to television. How's that for job security?
Where Do I Start?
Perhaps the best starting point is to examine your reader. First, nuke any and all pre-conceived notions that all computer game players are poorly hygiene-educated, obsessive compulsive, antisocial, slack-jawed, teenage nerds. Studies show this isn't even close to the truth. A vast statistical majority of game players are between 25-55 years old. Half of the people that purchase games are women. A majority of them are tech-savvy and well educated. Now that you know the readers, it's your job to write specifically to them. If you decide to use humor in your article, aim your humor at these people. If you use slang to keep the style informal, keep it fairly hip. Most in this demographic are also heavily into movies and television shows, so feel free to tie them into the piece.
The Basic Five
Grab a game from your shelf - (if you don't own any, you're in the wrong place). While you're at it, look around IGNPC and read a few recent reviews. Regardless of the type of game being reviewed, be it action, adventure, puzzle, role-playing or anything else, several topics about the game are sure to be covered. There will always be an introduction, five or more primary paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Your review should include paragraphs that cover:
- Control and gameplay
If you're already lost, don't worry -- we'll move step by step through each process, with instructions on how to actually go about evaluating the game. These basic five criteria should be the backbone of your review, so remember them. They will be something you can always count on and will help you keep the review structured and readable. When you first sit down to write, there's probably going to be a certain amount of unavoidable (and quite unnecessary) anxiety about where to start. Most writers, even the most experienced ones, won't be able to pound the piece out from the introduction all the way to the conclusion, so it really doesn't matter which one of the five you start on as long as you cover them all. And, once you've covered them all, you'll essentially have the review finished.
Sitting Down to Write
You've played the game. Maybe it was pure, unbridled gaming goodness. Or, you might not have cared for it. Worse, you may have found it so irreparably flawed and frustrating that it could be deemed morally reprehensible. No matter how you felt about it, you have to start somewhere. If you have a section, such as graphics, that you'd like to tackle first, feel free. If not, we might as well start with...
Nail it, and the rest is smooth sailing
Some possible introduction paragraph ideas:
- Start off with a memory or experience you had. Tie it in to the game.
- Consider building a theme from start to finish. If you tie in Chuck Norris in the intro, include him in the conclusion as well.
- Is the game a sequel? Remember the first game? Did it do well or poorly?
- How do you feel about the genre? Hate Football games? Why?
- Ask the reader a question.
- Have you been looking forward to this games release? Had you never even heard of it until it landed on your doorstep?
For comparison, here are some examples of introductions from various reviews I've written for IGNPC. The first is from Swamp Buggy Racing:
As you can see, there are as many ways to write an introduction as there are writers. Find a method that works for you and go with it.
Although they should be, they aren't always
Evaluating whether a game is fun or not is a no-brainer. The entire concept of a computer game is to give the user a fun experience to escape in. Trust your instincts here. If you don't think the game is fun, for whatever reason, by all means express that clearly. You aren't weird or abnormal for finding a game dull. The difficulty of the gameplay can have a major effect on the enjoyment of the game. Remember, just because you can plow through a game like a box of Cheez-its doesn't mean that most of your readers can, so make sure to pay close attention to the game difficulty. If you don't think the game is fun, chances are good there are thousands of other people who will feel exactly the same way. Just call it as you see it, and you'll come out fine.
Control and Gameplay
The fine line between blessed and depraved
The best games are those that allow the player to seamlessly control the events on screen. The ultimate control is one that is so responsive the player doesn't even notice the clunky interface they're using. But, if you've ever played a game with unresponsive control, you'll know well the gritting teeth and unparalleled frustration of attempting to even make the character on the screen walk in a straight line. When you want to judge a game by its control, there's a simple rule of thumb: if you're having trouble controlling the game, then the readers will too. If you're crippled with "Nintendo Thumb" 20 minutes into the title, there's something terribly wrong. You may also want to mention which control setup was most useful for you, and which, if any, joysticks or gamepads you would suggest using. Steer readers clear from frustrating games. They'll stop playing them as fast as you want to, but can't because you have to play through the game to finish the review.
We hear all, we know all
Size and length do matter
The more games become like big Hollywood movies (some games have budgets upwards of $30 million), they suffer from the same inherent problems as the silver screen - you only want to see them once. A few, rare games a year defeat this by offering a massive amount of sheer content - sometimes just completing a game can take as long as 150 hours. However much parents, bosses, and spouses hate games that suck away productivity, gamers love them. Truly massive and addictive games, like Verant Studios' more addictive than Count Chocula cereal RPG hit EverQuest, have notoriously caused people to fail out of school or lose their jobs, and even resulted in players refusing to take the time to microwave a frozen burrito. Reward addictiveness and length well, because every extra hour of game time translates to better value for the buyer - and, ultimately, that's what you, as a game reviewer, are here to do: advise gamers on what to buy.
