I’ve been doing reviews for as long as I can remember with some getting good traction and others slipping under the radar. With God Of War releasing this week I am left with a puzzle. Because more established reviewers have had this, completed it and reviewed it in the last two weeks what does that leave for the rest of us? I’m not the best streamer and let’s player due to a monster toddler running about so I prefer the old-fashioned written word. What Can I possibly add by way of review for as big a game as God of War in this modern age?
It has happened before of course. Games like Call Of Duty, Battlefield, GTA V and others are reviewed by everyone under the sun so your tiny review will get lost in the sea of people writing for SEO rather than journalism. Still, love for the games industry and the hobby of writing makes you craft a review anyway. You play the game for an honest amount of time and then commit your thoughts to paper, you try to tag it appropriately and there it goes into the ether. I fear this is the fate my God Of War review will suffer.
Of course, some media is easier and you can get noticed. My Rogue One review was written a couple of hours after seeing it at the midnight screening, it generated good discussion despite my dislike of the film. Games journalism is different. People generally have their mind made up and purchase the game at the same time as you so there is no chance to get ahead of the game.
Here is where ethics come in. From what I know about God Of War already I could probably get my set 1000 words out on the subject for a few quick hits, but then you would be no better than some of the others who review games without playing them at major publications. I know it happens because I used to work in one. The game was given to someone who didn’t play it and dialled in a review based on the internet consensus. This isn’t for me or anything else I put my name to.
This leaves you with a very strange choice, which I hope sums up most of the reviews on this site. You play the game and then just sit down and spew out the 1000 words. It should be raw thoughts from the game and nothing pre-planned. Just the simple angle that comes to you first and the proper exposition of it afterwards, so that you keep your integrity at the expense of cheap hits rather than ruin your first impression to any readers.
Stay tuned for it in a week or so.