There are two attitudes in the video game industry about showing off games before their release. One tends to keep everything hidden, with strict NDAs until the day of release or almost, and copyright strikes distributed like candy to anyone that dares leak a minute of gameplay.
The second, which is still rather rare for now, recognizes the promotional value of video and sets YouTubers and livestreamers free to run wild within a new game’s levels several days before the game is even on the shelves.
While there are several reasons for the first attitude, and it doesn’t always indicate lack of confidence in a game’s quality, the latter definitely requires some guts, and a degree of bullish confidence that the title not only is good, but it’s so good that people will still buy it even after seeing relevant portions of its gameplay.
Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive definitely reflects the second standpoint, with the internet flooded of videos of the game well before its launch, YouTubers not only allowed, but encouraged to show off their stunts.
Below you can check out a whopping five hours of gameplay (obviously, you should be aware that the videos include spoilers) in three playlists by YouTube users Xboxdynasty, Somewhat Awesome Games and thecomboclash. One thing is for sure: Microsoft isn’t afraid to show us everything there’s to see even before reviews hit the net.
It could seem a self-defeating thing to say for someone like me, whose job is partly based on writing reviews, but I do like this attitude, and I can’t say I don’t hope to see it spread wider in the industry.
Maybe one day reviews will become just articles for those who want to hear an “expert” (arguably) opinion on a game, and not the sole pre-release guide to game purchases. Information is power, and visualization is even more powerful. You can make your own opinion on Sunset Overdrive just below.