Your last words
It's frustrating for writers, but nine out of every 10 readers jump straight to the conclusion and skip all of the divinely insightful analysis you've put your heart into in the previous five or 10 paragraphs. Don't lose any sleep over it; just make the conclusion that much better.
All final thoughts need to be:
- Exceptionally concise
- Include all of the major complaints (your chance to bite back at bad design!)
- What, if anything, you particularly enjoyed in the title.
- A tasteful amount of comedy (if that's your thing)
- Most importantly: is it worth picking up?
The fundamentals for a game critic never change. They often mark the difference between the amateur and the professional. Getting into gaming journalism isn't easy ¿ don't make it harder by falling in the pitfalls so many others have stumbled into.
- Whether you like the game or not, you owe it to the developers to finish the game before you write the review.
- Keep bias in check. Erase all previous impressions on the game you had in your memory: the good press, bad press, outrageous boasting of the lead developer, dozens of passed release dates, memories of old-screenshots, secret hatred of the genre, un-returned phone calls from PR people, and what your Uncle Vinny keeps insisting he heard from his high-placed "contacts." It's your job.
- Avoid using "non-descriptive" descriptive words like "awesome" and "amazing." Find words that more precisely describe your opinion.
- A good editor will demand review quality over quantity and speed. You should too.
- Back statements up with proof. You might find it useful to keep a notebook around while you play. When it comes time to take the gloves off and slap around a game, you'll need to be able to back it up with proof.
- The bigger the stick you use to savagely beat the game, the wittier and classier it should be. If you pull it off you look like a true professional, and it's much more hilarious for the readers.
- Show editors you're serious by taking the time to check spelling and grammar. Otherwise, they'll throw your review in the burn barrel along with their copies of Extreme Paintbrawl 2.
-- Erik Peterson
Gaming Writing: Your Pathway to the Video Game Industry
Written by Julia McCoy
Gaming writing is not just about words, it’s about creating worlds.
If you love video games and have a knack for storytelling, this might be your ideal job.
In this blog, we’ll investigate the captivating realm of gaming writing and storytelling.
You will learn what game writing is all about and how it works in the video game industry.
We will also provide tips on breaking into video game writing and crafting compelling scripts for games like Dragon Age or Call of Duty.
And to help you avoid common pitfalls, we’ll discuss some frequent mistakes novice game writers make, too.
So let’s level up!
Table of Contents:
The purpose of game writing, understanding your medium, crafting characters and dialogue, narrative design and world building, team collab, types of writing jobs in the gaming industry, develop your skills, create a compelling portfolio, dive into game design, networking is key, 1. understand your game mechanics, 2. create engaging characters, 3. show, don’t tell, 4. plan your plot points, 5. write natural dialogue, lack of character development, poor dialogue writing, neglecting player agency, narratives that clash with gameplay mechanics, telling rather than showing.
- Becoming Too Attached To Your Work
What is Gaming Writing?
If you’ve ever been completely immersed in a video game, enamored by its characters and story, then that’s the power of game writing.
Game writing isn’t just about devising lines for characters; it’s about creating a vivid realm where players can become immersed.
The narrative, lore, and character backstories are all woven together to create a compelling gaming experience.
At its core, game writing serves one purpose: to engage players on a deeper level.
It’s what transforms simple games into memorable experiences that stay with us long after we put down the controller or keyboard.
That said, game writing differs significantly from traditional storytelling.
In books or movies, the audience passively consumes content, but video games offer interactive narratives where player choices can shape outcomes and events within the game world.
Image from Hitbox Team
A well-written video game script adds depth and richness to gameplay, making virtual worlds feel alive and real — full of intrigue and possibilities waiting for players to explore and discover.
Beyond providing context for gameplay mechanics or objectives, good game writing helps foster emotional connections between players and characters.
How Does Game Writing Work?
The process of game writing is a fascinating blend of creativity, technical prowess, and strategic thinking.
It’s not only about writing captivating dialogue or fascinating tales but also comprehending the game mechanics.
You need to have a solid grasp of game design principles as well as an appreciation for gameplay dynamics and player psychology.
Creating an engaging, interactive experience for players is the heart of game writing.
One crucial aspect of game writing is recognizing that games are interactive mediums.
This means your narrative needs to be flexible enough to accommodate player choices while still maintaining its overall structure and integrity.
A significant part of game writing involves developing characters and their dialogue.
The aim is not just to make personalities intriguing but also to guarantee they fit in the world you’ve built for them.
Finally, crafting video game dialogue is also about building different options for where the player can take the story. In some games, choosing different responses during interactions with characters can result in vastly different story outcomes.
An example of a video game dialogue tree from Wikipedia
These are critical aspects where narrative designers contribute significantly to shaping the gaming universe.
Narrative design and world-building will eventually influence how players interact with it.
