A good friend of mine loves the Metal Gear Solid series. He has always wanted to play the earlier entries in the franchise and, this past week, he sat himself down to make good on the endeavor. He’s making solid progress (no pun intended), and my choice of image here is homage to those efforts.
I always find it inspiring when someone decides they will dive headfirst into their backlog to have the experiences they always wanted to have. I know it’s something a lot of us talk about doing, but it seems like it doesn’t happen as often as we’d intend.
Recently, I’ve been doing some backlog diving myself, but only in the recent backlog. I suppose you could call it a wade as opposed to a dive, but I’m glad to be making progress on it all the same. I always meant to play Wolfenstein: The New Order and I currently am (in general; right now I’m at the computer writing), and glad to be doing so. I really enjoyed the 2009 Wolfenstein so I had high hopes, and so far I’m reserving judgement. It’s interesting, but stealth generally isn’t my favorite gaming genre. In most stealth games, I plan everything out, go in with a good feeling about executing those plans, then it all falls to crap and I wind up shooting my way through. Fortunately I’ve been pretty good at my stealth plans, but my favored approach in most games is to go in guns blazing.
My partner and I share the “run in and wreak havoc” philosophy, and recently while playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands, we’ve had to amend those urges. You can’t take much damage in Wildlands, so we have to send those drones out to mark everyone, then make a calculated set of decisions about who to take out and when (pilots first!). It’s a different approach, but I enjoy pushing myself to play in ways I’m not necessarily always comfortable with.
Dark Souls 3 is another game from my recent backlog that I felt fairly certain I would never get to. Were it not for a good friend’s offer to go through it with me, I might not have. Now I am, and having so much more fun than I ever could have anticipated. But, again, it requires a playstyle I’m not entirely comfortable with. It, too, requires a calculated approach. I can’t always run in and attack everyone. Every time I go through a doorway or come to a new area where I don’t see any enemies, I’m immediately on alert. I know something awful and weird is waiting to attack me and ruin my day. I kind of love that he offered to guide me through the game; after our last play session, I realized I didn’t want the time to end, and now I’m considering getting the DLC. If you’d asked me six months ago if I thought something in that vein was likely, I’d have laughed. Now, I can’t wait.
I love when experiences surprise me.
Of course, I think about all the other dozens (hundreds, really) of games on my backlog, and I feel intimidated. But then, I think about all those amazing experiences waiting for me and I feel excited more than anything. I’ve always prioritized experiences, and my backlog is an extension of that. Each new experience enriches me in some way, even if the game isn’t something I necessarily enjoy.
What drives you to knock out games from your backlog? Do you choose based on what you are in the mood for? Or do you decide on a title and play it no matter how you are feeling?
Also, what will you be playing this weekend? I will hopefully be playing more Dark Souls 3, more Wolfenstein, and more Wildlands. I also wouldn’t mind starting Get Even, a title that has been beckoning me since it released recently.
P.S. While sourcing images for this post, I came across the picture below of someone cosplaying Snake with D-Dog. I wish I knew who to cite for it, as it’s incredibly well done and adorable as hell.