Breakdown of an IGN Review YouTube video

Every YouTuber starting their YouTube gaming channel wants to make it big on the platform.

I mean, why wouldn’t you? That’s why you created the channel in the first place.

Reaching subscriber milestones is a big deal.

To make it big on this platform, you have to learn from the pros.

IGN is a big name in gaming videos and since our focus here is gaming YouTube channels, we’ll take pointers from their videos.

In this post, I will do a breakdown of one of IGN’s reviews, which are revered as high-quality reviews by the entire gaming community.

IGN is a reputable name in the gaming industry for creating high-quality, unbiased reviews to highlight the good and bad aspects of a game.

They have over 16 million subscribers on YouTube and provide authentic reviews of games in their videos and blogs.

You can learn a lot from watching their videos. And you can incorporate some of their ideas to make your videos better.

This is why I’m taking IGN’s Red Dead Redemption 2 review as my specimen to dissect and highlight what is being done by them to make their video so engaging and appealing to the audience.

This will help you find out how you can create amazing quality videos just like IGN!

Continue reading and let’s find out how you can make high-quality videos too.

See below to watch the video: 

Straight To The Point

Starting off with the video, you can see that IGN displayed the game’s actual footage instead of the gimmicky “Like this video, subscribe and press the bell icon” stuff.

They start with an introduction that outlines exactly what they’ll cover in the coming video. 

They start telling you a little bit about the game’s story while showcasing game footage in the background. 

After telling the viewers about the game for a good 40 seconds, IGN formally starts the video by presenting the title of the game, the name of the narrator, and the platform the game was reviewed on.

This is an amazing tip to learn.

You will notice that there were no flashy intros or outros in the video, nor was there any weird music or cheap transitions during the duration of the review.

The review is footage of the actual raw gameplay.

So, if a person is only interested in knowing about Red Dead Redemption 2, this video is perfect for them.

IGN made sure that the video was to-the-point.

In-Depth Description Of The Game

As you move forward in the review, you can notice that the narrator describes the story as if you are actually playing the game. This way you get to experience the story from your own point of view, instead of just being told what the narrator experienced. 

The commentary is not forced and is very natural, believable, and sincere. 

Red Dead Redemption has many different settings in one gigantic map, like the mountains, the forest, the caves, the slums, etc. And the IGN review does a good job of showing off all these exciting environments to viewers.  

Also, notice that they highlight the small details in the game like petting dogs, having chats with the NPCs, playing minigames, etc.

None of these features are major factors in the game, but this attention to detail by the reviewer adds texture and depth to the review. It helps communicate that, yes, the reviewer actually did play the game. And yes, they really did pay attention so they could tell you about the tiny little details that bring the game’s world to life.  

Simple instructions like switching your game to first-person mode, manually looting dead bodies, and how to purchase objects from stores, gives the review a tutorial-essence which is fun to watch for people who have not played the game.

Dividing into Sections of interest

The video is divided into multiple sections according to highlights of the game.

These sections highlight the different aspects of the game.

This will ensure that the user watches what they’re interested in.

For example, if you like large open-world games, you will be more interested in knowing how big the map is and how many points of interest the map has.

So, when reviewing a game, make sure that you capture all the essentials that your viewers require. And don’;t be afraid to break your review up into sections. 

For example, you could break your review up into sections such as graphics, sound, gameplay. Or you could break the game review up into key elements that really stand out in that game. For example, for Elden Ring, your sections could be Combat, difficulty, world, story, enemies, graphics, and sound. 

In short, you have to take into consideration what your viewers want and describe it.

Watermark in the video

If you watch closely, you can notice an IGN watermark on the bottom right of the video.

This is to highlight that this is a video by IGN.

You can notice that they take snapshots from this picture and upload it on their blog of the same review.

I mean, you might be wondering if the game is available for everyone. Why watermark the gameplay video?

The watermark on the bottom right of the video is more than just a watermark, it’s a brand!

