There was a time in my life when universally negative word of mouth, very divisive opinions and general bad reviews felt like a challenge. Everyone else said this game was bad, I neededto see for myself, so I could justifiably also complain about how bad they were. That’s because, on almost every occasion, the consensus were accurate and I ended up wasting my time on a game I didn’t like.
This past 12 months, in my 30th year of life, the message finally seemed to sink in. It must have anyway, because I didn’t end up playing a single game that I would deem disappointing that came out in 2018. That isn’t to say that there were some white hot trash fires released this year, I just avoided them. Which isn’t to say there weren’t games that massively bummed me out.
I don’t take any pleasure from games being bad, even more so when they were games I had been looking forward to. And while I might not have that first experience, I have spent hours reading and listening to people talking about these games. I also don’t care anymore. So if anyone reading this takes exception to the fact that I’m complaining about games I didn’t play then feel free to go away, or give me crap for it. Personally, I’ll be a lot happier in the knowledge that my time was spent on only marginally bad games rather than these.
Game culture has changed, it has for me at least. This past year I have found myself playing far fewer new games. It’s not that I’m spending less time gaming as a rule, rather, it’s because I’ve been investing in other services. Xbox’s Game Pass has been a great resource, giving me access to a ton of older games for a monthly fee.
The “Games as a service” approach from developers has also given games much longer lives than they would have had previously.
It’s a change that’s just getting started I feel, with the likes of Anthem, Skull and Bones, Fortnite and The Division 2 all on the horizon, it seems like every big studio wants their “living game”. Something people just play and play and they just keep supporting over time. Which, right now, suits me just fine.
Over these past few months, I’ve found myself playing a lot of different games. What I hoped would be a new love affair, has turned into little more than brief flirtation and I’ve ended up returning to old reliable titles. It’s the main reason I’ve found myself playing a lot of Fallout 4 these past few weeks. My first play through of the game came from me heavily investing in Intelligence, Charisma and Agility skills, so this time I thought I’d start a new character and try and make something that focused on the other three almost entirely, and I’m having a blast.
It’s doing this that gave me a great reminder into how much I love the character customisation system in the game. In fact, It’s one of the main things that draws me to a lot video games, the titles that provide near limitless combinations of skills that ensures no two people to have the exact same experience. It’s one of my little disappointments when thinking about games like God of War and the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. As much as I enjoyed those games, their customisation mechanics were not the things that stuck out to me. If anything, they were lacking.