I’ve always said that I can barely remember how I coped before the Internet. Not just the online games, streaming services et al, but the simple things like checking the weather or what’s happening in the world. While there are the bad elements of the World Wide Web, you can’t deny how it can become an integral part of your daily routine. So due to a bit of a mess up regarding cut-offs and install dates, I found myself without internet for two weeks.
While I was able to steal internet intermittently from places like work, I had pretty much murdered my mobile data within the first few days so I was internet-less for large parts of the day. But at least that meant I didn’t get distracted by Twitter and was able to clear out some of my PlayStation Plus backlog.
Luckily before the internet was gone I was able to download a bunch of games from my library ready to play. Two of these were in the visual novel genre: Hatoful Boyfriend and Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness.
After absolutely loving Steins;Gate I was keen to sink my teeth into another game in the genre. I had heard about Hatoful Boyfriend years ago when people were talking about it being this weird thing with dating birds. I always dismissed it as this dumb thing, then I played it and was glad to have been proven right.
It’s not bad per se, but the writing isn’t great. I couldn’t remember which character was which and the game just gave me a bad ending for what felt was no fault of my own. I understand that can be a visual novel thing, but at least in other games I’ve played (Steins;Gate and Psycho-Pass) you understood why the bad ending came. And once it was over I had no inclination to return and get a better ending.
I had a much better time with Psycho-Pass. I’d only watched the first episode of the anime that the game is based on, so did have a basic understanding of the story and world.
It’s kind of like anime Minority Report to put it simply. A set of detectives and latent criminals attempt to thwart future crimes from occurring by looking at the hue colours of the population. I only completed one character’s story (there is a male or female character choice at the start) so I do feel like I only got half the game. Despite enjoying it, for the most part, it ended with a bit of a whimper with the main story mystery not really resolved once the credits rolled. Oh well. Maybe I’ll revisit it at a later date, once I’ve finished with the latest backlog game I’m working through – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
I tried playing the previous entry – Deus Ex: Human Revolution – when that first came out and it never really did click with me. Deus Ex has always seemed like a stealth game and I could never shake the feeling that I was playing it wrong if I got caught and had to resort to gunplay. Only a few hours into Mankind Divided and I’ve managed to get that thought out of my head, accept that it will eventually go incredibly wrong and start shooting people. And I’m enjoying it! Controls are taking a fair bit of getting used too, and I still don’t like Adam Jensen’s voice actor, but I can see myself playing significantly more of this.
And that’s my gaming story of a time without internet. I may have overestimated how much I could play, with Darksiders 2 also downloaded waiting to play (after recently finishing the first), but it did put a bit of a dent in my backlog. Which then got filled up again right away with the latest PS Plus offerings. Yes, I’m going to play Knack and am surprisingly looking forward to it. Don’t look at me like that.
To close, sometimes it’s good to get away from the internet, lock yourself away and enjoy living in a bubble. But those moments are often planned. For me, this wasn’t and I felt a little lost. Which to be honest makes me feel a little sad at how much I rely on internet connectivity. Maybe another online detox is actually in my future at some point.