During the Steam Summer sale, I bought Hyper Light Drifter. It’s been on my wishlist for quite some time and now seemed as good a time as any to pick it up. It’s a gorgeous game. The art, audio, and animation are just astounding. That might seem extreme, but for me, it checks off all the boxes. The only problem is, I’m pretty bad at the game. In fact, I just rage quit and decided to write this. So what do you do when you love a game, but you just can’t get through it?
My first instinct when I hit a wall with a game, is to just stop. I put the game down and take a little break. Sometimes you need time to jive with the controls or mechanics of a game. Maybe you’ve been playing for too long, and you just need to recharge your brain. Regardless, it’s much better to just call it quits and come back fresh later than to keep slamming your head against a wall. If I try to push through a section, chances are I’ll just keep failing, and I’ll end up giving up on the game overall. Constant failure and repetition are not my idea of a good time.
The next option is to cheat. That might sound like sacrilege to some of you, but if it’s a game you really want to see all the way, it can be your best option. I’ve always been intrigued by the Dark Souls series, but I just couldn’t make it through the first one. I tried over and over again to get through it. I took breaks. Nothing. It just wanted a game I could see myself ever getting decent at without investing way more time than I was willing to. So I installed Cheat Engine and enjoyed the game. Instead of dreading each corner, I took in all of the details and relished each new environment. The game went from being a chore to an enjoyment. I always prefer to play a game the way the developers intended, but sometimes their intentions and my abilities just don’t line up. In those cases, I still want to see what they’ve created. So I cheat. And, if you want to experience the whole of a game without devoting all of your spare time to it, then you should too.
So what do you do if you’re past the point of taking breaks and cheating isn’t an option? Just quit. If you’re playing a game that’s a console exclusive and doesn’t have cheat codes, your choices get pretty limited. You either overcome the difficulties of the game or you give up. Bloodborne was one of the instances for me. The rest of the Dark Souls series was available on PC where I could use Cheat Engine to see all there was of the games. Bloodborne only came out for PS4. I gave it my best. I repeated paths to the bosses, I looked up walkthroughs, and I took breaks. Eventually, I realized that the amount of work I was putting in did not come close to equaling the enjoyment I was getting from it. It just wasn’t worth it at a certain point. So I gave up. That does not; however, mean that I think the game is terrible. I even recommend it to people. I just do so with a big caveat. It’s a great game that you might only get a fraction of the way through.
If you do give up on a game, that’s not necessarily the end of your experience with it. In the case of Bloodborne, I went on to watch a ton of let’s plays of the game. I’ve now seen all there is to see of the game. I just wasn’t able to experience it for myself, but that’s alright. I prefer to have some knowledge of a game than to quit and have none. So if you get to the point where you give up on a game, you don’t have to shun it. Search out content related it. Watch videos and read articles about it. If Twitch and YouTube prove anything, it’s that you don’t have to play a game to get enjoyment from it.
If you love a game that you’re bad at, give yourself a break, cheat if you need to, or experience it in a different way. Don’t listen to the ‘git gud’ commentary. You own your time. Pursue the games you love in the way most suited for you. Personally, I’ll be jumping back into Hyper Light Drifter soon. If I find myself repeatedly dying again, Cheat Engine here I come.
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