Let me tell you a story.


Once upon a time many moons ago I was a young lad. In these heady days of the A-Team and Airwolf, games were hard to come by, mainly because I didn’t have an income and relied on Father Christmas and my mum and dad to bring me my fix of gaming goodness. I remember fondly going into W.H.Smiths clutching my vouchers I got for my birthday and looking through the shelves of tapes trying to find something that will keep me entertained for the next six months. It was definitely a lot harder knowing what to buy in those bygone years. The internet didn’t exist and buying a games magazine ate into money which could go on games. The safest bet for making sure you got a good game was to buy a coin-op conversion you had played in the arcades. These games were not known for their storytelling prowess and generally you were either out for revenge or trying to save your kidnapped girlfriend. Although these games were simple in the extreme I spent hours and hours playing and replaying them and then after that I would play them some more. Games like Rastan Saga and Double Dragon never got boring, I would know exactly where the weapons would be and where I would be attacked from.

Now onto the main crux of this post. Games nowadays specifically single player games feature amazing stories and gameplay. Games like Bioshock and Batman Arkham Asylum immerse you in a deep and rich story with exciting gameplay mechanics that hook you from the start. But with these stories comes a problem in my opinion. It’s a bit like reading a book, you read the story and thoroughly enjoy it but what is there to draw you back? Once all the twists and turns are uncovered why do you really want to read it again? The same I feel can be said about games. Take Bioshock for example, I played through it once and it took me about twelve hours. I don’t want to take anything away from it because it is a great game, but I have no interest in heading back into the game to play it again. Now I know the outcome the gameplay isn’t enough on it’s own to draw me back. Now I’ve got to thinking, is £40 really worth twelve hours of entertainment.

Of course to say a games appeal lasts only as long as the story is only part of the problem. In this generation of consoles more than any other, us gamers are always on the lookout for the next big game. These ‘must have’ games are getting more and more plentiful and are starting to come thick and fast, cutting short the lifespan of games before it. I am now coming to the realisation that renting single player games is the way forward, for me at least. I will still always buy multiplayer games as these I feel offer almost unlimited entertainment for your money, but my days of buying pretty much every game I want must now draw to a close.

Spewed forth from the mind of Andy Marsh

Spewed forth from the mind of Andy Marsh

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  1. I went through the same thing a few months back. One of the main reasons I joined swaogame.

  2. Yeah after my holiday I’m going to join up with one of these rental places 🙂

    • Billy Goodgun
    • October 6th, 2009

    I don’t know, it’s a tough one. I appreciate what you’re saying, and I agree in many ways. But also, I don’t see £40 as a waste of money if a campaign lasts 12 hours – I can spend easily double that on a night out which lasts six hours! More importantly, though, there’s something else that sits uncomfortably with me when I rent games: that’s supporting the devs. Games with no MP component such as Bioshock, Batman, or Dead Space are still lovingly crafted, still worth my time and effort, and therefore still worth my money.

    If I’m undecided about a title, that’s one thing, but I feel I owe it to decent developers to support them properly if their work merits it. If, as a community, we don’t, there’s always the risk that they’d go under, and that means less quality games for us, and more generic sequels or annual sporting updates (EA, I’m looking at you).

    I’m not advocating purchasing every single game you might want to play, or even suggesting that you do so on release day – wait for them to come down in price if you have to. I also understand that not everyone has the same disposable income, so in some cases it’s simply not feasible. But equally, I don’t begrudge my hard-earned readies going on decent games, however finite their appeal might be.

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