Hacked Off: When People Give Up on Video Games Too Quickly

As Christmas is this week, I tried my hardest to think of something festive to annoy me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. What’s there to hate? Festive themed levels or free content drops full of wintery goodness, no Scrooge here, I love that stuff. Instead, I have tried to make this topic wedge into the holiday theme, and I mean it might not fit, but I’m going to try until it does. In a few days a lot of people are going to be receiving a new game or two, and my problem is when people give up on a game without giving it enough of a chance, either because they make their minds up too quickly about it being bad, or they get something new and shinier. See, it’s kind of got a link to the holidays.

There have been several series that I have not liked but plowed through to the end in the hopes I’d feel differently. The main contender for this category is BioShock. Now, I tried my hardest to like this, honestly I did; it just lacked something for me. I know as I type these words people will be questioning reality, but it’s true. I got through to the end, thinking maybe it was just me and by the end I’d be enlightened, but alas, no. The end was cool, just not enough to make up for the rest of the game. Fear not though, as I didn’t give up. I tried the second game and, well, I hated it too; though, so did most. Even though I’ve not liked these games, call me crazy, but I’ve still got BioShock Infinite; which I will play when I can find the will to.

BioShock isn’t the only series I’ve tried, hated and continued to give chances. Dishonored is another one, it just lacked the spark; I’m tempted to go back to it and give it another shot though. It’s a game loved by so many people, so surely I’m the one who is wrong. I know you’re thinking that all those games I’ve discussed are dark, so maybe I just don’t like that style. The thing is that I actually love dark games: Batman Arkham trilogy, Resident Evil, even Left 4 Dead. If anything, I prefer a darker story, as it can be a little more unpredictable.

Why do I continue to give games I don’t like a second chance, or in the case of BioShock, 1,593 chances? Well, there have been plenty of games I’ve not liked at first but then grown to love, Assassin’s Creed being one of them. I found the first game very tedious; the story was brilliant, but it just wasn’t enjoyable to play. If I hadn’t given the series another go, I’d have missed out on the second, which is a gaming classic. We haven’t got all the time in the world to play games we aren’t enjoying; still, we shouldn’t be quick to give up on something if it’s not what you expected. I’ve known several people who have tried a game and given up after an hour or two. The game could get dramatically better after that; it’s not enough time to see what the game has to offer.

Another example of a game I played getting a new lease on life is Left 4 Dead. While I said I love the game, that certainly wasn’t the initial response I had. When I first got it, I hated it. There wasn’t enough to it, and what there was wasn’t the best. Fast-forward a year and I gave it another shot, and what do you know, I fell in love. It’s like a classic romcom; at first it didn’t work, but after some time we realised we were meant to be. I don’t know why, maybe my tastes changed, but what I disliked before didn’t bother me this time. I liked it so much I got the second, which became one of my most played multiplayer games of last generation. Now I can’t wait for Left 4 Dead 3, if it’ll actually ever come (we all know Valve’s fear of number 3).

While I do say it annoys me, there are games I have had to leave in the dust trails, though it is always a tough decision for me to make. The most recent one I did this with was Dead Space. I had never played it, and I’ve been informed by countless people that it’s one of the best horror games ever. Yet, I just didn’t feel it. After halfway through I decided to cut my losses. I’m not happy about it, and I can’t say for sure I won’t go back to it. Who knows what I’m missing out on? If I had finished it, it could have become one of my favourites.

There’s just no point on getting a video game if there is a chance you’d just give up on it after a few hours. We’ve gotten so used to just throwing away and getting other things. There are games we’ve all loved that others have not liked or just given up on, and that’s a real shame.

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