Over the weekend, I finished something that I began in May of 2011: I beat CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher. While the game is rather large, sporting a massive world and many quests, the game only took me about 60 – 70 hours to complete – not 5x as long as the 2 years it took me to accomplish would suggest. So what was the problem? Was the game just not intriguing enough? Nope – that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Two days before I began my The Witcher quest, I commended CD Projekt RED on all that it was doing right with its just-released The Witcher 2. At that point, I knew nothing about the game or its story, but it became clear to me that CDP likes to make sure it takes care of its loyal customers. Anyone who’s played either the first or second game can attest to that… free digital goods are just the start; free mammoth content updates come later. Oh – and let’s not forget that the company has so much respect for its customers, it sells its games DRM-free over at GOG.com.
It’s for all those reasons that my curiosity was piqued, and I decided hop into the world of The Witcher with the original title. I quickly became sucked in… the world was simply magnificent, as were the quests, story and other game mechanics. While to this day I don’t much care for the fighting mechanics, they didn’t hold me back from being able to experience what a grand game it really was.
So again, why for the love of Geralt did it take me so long to beat? After all, I’ve been taunted by The Witcher 2 over those two years… which I’ve been dying to play.
Well, you see… I have a problem with finishing games. I’ve always been horrible at it. This became really clear to me back in the original Wii days. I enjoyed both Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy quite a bit, and sunk quite a number of hours into them. I didn’t finish either. Same goes for the great Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for the PlayStation 3.
Having a look at my Steam library reveals just how bad I’ve become. Games I’ve began, and enjoyed, but never completed include: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Crysis (1 & 2), Darksiders (1 & 2), Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Just Cause 2, Mirror’s Edge, Lara Croft: Guardian of Light, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Sonic Generations, and Trine 2 – and none of that includes the games that I ended up deleting just to save hard drive space.
I clearly have a rather severe case of noncompletionitis, but I always knew the number one cause: MMOs. As any MMO gamer can attest, your time can be sucked away before you know it. Because I’m foolish, I’m actually juggling three MMOs at the moment (Asheron’s Call, Defiance and Rift). It’s those that keep me from completing games, and it’s gotta stop.
It’s not just MMOs that can cause that, of course. Steam sales are another excellent way to make sure that you never complete a game. “Ooh, just one more game.” *20 games later* – this kind of thing just happens, and it’s easy to understand why.
I realize that The Witcher shouldn’t have taken me two freaking years to complete, and when I begin The Witcher 2, I don’t want to follow-up to this post two years down the road to say “Oops, I did it again.”. I’m conscientious about this problem, and plan to forcibly limit my MMO time to make sure I get in these other games that I like. It’s almost foolish to think about – avoiding a game you happen to really like just to put a couple of more hours on top of the hundreds into your favorite MMO. It embarasses me to admit that I haven’t completed a couple of the games listed earlier, especially a game like Deus Ex: HR which I go gaga over every time someone mentions it.
How about you guys? Are you also cursed with never finishing most games, or do you have a lot more determination and willpower than I do?