Game writers often work closely with game designers to integrate narrative elements into gameplay mechanics. This could involve devising clever ways for non-player characters (NPCs) to reveal plot points through their actions or designing quests that further develop character arcs.
In traditional storytelling formats like books or films, the pacing is controlled by the author/director.
However, in video games — where players dictate progress — this control shifts considerably.
What does a game writer do?
The term “game writer” can refer to various positions , including narrative designers and level designers.
The role of a narrative designer is often misunderstood due to its broad scope across different companies.
In some organizations, writers double as narrative designers, intricately weaving storylines into gameplay. In others, the narrative design might be handled separately by another team member who focuses solely on how stories are communicated to players.
Narrative Designers vs. Game Writers
While both roles contribute significantly towards creating immersive gaming experiences like the Dragon Age or Tomb Raider series, they differ slightly in their responsibilities.
Game writers primarily oversee scriptwriting involving character development and plot progression.
Meanwhile, n arrative designers decide how these scripts will be integrated into gameplay so that it resonates with players effectively. Hence, they work at the intersection of writing and design.
Beyond traditional story creation, there’s an array of specialized tasks that fall under game writing too.
Level designers are responsible for creating various stages or levels that players navigate through in a game. They design environments, create challenges, place enemies or obstacles, and ensure that each level aligns with the overall storyline crafted by game writers.
Video Game Journalists
Video game journalism, another significant part of this domain, offers opportunities for those passionate about the video game industry.
Video game journalism involves the coverage of various aspects of gaming, including game reviews, industry news, interviews, features, and opinion pieces. Video game journalists work in a similar fashion to journalists in other fields — gathering information, conducting research, and producing content to inform and engage their audience.
Video game journalists typically work for media outlets dedicated to gaming, such as websites, magazines, newspapers, or online platforms. They may also contribute to podcasts, YouTube channels, and other forms of digital media. Some specialize in specific areas such as game reviews, e-sports coverage, or industry analysis, while others cover a broader range of topics.
The role of video game journalists includes:
- Game reviews: Assessing and providing critical analysis of video games, evaluating their gameplay, graphics, sound, story, and overall experience. Reviews often help players make informed decisions about purchasing or playing a game.
- News coverage: Reporting on the latest developments and happenings in the gaming industry, including announcements, releases, updates, controversies, and events.
- Interviews: Conducting interviews with game developers, designers, voice actors, and other industry professionals to gain insights into their work, creative process, and perspectives.
- Features and opinion pieces: Writing in-depth articles and opinion pieces that explore various aspects of gaming, such as trends, cultural impact, social issues, game design, and the evolving nature of the industry.
- Industry analysis: Examining market trends, sales figures, financial performance, and the impact of technology on the gaming industry.
Video game journalism plays a crucial role in providing information, fostering discussion, and shaping public perception of video games and the industry. It serves as a bridge between game developers and the players, offering insights, critiques, and recommendations. The field continues to evolve as gaming becomes more mainstream and diverse, with journalists adapting to new technologies and platforms to deliver content to their audience.
Looking to get into gaming writing and video game journalism? Consider an AI writer like Content at Scale to help you publish a higher volume of high-quality blogs for faster results.
So if you’re looking forward to turning your passion for gaming into a career opportunity – whether it’s crafting compelling plots or analyzing intricate mechanics behind popular titles – remember: there’s more than one way to write about video games!
As of May 2023, gaming writing jobs pay an average of $76,313 per year
How Do I Get Into Gaming Writing?
If you love video games and have a knack for storytelling, then writing jobs in the video game industry might be ideal for you.
Creating believable characters, crafting compelling dialogue, devising unexpected plot turns, and even creating the mythology of a game’s world are all important elements for successful gaming writing.
To become a gaming writing superstar, sharpen your creative writing and storytelling skills.
Take courses on platforms like Coursera or attend workshops at local community centers to level up.
A killer portfolio that showcases your creativity and ability to write engaging content is a must-have for narrative designers.
Include scripts for short films or plays, articles about gaming culture, or even fan fiction based on popular games. Just make sure each piece screams your unique voice.
Being a great storyteller is cool, but understanding game design will give you a leg up on the competition.
Knowing how games are designed helps you create narratives that blend seamlessly with gameplay mechanics instead of causing chaos. Talk to game designers in online forums and read gaming news and reviews on platforms like Blizzard and PlayStation to expand your knowledge.
In the game industry, who you know matters. Rub elbows at events like the Game Developers Conference (GDC), join online communities for game development, or connect on LinkedIn. These networks could open doors to your ideal job.
Don’t let the difficulty of landing a job in the game industry deter you. Keep honing your skills until the opportunity finally comes knocking.
The 7 Stages of Game Development
Gaming Writing Tips
Crafting an interactive world for players to explore and immerse in is a key element of scriptwriting for gaming. It requires understanding the game mechanics and how they influence the story.
Interactive narrative design plays a crucial role in this process.
