I just need to put it out there…I suppose I am not a confident gamer. I am that person that is
always willing to crack open a browser window after wandering around aimlessly in an FPS
for a few minutes, only to discover that I stupidly missed that ventilation shaft that leads to
the next area. I continuously suspect that I’m missing a trick or secret ledge that will push
the story forward or boost my levels.
Regardless of my itching desire to look up walkthroughs, I do always attempt to get the best
out of a game. I want to experience it as fully as I can (frustration included up to a point.)
I want to discover what the game can offer me and how I can use learned techniques to
my advantage. However, even after fighting my primal urge to cheat, I am learning that my
basic digital book-keeping keeps fucking me over.
I harbour a bad habit of only having one save file and not saving often enough. Basically,
once I’ve completed a mission or area, I cannot go back and explore it more without
loading a completely new game. I lose the option to boot up an old save and explore other
possibilities, even just out of curiosity. Additionally, due to my other abysmal habit of having
to complete games as fast as humanly possible, I feel as though I miss out on inspecting
details which I ran past in the first place.
Game level designers must despise me.
Now I’m a PC gamer, so I have no excuse whatsoever. The ability to save multiple files
is a standard for PC games, and yet, here I am still overlooking the sensible choice. Maybe I
get some subterranean thrill out of knowing I’ll only be able to experience these things once
within a game lifetime, but still, I am starting to suspect I must change my ways; if not for
the experience of the game then for my sanity.
When playing Valve’s Half-Life for the first time, the game bugged during the concluding
stages of the final boss fight…and that big foetal bastard just would not die. And so now, if
you enter my last (and only) saved game, all you can do is saunter round, aimlessly shooting
at his face without any payoff. Simply pissing in the wind as it were. Yes, I looked up the
ending on YouTube, attempting to create a false sense of achievement of knowing that if
that glitch didn’t exist I would’ve come face to face with a wonderfully eerie ending. But no.
If I want that final ultimatum, I must start all over again. Fuck.
Whilst recently playing Bethesda’s Skyrim, I managed to lose, in my humble opinion, the
greatest quest reward in the game. I’d managed to waddle off on another horse and it took
me a while to realise that the legendary stallion Shadowmere from the Dark Brotherhood
questline was no longer at my side. And that just wouldn’t do. I like a horse that you can
tumble down a mountainside with without either of you dying. I had to open up the console
to fix a problem that could have been fixed by simply popping back in time a few game
hours. Evidence that I should save more, is now racking up.
Now, I have a friend who will have two saves simultaneously when playing a game where
one can make moral choices; one save where he plays as he would normally and one where
he can be an utter deviant. He says it “balances” him out. I like that guy. For example, when
playing through Mass Effect, I’m always second-guessing myself; what if I did that instead?
What if I didn’t shoot Fist in his ugly face? The freedom to have a completely different
character make-up could be quite exciting.
In all the Elder Scrolls games I play, I will quite often stand on top of roofs and just shoot
people with arrows…it’s therapeutic (and pretty entertaining to watch guards running
around in a complete haze of confusion and fear). But obviously, I don’t save these
homicidal excursions. If I was more like my friend, I could have that extra game, living
as an outlaw, being all axe-happy without fear of future consequences. It wouldn’t be a
particularly noble game, but damn, it’d be a wholly different experience. I may just have to
Regardless of how analytical this may sound, I guess it comes down to this; why would I
want one traditional narrative in a world which I control? If I was offered the chance to
regulate my own life, expunging complete catastrophes or exploring my options during
difficult times, you can believe I’d take it with both hands.
Save New Game? You bet your ass.