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    • I started playing Witcher 3 almost a year ago after hearing such great things about it. At first it was amazing: beautiful landscapes and interesting characters/mythology. But after a while I found myself having a hard time maintaining interest while having to learn so many thi.

      I think the sensation of there being so much to do became a bit of a hurdle. Eventually I just moved on to other things. I find this to be a common experience with games that are this vast and deep.

      This also happened to me with Fallout 4, but after pushing through some of this initial malaise, I eventually got hooked. I’m revisiting Witcher 3 in hopes that it hooks me in the same way.

      What games are you struggling to get into that you know you’re “supposed” to like? At what point do you bail and say “this just isn’t for me”?Any tips on pushing past the initial drudgery of learning a new universe?

    • There have been several games that have done this to me. All have been of the open world type. The first one that I can recall is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the Xbox 360. I find that if I stop playing, it basically means I'll never start back up. I think it's great that you are trying and would also like to hear what others have to say about the last question you pose.

      Your struggle also reminds me of this video:

    • I had the exact same problem with The Witcher 3.

      I think there must be some magical formula where if a game has X amount of stuff to do and it takes Y amount of effort to do something fun then I love it and will play for weeks (Skyrim, Fallout 4, GTA 5, Overwatch, The Last of Us, etc.). But if it has lots to do and the effort/reward ratio isn't quite right, then it feels overwhelming and I find I'm less likely to return.

      I don't have a ton of free time, so if I have to play for an hour or learn a ton of mechanics or spend ages fiddling with skill trees before something really fun happens, then I'm less likely to play. But if three fun things happen in the first 15 minutes, I'm in.

      There are also games with the opposite problem: I enjoy them too much and can play them nonstop for days, so I avoid them because I don't want to get sucked in. Civilization is like this for me. Sometimes over the holidays I'll block off two or three days, install Civilization, and just get it all out of my system. Then I uninstall it so I'm not tempted for the rest of the year. 😄

    • Haha that video is pretty spot on. Yeah the problem of inertia with some of these open world games is real. It doesn't take a long break to completely lose track of which side mission you're on. Sometimes I end up having to google what the heck I'm even supposed to do to progress the story.

    • It doesn't take a long break to completely lose track of which side mission you're on.

      Totally! I think my biggest hurdles for being able resume a large open-world game after a long pause are:

      1. I don't remember where I'm at in the main story/quest arc.
      2. I don't remember what inventory items I was trying to or need to acquire.
      3. I've actually forgotten some of the more advanced control mechanics.


    • I think there must be some magical formula where if a game has X amount of stuff to do and it takes Y amount of effort to do something fun then I love it and will play for weeks

      This sounds right.

      I did actually manage to finish GTA 5 after a break for several months. I didn't complete everything, but I did manage to complete the main story.

      Games like The Last of Us are in a sweet spot for me. It's linear enough to keep me from wandering too much, it's heavy on the story-telling which provides cinematic breaks to keep me interested, and it takes roughly 10-15 hours of gameplay to finish. Not too short and not too long IMO.

    • I've been finding that games that have collectables, even games that are a little less open world like Mario Odyssey end up losing my interest, since it feels like the reward for playing isn't that great.

      My natural inclination is to go and collect everything to see the numbers go up, or try to do all the side quests first because I don't want to miss anything. More and more I'm finding that it isn't really the way these games are meant to be played.

      I have much more success just powering through the story and trying to ignore the side quests. Mario is great example, I got about halfway and stopped playing because I was trying to collect every power moon in the game. Then I came back a while later and figured I should just get the game over with, and only got the bare minimum moons to get to the next world, and finished the back half of the game in just a few hours.

      Same thing happened to me with Witcher 3, so looking to try this strategy there. I think W3 is doubly bad because doing the side quests actually makes you too strong for the main story, so everything feels really easy all the time even on harder settings.

    • Re: Last of Us. I think Naughty Dog has done a really good job with their fairly linear games, of making the main story super compelling, and having just enough other stuff around to feel like there is more to do; but not making you feel compelled to do it. Like collecting firefly pendants or ancient artifacts.

    • My bigger problem is how I play these larger games and that's in chunks. Even amazing games I'll take long breaks from and then there are a few hurdles:
      1) My huge queue thanks to all the free games from various services and huge sales out there. I could stop buying games today and probably be good for years and years to come.

      2) I need to be able to set aside enough time to really get back into them. If I'm just playing between work that's not the best way for me at least to get through a bigger game. Today I really like ones that are 8 hours or under since I can go through them and get a sense of completion.

      3) My gaming time is taken up by other types of games. My best friend and I still play a lot together and right now COD Zombies (BO I, II, & WWII) is our main game with some N++ thrown in when I'm actually over there. And all that time with N++ has me hooked so I've been going through the campaign on my free time these past few days but I have a long way to go.

    • Yeah I find that I often have a pretty long list of games I want to play as well. There are so many games I'm itching to try out, but I have to actively stop myself from buying or downloading them because there are still games I haven't even started yet.

      Also, I need to clear the backlog before Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out! 😀