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Review Breakdown

The following is a loose guide for users of Play Die Reload to show what our reviewers tend to look at when reviewing a game. Obviously some of the points will not apply to some games, such as items/weapons in a no weapon platformer. However these points generally guide what is included in reviews on PDR.

Users should know that these guidelines may change at any time depending on need for more information, removal of guidelines due to redundancy, disinterest or other unforeseen factors.

Gameplay


Is it fun?

Does the game compel you to keep playing it?

Does the gameplay flow well?

Are there portions of the game that drag? Did the game go on too long? Did the story flow well?

Are the user controls well designed?

Are the controls easy to understand? Do all control types have a good set of options, including controller, keyboard/mouse and other devices that might be applicable such as steering wheels, joysticks etc. Can the controls be fully remapped? Do some actions share controls in an unwieldy manner?

Is the story interesting?

Is the story engaging? Do the characters add to the story or take away from it? Are the cutscenes interesting and well made?

Variety of weapons/items/armor?

Are the weapons/items/armor/abilities used in the game engaging? Is there plenty of variety where applicable?

Length of the game?

Is the game too long or not long enough?

Level design

Does the level design lend itself to immersion? Were the levels just corridors or more dynamic? Were the quick save points well spaced out?

Enemy design

Was there a variety of enemies? Where the enemy abilities interesting? Do they challenge the player to use different styles of engagement?

Graphics


Are the graphics options good?

Do the graphics options give the player a wide variety of customisation? Is there resolution options? Fullscreen, Windowed, and Borderless Windowed modes? Were there any problems with changing options?

Are the in game textures well made?

Are there repeat textures? Are the textures a reasonable resolution? Do the textures make the level/weapons/armor/items/enemies look bad or good?

Are there graphical glitches?

Are there any problems with the graphics in game? Is there screen tearing, even with vsync on? Is there pop in textures that are very obvious?

FPS

Can the game run at over 30fps? Are there any obvious slow downs in the game's frame rate?

Immersion/Atmosphere

Do the graphics achieve a good atmosphere that lends itself to the game background? Do the graphics give good immersion into the gameplay or does it break immersion?

Sound/Soundtrack


Sound options

Are the a reasonable amount of sound options. Does the game break up sound controls into several sections such as voice, background, music etc.

Sound quality

Are the sounds including effects and music recorded into a high quality format?

Voice acting quality

Is the acting in the game of a high quality? Do the voice actors fit the characters?

Soundtrack variety

Is there a good variety of music for the game. Does the game repeat a lot of music to the point that it gets grating? Did the soundtrack let itself to aiding immersion into the game world?

Sound effects variety

Are there a wide variety of sounds for different items/weapons/enemies?
Scoring


Scoring on PDR reviews is divided into 4 sections. Gameplay, Graphics, Sound/Soundtrack and final score. The final score is the mean of the previous three scores.

One Star

One star score for any given section means the game has an excessive amount of bugs or other problems to the point that the reviewer was unable to continue playing for example excessive game crashes, excessive game save corruption, excessive game bugs and so on.

Two Stars

Two star score for any given section means that the game has many bugs or other problems. For example it was obvious to the reviewer that the game was uninspired, was not polished, didn't have features that are considered the standard in the industry and/or game genre.

Three Stars

Three star score for any given section means that the game was generally competent even if it does have issues. Whilst the game is not exemplary it was fun and had all the right elements to make a game in that genre of reasonable quality.

Four Stars

Four star score for any given section means that the game was above average even if it does have issues. The issues are usually small and don't really effect the gameplay in any meaningful manner. The game came up with a way to use the game play/graphics/sound in a way that is interesting compared to other games in that genre.

Five Stars

Five star score for any given section means that the game was over and above what would be expected in that genre. The reviewer could not find any discernible issues with the section and overall the game was very fun and enjoyable/addicting to play. The reviewer considers it the standard of what games like it should be.

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