I’m waiting for big things. The first flurry of major game releases hits later this month and I’m waiting eagerly. However, while I wait, I feel like I should be tackling my backlog of games – but I’m not. Instead, I’m spending most of my free time playing multiplayer games.
PUBG has been my main distraction – it’s been a reliable constant in my daily routine whilst I’ve been going through a bit of change in my personal life. But I’ve also tucked away a few hours in Human Fall Flat with Jade, and more recently, I jumped into the closed beta for Sea of Thieves.
Truth be told, I’m having such a stellar time with these games, that I’m worried about my ability to lock myself away to play some of the highly anticipated single player games releasing in the coming weeks and months. I’m stoked for Ni No Kuni 2, Far Cry 5 and God of War, but do I really believe these will provide me better entertainment and escape than Sea of Thieves? I honestly don’t know.
Looking at my backlog (games I own but have yet to finish), I’m conflicted. Some games didn’t click. Some games didn’t get enough of a chance to grow on me. Some didn’t even get opened. It causes genuine anxiety. Some very notable games are staring at me under my television: Doom, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Bloodborne. And even more in my Steam library on my PC: Divinity Original Sin 2, Nier Automata.
But every night I come home to see if any of the crew are online to cause some mischief. I have absolutely no regrets during or after these sessions, but there are moments where no one is online, and suddenly I’m paralysed. Should I try and pick up Doom for the fourth time, or should I wack on a podcast and play some FIFA? At the moment, there is only one winner. With every passing month, my backlog grows. Games hit stores (retail and digital), get rave reviews, I buy them, and they sit there.
It’s probably a good time to mention that upcoming live-service* pirate game, Sea of Thieves, was a blast to play this past weekend. I’m so excited for the full release in a couple of weeks and know that most of my friends will be giving it a shot. So I’m under no illusion that my time will suddenly free up. And with age, comes responsibility, so my free time is getting ever-increasingly squeezed. Thus, my game time is super valuable. Will I ignore my friends to play Far Cry 5? Nah.
So what to do about all these great single player games – who knows…? A large part of why I write and advocate for games is that I hope to inspire a few folks to try these great single player experiences, so that I have more people to discuss them with. However, two months in, and my most popular post is about PUBG! Maybe the fight is futile. Good games aren’t like good books. You can polish off a couple of novels on a summer holiday, but great games can take 50-100 hours of dedicated television time.
It’s very true that the ‘death of single player games‘ is not a thing. But maybe ‘death of my time to play them‘ is. We’ll see…
Best wishes y’all.
*Live-service games are games that are constantly updated and added-to after launch. They encourage replay-ability and don’t offer a fixed conclusion to your experience. Gone are the days of games being finished on release day!