I am a giant hypocrite. I know it. I will eternally rail against people who pre-order games, who buy games before launch, or even worse buy season passes before the games are even released. But then, I do exactly that. I pre-order games, I buy them at launch, and then I sometimes wonder why I didn’t wait for reviews, didn’t wait to find out if the game was all it was cracked up to be. Games like No Man’s Sky, or even The Division looked amazing in all the trailers, but then seemed to fall flat on release. Reviewers knocked them and they pretty much fell of the radar after that. But should we be so quick to judge.
In the before times, games were complete packages when they shipped. That was a good and a bad thing. Sure, we didn’t have day one patches, or cumbersome updates, and when a game went gold it was actually finished and wasn’t going to be nightmare fuel for bugs. Well, sometimes – if a game was broken in the old days, it was broken forever, doomed to be buried in the deserts of New Mexico. Now, developers can fix their mistakes and improve games after they are already installed on your platform of choice, and sometimes they go above and beyond.
No, we weren’t too impressed with No Man’s Sky when it released, nor was pretty much anyone else. But with all the recent updates, it sounds like the game it was meant to be… plus you can probably pick it up in a bargain bin for a decent price. The same goes for The Division. Rainbow Six Siege is an excellent example of what continued support can do for a game, garnering a growing and loyal community and some truly stellar gameplay.
Then there’s the likes of Pokémon Go, which launched in a pretty barebones state, blew up as an international phenomenon and then disappeared almost as quickly – its new updates make it a significantly improved experience, for the tens of people still playing it. Even Street Fighter V was pretty lame at launch, growing into a more substantial and enjoyable game in recent months. Even Destiny wasn’t such a smash hit at launch, but has grown into a deep and meaningful experience.
But other games seem to die no matter how much developers do. Evolve couldn’t even cope after going free to play, and Assassin’s Creed Unity is still just average, even with all the bugs fixed. And I haven’t heard anything about Wildstar or The Elder Scrolls Online in a while – is anyone still playing those?
Which games have developed like a fine wine, and which ones have gone off like a bad cheese? Are there games you bought at launch that you are enjoying more now, or do you wait titles out, choosing to only pick up the ones that are still great even once the hype has passed.
Last Updated: December 2, 2016