On the eve of my L.A. Noire review appearing in hardcopy for the newspaper I write for, I’m starting to think about how I write my game reviews. I’ve decided I want to do better.
As humans, we all evolve, we all change. Be it personally or career-wise, and as a writer, I’m always wanting to evolve my writing style for the better, while keeping the things that I think identify me as a writer.
After years of writing reviews, I’ve decided I want to approach my game reviews differently. I want to write them more about how I feel about a game rather than the tired old structure of game play, storyline, graphics, closing comments, score. This has partly come about because I’m tired of writing my feelings down in a review then sometimes seeing them appear differently once published because someone down the production line decided they’d re-write a sentence or paragraph. Did they play the game in question? Chances are no.
I’ve tried to change my formula in the past – for example, written a review from the point of view of what I’m witnessing as a game character – and it’s worked, most of the time, but then I fall back into the tried-and-true formula. It’s comfortable but safe.
Other times, though, I’ll write a review then read it the next day, in the cold light of day, and think “What the hell was I thinking writing it like that?” I often post-mortem what I’ve written.
I think game reviews should be more about feelings and the emotions they create than just a list of all the parts that a game is made up of. I’m regularly guilty of writing reviews that just describe the components then slap a score on the end.
As a writer my writing should evolve, it should continue to grow, it should convey me feelings. From now on, I hope it does.