Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What we can learn from No Man's Sky

Every other gaming and geek website is talking about all the fumbles and missteps taken by No Man's Sky. If you're uninitiated, No Man's Sky is a game that promised the universe to players in the hype leading up to release and didn't deliver.

And somehow the world was surprised...

This isn't the first time consumers have been up disappointed in video game releases. Far from it in fact. It was just a few years ago that the makers of Aliens: Colonial Marines was sued for falsely advertising their game to the point where the trailer didn't even tangentially resemble the finished game. The last game in the Arkham series was met with hostility when the PC version had more glitches than features.

A lot of the conversations about these games focus on what the developers could've done differently, or how the public is responding to the latest developments with the latest gaming disaster, but little is ever said about how the consumer can avoid running into these games in the first place. Let's go through a few ideas so that your Christmas day doesn't turn into a gaming nightmare.

Learn Who to Trust
Most game companies have their occasional misses, but it's good to know who has the most reliable patterns. Nintendo is the king of what you see is what you get, as their releases are reliably ready to go out the door. An occasional patch is needed, but other than that the games are exactly what they advertise. Ubisoft and Bethesda usually come out with fun open world games, though they usually need a couple weeks to fix the massive glitches their games come with. Blizzard is usually reliable, since their only real miss was Diablo 3, but the game was fixed six months later to become one of many gamers favorite games.

Take the Hype With a Grain of Salt
Game trailers these days have the same development budgets as multi-million dollar movies. As impressive as they look, ask yourself how much of the trailer is gameplay and how much is pre-rendered cinematic. When the developers are doing interviews and press announcements, ask yourself what parts of the game they're not talking about, and then ask yourself why. If all of this seems up to par, remember also that the No Man's Sky crew seemed to do everything right but we still got what we got.

Patience is a Virtue
Developers have learned that they make the most money on the first few days a game comes out. Some retailers and developers will even offer deals or in-game content for buying a game day one. The problem is as soon as day two hits the reviews start, and the rest of the people have a chance to make an informed decision on weather they want the game. Wait at least a week after a game comes out, that way you can hear if the game is worth it or not, plus if the game has online components it always takes a week to hammer out the issues with the online issues.

What games have you been burned by?

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