Over the the last few months I have been going back to much older video games to pick up where I left off and finally complete them. Among those games I’ve returned to is Remember Me, a 2013 video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published under Capcom. I had forgotten that the studio behind the widely successful Life Is Strange series were the same people who did Remember Me seven years ago. After playing the game and beating it a few weekends ago, one of the things that stood out in my mind was the recurring theme of memories that has popped up in the French studio’s later titles.
Making the most out of a crap year means retreating into the things that give you a measure of joy and escape. Being stuck at home a lot of the time has encouraged me to revisit video game backlogs and select games I’ll want to pick up again after not touching some of them in months or years. When I’m able to fully focus my attention on one game I accomplish a lot. Recently I finished playing The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the work CD Projekt Red had put into this 2011 game.
When you’re playing any video game and you’re looking to tick off a number of quests from your to-do list, you highlight the quest you’re in the process of finishing and then consult the in-game map to know exactly where you need to go to get to your destination. Most maps are straight-forward and allows you to place a marker at or near the area you want to be. But when a map is poorly designed or just too damn difficult to understand, then it makes your task much harder to complete.
How we remember things begin to get a little hazy with the passage of time and age. Details are harder to recall, or you remember moments with such clarity while the rest kind of fade into the background. Dontnod Entertainment’s recent video game Tell Me Why explores the memories we remember or the ones we like to forget. How do you move on from the past when your own mind won’t let you until you confront the truth of what really happened?
The constant plight of gamers has always been having too many games and so little time to play them in. Games will be partially started or not started at all. Many of them are in various stages of progress, and you’re lucky if you ever actually finish a single one. Completing a video game has always been a cause for celebration for me because I take a really long time to play one. A video game I had the honor of finishing was Gone Home on the Xbox One from The Fullbright Company, and it was one of those games you don’t know what to expect.
One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.
Summer vacations are looking a little different this year. It’s around this time that most people would be jetting off to an exciting country, or hitting the road to spend a weekend at a beach side town. But with the novel coronavirus, everyone the world over has been forced to put the breaks on those plans. While vacationing anywhere this summer is not ideal or even possible, I’ve been turning towards gaming for a sliver of that escape vibe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update has made spending time on your island that much fun.
Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Let’s face it—being an adult sometimes sucks. Not only do you have more obligations and serious concerns to think about, but your time becomes far more precious. You’re lucky if you can spare 20 minutes for yourself. One of the downsides of developing an interest in video games later in life is not being able to spend as much time as you want on it. You either have to take care of more pressing issues going on in your own life, or you want to be able to play another game you have been meaning to play from your backlog. I’m coming to terms with probably not being able to get to every game I currently own, but at the same time, I’m thinking maybe the workaround to getting close to playing everything is cutting out most side quests from my gaming time.
Spending a significant chunk of our days at home will most likely prompt many of us to be creative with the time we’ve got when we’re not dealing with real world problems. We all need time to relax and de-stress because, let’s face it, living through a global pandemic is depressing and rife with a lot of anxiety for many of us. A running joke I have seen on social media is how introverts are more capable of dealing with long and extended amounts of time inside than the extroverts and social butterflies of the world. As a self-professed introvert much of the time, I do think there’s a grain of truth to that joke. I’ve got plenty of home activities to keep me busy for however long I’m expected to stay home. Being unable to commute to the office or go out in general doesn’t bother me too much, but I do miss seeing friends and family in person. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, I’ve taken this as a good opportunity to draw my attention back to my video games backlog.