Jump to content
IGNORED

Putting games down for a bit and then coming back to them


Jamie John
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can you do this?

 

I always struggle with it. If I feel like a particular game is starting to drag, especially a long one, then I'm far more likely to just abandon it and move on rather than tell myself 'I'll play something else for a while and then come back to this'. This is particularly true for complex games with lots of systems that you have to re-teach yourself when you eventually return to it, or games with complicated stories and dozens of characters, who you'll quite easily forget.

 

To give some recent examples, about a month ago I started playing Dragon Quest XI on the Switch and thought to myself 'This'll be the perfect Switch game', but after 15 hours or so I just haven't found an excuse to go back to it, despite enjoying what I played. Instead, I'm currently playing Horizon Forbidden West on the PS5, and it's clearly a good game, but after 20 or so hours I'm only 25% of the way in, apparently, and the prospect of continuing for another 60 hours to get to the end isn't an especially enticing one. I tell myself that I can put it down for a bit, play a couple of shorter games and then come back to it, but I know that if I do that the spark will have gone and it'll be an effort to teach myself how to play it once more. Additionally, there's always going to be something new and shiny distracting my attention when it comes time to play it again, so I'll just be drawn to that instead.

 

I don't think this means that I don't like long games (I spent nearly 150 hours playing Elden Ring), but I think it's more difficult for longer games to keep the player consistently engaged if they ask you to do the same thing over and over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's almost always down to the controls for me. I step away from a game for a bit, and I've literally forgotten all knowledge of what the hell I press to get the thing to do what I want it to do. Which invariably leads me to starting the game up again from the beginning to go through the tutorial sections, and then usually stopping at the same point I did before. 

 

And the cycle begins anew.

 

Which is why I now seem to never play anything apart from games I've played many, many times before ;) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the whole 60 to 80 hour games (I'm looking at you Assassins Creed) a bit overwhelming. Add on the fact a lot of it is grind and I tend to play them in bursts, only recently finishing Odyssey. I put Borderlands 3 down for about 2 years before going back and finishing off the main quest, then buying the dlc and playing through that. I usually find on coming back to a game the first hour is spent working out the controls, special moves etc.  Horizon Forbidden West I finished in about 40 hours with the intention of going back to do more sidequests, but then realising that's never gonna happen and uninstalling it :) 

 

I'm a sucker for stuff like Call of Duty campaigns though. 4 to 6 hours and done. Buy it, play it, trade it.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, controls for me too. It would take another hour or two of gameplay before my muscle memory returns!

 

Not impossible, I had a 2 year gap between sessions on AC Odyssey but managed to get back into that and finish the main story and all the DLC.

 

I've got so many half finished games and its re-learning the controls and game mechanics that prevent me returning over anything else.

 

Need to go back to:

 

RDR2

Witcher 3

AC Valhalla 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Borderlands 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Boothjan said:

Yep, controls for me too. It would take another hour or two of gameplay before my muscle memory returns!

 

Not impossible, I had a 2 year gap between sessions on AC Odyssey but managed to get back into that and finish the main story and all the DLC.

 

I've got so many half finished games and its re-learning the controls and game mechanics that prevent me returning over anything else.

 

Need to go back to:

 

RDR2

Witcher 3

AC Valhalla 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Borderlands 2

 

You should definitely get Ori ticked off. It's only about ten hours long and is fantastic from start to finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Mr Majestyk said:

Horizon Forbidden West I finished in about 40 hours with the intention of going back to do more sidequests, but then realising that's never gonna happen and uninstalling it :) 

 

Did you just mainline it to finish it in that time? I'm nowhere near half-way through yet, despite playing it for half the time you did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put Dragon Quest 8 3DS down years ago and not sure how to go back to it. Could be wrong but it doesn't tell me what to do next (quest log) like more modern RPGS? Feel free to tell me I'm wrong and what to check.

