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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Worth Playing (Apr 30, 2008)
For adults, this title falls far short of the bar for a good game. The thing is, however, it is not a game for adults. This title is for children who would or have enjoyed Pullman's novels, and likewise the movie adapted from the first book of the trilogy. Based upon this reasonable criteria, The Golden Compass is a good game and deserves a score commensurate with that determination — the largest demerit here is that the game has only niche appeal, even for some kids without a taste for "His Dark Materials." I've warned away adults and older teens intending to play by themselves, and that should suffice as due diligence. I will further say, with the movie available this week on home video, and the novels available in paperbound editions, you can for the cost of the now-reduced price of the game, buy the movie and the first book in the series.
Jive Magazine (Dec 06, 2007)
The Golden Compass promises to bring the beloved story to life through adventure and harrowing action sequences. As Lyra, players will evade dangers and traverse a magical landscape while uncovering the secret behind the disappearance of her friend and uncle. And as Iorek, the fearsome armored bear, players will smash through obstacles and enemies in order to protect Lyra along her way. Their travels will take them through a collection of unique locations, such as the port town Trollesund and a dark and foreboding research station in Bolvangar as well as areas not seen in the film. Together Lyra, Pan and Iorek embark on an epic journey of action, exploration, collaboration and discovery.
65 (Dec 04, 2007)
De nombreux petits défauts, notamment au niveau de la réalisation, viennent un peu ternir l'ensemble d'un jeu qui fourmille de bonnes idées. Ces aventures en compagnie de Lyra, Pan ou Iorek n'en restent pas moins fraîches et sincèrement distrayantes pour autant que l'on soit amateur de fantasy ou de programmes jeunesse.
En resumen, La brújula dorada no es un mal juego, pero se ha quedado a medias en muchos aspectos, sobre todo el apartado gráfico y la jugabilidad. En el plano visual no parece un juego de PS3, pero lo más grave es que es excesivamente lineal, fácil y repetitivo, lo que no lo hace apto para jugadores experimentados. Los niños pequeños son los únicos que le sacarán partido. Lo que está cada vez más claro es que la maldición de los juegos basados en películas es infalible.
Cheat Code Central (Dec 16, 2007)
Despite its uninspired gameplay, the simple tasks and challenges may appeal to a younger audience, especially those that've seen the film. But if you're part of the "+" demographic in The Golden Compass' "E10+" rating, then you'll likely be bored soon after Iorek's opening wolf-whuppin' battle sequence. To the game's credit, it does represent the movie pretty well through it's visual presentation, cinematic score, and likenesses and voice work provided by many of the film's stars. The movie clips are also a nice touch. The film's and book's youngest fans may be entertained by this one for several hours, but everyone else probably won't.
Computer Bild Spiele (Jan 02, 2008)
Die Erwartungen waren groß und wurden leider nicht erfüllt: "Der Goldene Kompass" reiht sich als Spiel in die Riege der typischen Lizenzumsetzungen ein, die nicht an die Vorlage heranreichen. Die Last schien einfach zu groß: In dem Bemühen, möglichst alle Aspekte aus Film und Buch unterzubringen, gelang nichts davon sonderlich gut. So sind weder die Actioneinlagen noch die Kompassfragen unterhaltsam geworden - und oftmals sind die Spielstufen auch sehr unterschiedlich in Sachen Schwierigkeitsgrad und Logik. So können Sie zwar bei Fragen an den Kompass durchaus richtige Symbole erraten, die Ihnen eigentlich noch fehlen, aber obwohl das Spiel sie als richtig anzeigt, merkt es sich nicht, dass Sie die Bedeutung kennen und führt sie nach wie vor als unbekannt - nur einer von vielen kleine Fehlern und Merkwürdigkeiten.
It doesn't take an amber spyglass to see that this shameless cash-in is composed of the darkest materials in gaming.
48 (Dec 13, 2007)
Auch wenn Der Goldene Kompass primär für junge und ungeübte Spieler konzipiert wurde, wirkt das Ganze unterm Strich zu simpel und primitiv. Die meiste Zeit geht es darum, rechtzeitig vorgegebene Knöpfchen zu drücken, was selbst für lethargische Grobmotoriker kein Problem darstellen dürfte. Okay, es wird auch gehüpft, gekämpft, gerätselt und geforscht. Aber auch hier wirkt alles enorm schlicht und anspruchslos. Und kommt man doch mal nicht weiter, ist meist einfach nur die störrische Kamera oder hakelige Kollisionsabfrage schuld. Den Rest erledigt auch die anvisierte Zielgruppe (das Spiel ist ab 12 Jahren freigegeben) im Schlaf. Das wäre ja nicht weiter schlimm, würden wenigstens Story, Kulisse und Spielerverlauf fesseln. Doch der Dramaturgie fehlen trotz Original-Filmschnipseln teils entscheidende Zusammenhänge, Technik und Präsentation sind äußerst bescheiden und spielerisch stolpert man quasi von einem öden Minispiel zum nächsten.
