Every gamer has their own personal taste in the games they prefer, and those tastes come in to play when deciding which games to purchase. Some people purchase games because they like the developers' previous releases, or they are fans of the franchise, or they just like that style of game. These factors all effect me when I purchase a new game (and when they run at an average of $60 it's a big decision to make), but there is one more factor I sometimes consider: peer pressure. Have you ever made a game purchase based on peer pressure? Have you bought a game you never intended on buying until others basically talked you into it? I'm not talking about a $10 bargin basement bin title, but a full-on fancy smancy new release. I will confess that it's happened to me...twice.
The first culprit was Red Dead Redemption, which was released from Rockstar. Let me start by saying this: I hated Grand Theft Auto III and IV. I did not like the game engine, the combat system, the driving mechanics...I don't think I liked anything about it! Yet here I was pre-ordering Red Dead Redemption, which was basically GTA taking place in the Wild West. I didn't do it for the developer, or the franchise (this is the only installment so far) or the type of game it was...I did it because everyone else was doing it. When several folks here on Co-Optimus stated they would be pre-ordering, visions of online posses began dancing in my head. I had not been following the game, but once I knew several people were pre-ordering I jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered as well. Was it a good decision? Not so much at the time, as the online co-op features were not the greatest, and I soon traded the game back to Amazon. Over time the game had some tweaks and DLC that made the online more appealing, and the improvements were tempting enough for me to pick up the GOTY edition a while back. So here the peer pressure was a bad thing, as I would have been better off just renting the game rather than wasting $60 on a new release I rarely played online.
The funnest thing this posse could do was ride invisible horses
The second culprit is Dead Island. I didn't know the studio but I did like zombie games, particularly Left 4 Dead, and the idea of having a FPS zombie killer on the PS3 was awesome. However, there was one thing stopping me from picking the game up, and that was Resistance 3. I enjoyed Insomniac's work on the previous Resistance titles, so purchasing Resistance 3 was a no-brainer for me. However, people continued to talk about Dead Island, and soon I was dreaming more about killing zombies than chimera. When I saw how many folks here on the site were pre-ordering Dead Island I decided in an instant to cancel my Resistance 3 pre-order and pick up Dead Island. Unlike RDR, this proved to be a great decision as the four-player online co-op caused Dead Island to become my co-op Game of the Year for 2011. If I had not talked to friends about it earlier, I would have purchased Resistance 3 instead of Dead Island, but giving in to the peer pressure ended up being one of the best gaming decisions of my life.
You can drop the hammer while your buddy kicks butt
Listening to your friends and giving in to the pressure and hype of a game is a mixed bag. Sometimes you can end up spending your hard-earned money on a game that just doesn't appeal to you, while other times you can strike the jackpot and find a gem of a game that keeps you entertained for hours on end. Next time you make a co-op purchase, listen to what your friends have to say. Not only will you find out how many potential partners you will have, but you may also find yourself purchasing a great game that you had no intention of buying.