Earlier last month, I wrote an article about ‘the struggle of being both a student and a gamer‘, discussing the implications of narrowing down your games library to something which is time convenient and affordable. Stuck in a limited budget, many students are restricted in the vast choices of games to play, and narrowing down particular games becomes almost a necessity if you want to continue gaming as a student.
The major problem in doing so is deciding if the gameplay length and the gameplay style are at an extensive amount in which the game seems worth purchasing. Perhaps a prime example of this is with the recent release of ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’. The game is infamously known for its annual release, with some critics and many online bloggers claiming the game brings upon a rehashed formula and brings upon nothing innovative to the table. These criticisms may be everywhere, yet analyst Michael Patcher seems to remain optimistic that Advanced Warfare will sell an impressive amount of 21 million copies and stating that “Call of Duty is still one of the biggest franchises in gaming”. Considering that the gaming market still some-what considers Call of Duty relevant, the question is what makes them purchase it? The roughly 6-hour long campaign is generally skipped upon by the majority of Call of Duty players, as they head straight to the online lobbies and battle each other; even if the player does venture through the campaign, the online multiplayer will inevitably equate for most of the game-time as that’s presumably why most of the audience now purchase the series … That is until the gamer becomes bored of the latest instalment of course. Dubbed the ‘Call of Duty cycle’ by some online theorists, by a certain point within the year many will lose interest beyond the hype of the latest release and just await for the next version to be announced. Whilst it becomes inconvenient to the gamers, it’s an obvious win-win situation to Activision. So the headline refers to ‘short adrenaline fuelled games’, which I personally infer as games which is bound to lose interest after the initial hype is gone and the game itself is not worth replaying or playing extensively after a few months; hence the ‘Call of Duty cycle’ which I mention seems to be an obvious link to these short-feueled adrenaline games.
But after buying it, there’s the question as to whether it was a good purchase or not. Sure, the multiplayer will extend the replay value for quite some time, but before the end of the year you’d already be anticipating the next upgrade. Even with some more plot-centric annual releases such as Assassins Creed, once you’ve reached the end of the narrative and had enough with the Ubisoft servers, there’s a limitation to the open-world as to what you can do if you’re attempting to avoid purchasing extra DLC’s. The gamer therefore receives an adrenaline rush whilst playing the game for the first few months, but after so, the gamer is bound to find the game receptive and seek for a new thrilling game instead. While the game was exciting as it was, would you consider that purchase worthwhile considering from then on, it’ll just be gathering dust within your shelves?
The title of ‘short adrenaline-fuelled games’ shouldn’t only be identified with annual releases though, whilst they’re easier targets to blame considering the gamer knows an upgrade version will arrive the year after, other games which developers may have poured limitless efforts into perfecting can still suffer from the same issue. I will forever applaud and praise Naughty Dog and their cinematic narrative experience they mastered in ‘The Last of Us’, but even so I still consider it consisting of the same fault as other games. The story is immerse and was ravishing, it didn’t need multiple choices or various endings in order to connect me to this apocalyptic world, but rather all I needed was the fantastic characters and script to play out – but that was it. The gameplay wasn’t spectacular or noteworthy, but instead consisted of players following linear paths in a stealthy manner with clunky gun control; don’t misunderstand, I loved the game and whilst the controls weren’t the best, I adored every second of it, but it wasn’t something that screamed to me “oh my God, I must do that again”. After completing the campaign once, I was in absolute awe from the spectacular game, yet I didn’t want to repeat the campaign immediately as I knew it would kill the astonished effect which I was feeling – I still feel it now. Eventually I intend to purchase the Remastered edition on the PS4 and relive the experience, perhaps in a years time when the game is full worn off from me, but even now I still feel that repeating it would be distasteful to the narrative. Unfortunately the multiplayer didn’t offer much reason for me to stick to the game for longer, so even then I believe that despite the game being my personal favourites and the single-player campaign being absolutely longer than what Call of Duty offers, in the long run it still becomes a ‘short adrenaline – fuelled game’; after the initial play through, I didn’t have much incentive to continue playing the game immediately.
My points may seem very fussy and particular, many games which can be seen as worth purchasing can be a game which you’ll only play for a short amount of time, but that may not matter to you. In fact, it doesn’t matter too much for me too. The purpose of replaying games after your initial purchase isn’t the selling point to me, as long as I feel satisfied in the time being, I would generally feel the purchase was worthwhile. Purchases may become more frustrating when buying annual games or regularly released titles which become tiresome and indistinguishable from each other, which is exactly how I feel more precisely with the Assassins Creed series. Taking note on my previous article which suggested being restrictive with games you purchase, I believe that these annual short-lived games are deemed worth buying if you don’t purchase literally every single new edition, but rather skip a year in-between and allow the changes to become more notable and apparent.
But what are your thoughts? It’s been a while since we’ve included a ‘Talking Point’, so what are your views upon buying games which you know you’re bound to become bored off quite quickly? Share your thoughts in the comments below!