I just spent the better part of the last two days blowing through Assassin’s Creed II, which is a credit to the game’s design and execution. I do have some complaints about the game that carry over from the first one, but aside from control issues, I think they’re intentional.
I don’t want to talk about the game’s quality here, though. I just wanted to make it perfectly clear that what I want to talk about isn’t a condemnation of Assassin’s Creed II – merely a strange phenomenon I’ve been experiencing.
Similar to when I blew through Modern Warfare 2 and Arkham Asylum, I feel thoroughly “vegged” out. I also feel a pang of guilt. Guilt that I played through a good game too fast and didn’t properly enjoy it. Guilt that, while I was totally enthralled and entertained, I may have just wasted precious time that could have been better spent. Guilt that I’m not having as much fun as I should.
I’m sure sometime around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, when I’m back at work after a two week break, I’ll be begging for a six hour chunk of time to game non-stop. I’ll be daydreaming of one more Modern Warfare 2 match or a long, arduous play of a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign. But for now, I’m left wondering if any game in recent memory has made me smile throughout. I seem to recall being irritated by little issues in games more than entertained by the good parts.
For a while, I had chalked up my displeasure with gaming to unemployment. It’s hard to enjoy anything when, in the back of your mind, you’re always thinking about how you’re going to make it to the next rent payment. But a month and a half into employment (at a job I find 100 times better to boot), I’m still not hitting up that gaming magic. What happened to joyously playing through Crackdown and laughing all the way?
I need to find that again. Even when playing Forza Motorsport 3, I’m not giddy like I want to be. And I’m probably going to pin that game as my favorite of the year.
I suppose I’ll leave these musings to my blog and keep them off the podcast. But if you’re wondering why my opinions seem depressing even when I think highly of a game, you’ll know why. Nothing seems to be sparking the wayÂ I want it to.