I would say: brands aside, chain, direct drive or strap makes a big difference to the feel of a pedal.
Because I am an old fart, in the old days you chose between direct drive and a strap. The strap tended to be favoured by jazzers because of its lighter feel. I have noticed some classic drummers still play with a strap - probably because that is what they used from youth.
Chain drives appeared (I think) in the 80s. Personally I am not sure why they became standard but I suppose they must be more robust than the other styles.
I think direct drives are better because a movement mismatch between the plate and the beater is impossible. But if you are a metalhead then a chain might be better for robustness.
It is an important choice because I think your foot and movements will get used to the type of pedal. For a period of time I changed to a chain drive (because of peer pressure and a lack of choice at the time) and my technique suffered.
And I have to say - drum shops tend to be pretty useless in this area, because from my experience they are more worried about brands rather than this important choice. I have found some drum shops don't even stock the three choices .... but this could be the fault of the brands themselves. If I was manufacturing pedals I would have models with each type. As far as I know only Gibraltar do this with their Intruder pedals.