It can be tricky to get your voice heard over the screams of video game reviewers around launch day, but there is a way to stand out from the crowd that can actually prove more fun than a conventional review.
Every budding video game journalist has found themselves looking on at the big time news outlets covering every new title to grace our systems with envy. Even if you’re not in it for the free games, you may still be jealous of the droves of readers the Kotakus and Game Informers of this world manage to gather. It can be impossible to keep up with the big guns, or even compete for readership, so you’ve got to give readers something these major outlets can’t – depth of analysis.
You see, a big outlet needs to make everyone happy. Their site, and livelihood, depend on covering every aspect of a title that needs to be covered in a review. Their readers go to them for an overall look at a game, an informed but blanketing decision of good or bad.
Your readers are different.
You may not have built such a reputation yet, and so attempting to cover every game design element of a new release in a review isn’t going to be something a wider readership will be drawn to. In this respect, you’re just one voice in a cacophony of social media and similar blogs.
There is something very simple that you can do to stand out, however, and in my opinion it’s actually a more rewarding approach to video game reviews. Your readers care about what you say, but a wider readership isn’t going to be drawn in by your generic review.
So don’t make it generic.
Big media outlets don’t have time to dedicate focus to every game element, so they very rarely get down to the nitty gritty of a game’s essence or mechanics.
This is where you come in.
Because you have the time to sit down with a game and consider the way the music ties in with the rest of the game. You have the time to think about how far the jump mechanic has come in this franchise and how this latest instalment represents a new hallmark of jump mechanics. You have the time to write detailed appreciations of specific game elements that stand out to you. There’s no need to slave over the music choice if there’s a real problem with the way the cut scenes are incorporated into the action, for example. You write about what you want to write about and readers will flock to a new, in-depth perspective.