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
  1. MikeW.
    Feb 17, 2008
    This isn't the worst game in the world, but it certainly isn't anything worth spending money on. While I'm sure that Will D has never even read this book (but heard that it was "offensive" to Catholics, even though the book doesn't even mention the subject) I would encourage everyone to read it instead of playing this game. The game slacks off what made the story so great, and instead tried to censor itself in order to appease the annoying religious right (which Will D obviously is a member of) Do NOT let this game be your first exposure to the storyline, it will ruin such a great adventure for you in the long run. Expand
  2. WillD.
    Jan 11, 2008
    Horrible graphics, boring music, and all around crappiness. This is just another game dredged up really quickly and cheaply by the movie making industry to promote a film that at the very elast is offensive to Catholics. However when summerizing the game religion is beside the point. As I said it is just a cheap, basically add for the movie. Quite similar to the Harry Potter games only far worse (and thats saying quite alot). Expand
  3. AnonY.
    Dec 21, 2007
    Appaling movie, worse game.
  4. MikeU.
    Jan 30, 2008
    The best part is uninstalling it. The movie was ok, but the game is something you should avoid. Children may have some fun with this, but anyone else would be wise enough to buy something else. Expand
  5. JustinS.
    Feb 21, 2008
    Just another cheap advertisement for some crappy movie to try and get gamers to watch it. I will do no such thing. Horrible controls, graphics are shoddy at best, and gameplay is less inventive then a barrel full of monkeys. Children would be better off finding a dead body to poke with a stick, which is actually about twice as entertaining as this horrible game. Expand
  6. BarackO.
    Aug 8, 2008
    As future president of the united states, i hereby order the immediate destruction of this game all together and that the makers be ceased and fined $250,000 for disturbing the peace and balance of man kind. This game is a disgrace who ever mad it should feel horrible. This is astonishingly horrific. Expand
  7. SmokeyM
    Jun 2, 2008
    Awful. The movie was wholly terrible with the exception of "gandalf the bear"... that gave me much kicks. This game doesn't really even have that and that we're peddling it onto minors makes me question the content rating system. The movie slaughtered the book with no class whatsoever - the game does the same (somehow) , just with slightly less class. Expand

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