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!