Avoiding Pre-Release Coverage


#1
  • I always avoid pre-release games coverage
  • I sometimes avoid pre-release games coverage
  • I never avoid pre-release games coverage

0 voters

When it comes to new games, I generally only want the absolute most basic premise, and maybe 1-2 minutes of gameplay just to get a sense of how it plays. Past that, I want to know as little about the story as possible, I don’t want to know the characters, I don’t want to know too many details about the setting, etc. Often, I don’t even want to know if other people like it or not. I’m generally able to determine if a game will be something I’ll enjoy or not quite quickly. Not that I’ve never had a game defy my expectations before, but my instinct is usually pretty good.

The exception to this is for gameplay heavy games like Overwatch, Rocket League, racing games, etc. In those cases, I’m happy to get a sense of exactly how they play before picking them up. If I read about what cars are in the upcoming Gran Turismo, it’s in no way going to ruin my enjoyment of the game.

The reason I do this is related to the elation I find in discovery. Playing a game cold leaves so many open possibilities, and that tends to really heighten my enjoyment of playing them. The two best cases I can think of would be Lost Dimension, and Dragon’s Dogma. Getting to explore those worlds without any pre-conceived notions brought about some of my all-time favourite moments in playing games.

In the case of Lost Dimension, I pretty much only knew that it was a tactical strategy game with ‘a twist’, and didn’t find out about the system for killing off teammates until I reached the end of the first floor. The way you actually go about discovering the unique traitor for each floor isn’t the best system, but I really enjoyed being forced to use my entire team, and having to change my strategies on the fly.

If I hadn’t picked Dragon’s Dogma up blind, I have to wonder if I would have ever even played it. The critical reception of the game at launch generally wasn’t that favourable, and I don’t really agree with a lot of the comparisons people make between it and the Souls series, or Skyrim. Things that critics took a lot of issue with, like the near lack of a fast travel system in the vanilla release, ended up being some of my favourite things about the game.

Do many others tend to find themselves treating games the same way, or am I just weirdly sensitive to this? I realize the general public tends not to care that much about spoilers, just look at movie trailers these days, but I find games can offer a really unique experience.


#2

Usually the big triple A games I look away for a while so that major coverage doesn’t spoiler the game for me. Games like Souls or Persona I dig up as much info as possible since they either lack coverage or they hold their info back to surprise us which works for their benefit.


#3

I am still trying my best to avoid Breath of the Wild coverage but its pretty much impossible when one has a Twitter account (its fine now, but the month and a half or so after it came out all those gifs looked too cool to ignore).

Otherwise, yes I try to avoid coverage of story heavy games that I intend to buy in the future (rarely get triple A releases right out of the gate for example) but in general I enjoy people talking about whatever the game du jour is even if that means spoiling it.

I am still holding out on Nier coverage too, just watched a bit of gameplay and heard people talking in general about how amazing it is, waiting for a sale.


#4

I never avoid pre-release coverage on purpose. I think it’s okay to be excited about things, it’s fun to be a part of excitement - and after all, being disappointed in a game isn’t the worst thing that can happen. One gets over it quite quickly.

But lately I find myself not paying so much attention pre-release, which I think is just because there has always been something new and cool coming out, there’s always something to be excited about right now, so it’s that much harder for something that isn’t going to be available for perhaps months to get my attention.


#5

I was finding this a lot around the time Persona 5 came out. Even with Atlus’ restrictions, I was always inundated with Persona related screenshots, videos, general quips, etc. Pretty much everyone I follow is into games, whether they’re in the media or just a friend. It actually ended up with me using Twitter a lot less, which is true even now that I’ve long since finished P5.


#6

Dragon’s Dogma is an interesting one, because while the press coverage was discouraging, the pre-release dev livestreams made it clear that it was something special. Sometimes you actually want to dig deeper, it really depends on the game.


#7

Using Twitter less, that’s probably a good thing overall :grin:


#8

I never avoid pre-release coverage. The period of time I do try to avoid is the week or two after a game has been out. That’s when sometimes people will divulge more information about the “feel” or the systems than I would like. Even when they do everything they can to avoid spoilers there always tends to be a sliver of information that changes the approach I would take the game. Even saying “what an ending” or “what a quest” makes it feel less organic when I come about it. No ones fault of course. People want to know about the game and they SHOULD share their experiences.

Back to the actual question, pre-release coverage gets me more hyped. Nothing is as awesome as a sick trailer on a big stage.


#9

I usually avoid marketing not coverage, but I’m very selective too because sometimes people trying to avoid spoilers do worse thing like explaining beat by beat the tonal changes and how a game (or movie or TV show) manipulates expectations. In general, spoilers don’t bother me that much if a game, show or movie isn’t interesting because I know a plot point or “the twist” maybe that thing isn’t that interesting period.

Is a case by case scenario, sometimes entering blind into something creates a better experience others it may even make it worse, for example in movies going blind into “The Thing” was an amazing experience and going blind into “Inland Empire” was a horrible one and I love both films. It’s more about what you’re looking for than what’s in offer and choose accordingly in the moment.


#10

I have a thing for seeing how fluid the animations and everything looks before I buy something. This really became the reason I bought dragon’s dogma shortly after release. Because I never heard anything about it and I didn’t watch any trailers or whatever but I saw a youtube video of some guy just doing a quest in a cave and just how seamless the climbing and fighting looked I just had to have it.
It’s kinda weird i admit but I tend to try to extrapolate gamefeel from videos. That is primarily what I am looking for in videogames anyway. How it feels.

edit: oh also when i heard the menu music I was like ‘yep, money well spent’


#11

It really depends on the game. I’m not a huge consumer of pre-release material, but I very rarely will opt out of consuming anything on purpose. Even for games in which I want to go in as unspoiled as possible (e.g. Dark Souls), I am usually fine with watching some of the pre-release material (like conceptual/‘mood’ trailers). The main dissuading factor is simply a lack of interest!


#12

Not being on Twitter I don’t get super-saturated with video game coverage (or a lot of other topics really) so I never feel the need to actively avoid coverage. The coverage I do see is typically third party though because first party marketing can stuff it. I also generally don’t like going into a game blind because I don’t have a ton of time to devote to games now so I hate wasting it on something I end up not liking.


#13

Hype culture is garbage and will be the end of quality games (and films, for that matter) if we let it. Being an informed consumer means you NEVER pre-order and you don’t succumb to manufactured narratives, whether from the press or anywhere else. Learn about where you source your information from. Who owns them? What’s their agenda? Of what substance is their coverage (i.e. are they actually critical, or do they simply feed the media cycle)?

Always look for more than one opinion, too! And I say this as a critic myself. In the past, I’ve written off a handful of titles based on one or even two snappy hot takes. But then, down the line, I heard a dissenting opinion that gave me pause and I checked out the title and genuinely loved it. Moral of the story: Do your research, and instead of relying on a couple of websites for info, go to Metacritic and scan the consensus. I think this will result in more enriched and eclectic purchases.


#14

I avoid as much as I can if I’m actively interested in playing something so I can go in fresh, since it makes those little moments of discovery much more fun. Helps me keep my expectations in check as well. But since most of the games I tend to actively look forward to are indie games that don’t get a ton of pre-release coverage, I don’t really have to try very hard to avoid it.

Generally, though, I’m just not very interested in most pre-release coverage. If a game sounds interesting, I’ll probably check it out when I can. Reading previews hasn’t ever really helped sell me on something one way or the other, so… I don’t pay attention to them.