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Previews are hard

August 8th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

I am now writing a preview for a major winter release and am getting bogged down in review speak. As I write about the game, I have to resist the urge to pass judgment on it. It’s not done yet, there is still a lot of tweaking to do, I didn’t get a chance to play a single game the whole way through…all kinds of reasons for me not to say how good/bad this game will be in three or four months time.

But, as is often pointed out, previews are usually just lists of features and some glowing summary statement about how this game will cure cancer in small rats. I have some good quotes and a few screenshots provided by the developer. I have my hands on experience, which will find a way in somehow. So how do I avoid the preview praise trap and still make the article compelling reading?

I have a few things in mind, and it is certainly a nice change from the reviews that have been my bread and butter for a while now. But let no one tell you that previews are easy. If you want them to be good, they aren’t.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim9137

    Personally, I’d appreciate if you’d just tell me how you felt about the game. Was it crap? Did it have any suspicious points? Am I making this on my list of musthaves? Or is it just the same that’s been coming over the tube for years already?

    Just, say it straight like it is.

  • Fuzzydevil

    You’re quite correct. Most previews simply are glowing praise combined with a list of features. There are a couple of magazines over here that do them properly, though – Edge in particular are more than happy to bitch about a game if it doesn’t look like it’s going to be all that great. Makes their previews more interesting to read, as they’re a hell of a lot more truthful than most.