Late last month, we talked about the reasons gamers might want to wait months before playing a big new game. As promised, we will be discussing the other side of the argument now, talking about the five reasons why gamers might want to jump into a big new game at launch. Sure, it might feel like jumping into several burning buildings all at once, but sometimes, it is worth it.
Everyone and their cat knows that most of the time, it isn’t a great idea to pre-order a title and it is always a good idea to wait for reviews before jumping in. However, sometimes I, for one, just can’t help myself and there are quite a few reasons why. If you are like me and sometimes jump into a big new game at launch, then you should share your reasons in the comment section, as we are probably in the minority.
There are just some developers out there that I believe in so much that I would pre-order their latest title without question. Sure, that might be a bit naive, but trust in a developer definitely helps when jumping into a big new game at launch. These developers are few and far between, but some prime examples are CD Projekt Red with their brilliant work on The Witcher franchise (which is why I will throw my money at a Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order) as well as From Software who is known for the Soulsborne games. The latter has Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releasing and although the publisher (Activision) might not be everyone’s favourite, Souls veterans shouldn’t miss out as the game is looking fantastic.
These developers also really try to push out the best content possible (as huge DLC or for free) and steer clear of any kinds of microtransactions. They forgo that annoying always online requirement that so many games these days have and it seems like they don’t even know what “games as a service” means, leaving all these infuriating yet popular buzzwords far away from their titles and just focusing on delivering a quality project.
Shining With Confidence
Some developers and publisher do not allow reviews of a game to go live before the game actually launches. There’s only controlled gameplay videos from the developer and it is really tough to tell if a game will live up to its hype. Other times, however, developers provide free open betas like with The Division 2, or a free demo that anyone can test out.
This type of confidence from some developers is a good indication that the game will turn out to be great, or at the very least, not a big disappointment. If you’ve played a game before launch in beta or a demo and you loved it, then it might be a good idea to get it on launch day, because you already know the gameplay is good. With that being said, games can change from beta to full release and developers do have the right to make changes, some of which you might not agree with, so caution is still advised.
When I reported on the updated WoW: Classic content plan recently, I couldn’t help but think back to the days of the original World of Warcraft. I took a leap back in 2004 and jumped in right at the start and even though the experience was far from perfect, it did provide me with some lifelong friends.
Going through the struggles of playing a game like WoW (or any MMO) on launch day gives early adopters that sense of comradery bound together by the experience. No matter which game it is really, if you end up playing it for years, you will look back on those early days and say “we made it!” looking back at the issues that, at the time, seemed frustrating with a smile and the knowledge that you were there when it all started. Fans of WoW, specifically, want those days back so much that Blizzard will be releasing World of Warcraft: Classic this year, which in itself says something about the “good old days”.
Not Left Behind
When you are playing an online game, especially one with a progression system and endgame content, it is easy to get left behind when you wait weeks or months to jump on the wagon. When you don’t play that big new online game at launch, you have a lot of catching up to do and I’ve experienced this with World of Warcraft expansions a few times during my years with the game but this point also works for the likes of Destiny 2 and just about any online game with an endgame progression you can think of.
Your friends are all raiding the latest bosses, while you level up. When you finally get to max level and start working on your endgame gear, you might also feel as if you are dragging the team down with less-than-ideal gear or character power level. This happens quite a lot and it is definitely a reason to jump into that big new game at launch, especially if you are sure you will be playing it for a long time to come and you have friends or a guild with dedication as well.
That Competitive Nature
Have you ever been at a “braai” or any other form of social gathering and all your friends were talking about a new game they are playing? A competitive nature isn’t just about multiplayer games, as you can also feel that when talking about challenging single player games. Have you beaten “insert boss here” yet in a Souls game? Have you gotten to a specific part in a title, or upgraded your character with an awesome new weapon? These questions from friends and discussing it with them shortly after a game’s release is simply great and you won’t be able to participate if you don’t play a big new game at launch.
There’s also the multiplayer side of things and jumping into a game early can give you an advantage over latecomers. Practice makes perfect after all and the more you play an esports title, the better you will get. You will also see the metagame evolving and make adjustments to your playstyle accordingly. This, in turn, gets easier and easier as new balance updates for a multiplayer game arrives, so getting into it early could be to your advantage.
What do you think about these reasons for playing a big new game at launch? Do you have any more reasons to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below.