When you come across a video with the watermark of IGN at the bottom right, you’ll know that this video is trustable because it’s by IGN.

And nobody can repost this video as their own because of that particular watermark.

So, adding a watermark in the video is not going to do you any harm.

Moreover, inserting your logo in the video actually helps you funnel more viewers to your YouTube channel when you share this video on different platforms.

Similarly, if you want to develop a reputation for yourself by delivering authentic reviews, then why not add a watermark to your video.

But make sure:

  •  The watermark is not too flashy.
  •    It does not take the attention from the entire video.
  •    It’s not opaque or big enough to hide objects from the footage.

Comparison with other games

IGN was not shy to mention that this game has some similarities to GTA5, which is Rockstar’s previous installment.

And IGN is very careful not to reveal any spoilers in other games they mention. Just in case the person watching the review hasn’t played the mentioned games. 

The reviewer also goes on to highlight the differences between Red Dead Redemption 1, which was on PS3 and Xbox 360, and 2.

From the mechanics to the continuation of the story, the reviewer highlights the link between the two games.

This is helpful to the viewer in determining if they should play the first Red Dead game first, or if they can skip it and move straight on to the second installment. 

So a good rule of thumb is, feel free to compare the game to similar games in the same genera. Don’t be afraid to directly compare game mechanics, graphics, or design. 

And you should point out the previous games in a series if you are reviewing a sequel. You can then compare how the sequel has progressed or regressed, or if the gameplay and other elements have evolved or stayed static. 

Providing an overview of the playable content

Before mentioning the missions of the game, the IGN review gives a brief overview game’s different missions. 

They could be chase missions, bank robberies, boring escort missions etc.

While also mentioning that mini-games are available for the user to play. It’s also pointed out that these mini-games have no impact on the main story.

Good quality equipment

High-quality equipment is also necessary when making such gaming videos because you need to show the game in its full essence.

IGN recorded Red Dead Redemption 2 in 4k on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X.

That requires some serious recording equipment. The Type of which Elgato is quite happy to sell you. 

In addition, the sound quality of the reviewer speaking is very good quality. I’d say almost studio-quality sound. This sound quality can be easily achieved at home with the use of a decent quality mic such as the Blu Yeti and a few sound dampening panels in your recording room. 

Make A Script!

It is also noteworthy that the narrator’s voice lacks the usual “umm…, aaa” that you usually hear in improv.

This indicates to me that they have created a script beforehand. 

Because improvising can usually lead to awkward moments that might be unappealing to the viewers.

Yes, you can edit out “umms’ and “Ahhhs”. But it’s far more effective for many people to write a script. 

I personally prefer to write an outline of the video I want to shoot and then I just start talking about the subject. Though this does introduce a few “umms’ and “Ahhhs”, it makes my voice sound a lot more natural and I can cut and splice the best sections together to make a good quality video.

Give it to ‘em straight

IGN was pretty straightforward in telling you that the game is far from perfect.

While Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece, it can feel a little slow for some gamers. This is a problem I found when I played the game. The pace of the story was snail-like! I prefer story-based games without any combat or very little combat such as Disco Elysium. I’m not particularly interested in combat in games: it bores me. I just wanted the story Red Dead 2. And the IGN review did a great job of warning me that the story will be drip-fed to me. 

Also, IGN highlighted that Arthur Morgan (the main character) got a very linear introduction.

This shows their unbiased nature when reviewing games.

If all you do is praise the games you review, people will start to think that you’re trying to sell them! I’d always make a point of reviewing games you don’t like regularly so people can see that you’re not trying to make a sale. 

You need to deliver your video like an unbiased journalist and state everything as it is.

Final Verdict

Close to the end of the video, the reviewer briefly summarizes what the whole video explained.

And gives his personal opinion about the game as his final remarks.

The reviewer also gave the game a score that appeared on screen as a video spanning red tapper declaring the game was a 10/10 masterpiece. 

You can do something as grandiose in your own videos.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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