Thursday, 16 February 2012

The onset of gaming fatigue

Gaming fatigue is an inconvenience that usually sets in when you get enthusiastic about a game and overplay it in a short period of time. It can be a real pain as you get half way through and then run out of steam. You then have to make the choice to try and grind through it or walk away and try something else for a while. Unfortunately both break your immersion in the world the game has worked so hard to build up.

I feel bad to admit it, but this is the hurdle I’ve come across in Skyrim. My sneaky archer character has burned through so many quests with no end in sight that everything just feels the same now. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve cheated myself and know nothing of the Elder Scrolls backstory prior to the fifth entry in the series. I’m sure the majority of what gets waffled at me has significance or glancing references to prior storylines that just sail over my newbie head.

Skyrim’s seemingly endless scope has started to work against me as I just can’t see a conclusion on the horizon. It’s a bit like building a wall to no specification, I have no idea how long or tall to make it. It’s great really, and a true achievement to have such an open game that is still crammed with plots, sub-plots and secondary sub-plots at every turn. I just don’t quite know where to go with it now the novelty has worn off.

Skyward Sword is the other game that is currently suffering from burnout. I’m having a real love hate relationship with it. I hated the opening 90 minutes, but then it opened up into something wonderful. But now (*minor spoiler alert*), I’m trying to tackle the third visit to the Silent Realm and I just can’t be bothered with it. Why oh why have Nintendo tried to fit stealth gameplay into Zelda? It’s a revisit to a game design crime that I thought the industry had outgrown. Forced stealth sections are not fun in a game that does not have stealth as a primary gameplay element.

At least Skyrim has other distractions I can entertain myself with should I get stuck on a particular quest. Skyward Sword won’t progress unless I finish this stupid, out of place sneaking segment. The pointless thing is that I’m not even stuck at this point. I’ve only had one failed attempt and have already dismissed the section because it’s not fun. I am genuinely not looking forward to returning to the game because of this. And when a game isn’t fun, what’s the point in playing it?

No comments: