By sparky_buzzsaw 36 Comments
It's easy to buy into a game's hype. After all, publishers pay employees quite a bit of money to make you so anxious to play a game you'll line up for hours outside a Game Crazy at your local mall, your bag of Naugles tacos in hand while you talk about whether or not Seal could beat up all the Boyz II Men. Which he totally could, b-dubs.
Fuck, I'm old.
The point is, someone's always trying to sell you something like it's their job, right? Because it is. How impressionable you are to this is really only your concern. Hey, you want to get swept up and buy four hundred cans of Mountain Dew's new squid-flavored hypercaffeinated energy drink, it's your money. But it's no real surprise or news that pre-ordering games these days is kind of a silly thing to do. The reasons for this are numerous and have been done to death on these forums and elsewhere, but here's a quick recap - 1) game reviews are still relevant and can save you money if you're willing to wait, and 2) pre-ordering games will lead to butt cancer. I heard that on Facebook so it has to be true.
I haven't pre-ordered a thing since... oh, hell, Fallout 4, maybe? I'm not immune to pre-order hype, but as I grow older, I've begun detaching myself from a lot of the excitement of games in general and have found myself more and more capable of waiting for stuff to go on a deep discount. Having a limited income has helped with this self-control, but it really just boils down to nothing coming out in a good long while that's really stirred up my soul in the way big franchises like Final Fantasy or the aforementioned Fallout used to do. There are tons of great games that've come out in the last few years, but none of them have really spoken to me personally. And that's okay! Saves me money, at the very least.
So here's an oddity for you, then. At the beginning of this month, I decided to punch the pre-order button on a game you might think is an odd decision, considering I didn't particularly love its predecessor. That game is Far Cry New Dawn. Note that there are no spoilers ahead for Far Cry 5, but I do have to talk around some things.
I know. Of all the games to buy before reviews have come out, why the hell would I pick New Dawn? The answer to that isn't as simple as hype. I played Far Cry 5 to completion and did most every side-quest. I wasn't in love with the game. I thought the cult and the ending were intriguing ideas that unfortunately weren't very well fleshed out in ways believable to that universe, leaving me with questions as to just what the hell the plot leaders might have been thinking or doing or planning towards. I don't mean that in a "I have to know more!" sort of way. It was half-assed writing in an otherwise perfectly vanilla update to the Far Cry 3 formula. The Montana setting was fun, especially as I'm from the area, but it wasn't really a selling point for me.
Curiosity killed the cat, and it slaughtered my wallet. I have to know if Ubisoft is capable of making good on any of the more intriguing aspects of that game. I am intrigued by the idea of games exploring spiritual mysticism that isn't a part of some existentialist or nihilisitic viewpoint, and what Far Cry 5 was going for is fairly unique at least in terms of games in that regard. Although it didn't earn its ending, I wholly respect the sheer magnitude of what it was trying to aim for. Maybe that's because I'm deeply in love with the similar ending to the underrated movie Miracle Mile, but I don't think so. Far Cry 5 was so close to greatness that I kind of have to see where New Dawn goes to, if just as a consumer-historian sort of way. And I realize how bizarre that sounds considering how many people across the globe will be covering New Dawn for themselves and how easy that coverage will be to access, but there's still some part of me that hopes, even in some very tiny way, that New Dawn makes good on at least some of the premises from Far Cry 5. It also really doesn't hurt that I love the open-world gameplay from these games, but that's pretty much secondary to knowing how the second chapter to this story will end.
So there you go. It's not a game I expect to hold close to my heart, and I've read some review recaps. I know what I'm in for. I'm okay with that.
So have you pre-ordered any games for an unusual reason? What are your biggest pre-order regrets?