Now that fall and the holiday season is upon us, the influx of games releasing is almost unmanageable. Each week there are several different new releases battling out for your attention and hard earned dollars, so it can be tough to get around to playing everything you find interesting. This season can be especially trying, as the majority of the new releases are sequels and prequels. In the next few weeks alone, Halo 4, Assassins Creed 3, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Black Ops II, Epic Mickey 2 are all coming out. Deciding where to begin can be daunting, especially if you want to play one of these on the list but you haven’t yet played the first one. So this is the question – where do you start?
My husband and I are on two different sides of this fence. Personally I like to start at the first game in a series. I want to know how the story progresses and what the origins are so that I get every reference and nuance. I really have a tough time skipping a game in a series, which typically leads to me not playing them at all, at least for a while – Uncharted is a prime example. Husband man, on the other hand, would rather play the newest release first, and then, depending on whether or not he liked it, he will go back and play from the beginning of the series. He recently did this with Assassins Creed: Revelations, and now it has become his favorite series of games to play.
So, how do you decide which approach suits you best? Consider these factors before you start making your fall season purchases.
Trying to complete a series before the release of a new sequel can be a huge undertaking. If you wanted to familiarize yourself with the Halo franchise, for example, you’d be looking at 6 games (since Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary is a remake) previous to Halo 4. If you wanted to understand the Epic Mickey franchise, however, you’re looking at a considerably shorter time commitment. The amount of time you can dedicate to gaming will help you decide whether or not you want to attempt a series clean up before release day.
Not only are new games expensive, but buying all the previous games can be a huge hit to your wallet as well. For example, to go out and catch up on the Assassins Creed series before its release would cost you around $85.00. Ouch – not to mention another $60.00 for Assassins Creed III when it drops. Now, some bundled collections have recently come out, like the God of War saga, which will help with the cost. But ultimately, you just might not be able to afford to play all the prior games. So how do you decide if it’s worth it?
3. Graphics, Gameplay, or Storyline?
What do you find the most interesting about the games you play? What you personally are drawn to will be the ultimate determining factor on which approach you take. If you are more fascinated with the developments in graphics, interface, and engines in the gaming industry, then you might be better suited to play the newest in the series, and only return to its origins if you really fall in love with the storyline, a la Husband man. If you are more like me, however, and die for an enthralling storyline above all else, then you might want to begin with the first game of a series before the release of the newest game happens.
In all reality, you can end up going different ways for different games. Assassins Creed III might be better appreciated if you’ve played through all the other AC games, while something like Professor Layton can still be enjoyed for all of its puzzles without any prior knowledge of the other games storylines. It comes down to first what you have the most interest in, and then how much time and money you have to spare. Let me know in the comments – which games coming up soon do you want to catch up on, and which ones are you planning on diving right into?