Category: Action Adventure
Release Date: 12/3/07
I guess, technically, one needs to finish a game before one can review it properly, but, honestly? I couldn’t make myself. Sure, the game started out pleasant enough and – having read the His Dark Materials trilogy already – I was charmed to be riding around on one of its best characters, Iorek the armored bear. These opening scenes were, as most “training” sequences are, pretty easy, but still enjoyable.
However, after I’d smashed a bunch of wolves and jumped around the North Pole, I was transported back to the beginning of the novel’s story, that is, in Oxford College. It’s strange that the game has you training on Iorek and then promptly plonks you down as just Lyra so all the things you learned about smashing and blocking with the bear are pretty irrelevant. I suppose eventually the game gets back to Iorek, but I didn’t get that far. In fact, I didn’t even get out of the college. There was too much that didn’t work: out of synch sound, repetitive and weird animation during talk scenes, annoying child voice actors, and one-hundred-and-one mini-games. Of course, if you love mini-games then this is the game for you and you can disregard my complaints. Me? Not a huge fan. Don’t get me wrong, I do like puzzles and don’t mind mini-games that involve those. These were not puzzles, but more balancing and wiggle around the analog stick quickly type things. Ugh.
So basically, I found the game frustrating…and the slow loading and dialogue lag time didn’t make things any better. After having the game sitting around the house for a month while I was happily rolling up Katamari, I spent about 1 hour trying to get Golden Compass started before I gave up and stuck it back in the mailer and sent it on its way back to Gamefly.
This makes it 0/2 of Golden Compass adaptations that I liked. 4/10