GameSpot (Dec 11, 2007)
Initially, the wide variety of gameplay elements make it seem like there's going to be a lot to do in The Golden Compass. Unfortunately, most of these facets are too repetitive, too frustrating, or too boring to keep anyone's interest, young or old. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, the game is just the latest in a string of movie tie-ins that sacrifice good gameplay for the sake of a quick buck.
Gamer 2.0 (Dec 10, 2007)
There’s not really much more to say about the game other than just ranting about our horrible experience with it. Surely, that would bore you, our respected readers. We’re actually somewhat sorry that you’re being exposed to this game in the first place. Please, look elsewhere for gaming if you want to do yourselves a favor.
PSX Extreme (Jan 29, 2008)
As we said before, the only good part of the movie that found its way into the game is the music, and beyond that, we've got a poorly constructed game. We can't make it any simpler than that. You'll probably be able to make it through the first few hours, but when you realize not much is going to change, you'll stop playing. And we're only talking about big fans of the movie; anybody else will stop playing even sooner due to the crucially flawed gameplay, bad graphics and depth that never comes to fruition. The Golden Compass really isn't anything more than yet another game based on a movie that falls well shy of "quality." ‘sigh' The trend may never die.
40 (Dec 23, 2007)
The Golden Compass, the book, has received more critical praise than it can count. Unfortunately, the same doesn't hold true for the movie or the video game. The reason why the game didn't come out well is simple, movie-games usually forced to agree to an impossible deadline. Corners were cut everywhere and it shows. With a book so full of imagination, it is disappointing to see the game turn out the way it did. Youngsters are sure to thoroughly enjoy the game and not care or notice the negative aspects all that much. All they will care about is when can they beat up more wolves as Iorek.
AceGamez (Jan 09, 2008)
If I am being lenient, The Golden Compass may hold a passing interest for the least demanding of gamers. Children under ten might fin a modicum of fun amongst the varying game modes and will probably enjoy any time spent controlling Iorek - he is a giant armoured polar bear after all. Remove leniency however and the game is simply shocking; it is a poorly put together mishmash of ideas that never gels. Ugly, repetitive and painfully boring, its mercifully short length and rousing orchestral score are its only redeeming qualitites. Needless to say, regardless of wheter you are a fan of the series, young or old, this game simply isn't worth your time or your money.
IGN (Dec 13, 2007)
Even if you were completely charmed by Philip Pullman's work or enjoyed the movie adaptation, there's absolutely no reason to give this game a try. Even the music, as pretty as it is, can't redeem such poor gameplay and atrocious presentation. There have been a ton of great game releases recently, so just give one of those a try instead. We assure you that you're not missing anything by sitting this one out.
If you were hoping to be swept up in the narrative, this game also ignores critical plot points from Philip Pllman's brilliant story, leaving much guesswork to the gamer. It pains me to say this, but turn off your TV and just read the book or head to your local theater. This is a story everyone must experience, just don't try interacting with it.
GameSpy (Jan 23, 2008)
The Golden Compass isn't the worst game based on a movie, but it's close. It's a combination of uninspired platforming, poorly implemented mini-games and slow and broken storytelling. Some sections require forced replays in order for players to understand what to do next, because the game does a poor job of explaining what's going on. It's not even worth collecting the Achievement Points on Xbox 360, as they are distributed in a way that forces players to endure the most tedious elements of the game. People will have even less to show for the time spent on other versions. Regardless of platform, there are far better titles young gamers can play.
Maxim Magazine (Dec 18, 2007)
Overall, this game feels like it was cobbled together in about 20 minutes by three rummed-up one-eyed monkeys.
Game Revolution (Dec 19, 2007)
If you haven’t read the book (or watched the movie, I suppose) you definitely can’t understand the story. Without a mountain of patience the gameplay will just upset you. Absent music on your 360, the game’s tunes will just bore you. The voice acting will confuse and infuriate you no matter what. It’s the sort of game you should be payed to play, not the other way around - there’s simply no tangible reason to buy The Golden Compass.