Writing a game review -3 structures of a game review article

Writing a game review

Video games have summed up to contributing a large portion of entertainment in our contemporary time. It has an inarguable scale equalling if not outpacing the movie industry, this alone beats on its relevance and growth. Of course, as it came storming the fancy of every individual, it didn’t really occur by surprise that game journalism became a thing, and judging by how far a number of game journalists have adjudicated video games.

One would say it’s heavily biased, less informative, not informative at all, skewed and an explosion of fluff reviews used for gratification instead of information, but then again it’s a personal opinion everybody sees states of matter differently.  So with that, there is a resolve to teach you how to craft a quality game review.

Before making a game review, avoid throwing caution to the wind, that is, avoid reviewing a game inconsiderably, do not rush it, or make remarks to either reduce its status or gratify it without checking the game out first.

Before I elaborate further on the perks of a game review it is essential that we understand in full essence what we are getting into, to be exact, what is a game review and why we write reviews.

The above questions are more like a yardstick, and answering them prods us towards the right mindset into understanding what our achievable goals demand.

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Defining a game review; a game review is giving a thorough inspection of a game, it’s as simple as that.

Moving on, why do we write game reviews? Any review narrowed to its primary format is written for the purpose of helping readers make an informed decision about their purchases, aside from it being of benefit and serving as a form of orientation to readers, it’s your own little contribution to aid the successful development/redevelopment of the game.

Now have this in mind before making a review the piece you are about to compile together and release is a guide for someone else and his/her decision whether right or wrong depends solely on what you put down. Understood?

With all that has been put down, do not be convinced into thinking that your review shouldn’t harbour objections, note once more that your review is your personal take on the game, and how you view it may at times differ from what the producers expect and do that follow this extensive guide made from thorough research and individual study.

1.0   TESTING.

After deciding whom you are writing a review for and the game you’d be writing a review of, play it for a minimum of 7 hours and a maximum of 10 hours, why so? If you are writing a review for a company, upon the initial launching a review is expected to be submitted at most, a couple of days after.

So in order not to compile a roughly created work that doesn’t define the intent of the game detailing whether it meets expectations or not, it is expected that you play the game for that long understand the modus operandi of the characters the events unfolding, and entire game mechanism from the loading demo to storyline to climax and resolution.

As stated, endeavour to watch out for

  • Game plot
  • Characterization
  • Graphics
  • Game objective

Game plot: a game plot is simply the storyline of the game, this can be derived via a simple search, but the answers to such are based on the reviews, a review yet to be produced- so the best option to getting the plot is to flow with the conversations initiated by characters within the game, the manner at which they are engineered prods them to give insight on their next line of action while conversing, stringing their line of action together produces motives their motives are what structure the plot.

Characterization: This is defining the in-depth structure of each entity present, it ranges from attitude to role, to size, shape, and relevance. What they spew during conversations, how they operate, is John McLane from the die-hard badass? Yes. And how was that derived? Through his most prominent traits, and the ridges he pulled in the game. That’s how characterization works.

Graphics: poor or not, keep both eyes peeled while judging this, it contributes to building the interest of readers towards the desired product, not being informed that fif04 on PS1 is 2D before a purchase can piss you off and worst it’d shorten your monetary resources right? similar to the way others would feel when not informed about this.

Game objective: in totality, from the game build what is it vying to achieve? is it, through exaggerated incidents and ridiculousness trying to incite laughter? is it in all seriousness trying to recreate historic events? Like Brothers in arms 3 details a portion of most incidents that happened in world war 2 from the American point of view, Does it hinge on culture or mythologies? Like the Sony production God of war.  This aspect is closely interlinked with the Game plot as it is from the game plot that an objective can be captured.


Writing down notes while playing the game would help create the basis for your review article, you can apply the use of a notepad, voice recorder, etc.

Start with what you admire the most about the game, it might be the game character’s skin, clothing, hairstyle, gaiting, the surrounding environment, edifice, demo, etc. e.g.

-“the bi-lines used to structure Big smoke in GTA brings his realism to actuality”

-“Even though the alias were changed anyone can still notice that some of the environments portrayed in San Andres were Los Angeles, Las Vegas and a portion of Texas, which that alone, references the accuracy in the game.”

-“the leaves on trees fall when it’s windy, changes with climates, and won’t exist if the entire tree is chopped off, plus if you pay attention you might even catch a squirrel running up it”

-“The fact that the entire storyline creates a sub storyline and a series of themes that discusses black culture, strive for survival, the fickleness of reality, betrayal, etc. makes the game delectable, and every scene a cliffhanger.”

-“the broad wardrobe of individual characters and elaborate options of affairs, autonomous choice of movements, and sentient modes of conversations capture realism.

Describing factors like this in detail would provide the understanding and create a mental demo in the mind of the readers concerning the gameplay of the game.

2.2. Write what you don’t appreciate about the game

Well the game can’t be all perfect that’s why an honest and accurate review is important, jot down your dislikes about the game, whatever turns you off, what you’ve perceived to be a major flaw, and what you think can be done to improve those aspects in the game that you feel little attention was given. It can be the graphics, game sound, game demo, game load, buffering, etc. endeavour to be discreet, straightforward, and specific. make use of examples E.g.

“the soundtrack in FIFA 10 is noisome and unpleasant, it keeps playing only one annoying song over and over again”

“C. Ronaldo’s hairline is off, Rooney has a ponytail, De Gea is 9ft tall, this doesn’t capture their actual features, plus when a player collides with another player they phase through each other instead of jerking back because of the ripple effect of impact.”

“the net comes In only one colour, white, which opposes the initial realism of the RGB we see in football matches, it would be okay to add a couple of other colours to the goal net.”

2.3 Make a comparison with previous instalments and franchises.

For games with instalments the likes of Fifa, Pes, the Sims, and GTA. Compare them with their previous releases, highlight their newest factors, features, and upgrades, and distinguish which is better,

“FIFA 09 is better than FIFA 10 in terms of graphics, even though being prequel it has HD graphics the resolution fits perfectly and the controls provide a friendly user experience”

you should also pay cognizance to the genre, should it be horror, lifestyle, adventure, POV, simulation, racing, sports, etc. note that the genre would influence your review as the certain genre requires determinants that differ from others, and these determinants are what decides the quality of the game.

Take for example a horror game, the suspense contributes to optimal player experience, the characters at times are supposed to be grungy by nature and depict malignancy provided he/she is a villain, the entire game should work to capitalize on human fear and if it can’t equate such outcome, or rather diverges to another plot that promotes a different motive like comedic, farce or racing then it has failed as a horror game and of course, you by now should know how to review such using the above details.

3. Compilation

This happens to be an important and final step in  writing a quality game review, gather together all the notes you’ve taken down and compile them into an article using this order;

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Like every article, an introduction must come first, start by divulging the idea of the particular game you are about to review to the readers and formulate a hook to sustain attention, it might be popular facts, statistics, quotes, aphorisms e.g.  “Carl Johnson the GTA game character has a physique adopted from popular rapper Dr Dre this, of course, includes his facial composure, head size, and skin texture>”


This is where all your notes occupy. You relay information concerning the platforms where the game can be accessible, you tell them the good, bad and ugly about the game, the best cars to use while racing, and the character description, and you can also acquaint readers with your mood when you engaged the game, you can add images if need be, just for clarity sake.


In the end, write your own review, if it is something recommendable or not, you can also rate the game on a ten-scale point.


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