After taking a look at Star Wars & Overwatch the last couple of weeks I think it is time to circle back around and focus on some gaming analysis. This week I will be analyzing the reasons why gamers, myself included don’t finish most of their games. As evidenced in this article by IGN the genre of the game does not make much difference. Even story-focused games are no exception to this. I think part of the reasoning for this is that it is ingrained in the culture of gaming and a part of the community. There are those 30% (approximately) mavericks that do finish their games, but they are a minority in our ever expanding community. Hopefully I’ll be able to shed some light on this and help others see why we don’t finish (; P), as well as inspire some to pick up a controller and finally put that old game in the completed pile.
The first reason which I know most will understand is that there are way too many other games to play and not enough time to play them all. With more and more games being made every year, not even counting indie games, the choices you have to make have become mind-boggling. With only so much free time and money that can be devoted to our passion we have to pick and choose which games will get our attention (or resort to GameFly). As games become more and more expansive with online support (Destiny, Division) and vie for your undivided attention the choices become harder to make. This model also really hurts free to play games as a result. They strive on the grind same as MMOs, and having you pay real money to not have to grind. Unfortunately for those with limited budgets it becomes a choice of simply not to playing a game that wants to monopolize your limited time. As the newer games come out, we all get suckered in by the shiny. The appeal of the latest game is as addictive as a new Iphone (or pick other gadget here). Everyone wants the latest thing, yet the older games get forgotten over the new. I got halfway through Bloodborne, until a sale brought Witcher 3 into my life. From then on Geralt kept me company, until he was crushed by an AT-AT walker which in turn was A-bombed by Fallout 4. As we move from game to game it is not always a new game that makes us move on and leave the old one collecting dust. Sometimes the reason is a lot simpler.
Even the simplest games have their difficulties. As gamers we have all gotten to stuck in games before. Whether it is unfair difficulty spikes (every Resistance game), unjustly bosses (God of War), brain-twisting puzzles (Prince of Persia) or a missed key (Ocarina of Time) at some point or another we get stuck. At that point you might consult the ever-wise google or a wiki, but to those of us that refuse to give in it means trying to beat the same part over and over again. Eventually you can’t stand to even look at the game and the mere thought of that firefight instills a hatred so deep the temptation to chuck the disk out the window almost takes over. Then you figure you can take a break, maybe come back to it later. This leads to putting it off more, which in turn makes you not want to play it at all, especially when you forget where you were or how to play. But sometimes even when you’re not stuck and the game is a true masterpiece you still put it down.
Red Dead Redemption is to many a beautiful masterpiece lovingly crafted by Rockstar. It had a terrific single-player campaign which I beat and a massive multiplayer world, filled with activities. A long and beautiful lifetime of play was a blessing, but I stopped playing after only a week spent in multiplayer after finishing the campaign. The multiplayer was beautiful and the activities endless but therein lay the problem. With so many activities to do I simply did not know where to start. It just looked mind-boggling and being the completionist that I am, a time commitment that I could not make. This is even more prevalent today, with most games striving for the open world and endless activities for the player. Whether it is Assassins Creed, Far Cry, Tomb Raider, Dragon Age, Witcher, or Just Cause eventually you will fatigued by all the activities and simply want to move on. Speaking of Just Cause, that game exemplifies another reason to quit.
Not every game is a masterpiece, but those straddling the verge of greatness can be hampered by the one thing that matters most. The controls. As I mentioned Just Cause 3 is one of those games. The driving, helicopter and shooting controls are some of the worst I’ve ever played. It is only saved by it’s other features. Magnifying the faults lies the fact that you cannot remap any of them. In this day and age it cannot be that difficult to let us change the controls. You can do it on the PS4 Settings, but not the analog sticks. Even Dying Light had this issue, with jump being mapped on R1. Thankfully it was easier to get used to. Hopefully the industry will take note of standouts like Overwatch (the other end of the spectrum), which lets you remap the controls per character, including the sensitivity. But until that time comes we might have to suck it up and power through. And when that doesn’t work we simply move on. Other times even with everything working perfectly time simply takes its toll.
Father time is a master of us all, no matter who or what we are. Games are no exception. Eventually even if you finish the game and are loving it, the game servers shut down. Sometimes this happens unexpectedly, and all of a sudden you can’t play your favorite game. But the servers don’t have to go down for you to quit playing an online game. Maybe the developer let bots roam free or screwed the pooch when it came to the game economy. The could have also stopped supporting the game or maybe the player base has abandoned it. This leads to another dilemma. Do you buy the game when it comes out or do you wait for it to get cheaper. If you wait too long you will be too far to catch up or you will be the only one playing. Finishing a game sometimes doesn’t mean beating the multiplayer, but if it did this would be why. Or maybe the real reason is the 12 year old who for some reason knows the whereabouts of your mom and just keeps wrecking your KDA. At least in older retro games we didn’t have to worry about that.
Retro gaming is coming back, with even Gamestop starting to buy and sell retro systems. Hopefully that fact and this article will inspire a few to give that old game another try. All you have to do is remember exactly what you were doing, how to play it and muscle memory will take of the rest. But if that fails you can always give in and look up a wiki.