How do you research games you are thinking about purchasing?

I've got to be honest, but I generally find written, professional reviews to be almost entirely useless. In the best case scenario, they'll mention a facet or two of the game that interests me enough to do further research. Most commonly, I just find the information provided irrelevant to whether I'll like the game or not. I need the finer details, not the broad strokes.

And I don't watch gaming videos on YouTube because I'm too impatient to listen to someone ramble on about a game for 20 minutes.

My usual method is to completely read the Steam page (even if I'm buying the game somewhere else) and then to read through a bunch of user reviews, including a lot of the negative reviews.

Now, you have to be careful with negative user reviews because a lot of them are written by people who, just moments ago, were in the game and angry and who may not have understood a game mechanic or, in more complex games, may just be playing the game wrong. Generally speaking, I have to see an issue mentioned by more than one person before I start to buy into it because I've read a lot of inaccurate user reviews (but I don't find professional reviews all that accurate either, as they are done on a tight schedule and mistakes are bound to happen.).
 
Jun 27, 2023
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So the basis of this forum "PC Gamer" entire articles are useless? *Awkward tension now*

But all jokes a side, I think all reviews are utterly pointless. Everyone has different taste and opinion, the only real way of knowing is by playing the game yourself. There is only so much you can gather from articles, podcasts and content videos but all of this can be edited, glossed over finer details or perhaps be presented into a negative aspect that you may otherwise find fun, useful and enlightening.

You could just let @Brian Boru berate it to death because it isn't Civilization or Far Cry and base it off of that though as well?
 
So the basis of this forum "PC Gamer" entire articles are useless? *Awkward tension now*
I find most professional reviews for games to be irrelevant to whether I'll enjoy the game or not. I didn't single out PC Gamer. I actually enjoy reading their reviews. I just wouldn't usually base whether I'm going to buy a game or not on them. I do additional research. I need a level of detail that is impossible to provide in a professional review of normal length.
 
@Brian Boru … base it off of that
Hah, nice try—but you have to know Zed is mostly interested in games from this decade …heck, even some EA from next decade… —so my widely idolized wisdom won't be available for quite a while yet.

I typically buy older games that I've seen a lot of people talk about already, so I know what to expect
Indeed, one of the many benefits for aficionados of Patient Gaming. Reviews at release time are almost all useless for the Patient Gamer, because they don't include the impact of patches, bug fixes, expansions, DLCs, mods or unofficial community patches.

Plus of course more than enough info for most people to make an informed decision.
 
I dont have a set method. I listen to gaming podcasts, check metacritic, read critic reviews, watch a bit of gameplay, read some user reviews, remember someone on here mentioned it and look back for it. Some combination of that but not necessarily all.

Either then wishlist and wait for a sale or buy it right now depending on price and how excited I am to play it at the time.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Written, pro reviews are great, but you have to know how to read them. If you try to read them to discern whether the game is good or not, you'll fail. A good review will highlight the things that typically please/annoy lots of people. Check through those and "correct" for your own likes and dislikes. Take this quote from the Starfield review:
I carefully explored the blandly futuristic city of New Atlantis, its generic sci-fi skyscrapers looking like something you'd see in the background in a Star Trek movie.
Chris didn't like the clean, gleaming city much because he's seen his fill. What about you? Maybe you've seen enough of these, too. But maybe you've had enough of grimy, edgy cities and could do with some shiny. In that case, you need to be able to read that sentence and take it as a positive! Not perfectly easy to do, but it can be done.

But yeah - these do tend to be decisions on whether to wish-list or not. When the sales come around, I'll check the Steam page to see if the game is still being developed and make sure nothing awful has happened, then buy.

I watch video reviews, too - mostly after I've already played the game. <shrug> Don't ask me why, Idunno.
 
check the Steam page to see if the game is still being developed and make sure nothing awful has happened
Opposite too, especially for more recent big games—filter by recent reviews to see if the early bugs and glitches have been mostly fixed.

watch video reviews, too
On YT, search for Game Name and filter by 'This year' to find reports with more recent experiences.
 
For the most part youtube and twitch. i sometimes watch trailers to get a rough idea what to expect, i would then go to my various youtube videos from users to see gameplay footage or reviews. If i'm really tempted and there is a demo/trial, i play that.

i also of course look on PCG to see reviews and add that to info. Sometimes other sources like IGN, gamespot, eurogamer etc.

Worst case scenario i watch a bit on twitch to get a "feel" for average/typical gameplay.
 
Honestly? I don't. I never have and probably never will. I only use Steam, so as long as I keep my play time to under two hours, a refund is generally guaranteed. And I feel like in all instances so far, two hours has been enough to determine if the game is for me or not.

Note: None of that is to say that I don't read reviews or opinion pieces on games, because I'm always down for learning something new or having existing knowledge expanded upon, I just don't let anyone/anything persuade me into thinking I won't like it.
 
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Honestly? I don't. I never have and probably never will. I only use Steam, so as long as I keep my play time to under two hours, a refund is generally guaranteed. And I feel like in all instances so far, two hours has been enough to determine if the game is for me or not.

Note: None of that is to say that I don't read reviews or opinion pieces on games, because I'm always down for learning something new or having existing knowledge expanded upon, I just don't let anyone/anything persuade me into thinking I won't like it.
I pretty much do the same thing, look at the description of the game, look at similar games on Steam and use these two hours to understand whether the game is suitable or not. And very often there is a paradox that according to the description the game does not seem to be very good, but in reality I liked it and vice versa.
 
I don't watch first plays as I can probably figure out as much as anyone else who has never played before. But I will watch someone who knows what they are doing. I may not actually watch reviews, more play throughs or gameplay...

There are only a few people I trust video reviews from. I haven't read a review in over 10 years... for a game anyway. (I may have but I can't remember, its not something I do regularly)
 
I do little research, the games i usually buy are ones that i just know id like, whether its played before or i like the idea of the game coming out, for anything else, i look at a cracked version first and then put my money down if its something that i want.
 
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I do little research, the games i usually buy are ones that i just know id like, whether its played before or i like the idea of the game coming out, for anything else, i look at a cracked version first and then put my money down if its something that i want.
Isn't it too much of a hassle to test a hacked version of the game first? For some games, installing this takes a lot of time, and not everyone has such a version.
 
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I typically buy older games that I've seen a lot of people talk about already, so I know what to expect. If I buy a new game, it's typically a sequel to a game I enjoyed or a game I've had a chance to try out at a friend's house/via Steam library sharing.
Buying old games for the win. I also play a ton of games that get given away for free and end up enjoying a lot of them more than games I actually bought. I get way to much satisfaction from getting deals though so when I get a game for free and I actually enjoy it, I enjoy it even more knowing I got it for free haha.
 
I haven't bought any new games this year so every one I have purchased so far is old, or was in pre release last year and released this year (does it count if you already owned it?).

Anything I am interested in I will watch Youtube videos on. That is how I look into anything I want to buy, though. Games I will watch enough to know if its interesting or not. Its normally pretty obvious. Have one I will need to watch once its released, still in beta. I will wait for release.