Up For Debate - Revisiting Games You Never Finished

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 6:00 PM

Games nowadays often have fantastic onboarding processes. Additional layers of nuance are fed to you until you reach a state of zen-like mastery of the control systems and competing mechanics. All of a sudden you can slow-motion leap off a cliff, notch an arrow and fire it through someone’s skull, drop and roll, slide through a dinosaur’s leg and stab it through the gut. All totally effortless. And then life happens. You’re too busy to get to your PC for a few weeks. You go on holiday. You have a kid. And then you think about going back and finishing that game you’d become so awesome at. Only all those nuanced controls and gameplay mechanisms...you’ve got no idea how they fit together anymore. That slow motion leap off a cliff becomes a crumpled thud on the floor, before a dino’s leathery twinkle toes make it goodnight Vienna.

Going back to games can be a painful process. You’re essentially faced with three potential solutions - give up forever; bash your head against the wall while you relearn everything the hard way, or give up on all your hard work and start the game over again. In most lengthier games, the latter option is basically off the cards, unless you want to sacrifice potentially dozens of hours of your precious time.

Personally, I try my damnedest to tackle one or two primary games at a time, alongside the usual multiplayer stuff. This means I can usually pick up where I left off okay. Games can be quite similar in their systems so it isn’t too bad going back. A third-person open-world action game typically plays like just about any other third-person open-world action game, it just takes a bit of wrestling with the controls to get back up to speed. One of the hardest times I’ve struggled is with Bloodborne, which after six months away, I had zero clue which direction to even head in. After a couple of hours, I was back in the groove though and charged through to the credits. Any more difficult to pick up and play than this and I’m likely to put the game aside forever, never to be touched again.

So how do you approach returning to a game you've long since abandoned? Are you prepared to be battered and bruised until you learn the ropes again? Or are you more likely to drop it forever? Let us know!

What do you normally do when you revisit unfinished games?

Our favourite comments:

I've done this with Witcher, Bioshock Infinite, Wolfenstein TNO, GTA IV, Monster Hunter games, etc. Depends on how long i've neglected them for, but I usually just keep on going from my last save. Unless it's been a year+, then I may start over xD

xquatrox

It depends on how many hours I've already spent on the game. I'm not starting over on a game I've already spent 5+ hours on.

Alonzooka

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14:13 Jul-01-2017

i have almost ended every game that i played.


if the game is too boring then i stop playing it

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15:57 Jun-28-2017

For a first time playthroughs, I was always encouraged to just focus on the main missions and don't hunt for every hidden object. I am a hoarder, I must seek.

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19:50 Jun-27-2017

I just did this AGAIN w/ Fallout 4. Played 40-ish hours.. forgot my story and restarted... Beat the Main Story on 2nd play through.. then neglected it for months. Just restarted again last night to try out a different ending and hopefully make it to the DLCs.

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09:48 Jun-26-2017

I find it difficult to start up incredibly long RPGs (like skyrim) as I know it will take me a few days to remember what I need to do and what quests I was planning on doing. Other games I grind through the pain. XD

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13:00 Jun-26-2017

I have the same issues. XD
The only solution I see, is to set aside 1 day per week for games like that. If someone has a better idea holler.

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23:53 Jun-24-2017

I'm doing all this right now, I have a system in place. I try and do something different every day of the week. For instance in the weekends steam, on monday origin etc.


It's painful in the beginning but the muscle memory comes back after a while.
Aww snap bloodborne, I'm still to finish that one..

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12:33 Jun-24-2017

I've done this with Witcher, Bioshock Infinite, Wolfenstein TNO, GTA IV, Monster Hunter games, etc. Depends on how long i've neglected them for, but I usually just keep on going from my last save. Unless it's been a year+, then I may start over xD

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13:26 Jun-24-2017

Same here. Still haven't finished Wasteland 2, Witcher 2 (didn't even star the 3 game XD), Bioshock Infinite...

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14:15 Jun-24-2017

come on i finished witcher 2 in 18h and i did almost all side quests


even witcher 1 was about 40h if you did all the things


now witcher 3 gets easy to 120h and if you discover all the places it can be even longer

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09:24 Jun-25-2017

All true, but there are things that demand my attention more. Some things in life can wait, while others can not.

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09:25 Jun-25-2017

Don't get me wrong, I still plan on finishing those wonderful games. :)

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21:20 Jun-28-2017

Witcher 2 in 18 hours? That sounds bad... :/

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08:08 Jun-24-2017

I love Wolfenstein: The New Order, but I got in 2015 with several other high quality games coming out, so I never got around to finishing it (stopped in London). I'm just getting back into it now that I have the time.
Same thing happened with Metro 2033 and Last Light, but that was mostly because of their slow pace.

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14:18 Jun-24-2017

we read alot of people that paused witcher 3 and it is a very long game so that may be understandable (i dont game everyday so 2-10 days break does not count as paused imo)


but the Metro games and Wolfenstein are around 15-25h long and it kinda sounds like you paused wolfenstein just befor the end

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18:39 Jun-24-2017

metro that long?
no way i finished it in on sitting around 8h

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23:00 Jun-24-2017

i checked my metro redux log in steam
it says 14h
but for sure i wasnt rushing also i died a lot since that what i do :D i fail

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03:26 Jun-25-2017

probably bec i usually do speedrun in games, if i find to be rly interest in some game i slow down and play it complete

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09:31 Jun-25-2017

Perhaps time is not the problem but a symptom. It could be that our current predicament is that time owns us and not the other way around.

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06:37 Jun-24-2017

I've this as a common problem with SP games, since i prioritise MP and playing with friends. If i cannot finish the game on 1 sitting, might just drop it out for a while... And start over when got time for it again, since i probably already forgot half the stuff what i was doing/had done :D

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05:15 Jun-24-2017

It depends. Some games I drop, some I continue and others I start over again. It has to do with excitement, will and how much I've seen. I started Metroid Prime over again some weeks ago and played through it in 4 or 5 days.

