With E3 now passed, gamers now have a chance to take a breath and look out upon the wave of upcoming games promised to us. With almost every company delivering a powerful and varied showing (yes, almost, I’m looking at you Nintendo), it is easy to lose oneself in the excitement. God of War, Final Fantasy 15, Horizon: Zero Dawn, ReCore, South Park: Fractured But Whole (snicker); even these few samples make one’s head reel with hype. And in the midst of that hype, it is easy to fall to one of gaming’s greatest sins, the Pre-order.
We’ve talked at length about pre-ordering several times on GamerKulture. How you should save your purchases until after release, how to see through the glossy pre-rendered scenes, and the hold to the adage of “Don’t pay for promises”.
In truth, take all of that with a grain of salt.
Each of us, both you the readers and us here at the network, have pre-ordered games. It can sometimes be too hard to resist that sweet bonus content or alluring price cut for a bundle purchase. The most important thought you should have when deciding to buy before release is this: Have I seen enough to call this an informed decision?
I think back to Overwatch before it was released. Most, if not all, of us had the game pre-ordered at least a week before release. Does that make us hypocrites, unworthy to tell others to avoid our own mistakes? No. Overwatch did open with a very strong cinematic trailer, and followed it with a very rich ad campaign full of flashy short movies and wild characters. Their most important play, however, was showing off gameplay. They filled their media with real game footage, and lots of it. We got to see how the game looked during play, how it operated, sounded, and felt. By the time we put our money down, we knew exactly the product we were getting.
In contrast, many games these days avoid showing pure gameplay. Instead we get scenes that were either rendered in game, or worse, pre-rendered outside of the game’s engine. We get cutscenes, staged gameplay, and effects dialed way beyond what most gamers will have their rigs set to. This would be great to sell a movie, but for interactive media like video games, getting to see how the actual game handles should be your chief concern as a consumer. If they don’t have that available, hold off until you can see real footage.
This article is short and to the point, but the main idea here is to help you, Consumer. Be smart in this post-E3 world. Avoid paying for promises, research before you buy, pay attention to what you are and aren’t shown. And most important….buy what you want. It’s your money, spend it how you wish, just try to Stay Kultured!