Today I describe my experience with a topic that most adults can relate to: the balance between responsibility and keeping up with the newest games. Now seven years into my medical journey – not including undergraduate studies – I am sad to admit that I’ve missed a lot of classics that have come and gone. A comprehensive bucket list is a work in progress, but my craving to play certain missed games of the past couldn’t wait.
My awareness of missing out on big hits really started to show its head with the release of massively successful sequels to franchise titles- notably The Witcher and God of War, among several others. Not long ago I spoke with countless people who were praising The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and 2018’s God of War. Having not played the previous versions of these games, I would find myself thinking back to years ago when I had the time to play a series in sequential fashion: Resident Evil, many of the Final Fantasy installments, and the Twisted Metal series come to mind. I remember what it felt like to be overcome with anticipation that a new installment was coming out for my favorite series.
I missed that feeling, and so I started compiling a list of games that I wished to circle back to, including the entire Witcher and God of War series. My adventure began in 2015 with CD Projekt Red’s 2007 The Witcher. I vowed to complete this game before moving on to The Witcher 2, which had a better reception than its predecessor. It is now 2019 and, sadly, I haven’t completed the original yet. Sure it was time, work and life but if I’m being honest a lot of it was the game itself. It was slow and didn’t age well over the eight years that had transpired before I picked it up. Its story was gripping, but its combat and the user interface felt ungainly. I have made at least three attempts at finishing this one since 2015, all of which did not get me to the finish line.
Eventually I moved to the other series on my list while I dragged my feet with The Witcher. God of War, released in 2005, came out at a time that I was transitioning into college and thus ended up missing. I remember friends of mine who did not even game much talk about how many hours they put into this one. Early on I had thought it would be another typical hack and slash, but the persistent media attention and fan craze quickly convinced me that the game was worth a play-through.
The most recent God of War was released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive on April 20th, 2018. I started the original God of War on April 25th, 2018, so you can see where the inspiration came from. I picked it up and put it down a lot between favorites such as Path of Exile, but on April 1st, 2019, just under a year from when I started the game (!), I did something I had not done in a while: completed the first installment of a major series. I had a sense of fulfillment that I experienced such a storied game and could now relate to others who speak about it to this day. I’ll save my impressions for an eventual review, but I will say that I wholeheartedly agree that the game is a must-play for gaming enthusiasts.
Where does this leave me now? Well, right back in the spot I was in beforehand, so many games and so little time! God of War gave me a spark to continue down this path and I am aiming to review several old titles through the lens of 2019, 2020, and beyond. If this approach to the massive gaming library interests you, I would say to find a series with an original title that has a strong reputation. The top-notch gaming experience could propel you to explore other classics as well.
As for me, I’m on year four of the original The Witcher, and I remain committed to completing it before moving on to the second installment. Some call me crazy, but I like to think of myself as persistent. Other series I have my eye on are the Bioshock games- I am ashamed to admit I missed those- and to continue another series I have already started, Dragon Age. All suggestions are appreciated!