Today I want to talk about something that I have been thing about the last couple of days. Is there such a thing as a game that is too big? Now, there is a difference between big games, for example Destiny is quite a small game in terms of content, but has immense replayability. Comparing Destiny to a game such as The Witcher 3 or Dragon Age Inquisition, both of the latter games are immense in scale and story. The thing is, for someone like me, who doesn't give over whole weekends to gaming, instead playing a little everyday, going into a game such as The Witcher 3 or Inquisition, I consciously think that I will not finish the campaign for this game. I will do side quests, level up, explore and acquire new gear, but I fear that I am not a committed to the campaign of the game because I know I won't finish it.
Take The Witcher 3, the story of the game takes most people around the 100 hour mark to complete, that would take me at least two months of only playing that game. In that time there will be new games released that I want to play, and also older games that still have appeal for me. I have played countless number of games, but only three games have ever taken more than 100 hour from me, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 and just recently Destiny. Now maybe that says more about me as a gamer than it does about the games, I'm a stickler for a good multiplayer game, where I'm "grinding" for the next rank up or piece of loot. They are also the most fun for me, as I can zone into the game, and just play. Where as a game such as Inquisition firstly takes an emotional toll on me, but also I always make massive decisions that will affect the rest of the game. Because of this I feel that it needs my full attention, why I don't think I can always give to a game!
A similar point could be made for The Last of Us, I highly doubt there are many players of that game that weren't emotionally affected by it in some way. However because I knew it was a medium length game(around 20-25 hours for completion) I "pushed" on with it and it is now one of my most cherished games. The problem, then, with games as large as The Witcher 3 or Inquisition is that they last around 4-5 times longer than a game like TLoU. I thus feel less of a drive to finish it, because I know that some other game will drag me away from it before I reach it's conclusion.
Casting our gaze back to the last generation, I played Mass Effect 2 and 3 to their conclusion(both Bioware games like Inquisition) because they were closer to the short end of the spectrum, at least when compared to Inquisition. Bringing yet another game into this debate, Batman Arkham Knight, has a large open world which is incredibly fun to explore; but Arkham Knight apparently lasts around the 15 hour margin to complete. Because I know that the story won't take me too long, I can focus my attention on that, suppressing my Destiny urges in the process.
Maybe there is no happy medium, though I know this, only AAA games have this problem. Unfinished Swan is a very short indie game, and knowing this, despite the fact that my interest in it was definitely present, but not burning. I set aside a few days in which to complete it; and did. This was because I knew that I could see the game from 0-100% in a few days. It is only when AAA games such as Inquisition The Witcher 3 enter the scene that I lose my focus on the story(despite both of them being superb), because I know myself as a gamer, and I know that completion of such a game is beyond me.
I know I haven't drawn and conclusion from this, and I apologise for that, maybe it is dependant on the gamer, how much time they can spend in a game, and what kind of game they like. I'd be very intrigued to hear your thoughts on this issue, you can either let me know in the comments below(which is open to everyone) or let me know on Twitter!
Thanks for reading,
I hope you have all had a brilliant Christmas and a smashing New Year! One of the games I got this Christmas was Dragon Age Inquisition, and today I will be giving you my first impressions after spending about 20 hours with the game. I have played as an Elvish Warrior which is impacts your style in a nice way. When you boot up the game you will be prompted to select a class, race and difficulty, I went for Warrior, Sword and Shield, Elvish and Normal, though there is a very hard difficulty setting for those looking for a real challenge! You then get to customise the character who will embody your journey, I spent about 40 minutes creating my character which is more than I have ever spent on customisation before, this being due to the fact that the creation tools given to you are very detailed. I know from previous Bioware games I have played that I will grow to love my character, hence why put in the time to make my character just how I wanted her! Once that is complete you will watch a few cut scenes and then be released into the first mission with your first few companions. This mission will come to a crescendo with a boss battle which was highly enjoyable, but the fun really happens when you are released into the fully explorable world. Don't worry about being overawed by the size of it, you are given certain sections of the world to explore, then as you progress the story/explore more you will unlock new hubs to work your way through.
Bioware has done a stellar job in making both the world and characters feel believable, in what time I have spent in the game I have already grown attached to specific characters and most importantly taken a disliking to certain groups, I say most importantly because you will make desisions which will affect certain groups in good and bad ways. So having a mild dislike towards certain groups made some of my decisions easier to make and then live with. Within your inquisition you have advisers and companions, what is really nice to see is that non of the characters in those two groups are annoying, though I have gravitated towards certain companions to come on my journey with me.
This game does have it's fair share of glitches, and does give throw back memories to Skyrim, in more ways than one! However none of these glitches ever massively affected my gaming experience, the worst one I have had was when I booted up the game one time and found there was no sound, however I only had to exit the game and relaunch it and I was fine. Randomly catapulted enemies and glitched characters in cut scenes aren't all that rare, but as I said, they are never more than amusing! Whilst we are on minor flaws of the game, I don't like the emphasis the game puts on Power. If you haven't played the game yet, or are indeed playing the game but are in the infant hours of your adventure, then you won't really know what power is, let me explain. Power is earned by closing rifts, recruiting agents, completing requisition orders and setting up new camps and a handful of extra missions. That may sound like quite a long list, but I feel like more quests should give Power as a reward, and maybe for every five locations you discover in one hub, you get a Power point. My problem is that Power comes to, at least personally, me quite slowly, and when some of the "main missions" need 20 power to unlock them, I feel like the game is forcing me away from those missions, in favour of exploring the world. I have no problems exploring the world, it is just that the choice of doing the main missions isn't in my hands all the time.
Moving on from that slight niggle, let's look at the combat! This is ludicrously fun, it feels incredibly satisfying when you co-ordinate your teams strengths and weaknesses to come out of a battle with a victory. Even when all four of your squad die,(which doesn't happen frequently unless you take on enemies above your level) I have never felt like I was cheated into death. There is about a 50-50 split when my squad dies as to if I want to just walk away and come back to those enemies later, and sometimes I go back into the battle more prepared and actually nearly always beat them!
Tying into the combat are the classes in the game, at the beginning of my voyage I got annoyed every time I would get a weapon or piece of armour tied to another class, such as rogue or mage. Then I realised that the people who fight with you aren't just there as AI, but they are fully controllable! With each character having the ability for you to equip any peice of armour of weapon you acquire! This means that no matter what mood you are in there is a class, and probably a character with you to suite. Whilst we are on the topic of combat, I feel I should mention the tactical camera. I personally don't like embarking on aggressive engagements solely using the tactical camera, but it does give you an opportunity to take a breath mid battle and maybe re assess where your players need to be, it is also very useful to work out how many enemies you are about to fight before you go into that battle.
All in all from what I have played I would highly recommend this game to anyone, especially if you are an RPG fan! It is shaping up to be one of if not the best games I have ever played and I can't wait to play more of it.
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!