Friday, 25 May 2012

When the dust settles (gaming after the hype)

Reddit, Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun and even 9gag. Those are sites that go nuts when a high profile game is released. A new game becomes an all consuming virus that spreads across the websites that I visit. Usually I play those games at release anyway, so I get swept up with the hype and memes and general excitement. On the odd occasion that I don't get the game at launch this ritualistic love affair makes me want the game more or at least become interested in a game that I would usually ignore. 

In the case of Diablo 3 the Internets love of the game was directly responsible for me not only buying the £45 title but in creating a new Blizzard Battle-net account, even though I had no intention of ever going though the process again.

When the Old Republic was launched it was the same, memes, news, screen shots and general love for the titles but now a few months down the line I'm still playing the game and the general consensus (a little more realistic one) is that the game is pretty good but has some great big issues it needs to have worked out.

Its funny how so many gamer's seem to play a title early on but never see it though to its end. In the case of MMO's its even more strange because an MMO is something that is constantly evolving and moving forwards. When the hype dies down your left with a game you intend to play for a long time more, at least that's the idea.

As a person who has pretty much fixed time slots for gaming and blogging (I split my time as best as I can) I tend to be the one only just getting to finishing these games way after the hype is over and forgotten, left only with a few memes to keep me going.

I think my habit of taking my time with a game and picking them up cheap a few months later helps me to get a better sense of the game as a whole. Diablo 3 is a game that still has a huge hype machine following it around and as such i am constantly being reminded about it, reminded to play it and enjoy it but is this just another layer of advertising or is it genuine love from the gamer's?

Would I be playing and enjoying Diablo 3 without this hype? Left 4 Dead 2 is a game that I still play much after the hype is gone and I still love it. For me this is the sign of a great game.

In the case of Skyrim I literally didn't buy it because of the hype. I got to the point where I wanted to put an arrow in the knee of the bloody game. Now a few months later I look at the game and feel pleased that I did't bother picking it up at full price, being a single player experience I can happily go back and play it whenever I want and miss out on none of the intended joy.

A game that is predominantly multi-player however must be consumed as soon as possible because the hype is what fuels the interest and keeps the players busy, there is nothing worse for a gamer than not being able to enjoy a game because we waited too long to pick it up and now no one is playing it.

Hype is a wonderful entertaining event to have with any game but eventually you're left with your game and some time to play it. Buying a title you like is more important than buying a title people talk about a lot.

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