Your story should complement the gameplay. Understanding your game’s mechanics will help you write scenarios that enhance the player experience rather than hinder it.
A compelling character can make or break your game. Develop characters with depth and personality to keep players engaged throughout their journey.
This age-old adage holds true even in video games. Use visual cues and environmental storytelling instead of relying solely on dialogue or text descriptions. Video game storytelling techniques are unique — embrace them.
An engaging plot keeps players hooked. Map out major plot points early on but leave room for flexibility based on player choices if applicable.
Gamers appreciate natural-sounding dialogue which means avoiding cliches and forced speech as much as possible. Writing dialogue for video games is an art in itself and can take time to master.
Common Mistakes in Game Writing
Game writing, like any other form of creative endeavor, has its pitfalls.
Newbies to the arena can frequently trip up on recurrent missteps that may impede their advancement.
Let’s take a look at some of these typical blunders and how you can avoid them.
A well-rounded character is vital for an engaging game narrative.
New writers sometimes focus too much on plot progression and overlook character development, resulting in flat characters that fail to resonate with players.
Dialogue is essential for games as it can provide context, show character attributes, and propel the narrative.
Inexperienced game writers may write unnatural or expository dialogue that breaks immersion for players.
Image from Kotaku
The unique aspect of video games as a storytelling medium is player agency — the ability for players to influence events within the game world.
Failing to consider this when crafting your narrative could lead to frustration from players who feel their choices don’t matter.
An understanding of gameplay mechanics is essential when writing for games because it directly influences how stories are told and experienced by players.
Newbie writers might not fully grasp this concept leading them into creating narratives that clash with gameplay elements rather than complementing them.
This classic writing mistake isn’t exclusive to novice game writers but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
Relying heavily on narration instead of allowing gamers to discover things through exploration can make your story less immersive.
Becoming Too Attached to Your Work
Last but certainly not least, becoming overly attached to your work makes it hard to accept criticism which is a necessary part of improving as a writer.
Remember, every writer makes mistakes, especially when you’re just starting out. The key is to learn from those missteps and use that experience to improve on future projects.
Gaming Writing is a Whole Other Creative World
The quality of writing in video games can greatly enhance the player’s immersive experience, adding depth to characters, engaging narratives, and thought-provoking themes. Whether it’s through compelling dialogue, rich lore, or captivating quests, the written content in games has the power to captivate and resonate with players, elevating their overall gameplay experience.
Moreover, the demand for skilled writers in the gaming industry continues to grow. As video games become increasingly complex and narrative-driven, there is a need for talented individuals who can craft engaging stories, develop well-rounded characters, and create immersive worlds.
Gaming writing holds a significant impact on gameplay and offers exciting job opportunities for those passionate about gaming and storytelling. Whether it’s as a game writer, narrative designer, quest designer, or game journalist, these roles allow individuals to combine their passion for gaming with their creative and writing abilities.
Furthermore, gaming writing extends beyond just video games. It encompasses a variety of mediums, such as novels, graphic novels, tabletop games, and transmedia projects. This broadens the scope of career possibilities for aspiring writers who want to delve into the gaming industry and explore different storytelling avenues.
With the continued growth and evolution of the gaming industry, the opportunities for gaming writers are boundless, inviting creative individuals to embark on a thrilling journey where their passion for gaming and storytelling can intertwine harmoniously.
Looking to get into gaming writing and video game journalism? Consider an AI writer like Content at Scale to help you publish more high-quality blogs for faster results.
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How to Write a Video Game Review
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There might be numerous reasons why you have to write a video game review. First of all, it might be a part of your academic program if, let's say, you are majoring in game design. Alternatively, it might be a part of your job if you are working as a game tester. But, regardless of the reasons, the chances are that you will face a number of challenges in the process of writing.
So, where do you start? In case you are not sure if you can handle it on your own, there is a simple way to delegate the writing of a video game review to professionals. Services that let students pay someone to write my paper could help you with this task.
Typically, using such paper writing services, you can simply say, "I want to pay for essay " and get professional help with pretty much any type of assignment. But, there is also a different path. If you are interested in writing a review yourself, this article will guide you through this process step by step.
Let's dive in and see what steps you should take to create a brilliant video game review on your on!
1- Define Your Purpose and Audience
Before you get to work, you should clearly understand the purpose for which you are writing your review. It might be for a college or another educational institution, for a magazine, for a reviewing site, etc. Depending on who you are writing for, you might need to change the tone and voice of your review. So, start by defining your purpose and audience.
2- Understand the Basic Requirements
Depending on who you are writing for, the basic requirements for your review, such as length or uniqueness, can also vary. So, after identifying your purpose, be sure to take your time to understand what is expected of you in this review.
For example, if you are writing for college, your review will have to meet the word limit, be 100% unique, well-structured, include proper citations, and have a formal tone of voice.
