Is it worth it to play games on day 1?
As you probably know, I do have a backlog problem, and I’m not alone. I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually played a game on the release date.
I think it was God of War 3 on the PS3, which released on March 2010. I remember skipping class in college just because I couldn’t wait to see the continuation of the massive cliffhanger at the end of God of War 2.
After the opening sequence I remembered thinking to myself: damn, that was worth it! Let’s finish this whole game now!
Fast forward to 2018: I’m now at a full-time job, travelling every week (for work), with not enough time to play as much as I’d like. Because of my backlog, I’m constantly playing catch-up. I mean, I ONLY JUST FINISHED SKYRIM, 7 years late!
You may be thinking “boy, he’s a downer”, but rest assured, it’s not all bad.
Even though you risk having games spoiled and you may feel like you’re not always playing “the latest”, there are some advantages to waiting before buying games:
Let others play it first
Since our time is very valuable, it’s good to let others have a go at a game first and then give you a full rundown of a game. Of course there’s reviews you can read, but who better than a friend (or Random Select) to give you a recommendation. It’s because of my blogging colleague David (df205 on our site) that I’ve played games like Overwatch, Life is Strange and am soon to try Horizon Zero Down.
Engage with others, listen to their points of view and then make an informed decision on whether to give a game a try.
Day 1 patches
I recently heard how Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller had to retract a tweet where he was criticizing Shadow of the Tomb Raider for some presentation issues that turned out to be resolved with a Day 1 patch.
The fact that games can now ship practically unfinished due to artificial deadlines being imposed on developers means that if you’re an early adopter, you risk playing a product that is well beyond the quality its creators intended. For this reason, I’m perfectly ok with waiting before buying.
There may be a remaster coming
Even though I’m not an advocate of quick cash grabs in the name of lack of creativity, I do understand that gaming companies are businesses that need to maintain a steady cash flow. I also understand that it gives slow players like me time to play improved versions of their games in current platforms as opposed to older ones that I may no longer have access to.
No need to wait for sequels
If there’s a series that you haven’t been able to play for a long time, there’s a chance you can get several of their games out of the way at once. For me, that will be the Witcher saga, which I haven’t touched, but have heard great things about.
I expect some people to tell me I can just skip 1 and 2 and go straight to 3, which again, is the advantage to having waited this long to get into it (feel free to let me know in the comments, I’d appreciate the advice).
Tons of online help
I’m unapologetic when it comes to getting stuck in a game and looking up hints online. It’s not that I immediately jump to Google at the first sign of difficulty, but I honestly don’t have the time to grind or try every single arbitrary combination of items that will give me the rewards I need (looking at you, Stardew Valley). If there’s an effective and time-efficient way of doing something (as long as it’s not an exploit or cheat), I’d like to know about it.
At the end of the day, whatever game you happen to be playing, make sure you remember to simply enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is, and just because a game was hyped and brand new, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth your time.
Which games are you planning on getting to that you haven’t for a long time? Next on my list will probably be Uncharted 4. What’s yours?
eduv77 View All
I've been a gamer since the SNES days and Donkey Kong Country was the first game I ever owned.
I currently work as a management consultant, and my console of choice is the Nintendo Switch, which I carry with me during my travels.
I am pumped to play Spider-Man, but when I saw there’s several DLC coming out throughout 2018, I decided to wait for the Goty or Definitive edition which will include them all. As much fun as this game might be, I think I can wait.
Death Stranding, however, needs to be played immediately or else the spoilers will rain down and me and ruin the brain mashing madness that Kojima will bring upon us.
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Yeah, that’s true. There are definitely some games that need to be played soon after release to avoid spoilers. I’m very worried Uncharted 4 and God of War will get spoiled, so I’ll try to get to them soon!
I have played games on day of release a few times, like Metal Gear Phantom Pain, God of War PS4, and Spider-Man PS4 but not that often as games are so expensive now. If its a title I know I’ll love, then I will get it. Kinda toying with preordering Red Dead Redemption 2, but not decided yet. One of the best games I’ve played some time after release day was Horizon Zero Dawn, that was brilliant. I think it just depends on if you just simply HAVE to have it, or if you feel you can wait a bit: IE if you are already playing another game and haven’t finished that yet. You sum it up well, whatever game, just enjoy it. Oh, and enjoy Uncharted 4, loved that game!
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Price has definitely become a sticking point as well. Why pay full price for a game I probably won’t get to straight away? The only times I do buy in advance or on Day 1 is, like you said, to get something I HAVE to get (the last one being Super Mario Party for Switch, my wife and I are really into multiplayer games now), or to support companies/developers that I like and would like to see more of.
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Exactly, and as you say, its always best to stick to games and genres that you really like. That way it makes it more worthwhile getting a game on release day 🙂
These are all really great arguments for playing a game after it has had some time to settle! I particularly agree with your point about waiting til you know for sure whether it’s good or bad – I’ve dodged some bullets not picking up titles on day one that turned out to have cruddy reviews.
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Absolutely, there’s nothing wrong in learning from other people’s mistakes! And you never know, there’s always a chance that a game will be turned around down the line (like Destiny 2, as a recent example).