Pixel Count: Great Expectations

Between Sim City, and the new announcement of Assassin’s Creed 4, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way gamers set and manage their own expectations when it comes to new games.

The disappointment for Sim City comes from knowing that a ridiculously good game might be lying beneath the surface of some extremely frustrating mechanical issues. From the servers not working (I was put into a 20 minute queue last night in the middle of a session) to the ancient-feeling social interactions, and some of the really odd rules of gameplay (too-small cities and some unhelpfully helpful Sim guides), I’m disappointed because Sim City might be a masterpiece completely stepping on its own feet.

With Assassin’s Creed 3, I felt a little lured into a game that was ultimately a total bomb. From carefully selected vertical slices of gameplay for hands-on previews to unbelievably cleverly edited trailers, Assassin’s Creed 3 looked set to put the series back to what it was with Brotherhood, while simultaneously striking out in a bold, new direction. What we got instead was a total mess, and it made me evaluate the way I take in my gaming news, which I’m already pretty strict about to begin with. Needless to say, I won’t be excited about AC4 anytime soon.

So I figured for today’s poll I’d ask you guys where you derive most of your expectations for upcoming games. Hit up the poll, and then the comments!

Where do you get expectations for an upcoming game?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

5 thoughts on “Pixel Count: Great Expectations”

  1. The studio means the most to me for sure. Previous games mean nothing, because like with the Assassin’s Creed series, it could be different people making the one coming out than those who made the one you loved. You know that the same talent and attention to detail are going to be applied to a game when you see that the same studio that made a game you love is developing the newly hyped game.

  2. I voted for the studio behind the game, but I think it’s a combination of the last 3 on the list. I learned the hard way years ago when Deus Ex 2 came out that a sequel to a great game isn’t always greater… or even good at all. But seeing people on Steam friends playing a game, watching hands on playthroughs on gamespot (UK) or from TotalBiscuit or whoever also gets me excited and lets me peak at a potential purchase.

  3. Previous games in the series are what get me excited more than anything. They have the potential to be what makes me get overhyped for something.

  4. Most of the time, if the studio has given me reason to believe they’ll make a good game, I’ll pay attention. Bioshock Infinite has a hold on me for a reason. Friends purrchasing the game comes a close second. I’d never been interested in Civ 5, but a bunch of my friends started playing it either for the first time or went back to it. It is now in my Steam Library waiting to be played.

  5. I almost went with previous games in a series, but then I thought of “Watchdogs”, “XCOM”, “Alan Wake” or even “Minecraft”. All games that were new to me that I had never played before. Really it’s a combination of a lot of things. Mostly I think that it comes from previews and trailers, but honestly most of my favorite games of the year, didn’t get me excited until I heard people raving about them after they came out. I missed release day on “The Walking Dead”, “XCOM”, “Spec Ops: The Line” and they turned out to be some of my favorite games of the year, over ones like Dishonored and Assassins Creed 3 which I jumped on day 1. Slowly I’ve started changing my approach. I wait a little for new games and if I hear something good, I try it out but try to keep my expectations low. It has made discovering games a lot funner than getting excited over some pre-rendered visuals.

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