Thursday, June 4, 2015

Giving certain video games a chance

I have written in some previous blog posts how I hate leaving video games unfinished, and how doing so is a relatively rare occurrence. Sometimes I wade through a game to the end even if it feels more like a chore than a joy. (While it's a very fair question how much sense that makes, I still like to do it, rather than leave it unfinished. Having finished a game, rather than leaving it permanently in an unfinished state, is a kind of mental reward in itself.)

In a few cases this principle actually pays off. Some games may feel quite boring and tiresome at first, during the first hours of gameplay, and one easily gets the urge to stop playing them. However, when you keep playing, you might eventually find out that it's actually quite a good and enjoyable game.

Most recently I experienced this with Dragon Age Inquisition. The first about 5-10 hours of gameplay felt like a chore, with interest in the game lessening by the hour. Maybe it was the lack of interesting quests, a seeming lack of focus, and it not being clear where to go next or how the storyline should be progressed, how the war room map works... The quite random difficulty spikes in enemy strength, and the somewhat unclear combat system, didn't exactly help either. I was, in fact, considering stopping playing, and leave the game unfinished. It was that bad.

But I pressed on, out of stubbornness, and in this particular case it actually paid off. When I started getting accustomed to the combat system (and to the controls, as each console game seems to control just slightly differently), how the map and quests work, and how the storyline is made to progress, it has actually become enjoyable once again. Perhaps even a bit addictive.

In a sense, I gave the game a chance, and it worked. It's actually a pretty decent and enjoyable game after all, when you get used to it and learn the basics, ie. after you get over that initial learning curve.

This isn't the first time either. I have had this very experience with other games as well, sometimes even games I did leave unfinished, but gave a second chance years later.

This made me wonder: How often do gamers "give up" too soon, and leave games unfinished, even though if they just gave them a chance they might find them enjoyable after all?

I have an acquaintance who I think is a bit like that. In other words, he gives up on video games relatively easily. Several times I have witnessed how he has re-sold a game very soon after buying it (too soon to have been able to play it through). Games that I thought were pretty good.

Of course the dark side of this is that with some games they don't become better even if you press on. It's hard to predict.

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