I was thinking about the post from the other day about game playthroughs and my lack of variety and, rereading it, I realize I went off on a wildly different tangent from where I expected/planned (yeah… plan… lol) to take it.
I didn’t mean to diverge into the moral issue of not being able to take the Left Hand Path IF the context of the game made that optional, though it’s a reasonable point to have made.
The post was precipitated by this curiosity I have about my own complete lack of desire to do things differently.
Sure it manifests most frequently as “playing the good guy” but that’s only because that’s the only set of choices that are available.
It’s far more interesting to me that, as much as I love these games for their sense of discovery and working through the plot lines, I will abandon the unknown ENTIRELY the next time around.
“It’s as if” (up there with “If I didn’t know better”) once I play them through once, replays serve a completely different role. It’s…comforting, soothing even, to play through these games again and know how it’s going to go. My enjoyment isn’t reduced, it’s ENHANCED by the predictability. Like listening to a favorite song on repeat I can get nice and lost in it.
I don’t remember much about the first time I played Mass Effect 1. I remember AFTERWARD, finding out all the shit I did “wrong” and how I could’ve saved Wrex, etc. I remember my first Dark Messiah of Might & Magic playthrough and how completely awkward it was because I didn’t know what I was doing. Sure, it was fun. But I was fumbling around, lost the first time.
But once I settled on a style, I played it through…maybe 5 times. And sure, I thought about different styles and strategies. I just…didn’t need to use them.
And it’s not just RPGs. I do the same thing with Command & Conquer: Generals, and other old-school RTS games. I’ll play them through the same way over and over and over again.
When push comes to shove, I’ve much less consternation about it than I used to (until very recently) and now maintain a bemused curiosity about the whole thing. I’m not ALL that sure what changed. But six months ago I’d agonize about it.
I dunno. Gets me to thinkin’.