Video Games: Do I REALLY Want to Be Wasting my Time With THIS Game?

From Rise of the Tomb Raider

So, video games. So many video games.

So many video games and not enough time to devote to them. Well, not enough time to devote to them all anyway.

The above image is a still I found online from Rise of the Tomb Raider, my current video game fascination. And yes, fascination — because while the characters may be video game characters and a bit shallow or weak (which I don’t really like), the game play is fascinating to me. It’s not an open-world game where you can do what you like and tell your own story. No, you’re definitely following a main story with the opportunities for side quests and achievements that don’t directly deal with the main story, but lean more towards how the game is played, how you control the character and, in some ways, how well you can control the character.

There is a series of games called Dark Souls in which the gameplay is the game. Sure, there might be some kind of story hidden in the background — or so I’ve heard — but you have to pay close attention to find it. This game also fascinates me because it’s an unforgiving game. Where RoTR may give you time to die, this one doesn’t. You have to bring your A game — or you have to learn to play your A game — or you die. Period. And you’re going to die. A lot. The real questions here are what can you get accomplished before you die? And can you learn the controls to “git gud” at the game and make the periods between deaths longer so that you can accomplish more?

And then we have the MMORPGs (massively-multiplayer online role playing games) such as The Elder Scrolls Online, Secret World Legends, and World of Warcraft. These are games where you play alone or with tens or hundreds or even thousands of other people. You can team up to defeat this dungeon (usually an area with multiple bosses leading to a larger boss at the end) or that world boss (a boss in the playing field that usually takes more players than one to defeat due to the number of hit points it has). Or you can simply follow the various quests though the world.

Some games are small, like SWL, where dedicated players return daily and pay for membership perks and the majority of players return for holidays and new content.

Some games are huge, like ESO, where there are quite literally hundreds of quests and paths that you can follow everywhere. Even though ESO has a central storyline for each DLC (downloadable content) pack, you can ignore it altogether to create your character’s own ideal storyline. Some quest choices are fixed in the game once you choose them — some quests are repeatable. Erm, I think they’re repeatable anyway — with the large number of quests that ESO has, you may never feel the need to double back and do one over, unless you have multiple characters.

Other games are open-world games in which you can create your own story completely. Kinda like being thrown into a setting and given some rules and then — BAM! — you go do whatever you want to do within those given rules. This includes games like No Man’s Sky and Minecraft.

You also have open-world strategy games: Stellaris, a 4D space strategy game where you create your own civilization and try to take over the galaxy. Sid Meyer’s Civilization — just about the same thing, only on Earth.

I could go on and on and on… but I don’t want to. Needless to say, there are thousands of games out there that you could be playing, but because you either don’t know about them or because you don’t want to spend the money on them… you’re playing the same old game. Over and over. Kinda like my husband who plays Alien: Isolation, Crysis and Prince of Persia over and over because he doesn’t know what else is out there that he likes.

However, I am going to try to help you do just that — to figure out what kinds of games you like while playing some of the games in my own repetoire that I’ve purchased but never played.

Who am I? What are my credentials? Really? That’s a necessity for this?

I’m a gamer-girl (yes, I like the hyphen) who’s been playing for about two and a half years but I’ve accumulated over 300 games in that time frame. (No, I really don’t want to think about the money I’ve spent doing this, thankyaverramuch.)

I have a lot of time on my hands and too much time can spiral out of control. I could buy even more videogames, nevermind the Fallout 76 game I’ve pre-ordered that comes out in November.

And, well, maybe, maybe I need a kick in the ass to get myself writing again, even if it’s non-fiction, so I can ultimately start writing fiction in hopes of making a career at it?

Maybe.

So, every Friday, I’m going to review a game that I’ve spent a few hours on in that past week. Any game. Sometimes they may be games I’m currently playing. Sometimes they may be random games from my library so I can decide whether I actually like the game too.

And if I come up with a game I like, that’s great. A game I don’t like, that’s okay too. But a game I’m not sure about? That’s when I’ll try to do a bit of research and more game play and the following week, I’ll try to come up with a yay or nay.

Look for the first real game review next Friday — see you there!

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I have about a thousand games from Steam and continue to purchase more. These are reviews of the games I purchased but don't play that often - or reviews of games I play a lot. Either way, here's some video game reviews.

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Kari J. Wolfe

Kari J. Wolfe

Never-ending student in the realms of writing fiction/nonfiction and telling stories. Hopeless wannabe equestrian learning from a distance.

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