The last year has seen a few massive anti-climactic new releases in the video game world. Most notably, No Man’s Sky. It was originally going to be one of the first releases on PS4 and the hype was incredible. But then it was pushed back. And then it was pushed back again. The hype kept building, it was an ambitious idea and they needed the time to get it right, so we didn’t mind so much. The endless delays only made us want it more. Then it was finally released, and it was a huge let down. After only a few hours, players felt they had seen all there was to see. The infinite universe, full of endless exploration opportunities that we were promised never materialised. Other titles, like Mafia 3, saw the same fate. The concepts were great but the final product didn’t live up to the hype. For most of us, buying a brand new game on release can hit our wallets hard. So, how can you avoid spending your hard earned cash on a few disappointing hours of gameplay followed by a trip to the game store to trade it in at half the price you bought it for?

Don’t buy too early

These days, developers try to entice us into pre-ordering games with the promise of exclusive content. Most of the time this amounts to a paper sleeve for the case and a new haircut for your character. These early bird features rarely improve the gameplay in a substantial way. There are, of course, some games that it’s safe to pre-order. A sequel to one of your favourite franchises, made by a developer you know you can trust, is still worth pre-ordering. But if you have any doubts, then wait until release.

The same goes for buying on release day. It’s best to wait until the game has been tested by others, let them handle the disappointment.


It will only take a matter of hours for reviews to start popping up online once a game has been released, especially if it is bad. It’s best to look through a lot of reviews because after all, you might still enjoy a game that has been badly received by the rest of the gaming community. Make sure you look at a wide range of reviews from the larger websites all the way down to the independent ones like Armchair Empire, which often give more honest reviews. Try to find video reviews so you can get the best idea of how the game plays, and whether you will enjoy it or not.

The Season Pass

DLC is big business nowadays. Developers like EA are notorious for releasing half a game and then charging you the same again for the rest of it. Most of them offer a season pass as well, pay a set fee and get all of the DLC that comes out in the future. The problem being that you have no idea whether it will be worth the money, or even what it will include, and if the original game is a disappointment you don’t want to be shelling out for extra content that will be just as bad.