Replaying Games

I have a habit of playing and replaying the same games over and over.

There’s a list of games I have on my “backlog,” which I have either not yet played or have yet to finish. I try to play and finish new games I buy, such as the games needed for this class, but that has ironically kept me from finishing other games I was “in progress.” I’ll get to them…. Eventually…. Maybe…

Ok, maybe not.

Civ V: 2/3 buttons lead to continued gaming. It never ends.

There’s the tricky question of defining the “ending” of a game. Several open world games allow you to continue playing even after finishing the main story. Grand Theft Auto has a storyline, but you can continue roaming the world after finishing it. Some games like Civilization V can be played and won over and over. And over. And over. There’s always one more turn to be played in Civilization.

Some games, like Call of Duty, compromise by having a linear campaign as well as a potentially endless multiplayer (endless as long as the servers are up, that is). These kinds of campaigns seem to be heading out the door, and more and more games seem to focus on either just singleplayer or multiplayer.

You also have games like Minecraft, which features an optional, non-required story. If you decide to kill the dragon in Minecraft, do you win? Originally, the game’s purpose stemmed from building and exploration. It arguably still is, the only difference being one more goal the player can set for themselves.

GTA4 feels pretty empty when the main story is over and done. Fun game, though.

Rockstar is trying to tell me something in that sign…

I’m not complaining about the replayability of games. For many games I embrace it. Ok, maybe some of them, but not all. So what makes a game replayable? Some people turn to multiplayer, and I know some people who have thousands of hours in games that technically have no story, such as Team Fortress 2. Others demand story, and play single player games for just as long.What it boils down to for me personally is if I’m interested in the game or not. I’ll gladly finish and replay a game that I can genuinely enjoy rather than try to struggle my way through a game I find uninteresting. I want to wrap thing up before I end up writing more bad jokes or (gasp!) another article about “how much fun I want to have in gaming.” So, what do you think?

2 thoughts on “Replaying Games

  1. There are few linear games I’ve played through more than once. I believe that list solely consists of Uncharted 2. On the other hand, I’ve played dozens of hours of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Starcraft 2, Age of Empires 2, and Modern Warfare 2. For me, replay-ability consists of a sense of familiarity, accomplishment, and challenge (plus the number 2 apparently). The latter three games certainly offer this. That being said, just like good movies, I’m sure there’s plenty I missed in the story-based games I’ve played. Given enough free time, I would very much like to replay The Last of Us, Uncharted 3, and Bioshock Infinite.

  2. I’m selecting this as one of my favorite posts of the semester. It is an excellent example of the varied ways a user can engage with and view games. Considering games as more than just a linearized experience, but instead as one that can be experienced to whichever degree the user prefers gives them the level of respect they so wholly deserve.

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