The Golden Compass Image

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Golden Compass follows the screenplay adaptation of the first book in the acclaimed trilogy, capturing the fantasy adventure set in a parallel world where giant armored bears rule a kingdom, beautiful witches fly through the frozen skies, and human beings' deepest essence is manifest as talking animals that remain their faithful companion for life – their daemon. Players can assume the role of Lyra, a young girl, along with her daemon Pantalaimon (Pan), as she journeys through the frozen wastes of the North to rescue a friend kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as The Gobblers and winds up on an epic quest to save not only her world, but ours as well. Gamers can also take on the character of Iorek Byrnison, a great armoured polar bear who joins the quest. As Lyra, players use their daemon and collaborate with in-game characters, collecting special items in order to explore, evade, and deceive their way through confrontations with the Gobblers, the Magisterium, and the horribly dangerous spy fly to find her friend. They can also do battle as Iorek with special attacks and a riding mechanic as he protects Lyra during the journey. Gamers can unlock secrets and mini-games using a mysterious, truth-telling golden compass device called an alethiometer. Players can explore 13 vast locations, including all-new breath-taking environments not seen in the film, on this massive journey of collaboration, exploration and the eternal struggle between good and evil. [Sega] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 6 out of 6
  1. The only bright (white) spot in the general mediocrity is the polar bear Iorek who fights like a professional wrestler. All the rest of the action consists of jumping and minigames repeated without much diversity. That is, if we don't count the occasional changes of the point of view that cause no end of frustration - it's easy to fall to your death from a shelf or plank when suddenly forward becomes right. Combined with very sparse save points, it seems like an attempt to punish the player for even trying. [March 2008]
  2. 35
    Even the music, as pretty as it is, can't redeem such poor gameplay and atrocious presentation.
  3. The lesson I learned from The Golden Compass is that children these days can be viewed less as imaginative, problem solving young beings who deserve to be inspired by well made games, and more as an extension of the parental wallet. [Mar 2008, p.60]
  4. A distinctly shoddy game - iffy controls, rubbish bear fights, dull levels and gameplay obsessed with balancing, jumping and the most inane rhythm action ever devised. [Mar 2008, p.84]
  5. Revoltingly poor insult to a wonderful book. Just don't. [Mar 2008, p.81]
  6. In general, playing the game is a sinusoidal process of momentary elation as you uncover a new element, quickly followed by deep disappointment as you discover it’s a piece of crap.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 8 out of 8