3- Play the Game
After you know the purpose, audience, and requirements, you can finally get to your review, and, whether you like it or not, you won't be able to get it done without actually playing the game you are writing about.
So, your next step is to devote at least 7-10 hours to playing the game you will be reviewing to get a good feel of it and learn more about its features. At this stage, pay attention to the details - try to note any advantages and disadvantages, see how the plot develops, etc.
4- Take Notes
After you've played the game for a while, take your time to write down all important notes about it. Start by outlining the basic information, including the plot, characters, design, type of game, genre, main features, add-on purchases, etc.
Then take notes based on your own experience. Write down everything you liked and didn't like about the game. Be sure to describe your player's experience in detail to have more information for your future review.
5- Make a Comparison
It is always good if you can compare the game in your review with similar games or, maybe, previous releases of the same game. However, if you decide to include such comparisons, be sure to use specific examples instead of general phrases in order to make your review sound complete.
6- Write Your Review
When you have collected all the information and notes, you can start writing your video game review. Here are the key steps you should take:
- Look through several examples of such reviews to see how it should look like;
- Make an outline;
- Write an attention-grabbing introduction that starts with a hook and introduces the topic of your review;
- Write the body of your review - be sure to discuss such important points as graphics, sound effects, plot, characters, and your personal player's experience. Feel free to use examples and details. But, keep your review straight to the point and informative;
- Finish your review with a logical conclusion, and don't forget to give your final rate to the game.
7- Proofread and Edit
Finally, when your review is done, don't forget to take enough time to proofread it to make sure that your review is free of errors. Also, don't forget to check your text for plagiarism if necessary.
The Bottom Line
Just like that, in seven simple steps, you can write a compelling video game review. The good news is that handling this type of task shouldn't be too hard because video games are fun. What is more, now you have a complete guide with tips to make the process simple and enjoyable!
So, you have faced the necessity to write a compelling video game review. What's now?
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How To Write A Game Review?
Everyone has an opinion about something, but not all can express it in an interesting and substantive way. Writing a review, which is in a way expressing one’s opinion, is not an easy task. How to write an engaging, argumentative, and crisp review of a game or anything else for that matter?
It starts with fun
Writing any review must be preceded by the most fun part of all. Before you sit down to write an opinion, you need to get to know the subject of your review. It applies to everything, including movies, books, games, and casino reviews . In this situation (as in any other), a reviewer should play casino games to get a sense of how everything works. Then, anyone else interested in playing online casino games can read the review first and decide which game and site they want to visit based on it. After all, this is what all reviews are about. Today, anyone can post a review. However, it is more reliable if it comes from professionals in the area, such as the individuals behind Vegas Slots Online, who have been reviewing casinos since 2013, providing an honest, unbiased, and comprehensive review based on criteria that built their reputation. This is why it has been trusted by so many people.
Let’s go back to writing a game review. As you already know, it starts with trying the game out. However, what is important is that it’s not about fun, at least this is not your main goal of yours, even if it is one of the best games of a given year. While you’re playing, you need to take notes. This might seem like a nuisance, and if you are new in the reviewing business, you might think that you can remember it all. With all probability, you can’t. Making notes from the game is an essential part of writing a review. Luckily, there is a tip for that. Instead of writing something down, you might record yourself on your phone or tape recorder. Another important issue is that quite often you won’t finish the game, but you still need to know it a bit to write a trustworthy review. If you have a tight deadline, you still should spend at least 7 to 10 hours on a game. When there are levels, try your best to achieve as much as possible and when it’s an open world, make everything in your power to discover all you can.
Notes turning into a review
As you were taking notes during the game, the next steps will be much easier. First, it’s good to write down what you liked about the game. These might be small elements or bit parts of the game, like graphic design. Then, you need to include all that you did not like about the game. It’s equally crucial to criticize as it is to praise for a job well done. When you know what was engaging and unique in the game, as well as what should be improved, you can start writing down your review.
A good review
Not every review is good, even if it meticulously compares the assets and downsides of a given game. Besides writing down what you liked and disliked, you might want to answer some questions. While playing, pay attention to any problems you may encounter, whether the story is cohesive or maybe you are getting bored. Any emotions and thoughts that appear in your head might turn out to be useful in writing a review.
When you start creating a review, remember to start with a brief explanation of the game, but no spoilers included! Rate its difficulty level and graphics. When you write a review, remember to focus on all elements, not only the storyline but also visual effects, sound, music, navigation, simply everything.
Yet another issue is the length of your review. It needs to be engaging, you should cover as many aspects of a game as possible, but the whole text cannot be too long because no one will want to read it. There is no point in writing a review that will be of no use to anyone, and you will certainly not become a professional reviewer this way. Your text should include a brief introduction and conclusions, but the body of the text needs to appeal to people, and you might want to include some comparison with similar productions, which would certainly interest the audience.
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The best writing in PC games
Great quips and shining scripts make these games special.
