Sunday, March 4, 2012

Which game to play?

Recently I have found myself becoming more interested in the fantasy role playing game genre than the usual fare of the first person or third person shooter.  Perhaps it's the bang for the buck one gets when they plunk down their hard earned dollars in this hobby.  For the usual sixty bucks I can play a host of Call of Duty clones that give me a single player experience that lasts approximately eight to ten hours at best.  I'm not saying I declare from here on to be devoid of any purchases of those types of game.  They still make up the bread and butter of titles in my collection, and I do not see forgoing that genre altogether in the near future.  But as I enter my fifteenth hour with Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning, I have to ask myself if this sudden shift in gaming preference should be something that I delve into at a regular basis, and not only when the next triple A RPG goes on sale.

I can't remember the last time I even got fifteen hours out of a shooter.  Maybe Half-Life 2 several years ago?  Perhaps it was on a second or third run through one of my more favorite shooters such as Bioshock that I hit that amount of playtime.  I am totally aware that many shooters today, regardless of the content and amount of time experienced with the solo campaign, have a multiplayer component that adds countless hours to the overall package.  This is an excellent way to combat the argument that money well spent is money spent only in the RPG genre.  It's an argument I fully understand, but an argument that none the less doesn't really apply to myself.  I find games with multiplayer modes that I actually care to play hours on end to be few and far between.  Not since the days of Ghost Recon 2 on my original Xbox can I say I got my monies worth out of a game based on what it offered outside the single player experience.  Even today's highly touted cooperative games really do not apply to my style as I just haven't had those titles click with me for whatever reason.  And I do not knock those that enjoy any of the aforementioned games, matter of fact I may be a bit jealous to be so reluctant to try these things.

But here I sit after falling nearly in love with Reckoning, looking through my Steam collection on my PC, wondering why I haven't devoted as much time to another hit in the realm of fantasy, Skyrim!  I bought this beauty near it's launch late last year only to have it sit on my virtual shelf collecting virtual dust all these months.  So I hopped online and grabbed a few graphic mods because with all the excellent things in Skyrim one of them in my humble opinion is not the visuals, to a degree.  While not ugly by any means, Skyrim leaves a lot to be desired in the graphical department.  Turning to the internet, or even Steam's new workbench or whatever the hell it's called, for mere minutes can turn you in the right direction to download some awesome mods for almost anything in the game from not only replacing the textures of the sky and the rocks to modifying the look of the water running down stream. Countless files are available free of charge to create the game world how you want it to appear.

Now that I have my game looking pretty, let's fire it up and create a character!  I had done this before, using the cat-like (because I am after all a fucking cat-guy) Khajiit as my race of choice.  This guy I played with for a few hours and then lost interest for some forgotten reason, which leads me to this issue I have today. 

Reckoning has sparked such an interest in this genre that I now have Skyrim launched as I type this, starting myself a new character (Dark Elf this time) and setting off toward the town of Whiterun.  A sense of guilt is coming over me as I think about the hours I spent in Reckoning, and the time it took for me to become comfortable with it's systems and stylish visuals.  While sharing genre similarities, these games are vastly different, and I really think both will be high on my list of favorite titles once I have fully experienced them both.  The fear I have is that I may become overwhelmed with either one or both of these games.  It has happened before, especially with the Elder Scrolls titles, as Oblivion has always been a game that I could get balls deep into only to one day realize I haven't touched it in ages. 

So I will forge ahead, playing what game I feel is right for the moment.  Right now it's Skyrim, earlier today I was playing Reckoning.  Tomorrow, who the hell knows which game I will play of the two, or if another one of them run of the mill shooters will invade my space.  It will be a challenge to see both huge RPG's through to the end credits without losing interest in one at least, based on my own past as a gamer.  The occasional shooter, while deviating totally from the realm of fantasy, could be a healthy break that may just contribute to continued play of these excellent titles.  What has me worried is the unknown.  Never before have I been so involved and interested in two games of this magnitude.  When I sunk over eighty hours into Fallout 3, I wasn't playing Oblivion on the side.  This will be interesting for me, and I hope that I am able to enjoy these games the way they should be.  It's a shame I have such a boner for them both at the same time.

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