Gaming, it’s our hobby of choice, we love it and we defend it until we’re red in the face, or dead. It’s just how gamers are. But Our favorite hobby isn’t without problems that are unique to gaming.
I mean I’m not talking about games that are broken, you know graphical glitches or game breaking bugs, no I’m talking about gaming problems that are the fault of the gamer, or the nature of the game, Or OCD or whatever it is that makes us ruin all the blood, sweat and tears (literally in some cases) the developers have put into their crowning glory, their Magnum Opus.
In this new series, I’m going to be talking, ranting or just pointing out some of the problems I have with gaming that can spoil the game in some way. I decided to write about this while playing Rise of the Tomb Raider.
So there I was Boxing day, or perhaps the day after, it’s always hard to pin point dates once Christmas has finished and you’re not at work. So there I was playing Rise of the Tomb Raider and thoroughly enjoying the game, in fact I would say it could be one of my favourite games of 2016. It has a good story, great stealth, amazing action and platforming. It’s just great all over.
That was until I reached a section of the game, which opened my eyes to something that could ruin most games in some respect. It’s the damn pesky collectibles. Now, this isn’t a problem because I don’t like collecting them. But something else entirely.
*Spoilers* So, I arrived at the Geothermal Spring section of the game, the home of the natives that are being killed by the big bad. The section starts calm enough but eventually you come to a cutscene that shows the villages and people under attack, there are explosions, and screams coming from all four corners of my surround sound system. Villagers dying. It was quite a harrowing scene. One in which the developers had tried their best to make you feel for these natives.
Then the cut scene was over. The game started and there was Lara Croft surrounded by the burning bodies of the natives. The screams and gun fire could be heard in the distance, and the game urged you onward to join the fight, save the Geothermal valley and the treasures it holds… But what did I do?…
I turned around ran in the opposite direction and went looking for treasures and artifacts and generally went on the hunt for the many hidden items Rise of the Tomb Raider contains. Ugh.
In doing that, I have completely destroyed all the hard work the developers have gone to create a tense, panic filled atmosphere. Instead of charging in to battle, which is what the game/devs wanted, I done my own thing. Why? because I hate thought of having to back track to pick up things I’ve missed. I mean to get 100% on the game, you have to collect all items, complete all side missions and do all the things listed on that section of the map. Why would I want to come back to a part of a game, that has no meaning once the main mission has been done just to pick up a document and a piece of treasure?
Of course, this is not how everyone thinks. Some people don’t mind a bit of back tracking. It’s just not for me, Probably because of my OCD. When I play a game of this nature, I do it in a slow methodical manner, Clearing each section at a time before moving onto next.
But, maybe this isn’t my fault, or dependent on how you play the games. Maybe it is the developers fault for putting collectibles in such a section of a game that demands you stick to the story to get the most out of it. This is not exclusive to Tomb Raider. Any game that has ‘junk’ to collect while trying to tell a serious story can be included. Hell, even side missions in grand open world games like GTA V could be guilty, all these things are there to pad out the game a little more. After all, open worlds are on such a grand scale these days, they have to be filled with something. Take Watch Dogs 2 for example, during the games’ main mission, I stumble across a side mission. I then have to do that side mission, I can’t help it I just have to, to get it out-of-the-way, which then takes me out of the ‘zone’ of the main story, so by the time you get back to it, you’ve lost the thread and then interest and the story just becomes something to complete rather than something to savour.
I understand that not everyone plays games the same way as I do. But being a gamer, collectibles are an important part of that game, Its’ like achieving the highest score on Donkey Kong. Getting those platinum trophies feed on gamers desire to complete, compete and be the best. But is that a good thing if it takes away from the main story, the primary reason you’re playing the game?