Whether they have great dialogue, stories, or characters—or just good jokes—these are the best-written games on PC.
Developer: Valve Corporation
Valve’s incredible puzzle game takes you on a journey through the absurd history of Aperture Science, from the dusty beige offices of the ’70s to the gleaming test chambers of the present day. Eccentric Aperture founder Cave Johnson’s recorded speeches and ramblings are hilarious and learning the dark origin story of series villain GLaDOS is surprisingly moving.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this is one of the most faithful adaptations ever made. True to the show, it’s crass, satirical and merciless in its ridicule of pop and videogame culture. But it also has a solid story of its own, cleverly parodying the fantasy genre to tell an unpredictable tale that keeps you interested, and shocked, all the way through.
Developer: Black Isle Studios
After the familiar fantasy of Baldur’s Gate, Torment takes the Infinity Engine to a very different place. Based on the bizarre Planescape D&D setting, it’s an RPG about a nameless immortal trying to reclaim his past. His adventure begins in a city at the centre of the multiverse, which connects to other planes of existence, and the writing is rich and intricate, describing the things you see, places you visit, and people you meet there in verbose detail.
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Developer: Revolution Software
A tourist investigates the bombing of a Parisian café and gets tangled up in a conspiracy involving a sinister cult and an ancient order of knights. The first and best Broken Sword weaves an intriguing murder mystery with fascinating real history, and is genuinely funny to boot.
A masterpiece of interactive fiction, 80 Days gives Jules Verne’s famous novel a sci-fi twist. You travel on amphibious trains, mechanical spiders, self-driving palanquins and other odd vehicles as you try to get around the globe in the titular time limit. The writing is impeccable and every trip is different depending on the route you take. It’s funny, emotional, and deftly tackles subjects such as race and colonialism without it feeling forced.
Developer: Campo Santo
The overall arc of Campo Santo’s impressive debut is divisive, but everyone can agree that the over-the-radio banter between protagonist Henry and his distant friend Delilah is wonderful. Warm and witty, the conversations between the pair as you wander the beautiful forest setting have genuine heart, and the ending, whether you like it or not, packs an emotional punch. These are characters you come to care about.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Developer: Machine Games
No one expected a Wolfenstein reboot to be praised for its story, but that’s one of the best, most surprising things about it. Its cast of oddballs, joyously pulpy storyline, stylish alternate history setting, and unashamed self-awareness set it apart, and Blazkowicz’s gruff inner monologue is a frequent source of amusement.
Everybody's Gone To the Rapture
Developer: The Chinese Room
Games don’t often venture into rural England, which makes Rapture such a rare delight. The sci-fi story is the weakest part; it’s the interactions between the villagers that really shine. Understated and natural, you feel like you’re eavesdropping on real people’s lives.
Pillars of Eternity
This homage to classic Infinity Engine RPGs is heaving with confident writing, and its prose paints a world rich with fascinating culture and history. The way it vividly describes a character’s body language, voice, and facial expressions as you talk to them gives even the most insignificant NPC a distinct personality. It’s one of the best modern celebrations of the written word on PC.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Developer: Rocksteady Entertainment
Prior to this, Batman games were often based on existing stories. The chance to write an original one is what attracted writer Paul Dini. The result is a classic Batman tale that takes the mythology and creates something fresh and exciting with it.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Inspired by Eastern European folklore, The Witcher’s fantasy world is distinct from other RPGs. But what makes it really special is how it uses familiar stuff like curses, monsters and vampires to tell human stories. The moral choices Geralt has to make are never black and white, incorporating difficult real-world issues that give them extra weight.
Developer: Failbetter Games
This Lovecraftian nautical RPG is set in a vast underground sea. It’s what sailors used to think the actual sea was like, filled with monsters and other horrors, and you’re on a mission to explore every corner. It’s a wordy game, but every place you dock at tells a weird, fascinating, well-written story—and the choices you make in these encounters can have surprising outcomes.
Gone Home is a rare example of a game that tells a small story. As you poke around the eerily empty house at 1 Arbor Hill, listening to a storm rumbling outside, you uncover it piece by piece—through letters, notes, and diary entries. And when you reach the end you can’t help but fall victim to its moving final reveal. Fullbright’s debut is an unforgettable, bittersweet experience.
Developer: Sam Barlow
What’s interesting about Her Story is that everyone’s version of the story will be very different. You take a non-linear path through the mystery of a missing person by tapping keywords into an old police archive of short video clips, and the story becomes clearer with each one you uncover. This unique structure, combined with believable and well-acted interviews, makes it a bold, compelling narrative experiment that pays off, but in a different way for every person who plays it.
