Its a feeling familiar to most; you have just got a new game and cant wait to play it. You get home and load it up and then you are baffled on where to start. Do you start the games campaign, if so what difficulty do you want to play on? Do you jump straight into the multiplayer? If you decide to do multiplayer do you go online of play with someone locally? What game mode do you play? Do you decide to go into the theatre mode afterwards and watch your gameplay footage? Will you edit the footage or go about creating a dazzling screenshot? Is there a way to create a custom game type? If you played an older game in the series do you have to import the save before playing? The list goes on and on.
These are just some of the questions I have had to ask myself on numerous occasions recently. Modern games have become massive in nature with so many different options to choose from just from the start it is often overwhelming thinking of where to start.
This feeling has often had another effect on me. When looking through the assortment of upcoming games many will notice how the majority of games that are released are not new titles but in fact the newest iteration from an established series of games or as of late a remake of a classic title. The games that are remade are usually considered masterpieces that were best sellers when they were first released that many gamers would have played years ago on another console with the game being a HD remake usually. These games generally have a long standing fan following, with the same fans buying the newest version of a game in a series every time it is released. The point I am making here is that very rarely is there a new standalone game that is released that can compete with these established franchises. Even if the game is good, the challenge in itself is to draw gamers to a new franchise away from their established ones.
This is a feeling has put me off several times when deciding whether or not to buy a new game outside of my established series of games I play. One such example I shall give is the extremely popular and highly rated game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Whilst this game looked amazing and had so much to do in it factors such as the fact I had previously never played other games in the series and the sheer size of the game put me off buying. In order to play this game I would first need to overcome the learning curve needed in order to play it and secondly devote many hundreds of hours MINIMUM required to complete the game.
Many reading this might jump out of their seats in outrage given the immense popularity of Skyrim in the gaming community but for me this game just was too big in nature to even attempt to learn how to play it against the other games in my library that I enjoyed playing, having devoted thousands of hours playing them. I was too stuck in my ways to learn something new.
Thinking back to my first games console The Sega mega drive and favourite game to play on it The Streets of Rage 2 everything was so simple and straight forward, there was no ability to save and there was only one option being to the play the games story mode. Few games had multiplayer or co-op features at this point in time. The Streets of Rage 2 however did have co-op and me and my brother spent hours every day fighting through the games levels hoping to finally reach the final level. Having to start again from scratch each time but we didnt care, we knew how to play it and were good at it. This style of playing games continued throughout the years across many different console and games I played. The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye 64 were two of my favourite games on the Nintendo 64 and were again straight forward in nature and amazing to play.
Today there are so many factors to consider when buying a modern game there are too numerous to count. The last game I dared to try Was Doom BFG edition of the Xbox 360 a HD remake of Doom 3 that included Doom 1 and 2. After playing the game for only an hour I turned off my 360 feeling very disappointed, the game wasnt bad it just failed to live up to and compete with the games in my existing library. I could not see myself playing it over the likes of Halo, Call of Duty and Mass Effect.
After reading this article ask yourself these questions: How many games do you have that are not titles in established franchises? And when was the last time you branched out and tried a new game that you played continuously over the games in your collection? The answers may open your eyes to the point I am making.