The Golden Compass on the Xbox 360, is as you might have imagined is the video game of the movie of the book. But has Sega managed to capture the magic of both? We grab our daemon and find out.
In keeping with the film's spirit, the game sees you play Lyra Belacqua on a quest to rescue her imprisoned uncle and kidnapped best friend.
To help you out, you also get Lyra's spirit daemon, Pan, as well as a giant and powerful armored bear, Lorek, and the mysterious Golden Compass – a truth-telling device that will help lead the way.
The missions, which follow the story line of the film see you completing tasks to get to the next challenge.
Lorek the bear is good for fighting, has a mean right hook and a rage mode that allows you to stun the bad guys.
Lyra the girl is clever and nimble, can jump ledges, balance on beams and with the aid of the third character do a whole lot more. Afterall, humans not polar bears are the dominant species.
The third character is Pan, a shape-shifting creature that can go from being a ferret to a hawk, to a sloth, to a fox and allows you to get out of trouble on more than one occasion. The fox makes you run faster, the bird jumps further and the sloth able to reach out and grab ledges.
Gameplay, as you would imagine is fairly linear in keeping with the movie, but this is to be expected. It is a movie tie-in after all.
Still there are some nice touches like the balancing controls when you are on a narrow beam, and the chance to pick up tokens that give you extra life so you don't go straight back to the last checkpoint every time you make a mistake.
Graphics for The Golden Compass on the Xbox 360 are good, but not stunning however the balance of gameplay and the use of elements from the film work very well. We especially like the use of Pan for example.
There are some nice touches to the Golden Compass, but not enough to make it a game that you should pick up regardless of whether you know the books or not.
Of course if you love the film, or the books it's a very different matter, and gamers will no doubt want to re-live all the moments over and over again. I have to confess I haven't seen or read either.
One for the fans.