Half-Life 2 remains one of the best examples of the benefits of showing and not telling when it comes to telling a story in a game. Waking from a long sleep, you learn about what happened to this bleak dystopian world along with protagonist Freeman, piecing it together from newspaper clippings, snippets of dialogue, and subtle details in the world. Learning about the eerie Combine and their sinister plans for Earth, and exploring the dystopian City 17, props up the first-person shooting brilliantly
Mass Effect 2
The second Mass Effect takes the rich sci-fi universe established in the first game and brings real depth to the people who inhabit it. BioWare gives us a crew of characters whose lives we become entwined in as Commander Shepard, and some of whom we genuinely grow to love. Which makes the ‘suicide mission’ at the end, where any of them can die in an instant if you make a bad decision, a hugely stressful experience.
Spec Ops: The Line
Developer: Yager Development
While more heavy-handed than its inspiration, Apocalypse Now, Spec Ops conveys the horror of war in a real-world setting, in this case a fictionalised Dubai. You play Captain Walker, who’s sent to find out what happened to Colonel John Konrad, but things quickly go wrong. The success of the writing comes in the increasingly frenzied dialogue between Walker and his team, subverting the traditional role of being a hero in a shooter.
The Last Express
Developer: Smoking Car Productions
Set on the Orient Express in 1914, days before the beginning of WWI, this adventure is like stepping back in time. It captures the political and social issues of the period brilliantly, represented by your fellow passengers. You mingle with arms dealers, soldiers and noblemen, and through them you learn about a troubled world on the brink of war.
Developer: Irrational Games
In most shooters you follow a prescribed path, blindly following the orders of disembodied voices, never questioning them. What’s clever about BioShock is that it makes a story out of this. Protagonist Jack thinks he’s a plane crash survivor lost in Rapture, but is in truth a brainwashed assassin being manipulated by a character who you initially think is helping you. The idea of a dystopian underwater city is wonderfully unique, brought to life by the tragic stories of its crazed, plasmid-addicted citizens. The ending split opinion, and the moral choices are bluntly binary, but BioShock tells one of gaming’s most imaginative stories both through dialogue and its detailed, evocative environments.
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If it’s set in space, Andy will probably write about it. He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story.
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UBCx: Writing Video Game Scenes and Dialogue
Learn the fundamentals of writing cinematics, cutscenes, and in-game dialogue.
There is one session available:
Writing video game scenes and dialogue, about this course.
Increasingly, game designers are realizing that cutscenes, cinematics and character interactions through dialogue are not just breaks from gameplay, or ways of providing exposition. They are integral to the player’s experience of a game. Talking is action. Dialogue is gameplay.
In this course we will explore how to create compelling, vital scenes, and how to use dialogue to support gameplay, deepen character, and advance the game’s story.
Early career game writers will often get their first experience writing dialogue for NPCs, especially the infamous barks and taunts. We’ll show you how to make this dialogue work, when it should sing and when it should be invisible.
Verified learners will access additional game industry interviews, assignments and discussion topics, connecting with a community of other writers and game enthusiasts.
At a glance
- Institution: UBCx
- Subject: Communication
- Level: Introductory
- Prerequisites: None
- Language: English
- Video Transcript: English
- Professional Certificate in Writing for Video Games
What you'll learn
- The importance of voice and how to find and develop it
- How scenes work, and how to build and deepen them
- How to write unskippable dialogue
- The fundamental building blocks of cinematic storytelling
- How to excel at writing ambient conversations, barks and taunts.
Module 1: Voice
- Finding voice
- Developing voice
- Supporting gameplay
Module 2: Scenes
- Scene structure
- Building scenes
- Deepening scenes
Module 3: Cinematics and Cutscenes
- Cinematic storytelling
Module 4: In-Game Dialogue
- Supporting level design
Module 5: Ambient Conversations, Barks and Taunts
- Ambient conversations
- Barks and taunts
This course is part of Writing for Video Games Professional Certificate Program
Ways to take this course, interested in this course for your business or team.
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Antinomia: final fantasy vi, hack of final fantasy iii.
- EDIT CREDITS
- FLAG AS NONCOMPLIANT
Antinomia (n.) - Two principles equally valid but diametrically opposed.
The intent of this hack is to elevate General Leo to a deuteragonist role and periodically shift the narrative focus from the main party to him, in order to explore the events on the Imperial side in parallel with the main casts’ actions (kind of like what FF8 did with Laguna). The narrative split continues until Leo and the Returners’ stories intersect, at which point more substantial changes occur, such as Leo surviving and eventually being able to join the party as a permanent member, and the World of Ruin’s story progression being retooled. The overall story and mechanics remain mostly the same, but utilize an expanded ROM and dialogue bank for dozens of new cutscenes and events to expand upon what’s already there, for all characters, not just Leo. Terra’s struggles are also more significantly explored.
