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The Golden Compass Review

The game of this winter's biggest blockbuster

Sega, the war is over. You're not making consoles anymore. There's no reason to try and destabilise Nintendo's success by bending over and farting this wretched game in the Wii's general direction, hoping it will somehow trip the console up and drive disgusted Wii owners to the Dreamcast. It's not going to happen. There is absolutely no reason for The Golden Compass to be quite this bad. None. At all.

The Golden Compass opens with a wonky ice-world platforming section where you control a polar bear slapping badly animated wolves, switching to control of a girl who gets past guards by making you press left on the D-pad when they lower their head and charge you. You step out of the way and the guard keeps running until he hits a wall and a badly animated explosion of ice kicks in and insults your eyes. God, you think. This is bad. But The Golden Compass is just getting warmed up.

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You're then thrown into adventure style gameplay where you have to 'deceive' people by playing small mini-games that involve pixellated red and green blobs. Sometimes you have to bounce the red blobs off the screen with the green, sometimes you have to dodge the red blobs with your single green blob, most of the time you're not entirely sure what to do so you mash on buttons until the screen shouts 'SUCCESS!' and you wonder how exactly that constitutes deceiving people. If you're reading that description and thinking that it doesn't sound like it makes sense, that's because it doesn't.

Then there's the collecting clues to find questions to ask the golden compass, in a mini-game that doesn't involve red or green blobs but is somehow even worse, the rooftop game of 'Cat And Hare', the stealth sections, the smashable crates, the cat fighting the monkey while you throw vases from the balcony... it's like a compilation of gaming's worst moments, wrapped up in a film license few will care about and presented by a strangely terrifying virtual Nicole Kidman, who looks like she's been cobbled together out of cereal boxes and coloured in with felt-tip.

We have a lot to be thankful to Sega for. Sonic The Hedgehog. Outrun. The Dreamcast. Yuji Naka. Shenmue. And now, The Golden Compass. Oh Sega. What have you done?

Comments

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  1. spicylil Monday 4th Feb 2008 at 11:51

    the game guide is rather thin in content, game not bad and had to buy the guide as i got stuck in the docks area and hadn't got a clue where to go. I'm progressing through it though sometimes it is'nt clear where you have to go and have to resort to checking the guide, which i don;t like to do unless i'm really stuck as it is more of a challenge then, what does anyone else think????

  2. stephen53 Thursday 14th Feb 2008 at 22:53

    So bad like brunswick bowling

  3. jamesgower Sunday 21st Sep 2008 at 14:21

    :evil: :evil: :evil: this game does not deserve 20%. It deserves at least 40%

  4. DBZFan355 Tuesday 10th Feb 2009 at 19:16

    Sega are one of the worst developers around at the moment. Sonic Unleashed wasn't that great, Iron Man was awful, and this lives up to Sega's current drivelly reputation. But actually, the DS version is even worse than this. I would expect a 17% maximum for that one.

    Oh, and did you know, that Newsround got three kids off the street (All totally new to gaming) and got them to play a few games and tell us their favourite. They said that Mario Galaxy had good graphics, but The Golden Compass was the best! OK, I don't know about you, but I had nightmares for the following 2 weeks.

  5. mantisboy1 Sunday 20th Sep 2009 at 11:27

    For GOD sake! cant Sega make O-N-E decent game!

  6. AbeyancesPhoneix Sunday 27th Dec 2009 at 22:57

    I got the DS version of this for Christmas. It's truly atrocious.

  7. smash-brother Monday 14th Jan 2013 at 19:35

    Sega are one of the worst developers around at the moment. Sonic Unleashed wasn't that great, Iron Man was awful, and this lives up to Sega's current drivelly reputation. But actually, the DS version is even worse than this. I would expect a 17% maximum for that one.

    Oh, and did you know, that Newsround got three kids off the street (All totally new to gaming) and got them to play a few games and tell us their favourite. They said that Mario Galaxy had good graphics, but The Golden Compass was the best! OK, I don't know about you, but I had nightmares for the following 2 weeks.

    i acually thick antivision are worse , thick about it, what exally have they given the world, a questionerbal shooter (cod), cash-cows (skylanders,angry birds triolgy) & hundreds of rubish movie tie-ins

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