Why I won't be buying Spider-Man or Red Dead Redemption 2 this year

Games

I count myself as a “gamer” (for better or worse), but I’m going to give two of this year’s biggest titles a miss… for now.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my gaming habits. I still enjoy video gaming, and it’s a bug that I’ve spread to my entire family, for better or worse. 

My better half will typically have her head happily stuck into a variety of LEGO or puzzle games, while my kids are busy demolishing Overcooked 2, Hollow Knight and plenty more besides at the moment. 

I’ve got a rich and wide gaming library, and, if I’m honest, an income that can support buying whatever AAA or indie title I feel like playing. 

As an aside, I don’t have notable problems with discipline and my kid’s screen time, but that’s a question of good parenting and communicating with my kids regularly in my view. I don’t blame THE EVIL VIDEO GAMEZ, in other words. But I digress. 

Just last week I picked up Shenmue 1/2 remastered, largely because while I’ve owned a copy of the Xbox version of Shenmue 2 for quite some time now, it always sat there in the pile of “I’ll play that once I pick up a copy of the Dreamcast original”.

Retro-shameful admission: I never did pick up the Dreamcast original.

I’m not actually that ashamed of that in any real way, but you know how some people are.

Shenmue is interesting so far, and I’m enjoying it, but maybe not enough, because of limited gaming time, and another problem that I’ll get to shortly.

Anyway, there’s a flurry of upcoming titles that really ought to pique my curiosity, starting with Spider-Man. The reviews are up (no, I didn’t write one) and they’re almost all uniformly excellent, praising it as amongst (if not) the best superhero games of all time. 

It’s exactly the kind of thing that I’d typically rush out to buy and play… but no.

That’s because I’ve decided I’m not buying any more games this year.

None.

Zero.

Nada.

Ziltch.

Not even second-hand retro titles, humble bundles or Steam sale titles. Really.

Before my kids panic, they’re allowed to buy games themselves if they want to, and folks I know are allowed to give me games (because that’s usually something I find in my Christmas stocking).

But those are nice surprises, not expectations. My wallet will remain closed until at least 2019 for new games purchases.

So you might very well ask why I’ve made that call.

For a while now, I’ve been dabbling across my collection, and that’s meant, by and large, that I’ve failed to commit to any one game at all. 

My gaming time is rather limited as it is, but playing just a “bit” of a game here and a “bit” of a game there just isn’t satisfying to me.

It’s what I usually call the classic “emulator” problem, where somebody downloads a rom set of, say, SNES games, and then only plays games for a few minutes at a time, because any point of challenge or frustration is an easy excuse to jump to a new game.

Either that, or they just end up playing the standards of Mario Kart, Zelda, Street Fighter II and so on. The SNES library is way wider than that, but tasting it a few minutes at a time is no way to really appreciate its richness.

What I want, in other words, are more fulfilling game experiences.

I crave the kinds of full immersion that Spider-Man apparently offers, or, for that matter, that it looks like Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to offer.

Yeah, not getting RDR2 is going to hurt a little amidst the hype, but then again, I suspect I’ll do rather better out of not buying it in 2018.

My interest in RDR2 (and for that matter Spider-Man) is almost entirely in the single player mode. There’s no doubt that Rockstar will be pushing online multiplayer heavily for RDR2, what with GTA V making them approximately all the money from GTA Online.

That’s fine if that’s your scene, but increasingly, it hasn’t been mine. 

If I hold off until next year, there’s the small possibility of discounts (more likely, I’d think for Spidey than RDR2), but more importantly, there’s a good chance of a whole lot of bug fix patches.

That will suck on the day I do buy them, because it will take a while to download them, but it also should mean fewer game-crippling bugs, and maybe a neat new feature or two.

I certainly won’t be starving for games to play, and with a little luck, I might even finish a few of them. I’m not a believer in the whole “pile of shame” concept, because really, the games do not care at all if they’re not played. 

Equally though, I don’t want to be someone with a games “collection” that exists purely to be a collection. I want to play, and I want to play properly. Capping the collection, for now, should make that easier to do.

2 thoughts on “Why I won't be buying Spider-Man or Red Dead Redemption 2 this year

  1. I’m not much of a gamer, however I did buy a PS4 ostensibly for my son, however I did recently pick up GTA V for a song and I’ve been playing it. It was this that then convinced me to pre-order RDR2 as I truly loved the original. Last week or so I’ve been checking out Spiderman, but you’ve made a good argument for enjoying GTA V single player a bit more – 100% is still a ways off – and RDR2 will keep me busy for a while. Then, next year when I’ve enjoyed both, then Spiderman will be there to entertain me, and likely at a cheaper price.

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