Why I Have a Better Experience Playing Games Months After Release

Why I Have a Better Experience Playing Games Months After Release

Growing up I never received consoles or games as soon as they came out. At home I stuck to the family Nintendo 64 and original Xbox until I was old enough to buy my own Xbox 360 console during Christmas of 2011, just after Skyrim released (pretty much what pushed me into it). Since then I've owned a PlayStation 3 as well, and only ever bought games that were not new but obviously popular. Until Bloodborne released in 2015 bundled with the PlayStation 4.

There has only been a handful of games I've bought within two weeks of release for the PS4 and just about all of them I've played for a week or two and put down to play something else. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel EditionThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Fallout 4 I've all enjoyed immensely, but stopped playing pretty quickly. I had a great experience playing Fallout 4 during the 24 hours I’ve put into it, however it felt different to my very late experience with its previous title Fallout 3.

Even though I had little patience for Fallout 3’s snail slow progress in regards to story and gameplay, I still had that “wow” whenever I came across something I didn’t expect to see in the world. I think Bethesda is great in that aspect of world building. Something I thought they did even better in F4. What felt different to me was when I played Fallout 4, I was sharing the experience with a whole lot of other people.

As per usual when a AAA title is released, there is much chatter around various medias regarding the game, and especially massively open world titles like this one. Sharing an experience is not always a bad thing (ESO for example was obviously better to experience with other people as it’s an MMO, therefore jumping in at release time is perfect). With single player games however, its difficult for me to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing a game 7 years late. Something important can be spoilt from a simple tweet on Twitter, or the game can feel tainted at times by negativity that points out flaws that wouldn’t have even bothered me before.

There are obvious reasons why waiting months to play a game is better. The cost goes down; DLC is out and bundled with the main game for a better price; annoying bugs and glitches are patched up; and sometimes after listening to the fans, developers add extra little features into their game: like a much needed stash chest in The Witcher 3. All add up for a smoother experience.

Alomora64 gaming blog the witcher 3 geralt
The Witcher 3 is always a great experience, obviously...

I’m especially more careful after purchasing Shadow of Mordor on PS3 when it first released. That game was hardly playable, with graphics that matched the PS2 era, consistent frame rate drops, and long loading screens between every single menu pause to check inventory or stats. I mean you were actually stuck on a black screen for 30 seconds after pausing in game to level up or change gear. How ridiculous! I waited out a month before sending that game back, hoping the developers would immediately patch up the most game breaking bugs. Honestly, that game never should have released on old consoles at all. And yet it got multiple game of the year awards because these versions got ignored.

I’m currently playing through Tomb Raider on Xbox One which released in 2013, and having a hell of a time with it! I can’t wait to finish and post my thoughts here. It’s a very popular franchise that I’ve obviously heard much about before, but this is my first run with the famous Lara Croft, and I am so glad I ignored the hype and waited to play this, to have my own experience with it.

There will definitely be some games I absolutely cannot wait months after release to play, Dark Souls 3 for example. But I intentionally ignore gossip about Souls games anyway. I already know they’re going to be good, and it’s a game that’s meant to be experienced on your own, but I can’t ignore the internet long enough to wait for a price drop or bug fixes (what little there are in From Software games anyway). No Man’s Sky will also be a game not to wait for. Besides these, I would much prefer to wait out the hype, and create a completely personal and fun memory of my own.

How do you prefer to experience your games? Let me know in the comments :)

30 Jan 2016 11:26 AMBrittany Mitchell