 

I've put Persona 5 Royal down for a while but not too concerned about resuming it after God of War.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got to the blizzardy region in ER and had to put it down three weeks back. Have to get back and finish the damn thing (got to a little past the final VM quest) No way I won't finish it but I'm finding a lot of other things to do in the nicer weather now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm planning to go back to Monster Hunter Rise in the next week or so in preparation for the release of Sunbreak, I know it's going to be difficult as I haven't played it since about a month after release.

 

I've played several MH games so the basics should come back to me easily enough but all the Rise-specific stuff like wirebug attacks and endemic life and riding around on Palamutes is going to take a long old while to work out again.

 

As for working out where I was with armour and weapons, that's probably an hour or two of staring at menus in confusion. I'll get there, but it's going to be rough for an evening or two.

 

In general I try and stick to one big game at a time to avoid this sort of problem. I've just spent a couple of weeks playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses almost exclusively, firstly because it's bloody brilliant but also because I know I'll never remember some of the finer details of how it works if I put it down for any length of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, JoeK said:

It's almost always down to the controls for me. I step away from a game for a bit, and I'm literally forgotten all knowledge of what the hell I press to get the thing to do what I want it to do. Which invariably leads me to starting the game up again from the beginning to go through the tutorial sections, and then usually stopping at the same point I did before. 

 

And the cycle begins anew.

 

Which is why I now seem to never play anything apart from games I've played many, many times before ;) 

 

I do the restarting thing a lot as well, down to controls and mechanics/systems. Trying to stick to one big game at a time, but my head gets turned easily. I've played the opening section of a few games so many times. My 2 boys think its hilarious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

Can you do this?

 I'm currently playing Horizon Forbidden West on the PS5, and it's clearly a good game, but after 20 or so hours I'm only 25% of the way in, apparently, and the prospect of continuing for another 60 hours to get to the end isn't an especially enticing one. I


I think I can, although it’s quite rare for me to put a game down until I have finished it completely in the first place. The only examples I can think of right now are Superhot VR (because it was too hot to play in the summer months), portable games that I only play when I’m away from home, and then there’s stuff that requires a large controller - because I only have space for one at a time (HOTAS, arcade stick or whatever) those get rotated. I usually do go back to them though.

 

What I don’t understand is playing something just to get to the end. That sounds to me like you’re not enjoying it and just want to finish (in my case, I am having this experience with the original Phoenix Wright atm). If you enjoy something you shouldn’t actually want it to end, right? (this would be my current experience with Elden Ring… 260 hours in on my first play and still trying to drag it out for as long as possible).

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I beat Malenia, Blade of Miquella in Elden Ring at Easter but got covid (not from her) so didn't feel like playing for a bit. Never gone back to it. Annoying. I'll definitely struggle with the controls if I go back now and won't have a clue what I'm meant to be doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

Did you just mainline it to finish it in that time? I'm nowhere near half-way through yet, despite playing it for half the time you did.

 

Pretty much - although I did a few side quests here and there but usually stuck to the main story. It maybe be more like 50 hours tbh, I just picked 40 as a ballpark figure :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

You should definitely get Ori ticked off. It's only about ten hours long and is fantastic from start to finish.

 

Oh I will - I loved the first game.

 

I think I'm just bad at playing more than 1 game at a time.  When I play something, I tend to play that same game night after night.  

 

It's definitely not a case of not enjoying them anymore - I just can't multitask! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm strongly in the mindset of playing a game until it stops being fun, and dropping it no problem after that point. Aside from a handful of exceptions I tend not to get too caught up in game stories, and it's more the mechanics of what I'm doing that keep me interested rather than seeing the narrative through. Ironically I tend to find expansive open-world games show me pretty much everything they have to offer gameplay-wise in their opening 'tutorial' areas, and once I'm presented with the rest of the game world I tune out. This happened with Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Horizon Zero Dawn. In AC especially I rinsed absolutely everything out of the first island, to the tune of about 14 hours, sailed to the mainland and realised I'd basically be performing the same sequence of events over and over again, and stopped playing. But I was very satisfied with the time I got out of it. Maybe I wouldn't be if I'd paid £70 for it though...

