When I was a kid, I used to love getting a new video game. An entirely new world of possibilities would lay out ahead of me; new levels to try, new game mechanics to learn. It was all so exhilarating. When I got a bit older I was able to start buying my own games. I saved up my money for that one special gem that I knew was coming out in the fall and I was so elated when I could finally bring it home and have a ball with it. When I got to high-school I got a job, which unlocked a whole new world of possibilities. I didn’t have infinite money or anything, but I could splurge on a game that I wasn’t 100% sure was going to be a winner. I could afford to take a few chances here and there and begin growing an actual game library. It was a glorious time. I remember thinking that I absolutely could not wait to be an adult and have the money to buy any game I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then something ironic happened.
Inevitably I did become an adult (in the legal sense at least) and managed to get a fairly well paying job which afforded me the opportunity to indulge my craving for games to a degree I never dreamed of. As that happened though, my gaming tastes began to change, and over the past several years it’s continued to get worse. You see, I don’t really like new games. To clarify, when I say “new games”, I don’t mean games from this generation. I don’t look at recent releases and think, ‘They sure don’t make them like they did back in my day’. What I mean here is that, as much as I’m interested in playing a game I’ve never played before, I constantly find myself going back to old staples. Certain games have wormed their way into my heart to such a degree that I often forsake new experiences just to play my old faithfuls more often.
A lot of it has to do with games requiring longer tutorial and story intro sections. Absolutely nothing turns me off more than having to go through missions or tutorial levels that explain concepts that seem pretty basic to the vast majority of gamers. For example I recently picked up Titanfall on sale and was really eager to jump into it. I’m a fan of the Call of Duty style shooter, but haven’t enjoyed the more recent releases, so Titanfall seemed like just what I was looking for to scratch that itch. The game starts with a 15 minute tutorial of how to move, aim down the sights, jump, sprint, etc… Now, perhaps there was a skip button that I missed or something, but I felt like the game was forcing me to go through stuff that I already knew. I’ve played a Call of Duty game, I know how to sprint and use iron sights. I don’t need you to hold my hand Titanfall. And this is why I have trouble with new games. I have no desire to do that stuff. Now, 15 minutes isn’t a long commitment, so I got through it. The couple of hours of Watch Dogs took me like 3 sittings though, because I kept getting utterly bored with the endless story set-up and boring tutorial missions.
I realize that this could have probably been a rant as opposed to a confession, but I feel bad about this more than I do angry. While I may not appreciate having my hand held through some tutorial stuff, it impedes my playing cool games more often than I’d like to admit. There are countless games that I have less than 2 hours of gameplay on simply because the tutorial / intro section of the game bored me so much that I quit. Some games I can power through this with, and those games usually become part of the favorites rotation. Other games get lost in the shuffle though, because I’m too damn impatient to get through some simple tutorial stuff. The real guilt here comes from knowing that if 12 year old Steve knew that I had the money and time to play tons of awesome games but wasn’t because I was being an idiot, he’d kick me right in the nuts. Somehow, I feel like I owe it to my 12 year old self to not squander the opportunity to really enjoy gaming, so somehow I’m going to have to learn to get through those annoying game beginnings.