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01:17 Jun-24-2017

usually i play whole single game, and then randomly pick next one. I buy games with good rating so its always nice experience:) and its more interesting than playing like 5 games..

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13:28 Jun-24-2017

You are a wise one. I take my hat off fine sir. (THIS COMMENT IS NOT OF A SARCASTIC NATURE) XD

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14:23 Jun-24-2017

exactly ;D so many people preorder games even nowadays.



  1. You dont really know if you will like the game (see dawn of war 3 or mafia3 (rather ****ty))

  2. You pay full price even if a week longer can make the price drop quite a bit

  3. Patches and bugfixes after release are a common thing which makes it more clever to wait a bit after release

  4. Buy a game,play it,then get another


i know a guy he buys tons of games and has not played 10% of them
always broke this dude

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09:35 Jun-25-2017

That fellow could surely use some financial advice. Now on the matter regarding preorder's:



  1. Never preorder,

  2. Never preorder,

  3. Never preorder,

  4. See the review prior to purchasing the game/games you like.

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22:47 Jun-24-2017

Hats off, man! I'm like that guy Tacese mentioned, except I'm not yet broke xD

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23:02 Jun-24-2017

how could you be broke by buying a few games to much when you already have 1080ti sli ? i hope you have enough freetime to put them to good use

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09:53 Jun-25-2017

That's the thing - free time is dwindling. Nowhere near as much as, say, when I was a student :/

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09:39 Jun-25-2017

I suspect than you have a firm grip on your financials. If you are playing the long game it could prove to be advantageous for you.

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09:55 Jun-25-2017

Definitely not struggling with financials. What do you mean by "the long game"? If you mean "buying top-end stuff and waiting till it gets old" then I have bad news - I bought GTX 1080 SLI at launch, then 1080Ti SLI at launch... I actually still have all 4 GPUs in my rig.

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00:59 Jun-24-2017

See, myself. I end up playing like 5 games at a time. It takes a truly special game for me to sit down and actually be excited to play.
.. It's been awhile since I've done that.

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01:07 Jun-24-2017

same i have no more exicement and fun playing games like before

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02:02 Jun-24-2017

For me it's been Skyrim. I've logged 180 hours into it and only been playing it for 4 months. For me, that's a lot.

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09:41 Jun-25-2017

Never played Skyrim myself. Although I might reconsider one day.

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09:56 Jun-25-2017

It's worth it! I took me 3 times to start the game and play a bit to actually get into it, but when I did - maaan..those hours went fast...

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14:30 Jun-25-2017

Same the only game I've played non-stop because I really wanted to finsish has been Alan Wake. (And I must say The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the wild would have probably have gone the same way if it wasn't for all the test's I have next week.)

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00:33 Jun-24-2017

I am a lazy guy ,Start over again? nah! espically if i already finished hard missions.

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22:53 Jun-23-2017

It's kinda funny because I've never actually beat my favorite game Jagged Alliance 2. I got all the way to the palace way back in the day and then moved and didn't have a PC for a minute and then got a new one and couldn't find the old save files...so....I started over several times since then but never made it as far. About 2 weeks ago I started a new campaign and I'm determined to finish it.

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21:43 Jun-23-2017

Never finish a game? I would never! How dare thou assume such a thing?


Seriously i never start something and NOT finish it(except for homework) or quit it for a time and start again. I have a semi-obsessive personality.

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05:14 Jun-24-2017

I wish i had that,it annoys me that i sometimes let games unfinished.For example i counldn't beat Wolfenstine The New Order on uber difficulty and that annoyed the **** out of me,because im a good fps player,i tried to go back and finish it but my saves were gone.

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19:29 Jun-24-2017

Just a tip, being good at a certain style of FPS, does NOT mean you will be good in all of them. There are different type of FPS games.

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22:46 Jun-24-2017

Yep... I'm a wizz at Quake or Doom, but found Borderlands to be clunky AF, for example xD
(though I think it had more to do with the in-engine "mouse smoothing" than anything else)

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21:35 Jun-23-2017

It depends on how many hours I've already spent on the game. I'm not starting over on a game I've already spent 5+ hours on.

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21:14 Jun-23-2017

Humm, still remember my first playthrough of Dark Souls 3 i finished the whole game in 2 days and i said "that's it ?" i was watching streams ! and found people fighting bosses never seen them before, and some secret areas and starting over

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20:08 Jun-23-2017

i never finished skyrim


i stop most games befor the end so the end is open to my imagination


also i try to play games in one sitting (if around 15-22h max duration)
often i dont feel like starting the game a second time


but starting over is usually the way to go but sometimes you just continue and act like nothing happend :D

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02:00 Jun-24-2017

One does not simply finish Skyrim...

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04:59 Jun-24-2017

reminds me of that one time i was 40h into the game with a new toon (orc) and did not even made it into the first city.
in total i played over 500h but never made it past the last dragonpriest. I actually still joke about how i am going to finish it on nintendo switch as soon it is released. but i am sure i rather play it on pc since i have the special edition

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19:00 Jun-23-2017

I start most of my games over as i forget a lot of stuff

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18:36 Jun-23-2017

yep the witcher 3 i paused it for 3 month and when i was back i forgot all controls but i continued didnt want to go again after 40h+ speend on it already

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20:53 Jun-23-2017

Any excuse to spend 40+ more hours on The Witcher 3 is fine by me lol

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18:17 Jun-23-2017

i took a "longer" break from witcher 3, and when i returned, i forgot most parts of the combat-controls, so i thought "ah screw it, starting over"

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