Do I, or Don’t I? The art of defining ‘must buy’ games

the division gamesEach year I look through the release calendar to see what games I’m going to put on my “must have list”. Said list is then shown to my wife. Once I’ve survived that encounter I play the waiting game counting down the days until release.

Sometimes the game was worthy of a place on my list like Mario Kart 8 or Grand Theft Auto V for example and then there’s some which just disappoint and make me question my ability to know what I want; step in Watchdogs and/or Destiny. Now to make my “list” takes a few things. Past experience for example. I knew I’d love Grand Theft auto as I’ve loved every GTA game that there has been, but a new IP or a game I’ve not played past installments require further research such as The Division.

Who develops/publishes the game is a big factor. With the inevitable (I feel it in my bones) announcement of the next Red Dead game it’s an instant must have because I trust the people who are making it and I know that it will be a great game. When a new development team is brought in it inevitably brings doubt and cautiousness (Halo springs to mind here and the state of the Master Chief Collection didn’t help matters in that case). Release Schedule. Sometimes for whatever reason two or three or even more games that I’m interested in are scheduled for release around the same time. The end of last year was particularly busy (and expensive) due to a new Halo, Forza, Tomb Raider, and Fallout among others, all releasing in a short amount of time. But that’s November for you, the holiday season.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Decisions need to be made and some games just don’t make the list because of finances. Now the reason I raise this subject is because two games that haven’t made my list have ended up being games that I’ve fallen in love with. First we have Rainbow 6 Siege. Yes the Season pass is a rip off and yes it has issues as well as lacking a story mode but damn that game is amazing fun when you have a group of friends. The skill and tactics required are right up my street and I just love to play.

The next game is The Division. Like everyone else I was amazed by its E3 reveal and couldn’t wait. Ubisoft though let me down with a number of games and then we learned of delays and downgrades and what was originally going to be a must have, became a wait and see. I was fortunate to take part in the Alpha and I’ll be honest, I had a horrid time. Either I didn’t get it or didn’t like the feel I don’t know but I just hated it. I didn’t like the Dark Zone with its stupid rogue system and I’d already learned the hard way with Destiny that I’m just not going to be happy with a grind machine. These concerns were debated in depth with some gaming friends and when the beta came along I hopped on and gave it a second chance. I don’t know what changed or why it was such a drastically different experience but I really enjoyed myself. Now the game is released and I can see that it was worthy of a space on my list all along. I’m going to have to be a lot more thorough when choosing my games as I would hate to miss out on a gem.

Do you plan out your game purchases or do you just wait and see? Do friends’ intentions affect your decision? What’s the method to your purchasing madness?

Words by Rob Pearce

Leave a Reply