It seems that nearly every new game has experience, levels, character progression, etc, etc. While these elements are enjoyable, the current trend has gone way overboard. Sometimes I just want to fire up a game, complete a level (not experience level, an actual level, like World 1-1 in Super Mario Bros.), save it, and come back later for more.
I don’t want to go on treasure hunts for obscure hidden statues that do nothing more than give me an achievement.
I don’t want to spend tens of hours getting enough experience so I can spend a few ability points to make my character 1/100th of a percent stronger.
I just want to play!
I want my character, and every one else’s characters to be equal. No funny business, just equal.
I don’t care about what my character looks like, what they’re wearing, or exclusive armor.
I just want to play.
Although all I have been encountering in new games are sinks, time sinks.
There are a couple games I love, but I often don’t want to play them because doing so gets me nothing other than time wasted. For instance, Gears of War 3 is still one of my favorite games, but I’ve demolished the campaign multiple times, so all that’s left is leveling up in multiplayer. While multiplayer is still fun, it’s just a time sink. Grinding away at matches I won’t remember just to earn experience.
Airmech is the other game I enjoy, but it’s a huge time sink. There is no ‘end’ to the game. Completing the achievements with truOZ provides me with some motivation to play, but really, there is no other reason.
Time sinks have made gaming feel more like a chore, I like to fully complete a game. However, when there’s something like Seriously 3.0 in Gears of War 3 (get the highest rank medal of every available medal), I just shake my head because I know that’s going to take hundreds of hours of pure grinding. Replayability is a good thing, but time sinks are bad. And Seriously 3.0 is a pure time sink. Time, time, time, time, time. It doesn’t stop, you’ll never get it back, and creating a foolproof schedule is impossible.
Instead of wasting my time on all of these sinks, I should be hacking away at my backlog (which is still growing, curse you Steam sales!).