The ecstasy (and regret) of uninstalling

Ubisoft News

I’ve done it! I’ve finally finished a game! Well, not FINISHED finished, I mean who has time for that anymore? I’ve completed the story mission, enough side quests and unlocked whatever crazy sci fi armour is hidden under whichever ancient Egyptian landmark it was. So now comes the BIG moment. The uninstall! Making space for my horrendous backlog (which, as podcast listeners will know, give us both the bluest of balls). Assassins Creed Origins is a big game, not the biggest on my XB1 hard drive, but pretty damn big. I can now go on a different adventure. I’m tired of all this sand, I want to go into space! I could return and finish Prey, or go colonise the galaxy with Mass Effect Andromeda (now it’s finally cheap enough). The world (or universe) is my oyster!

But wait…

Have I done the right thing here? I mean all I did was play the ACTUAL game of Assassins Creed. And everybody knows that just the GAME isn’t the actual GAME any more is it? I bought this game on eBay during their “have 20% off everything” sale, which made it a fair price. It also meant that the Season Pass would have cost more than I paid for it.

Was there a bigger ending hidden in that DLC somewhere? Was it even in the game? All those crazy sci fi artefacts I found seemed to imply some kind of impending catastrophe in the future timeline. Should I have spent more time with “whatever her name was” who was jumping in the animus to see Bayek? To tell the truth, I completely forgot about her and any story she might have needed to conclude.

Open world games have often had “endgames” or things to do long after the story is finished. You might say this rewards completionists and adventurous types, but in all honesty with a mortgage and several small children to look after, the only time I get for gaming is the middle of the night. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asleep at the controller playing this particular game.

Let’s use a contemporary example to compare the situation, shall we? I love Marvel movies. I pay to see them in the cinema, and since I am a long standing Marvel fan, I know to stay to the end of the credits because there’ll be something good there (or hit fast forward if I’m watching on blu ray). I’ve even started doing this on non-marvel movies I watch at home, just in case. But the point here is, I KNOW there’s extra in a Marvel movie. With a game, if there’s a post credit sting, I have to go looking for it with no actual guarantee that I’ll find it. And Marvel decided to start saying “well, you can HAVE the end credits sting, but that’s an extra tenner in DLC…” well, I know I’D be pretty pissed off right?

Now for the part where I start to sound old. I miss the time when games were complete entities. Games like Doom, Half Life and even things like Monkey Island – these all had very clear definite endings. I know we’re still waiting for the ending of Half Life 2, but when games had expansions or add ons, we USED to get those for free. Now it’s pay up time.

Now I’m left wondering – did I miss an ending? Did I miss the point of the game entirely by not playing the DLC or finding some kind of hidden meaning? Why can’t I get the actual ending by just being patient and watching until after the credits like a good Marvel fan?

Well, I suppose I could just Google it… sort of defeats the point of actually PLAYING a game though, don’t you think?

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