A friend of mine told me he ditched University to play Death Stranding for six hours straight. Another told me he wouldn’t live through a day without touching it, and others have even managed to complete it in less than a week since release.
Death Stranding is the game of the moment, and I get that. I’m totally up for it, because I’m part of the gang too. Every time I leave home I’m thinking about the next delivery, the next plot point, plot twist, plot something. Sometimes I’m even just thinking about how cool it is to climb a hill and actually feel the weight on Sam’s back.
The problem is that many have progressed in those hours of gameplay. Whereas here I am, wasting time being an Amazon courier in the eastern area, picking up other players’ deliveries and bringing them to the owner for over 11 hours. Because every trip feels like an adventure, a challenge, a leap of faith. And so I turn on my console, jump aboard Sam’s bike, I scatter the plains with a few generators and dive into another delivery.
But part of me is screaming to hurry up.
Part of me is looking at the time in real life whenever I pick up some cargo, thinking I shouldn’t dabble and I have to keep pushing with the story. It’s basically urging me to just go on and finish the damn thing.
But why the hell do I have to rush?
Maybe it’s because I’ve heard about friends moving forward, and I’m afraid to stay behind, and I want to catch up to discuss the game with them. Perhaps I’m just curious about what comes next.
Nah. That’s just some surprisingly believable bull crap. Truth is, Death Stranding is just another box to tick, just like Devil May Cry 5, just like the Resident Evil 2 Remake. And I almost can’t wait to finish it to feel that sense of completeness, to just stop for a moment and say I have pulled another game out of my list. So then, I can move onto the next one. It has become a habit with each new release.
Because I have too many games. And that’s on me, I’m aware of that. I’ve bought too many, my free time has decreased year on year, and meanwhile games kept coming out and I kept buying them. As if I had to satisfy some kind of repressed instinct, a suppressed voice commanding me to buy all the games I wanted, even though I didn’t even have the time to start one. How crazy is that?
So many gamers have 1000 or more Steam games, and they probably haven’t started one third.
The point is I know I’m not alone, out there. I know many people have 1000 or more Steam games, and they probably haven’t even started one third. Just as I know that other friends of mine feel the same urge to rush whenever they start playing. But no one is chasing us. No one is asking us to complete Death Stranding in less than a week — because then, if we do, we want more. I’m sure. It happened with Red Dead Redemption 2, it happened with NieR: Automata, it happened with The Witcher 3 and with every game I’ve ever loved. I always end up in that sweet spot between rushing and actually enjoying the game, and then I want more.
Because we buy too many games.
But then, while I was playing Death Stranding, I had an epiphany. I remembered when I did three, four runs on Prince Of Persia 3 because I had nothing else to play, and I still didn’t know I was perfectly fine with that. I still didn’t know that one day I would have a penny of free time to invest, nor that games would start piling up randomly like New Year’s proposals.
And so, this time, I’m going to ignore my own self. I want to enjoy Death Stranding. Just like I did before I even knew what a salary was. I would give all I have to go back to those Winter afternoons in front of my PS2, when I would get a new game once or twice every three months. Tops. And the apotheosis of fun was my fifth run at Kingdom Hearts or GTA: San Andreas.
So I want to spend the right amount of time, playing Death Stranding. Because it’s a great game and it deserves all the efforts I can give it.
Even if a part of me is still looking at the watch with every hour of gameplay.