It’s always slightly sad when you reach the end of a really good game on your first playthrough. You can play it again and again, sure, but nothing quite beats the initial discovery of major plot points and unexpected bits that make you think ‘wow, I have to do that? This is so cool!’.

I have two ways of playing games, depending on how busy I am in real life (damn work getting in the way). The first is to completely latch onto a game, not stopping until I have squeezed as much as I can out of it (for me such games include Resident Evil 5 and Gears of War 2), and the second, most common trait of mine is to play bits and bobs, picking it up when I get a spare few hours. These games will take me months, maybe even years to complete. I started Red Dead Redemption at the beginning of this year, and I’m still in damn Mexico. It is an excellent game, it’s just that all of these other great games got released and on top of that I had to go and move house as well.

'Great… Jo's forgotten about me again. May as well go learn Mexican. I'm gonna be here a while.'

The thing is, these days, it is very rare that I will repeat a game when I do finish it. It’s strange, thinking back to my childhood when I probably played through Sonic and Golden Axe hundreds of times. I thought nothing of watching the crappy game credits and diving back in straight away. Maybe it’s because these games took all of an hour to complete (maybe less, if you’re not co-ordinationally challenged like myself). When I download an old Megadrive game on XBLA or the Playstation Store, I can still remember hidden rooms that I had found or what I had discovered was the quickest way through a level when I was like, 9. Still, really, with games that average about 20 hours gameplay nowadays, wouldn’t it make more sense for me to want to get straight back into the action, looking for things that I might have missed?

Wake up! WAKE UP! Kick him! KICK HIM!

Even after a game is finished (and by finished I mean a credit roll) and it gives you the option to carry on afterwards, I’ll have a little mess about but I know that when I turn my console off, it’s likely that I will not touch that game again. Maybe it’s because of the fact that if it starts me before the final battle (i.e Dragon Age: Origins) with not that much to do, the whole thing seems to lose its purpose. If it does start me after the final battle (i.e. Fallout 3) the world will suddenly feel like a huge, empty place, with some fetch quests with no real relevance to anything (this is excluding DLC, of course).

To me, a modern game’s selling point will always be its story. These days playing through a decent campaign is like sitting through an extra long interactive movie. Games try to make you empathise with characters, give you plot twists and make you feel emotion like betrayal and sadness. Maybe that is why I don’t play again. I don’t watch a film and think ‘Wow, that was good, I think I’ll watch that again right NOW!’. So when I reach the end, no matter how engrossed I was, the sense of completion is there, and I will go and play the next game on my list.






3 responses to “Endgame”

  1. Chris Jenkins avatar
    Chris Jenkins

    I’m the same Jo. I play games for the story, and after you finish it you don’t go straight back and play it. You wait a while, let some of the plot sink into the recesses of your mind, then later on think “You know, I haven’t played for a while… let’s fire it up!”

    People who repeatedly play a game, with the same content, over and over and over again to unlock achievements mystify me. I can’t do it, which is probably why after playing the single-player campaign on games like CoD I then forget about them.

  2. Lee Garbutt avatar
    Lee Garbutt


    The games market is so oversaturated, titles don’t seem to have the same lifespan they used to. I remember constantly playing through Sonic 2 from start to finish, because it was such a fun and quick thing to do. That could possibly be because I was younger though, maybe as we get older and have more responsibilities, we are reluctant to spend too much time on the one game?

  3. Joanne avatar

    That may be the case. This year especially for me as I’m working full time, it really is a case of gaming when I can.

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