I’m sure I’m not alone on this one.
Life gets in the way. Work, family, demands on your time and responsibilities to uphold, it all burdens us and eats into time that we used to use playing games. Life is important, sure. As much as we’d love to believe that we can all play games and live functioning lives at the same time is optimistic under current socio-economic conditions, maybe one day, one generation, but it won’t be any time soon. I write a lot about games, but over and over again I find I’m returning to the same old examples that I’ve used repeatedly over various articles.That’s why this year I’m putting aside all other concerns that can wait for some other time and focussing on the big one. I am playing computer games, and I am going about it a little differently to how I tried last year.
I set about originally with the intent of revisiting games I’d tried to start before and failed because of time constraints, namely the Witcher series and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The sad fact of the matter is that I find that I may have found them too easy to step away from in the first place, they both have one major hangup: a small space overloaded with content that an obsessive completionist like myself can’t leave alone before moving on and that bored me. After a while they became as much work as… well work!
And so a new approach, try something new. And as I perused my bloated Steam Library I decided to break a rule I’d set for myself fairly arbitrarily, I decided against playing Tales From The Borderlands before finishing the Pre-Sequel. I’m about an hour or so into Telltale‘s take on the world of Pandora, and I am so glad I jumped off the beaten path.
Gone are the guns and the elite warriors, who go in equipped, react fast and ask questions like “why don’t you die?” In steps the quick witted and fast talking heroes, who desperately rely on how well they planned, how quickly they can improvise, and how well they relate to other people. As a D&D player (oh, did I mention I like my pen and paper stuff?) I feel as though the other half of my game has just been opened up. Strength, Dexterity and Constitution have all been clearly measured in games flawlessly, now I’m not only playing a character with Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, the characters and the game around them are built with them in mind.
Now I’m not here to talk about how great Telltale is, you can all find that out from other people who have been playing them since Wolf Among Us really set the stage for their signature style, or even sooner with their early titles.
This is really more of a comment about how tastes change over time, and how our experiences change us. I don’t think I’ve realised over the last eight years exactly how drastically tabletop had changed me, and how I play. Not only that, but maturity has affected my tastes, much as it has with books, films, TV and music. Why would I have thought for one moment that my taste in games wouldn’t have changed the same way?
Nostalgia is great, and I still revisit old favourites like Heroes of Might and Magic 3 in the same way as I’ll watch Pitch Black or read a Discworld book for the happy memories, but there’s still plenty of things I’ve left behind because I feel I’ve outgrown them, and in their place stand new fascinations and new facets that I’ve learned to enjoy through new experiences, the same with most other walks of life.
So I ask you this:
What new games did you discover last year? How have your gaming likes and hates changed? Talk to me in the comments down below, or on our Facebook page.