Endless Entertainment With Games You Never Get Tired Of
Just a little disclaimer here, but I have no clue what the above image is. It just came up in my Bing image search and it looked overly happy and cute so I just rolled with it. And before you cry “heathen” at the fact that I’m using this Bing thing (that rhymed, it was unintentional), I wrote this at the computer labs at campus, so I was forced to use the horrid internet explorer with the built in bing bling thing.
Besides the point. Today, since we’re currently in the gaming apocalypse, and there are no new games to play, I was thinking about my personal list of go-to games. Not my backlog, but games that I can play persistently and constantly and never grow tired of the experience. Whether it’s the fact that the game has an engaging online experience, or just a really deep and awesome single player experience, is hardly what matters. I’m just thinking about a gaming experience you love so much that you can never get “over it”, and this could possibly be due to external circumstances as well.
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What do I mean by that?
Well, the number one game on my list would be Dota. I’ve been playing it for so many years I’ve lost count, and Valve’s Dota 2 only resurged my love for the game tenfold. But it’s not just that it’s an incredible game that initially started out as a mod for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and went on to become one of the most popular free game mods worldwide. It’s not just that it has a strong South African community either. And it’s not just that each and every single game you play is entirely different due to teams and hero selections and tactics. And it’s not just that it’s downright awesome.
It’s that my playing experience is made infinitely better due to the combined social experience of playing the game. Each time I play Dota 2, probably nine out of ten times I’ve got a few friends in a party and we chat and have a good time on voice chat clients like Mumble. Sure, we play to win and improve our game, but it’s plenty of fun, and for me it’s one of the rare cases where I’ll admit hands down that the solo experience does not compare to the friend experience. Most of the time, in fact almost all the time, I prefer to play games on my own, but when it comes to Dota 2, I am hugely excited each game and it’s very rare that I won’t enjoy a game with friends. It’s just enjoyable for endless reasons.
If you exclude the years and years I played the original Dota, I’ve logged nearly 400 hours on Dota 2 and have played over 200 games of 30-60 minutes each. I’m sure I could double that over the next few months with ease. And it’s not like I play religiously. Just anything from one to three games on nights here and there. But I know I’ll never get tired of Dota. I just manage my addiction I guess.
The second game that I’ve never grown tired of, is Counter Strike. I know many fans will cry real tears when I say that Counter Strike: Source was actually my favourite and preferred version over the original 1.6, and I’m still adjusting and playing Valve’s Counter Strike: GO albeit infrequently, but I always just enjoyed Source the most. And I only sometimes played with friends here, as most of the time I was trying to play well. Whether I played for 5 minutes or 5 hours, I never got over Counter Strike: Source. Sure, as with anything, after a lengthy enough play session I needed a break or to do something else, but I would always return at a later stage or date with renewed excitement.
Before you think this relates only to multiplayer experiences, there are actually two single player games that I never got tired of either. The first is Batman: Arkham City. Despite my four or five playthroughs, I’d always just enjoy modding the game with new suits for Batman and such, and then flying around the city, beating up thugs, finding ways to make the game harder for myself or maybe even deviating to go play some challenge maps. Part of the reason must be that I’m a boundary-less Batman-obsessed freak, but yep, Arkham City is my go to game when I need to let off some steam.
And lastly, another game I can never tire of would have to be my favourite game franchise in existence, Metal Gear Solid. One thing I will always remember Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for, was its sheer gameplay depth and variety that can still better most games today. Despite it not being my favourite game in the franchise, I played it at least six times and it’s probably the only game I can think of where I stuck around to unlock absolutely everything, from the Assassin’s Creed uniform to the invisibility stealth device. Of course that’s if we exclude fighting games that force you to unlock characters.
I could go on about why, but I’m not going to in the interest of time and your sanity. I find it interesting personally that I have two single player and two multiplayer games which I can never get tired of. Maybe never is a strong word, but I have yet to get over them. Many games today are what I call “play-and-throw-away”, or just forgettable. On the other end, many games are absolutely fantastic, but the best experience is the first. And many games are great enough to warrant two playthroughs, but the objective is to complete them the second time, not persistantly play them for no other reason than pure enjoyment.
I think an important part of the reason is meaningful variety, as in ways the experience can change from game to game and remain fresh for extended play. For instance, Dota revolves around that, and Counter Strike features rounds that span mere minutes each so anything can happen. But Metal Gear Solid 4 had such gameplay depth and variety that I could change my loadout and equipment entirely three times in three different playthroughs and get three different experiences and styles, and still have so much extra equipment to test out. As for Batman, there’s just massive replayability with those challenge maps and, well, I’m a Batfreak, so there’s always that to help out.
Of course I’m not sitting here saying all games must have it, as it’s impossible, and games you don’t grow tired of is an entirely subjective thing. But I do feel that, to some extent, meaningful variety and player choice in gameplay plays an important role in helping a game have more value.
So which games would you say you have never gotten over, and can repeatedly play without fearing you’ll get bored of it? Some gamers may not have a game like that, and to others it may be a franchise rather than a particular game. By that I mean, for example, if the strange creatures at Ubisoft ended up releasing two hundred Assassin’s Creeds, you’d nom them all up with enthusiasm.
Sound off in the comments down below, potato minions.