Critic’s Corner: Video Game Review

Among Us Has Captivated the Attention of Crewmates and Impostors Across the Internet

Critics Corner: Video Game Review

Zach Long, Junior, Managing Editor

With the new Xbox console coming up this November, followed quickly by the PlayStation 5 release, the video game market has slowed down in preparations for two of the largest console releases in a decade. Many Triple-A game companies are waiting for these gaming behemoths to release their products so that they can begin sending out their next-generation games. However, the mobile and PC exclusive video game, Among Us, has been creating a stir in the gaming community despite this.

First released in June 2018, the game did not gain much attention until more than two years later when it had a surge of popularity this September. Among Us achieved its fame through the many Twitch streamers who decided to pick up the game and play it in front of a large audience. Sodapoppin, a streamer, is credited as one of the first ones to pick up the game, causing many other famous video game icons such as Ninja, Pokimane, and PewDiePie to hop right on the bandwagon.

On mobile, the game is free-to-play, allowing anyone to be able to enjoy the simplistic 2D graphics. Among Us takes a spin on the classic murder mystery idea. In this social deduction game, each player is assigned to be either a crewmate or ‘The Imposter’. Taking place on a spaceship in outer space, the crewmates have to fill a quota of their daily tasks while The Imposter must try to kill off each of the crewmates without being caught. Once a body is found, a crewmate can call an Emergency Meeting to communicate with the other players and uncover the identity of the imposter. During each meeting, the players can either vote for which player they suspect of being The Imposter, in order to get them off the ship, or skip their vote and start the next round. Once the crewmates finish all their tasks or vote out The Imposter they win. However, if the imposter kills all but one of the crewmates without being caught, they are the victor.

Although the game includes some animations of killing off players, it’s surprisingly not scary. In fact, it is the opposite of that because of the nature of the graphics and jelly-bean resembling characters. The PC version of the game can be bought for about 5 dollars, meanwhile, the mobile version is free-to-play with ads. The game is very enjoyable to play with friends, or even online with strangers. With unique features incorporated into the game, many found their first experiences rather eventful. The imposter can do certain actions that crewmates cannot, such as sabotaging the map and utilizing the “vents” located throughout the map. The Imposter can sabotage the map in quite a few ways: they can close doors on the map which locks crewmates in rooms, turn the lights off making it difficult for crewmates to see, and cause meltdowns in the reactor or oxygen room. These meltdowns have a timer that will end the game when it reaches zero unless the crewmates fix the problem. The aforementioned vents allow for quick and stealthy travel around the map that only imposters can utilize. These vents can come in very handy when escaping from a murder scene or looking for a target. However, The Imposter must make sure that crewmates don’t see them go in and out of the vents, since imposters are the only ones who can use them. Crewmates don’t really have any unique features that they could perform, however, the tasks that crewmates have to complete vary every game, adding a bit of unpredictability. This unpredictability in Among Us is one of the reasons why players keep coming back to a murder mystery game like this, and it will hopefully stay in the spotlight for some time to come.

The game is one of the most popular right now, but this does not mean it comes without its critiques. On the mobile side of the game, the servers are very spotty and one could disconnect from a game very easily. The developers could look into the issue to see if it’s just the player’s connection or a bigger problem with the servers.  Also, to make the game feel less repetitive for players, maybe a few more maps could be introduced to the game. This could improve the game by making it more enjoyable for people to play since there are only 3 playable maps at the moment. 

Among Us grasped my attention as it did with many other gamers in the community, and I think it will be a game that will stay relevant. There were many things the game did right and a few things that could be improved upon, but overall it’s a very enjoyable experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not tried it out yet.