 

Complex systems are definitely another thing that can deter me from coming back to a game. I played the introductory chapter of Red Dead Redemption 2 when it came out. Got to camp and did a little rudimentary hunting, then quit the game for a while. Every time I fire it up thinking I'll jump back in I head out from camp a little, get confused by the controls and inventory system, realise I can't remember what's happening, then go back to camp and quit.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Paulando said:

My philosophy is: a game ends when it stops being fun. If you’re no longer having fun or it’s becoming a grind, dump it and try something else, and don’t feel bad about it. It’s a hobby, not a job.

 

I agree with that. The issue I'm having is with games that I'm enjoying playing, but which I want to pause temporarily so I can play something else for a while: it's difficult to put down game A, play game B for a bit, then return to game A later. Forbidden West, that I'm currently playing, I don't want to abandon as it's a good game, but I want to be able to have a break from it, play a short indie game, and then return to it without feeling entirely lost or overwhelmed. Maybe I should just try it and see what happens.

 

This seems to be something that only affects games (or perhaps books); with TV series, I might have a few different programmes on the go at once that I can dip in and out of, as TV episodes are discrete by their very nature and often include catch up segments at the start to get you back on board. You don't have to worry about re-learning control schemes or mechanics, either (obviously).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the best things I did was the complete opposite to this "drop the game" mentality. 
I stopped dropping games so frequently a good 10 years or so ago after a discussion with a friend and I've had, way, way more fun with the games I play. 

Sure, they're are games that I wouldn't really like but I tend to not really play those 😂 and I've found I sometime appriciate a little bit of player friction and pushing through it. A game can change quite significantly if you just push through small sections that might not be working for you. 
I massively disagree that something like HZD is just the same after the first few hours. You've basically not even started playing it at that point as it's more of a slow ramp up to the encounters with the larger dinos. 

 

I really try to play a game and just concentrate on it till I roll credits, and I love to actually complete games. Chopping and change between games can - i feel - actively make them all less fun. I've even moved on from games that I've been loving playing just to actually get to other games. 
Elden Ring came out this year, right at the time where a whole bunch of cool games where coming out. I deliberately didn't touch anything till Elden Ring which then because my one game till I had platinumed it. Only now am I moving onto something else, which will be something small and light before something like Horizon Forbidden West. I'm absolutely a completionist type, and wouldn't have it any other way. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Handwritten notes. All the handwritten notes. I remember trying to trade in a bunch of games at CEX and every time the dude opened a case a bunch of scrap paper would fly out :blush: . But I have things written down for basic controls (until they become second nature), gameplay concepts (again, until I'm more familiar), "objectives" for when I return to the game (investigate that thing over there I didn't have time for yesterday, level up that weapon I discovered at the end of my last session) - and so on. Even then it can get tricky with certain genres: try playing a classic Metroidvania and trying to note down which map areas are inaccessible and which have an undefeated boss.

 

That said, I have got into the habit of picking one game and dedicating my time to it so that I don't have the consequences of putting a game down and having to catch up. At worst I'll miss some weekly Destiny activities, and that game's not complicated at all :ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The two biggest examples I can think of were:

 

Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker Remaster

Bought it on Wii U on release, played through a big chunk of it, put it down, came back months later and Link was sat in his boat in the middle of the ocean, miles from any land. No idea where I was going, where I'd been, what I was meant to be doing...turned it off.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

Played through a whole bunch at launch. Put it down. Came back a couple of years later. Arthur is stood in a field in the middle of nowhere. Can't remember how far I'd got, what I had/hadn't done, any of the story. Just started again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My solution to this is to only have a small number of games on the go, and they all have to be completely different. So I'll usually have one "big"/story-driven game on the go, and then also something for a quick arcadey hit, a driving game, maybe a puzzle game, something turn based etc. So if I want a break from the big game I can do a quick race or puzzle or a few rooms of Slay the Spire to cleanse the palate, and then go back to the biggie without having forgotten where I am or how to play it.

 

Sometimes a game can start in the "big" category and then eventually make its way into the supporting line up for another one. Like recently Lego Star Wars was my main game but I finished the story levels ages ago and now I'm just travelling around mopping up the (huge number of) remaining collectibles, which is a nice little thing to dip in and out of while I concentrate on the next biggie.

