I’d really missed blogging when I took a little break earlier this year. Being back in the saddle has felt amazing and I can’t believe I actually took that break! I’m in the midst of planning and preparing new content, which I hope that you’ll enjoy. There’s a few posts in the works already.
In the mean time, the post I’m sharing today started as a guest post on The Blog Tags website. Unfortunately, the group has been archived but the admin, Cassarica, has given me permission to share this. A few tweaks here and there and its now ready for me to publish!
Writing An Effective Video Game Review
For me, writing my first couple of reviews overall was quite daunting. So many questions and reservations worked around my mind. Did it give the reader the information they wanted? Did it do the product justice? What if I’m writing it wrong?
My best advice for writing a video game review is go with the flow and don’t over analyse what you’re writing. Just think about what you would want to know when reading a review.
Here’s my guide on writing an effective video game review.
First and foremost, give the name of the game and give your best description of the game. It is best to be as descriptive as possible to give the reader the most information you possibly could. It’s easy enough to say “This game is an RPG” but there are different varieties of RPG. Is it an exploration/action RPG, such as Elder Scrolls, or is it one that has a set path and only action in battle, such as Agarest?
Also, try to relate it to the play styles of other games. As an example, if I were to start my review with a description of the game Neverwinter, I would say that it is a third-person, action RPG that has a control scheme similar to Elder Scrolls Online but with the general aesthetic properties of Fable.
It would also be handy to the reader to know whether the game was a sandbox type game too, or if it was solely story driven. I love following the story of games but sometimes I just want to explore and gather resources. I’d definitely want to know if you have the option to explore a large map freely.
Does the game have character creation or customization? Some people, like myself, weirdly love to spend some time simply creating characters, such as in The Sims. Not only character creation but different customisation options too. In games such as Tales of Xillia, you can’t create characters but there are accessories which you can buy or earn that allow the player to customise the character. It is something I’d like to know by reading a review.
Whether you were a beginner or the more skilled gamer, reading what the general difficulty of a game is something you’d want to know, right? Let the reader know whether the game is an easy pickup and play type game that is suitable for beginners or if you’d need more gaming expertise and skill in order to play effectively. It would also be an idea to point of if the game seems to have a lot of repetitiveness. Sometimes, having a game be constantly repetitive puts some gamers off as they want to have a lot of variety.
Does the game draw you in? Being drawn into a game is something that most gamers look for. It might sound strange but if I am playing a game, I tend to play as a female character. I imagine that character is myself and that draws me in and keeps me coming back to the game. I have not personally played this game, but when my fiancé has played Battlefield 4, he has told me how the visuals and sounds and the characters looking like real people draws him in and actually makes you feel like you are there, in the game.
Another thing to point out to the readers is if you feel accomplished when you complete games or certain in-game achievements. This is something else that some gamers look for when picking out a new game to play.
You’d want to talk about the quality of the visuals, but it doesn’t have to be the focus. Visuals aren’t as important as gameplay but it is a plus when the game has brilliant visuals, depending on the game of course. I’ve seen games where the visuals haven’t been great but I have loved the game, such as Neverwinter.
Another thing that you should really point out is the solo and multiplayer options. When looking at games, gamers want to know if there is any kind of solo gameplay and if the multiplayer mode is online or local co-op. Another option to point out is whether the multiplayer mode is player versus environment or player versus player. Elder Scrolls Online has both types of multiplayer modes, with the player versus player being optional. This mode is in a separate area of the map that is for player versus player, even though there are player versus environment quests available there too.
Every game has age and content ratings. To help people pick out games for certain ages or if they don’t like offensive language in games etc, make a note of these ratings. Maybe you could write about if you agree with those ratings or not.
The final thing to include in your game review is the games availability and price range. Some games are PlayStation exclusive, so it would be a good idea to point things like that out.
Don’t forget to include pictures and links.
Don’t forget to check out my video game reviews
Also check out Elder Scrolls Online | One Year On