This is first and foremost a story hack rather than a gameplay hack. Not to “change” the story, so much as tell it from a different set of eyes, and to give Leo a chance to participate in that story more than he did originally. There are a few new boss fights and some minor adjustments to battle mechanics, as well as a few events that utilize mechanics not present in the original game. But expanding on the original world, characters, and themes while still remaining loyal to them was the goal going into this rather than changing the manner in which the game is played. As such, no characters have been added, replaced, removed, or significantly altered, with the exception of Siegfried, since he served no purpose in the original game and his sprite memory was re-utilized, so he no longer exists. So if you’re a die-hard Siegfried fan, this hack is not for you.
- Leo’s sprite recolored to more closely match his menu portrait
- Leo can now become a permanent party member… OR NOT, depending on player choices.
- Mog is now a temporarily-recruitable guest character to open a permanent slot in the roster for Leo.
- Two new events added to the World of Balance featuring Leo as a playable guest character, along with adding him to a third where he wasn’t originally present.
- World of Ruin opens from a different character’s perspective
- Brand new re-recruitment event for Leo in World of Ruin to obtain him as a permanent party member
- Shadow becomes permanently recruitable in the World of Balance
- Over an hour’s worth of new or expanded cutscenes, with over 800 new lines of dialogue
- New retranslation of much of the original script. Woolsey was used as a base and his translation was kept for lines that were “close enough” or whose localization didn’t detract from the original intent. The remainder of the script has been relocalized and refreshed. This is an original retranslation, not one from previous mods.
- Spell, item, monster, and ability names updated to be consistent with modern naming schemes in the series, provided there were enough characters to fit the name (e.g., even though “Firaga” will fit in 6 letters, “Blizzaga” and “Thundaga” will not, so for consistency’s sake, they have all remained “Fire 3″, “Ice 3″, and “Bolt 3″).
- New algorithm for HP/MP gain at level up that takes characters’ individual base stats into account for greater character differentiation based on role.
- Evasion glitch patched. The Goggles no longer do nothing.
- Dance never fails
- Desperation attacks much easier to trigger
- Bushido gauge speed increased
- Sprint by default except for events and maps that forbid it. Sprint Shoes no longer exist.
- Colosseum now controllable
- Several new pieces of music
- New sidequest for additional stat gains
- New ultimate weapon sidequests
ROM / ISO Information:
- Database match: Final Fantasy III (USA)
- Database: No-Intro: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210222-050638)
- File/ROM SHA-1: 4F37E4274AC3B2EA1BEDB08AA149D8FC5BB676E7
- File/ROM CRC32: A27F1C7A
- News Articles for this Hack
- Readme File
User Review Information
Great writing, nice improvements.
About 90% of this hack is completely unchanged from the base game, and that’s just fine. Because the other 10% is either straight up gameplay improvements (looks at the Colosseum part, the evasion stat, and the desperation attacks) and nice additions (a couple small sidequests in the World of Ruin), or… the General Leo stuff, which is the real reason you’re here, and which in some ways actually exceeded my expectations.
Final Fantasy 6 is generally considered to have some of the best writing of any Final Fantasy or really any RPG ever, and this hack’s new censorship-free translation of the entire game makes it even better (for English speakers)… but the new cutscenes here that really explore Leo’s motivations and personality manage to have amazing writing even by those standards. Just why would a guy as honorable, reasonable, kind, and all around good as General Leo fight for something as obviously horrifyingly irredeemably evil as Gestahl’s Empire? This hack expands upon everything shown about him in canon to answer that question decisively.
Beyond the Leo content, there are two other changes to the plot, which I have more mixed feelings about. The first is just turning Mog into a temporary character who leaves any time you rearrange your party. This is unfortunate, but forgivable since it was pretty clearly done mainly for technical reasons, of having to work within the game’s party size limitations. If someone’s gotta go, might as well be Mog, since the other guys with no connection to the plot (Umaro and Gogo) have unique mechanics. Still a shame, the little guy deserves a shot at Kefka just as much as Cyan does, but oh well.
The other change is what happens as soon as you reach the World of Ruin. Rather than opening up as Celes on the island with Cid… that is replaced by a whole new sequence where you see what Terra’s been doing in Mobliz. This new sequence is pretty neat. It has a lot in common with the Celes/Cid one, but you’re actually meant to pass it and it is much more reasonable to do so (I am not actually sure what would have happened if I had failed it…). However, its presence DOES significantly change the whole mood of the transition from World of Balance to Ruin, as well as the balance of some of the encounters, which I dislike. No longer are you alone on tiny island, where the only other creatures are either tiny animals that are already dying or terrifying undead dragon corpses, uncertain whether there even is anything or anyone left alive outside the island. On the plus side, going back to that island where Cid was once you get the airship results in a really good sidequest with more amazing (and occasionally hilarious) writing. Note that fully completing it actually does require Mog, which is a bit annoying since he’s been reduced to guest character. And that doing so results in a sword that is basically Illumina, and thus is absurdly overpowered.
To anyone who has never played FF6 before, this hack does not replace the base game, but to anyone who HAS beaten the whole thing before, Antinomia might just be the best version of FF6 ever.