 

And if something's on my "now playing" list but I haven't bothered with it for a few weeks, that's a sign that I've lost interest and it gets uninstalled and replaced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, MidWalian said:

I put Dragon Quest 8 3DS down years ago and not sure how to go back to it. Could be wrong but it doesn't tell me what to do next (quest log) like more modern RPGS? Feel free to tell me I'm wrong and what to check.

 

I've put Persona 5 Royal down for a while but not too concerned about resuming it after God of War.

Strangely Dragon Quest was the first thing I thought about when I saw this thread. But in my case Dragon Quest XI. It's fantastic for dropping and coming back to. All of the mechanics are incredibly basic RPG stuff and the game will run you through the story up until where you've got to when you load it up. They also plonk an icon on the map for an NPC/party member that will tell you where to go next at all times. It's great! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like @Darren I'll have a few games on the go. If I'm not feeling like playing the bigger game on a given night, I'll play one of the others, but I'll not jump around between even more.

 

I like going deeper into games, and I usually play for the story and full experience, so being too scattered with my play would be detrimental to my fun.

 

If I do end up taking a longer break for some reason, I usually need to start over if I ever come back, which usually just means I don't bother. I'd rather not do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this problem feeds into the sunk cost fallacy, as well. I understand the sentiment behind saying something like 'If you're not enjoying a game anymore, just stop playing it', but the fact is if I know I'm close to completing a game, especially one that I've already put dozens of hours into, I do feel a compulsion to see it through to the end. If I was on hour 60 of Forbidden West, for example, with 25% of the game left, it would take something pretty egregious for me to stop playing until I got to the credits - I need that sense of closure.

 

But I think I agree with @Darren: have one 'main' single-player game on the go at a time, but dip into a more arcadey, 'pick-up-and-play' type game when you need a break. Things like quick resume on the Series consoles makes this easier to do (when it works, anyway).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 16/06/2022 at 12:07, BitterToad said:

Strangely Dragon Quest was the first thing I thought about when I saw this thread. But in my case Dragon Quest XI. It's fantastic for dropping and coming back to. All of the mechanics are incredibly basic RPG stuff and the game will run you through the story up until where you've got to when you load it up. They also plonk an icon on the map for an NPC/party member that will tell you where to go next at all times. It's great! 

This!  DQ design really considers this sort of stuff, to give good user experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did it with a few games lately. The PS5 Ratchet game, Returnal, Metroid Prime and managed to get back into them. 
 

I had to park Elden Ring after Godrich the Grafted and I’m not sure what I’ll do when I get to play it again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did it yesterday with AC Valhalla. Had a break of a couple of months and thought I’d dip on while Cyberpunk was installing.

 

Forgot I’d played 93 (!) hours but even then flailed about like a drunk Viking as the muscle memory of the controls slowly returned. Still have loads left to uncover, which I may do but couldn’t remember any of the story or why I was supposed to care so maybe that will be it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stopped both Last of Us 2 and Uncharted 4 about half way through a number of years back. I’ve recently finished both and enjoyed them much more this time. It also helps when games I haven’t finished get a PS5 update, it tweaks my interest again.
 

I’m making a concerted effort to finish games on my backlog now, though I’m not sure I’ll manage it with Elden Ring, I really enjoy it while playing but oddly it doesn’t pull me back, I think it’s partly because I find the bosses quite difficult, I know they’re meant to be and you learn etc. but I’m just not sure it’s my thing. I’ll probably chip away at it for years though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coincidentally I booted up Path of Exile today after a year of hiatus.

 

200.gif.cb914554c66a45ab120c7a946f3c22c4.gif

 

If you've never played Path of Exile, it's Diablo with the talent tree of Final Fantasy X3 with a dozen different mechanics and a complete reboot of the talent tree every time a new "event" goes live. It's the pinnacle of playing a videogame with a iPad on your lap with 10 different tabs open all explaining a part of the game.

One of the best Free to Play games out there, the amount of value it offers boggles the mind. Hopelessly confusing unless you're a dedicated player, which I am not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.