How to Write a Video Game Review

The gaming industry is thriving, with a net worth of $137.9 billion expected in 2018. As a result, video game reviews are becoming increasingly common. If you want to write your own video game review, play the game for about 10 hours, take notes on what you like and dislike about it, and give your own opinion on it to create a comprehensive video game review.

Part 1 Playing the Game and Taking Notes

1. You should play the game for 7 to 10 hours. Many video games can take up to 100 hours to finish. However, most publications anticipate a review within one week of the game’s release. To get a feel for the video game you’re reviewing, try to play it for at least 7 hours. In this timeframe, explore as much of the game as possible.

If the game has levels, try to level up as many times as you can. Explore as much of the game’s open world as you can.

2. Make a list of what you like best about the game. Your notes will be directly translated into what you write in your review. Write down what you like about the game on a computer or in a notebook. Take note of the game’s playability, sound, graphics, and in-game purchases. Make a note of anything that stands out to you, no matter how minor.

When a reader reads your review, even minor details like trees waving in the wind or a character’s headband can help them visualise the in-game world.

3. Make a list of what aspects of the game could be improved. Not every game is perfect, and your review should focus on both the positives and the areas where you believe improvements could be made. Make a list of the things you didn’t like about the game. Perhaps the graphics are clumsy, or the load times are excessively long. Make a note of anything that irritates you even slightly.

Tip: Try to be as specific as possible. Rather than writing, “The main character stinks!” try, “The main character didn’t have as many weapon options as I would have liked.” This will be useful when you begin writing.

4. Take note of how the game compares to others of its kind. You’ve most likely played a lot of video games that are similar to the one you’re reviewing. Consider games in the same genre as the one you’re playing. Is it a game of action? Is it a horror game? Is it a racing one? Then consider which ones you liked best or worst. Would you prefer to play this one over others?

For example, you could say, “This racing game has more car model options than their previous release, but fewer customizable pieces.”

Part 2 Compiling Your Notes into a Review

1. Aim for a word count of 1,000 in your review. If you are submitting your review to a gaming website, they will most likely require between 800 and 1,000 words. Indie games or mobile apps can be shorter, whereas popular games should be longer and closer to 1,000 words.

You can choose your word count if you are publishing a video game review on your own website or blog. Your readers, on the other hand, will most likely appreciate a thorough review.

2. Begin with a two to three sentence introduction. Your readers may have heard of the game you’re playing, or it may be completely new to them. Introduce the game you’re reviewing without giving too much away about the plot. Start with a hook to pique your readers’ interest and entice them to read the rest of your review.

For example, you could say, “After the success of Injustice, NetherRealm Studios’ newest game is Mortal Kombat X.” Nether Realm has fixed all of Injustice’s flaws and added so much more in this instalment of the MK series. MK X is by far the best MK game we’ve ever seen.”

3. Discuss the sound and graphics quality. Refer to your notes to determine what you liked and disliked about the game’s sound and graphics. Explain what system you were using and how well the game translated through it. Take note of whether you were wearing headphones or using speakers, as well as whether the game was displayed on a TV or computer.

For example, “the characters’ movements and the flair with which the executions and bonus moves are performed are among the best we’ve ever seen.” MK’s blood and gore, combined with next-generation graphics, creates an experience unlike any other.”

4. Describe the plot and the characters in your own words. If the video game you’re writing about is part of a series, it may revisit familiar characters or introduce new ones. Make a point of discussing the characters you can play as and who you interact with the most throughout the game. Describe the various actions and weapon options available to each character.

For example, “this game breathes new life into the market by offering characters with varying playing styles, allowing you to learn the combo moves of each character.”

5. Take note of your personal thoughts on the game. Make sure to include your own thoughts on the game in your review. Tell your readers whether you’d recommend the game and what you’d say to the developers if you could. If you want to make it easier to understand, you can give it a numerical rating.

For example, “I strongly advise you to pick up a copy of this game.” It could be the best fighting game released in 2016. It gets an 8.8 out of 10 from me.”

6. Check your review for errors before submitting it. Take a few minutes before submitting your review to a video game magazine or publication to double-check your work for errors. Your review will almost certainly be edited before it is published, but it will be taken more seriously if it is free of obvious errors. Check your spelling, grammar, and word flow.

If your review needs to be changed, an editor may send it back to you.

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