At what point do you "call it" on a game?

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sombre

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Hey guys.

I've already played a lot of games this year, and we're barely 3 weeks in. Nevermind the amount of stuff I've carried over from 2019.

But, as I've gotten older, I've started realising how precious my time is, so I can quite easily "drop" a game at the slightest provocation. Consider last year:

Borderlands 3- I dropped it at 5 hours cause it did NOTHING for me. The humor was purile, and I absolutely LOATHED Claptrap. It was just a stupid character.

Cadence of Hyrule- I dropped it after THIRTY MINUTES cause it was too hard! The only rhythm games I've played are Elite Beat and Gitaroo man, so Necrodancer was really tough. I've since picked it back up, and started really enjoying it. I've just beat the Wizroboe boss, and I'm eager to play more

Pokemon Shield- I lasted 60 minutes and haven't picked it up again. I'm sure I'll like it, but...there's ZERO desire to pick it back up.

Fire Emblem: 3H- I did two hour long sessions. I did the first real fight with the bandits, and just couldn't be arsed picking it back up. Again, I'm certain I'll enjoy it, but....I dunno.

When do you guys "call" a game? What tips your over the edge? I think the fact that every game tries to convert you to spending time with that game, and ONLY that game is really worrying for me. It feels like any modern game I've played wants you to have played for years, and dedicate your life to it, with a weird sort of fanaticism. I think the whole "Games as live services" has really turned me off modern gaming. I'll go play something like Symphony of the Night, and have an absolute BLAST with it.

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Jesus_Phish

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#2  Edited By Jesus_Phish

Outer Wilds - about 11 hours in when I realized I just absolutely did not care about anything happening in that game and actively disliked the dumb ass aliens whose footsteps I was following.


Guacamelee 2 - about 5 hours when I realized they took the weakest elements of the first game, which I love, and put them at the forefront of the second game.

That's about it. I rarely give up on games, but those two games both gave me very strong "You're done with this" feelings.

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csl316

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I used to stick through to the bitter end. But nowadays, if a game's on game pass or something, I usually give it a couple hours.

Void Bastards and Children of Morta are two games that I expected a lot of. Neither really clicked with me, so instead of waiting for it to get good I just did something else.

I know this new age approach is gonna lead to missing out on some really cool stuff in games. But when there are a hundred games to play at any given time... eh, I'm good just moving on.

When I buy a game that's not on a service, I tend to put a lot of thought into it. If it's a new one I'll be more dedicated to seeing it through. But if I burn out, look at a FAQ, and notice that I'm like halfway done? It's off to the backlog. I might get back to it, might not, but I found that playing a game in 2 or 3 periods months/years apart could lead me to appreciate the back half of a game when I would've just been slogging through originally.

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Zeik

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#4  Edited By Zeik

I don't think it's really that complicated. You're either enjoying the game enough to keep playing, or you're not.

Sometimes life gets in the way and prevents you from going back to a game you were enjoying, and it can be hard to jump back in, but it's not really a conscious decision to stop playing at that point, it just happens.

But maybe I'm an oddity, because it's pretty rare that I pick and play a game I end up actively disliking. I usually know well enough what I'm getting into to get at least some enjoyment out of it, so if I stop playing it's usually because something else comes along or my mood changes and I just feel like spending my time doing something else instead, rather than specifically not wanting to play the game I was playing.

I did however learn long ago not to obsess about doing "everything" in a game. I play for as long as I am having fun and then move on to something else when I'm ready. It's how I can enjoy a game like FFXIV, which definitely has the potential to let you play basically indefinitely, but that's not something I want to do. I'd rather check back in every few months (or maybe even years for the next expansion), have my fun with the new content, and then go do something else. Just because a game is constantly being updated with new content does not mean you are obligated to do it all. It doesn't have to be a life commitment.

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nutter

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I only play games a few hours a week, most weeks.

If I’m 1-2 hours in and not feeling it, I’m out. If it wears out its welcome, I’m out.

Borderlands 3 (bought it against my better judgment because friends wanted to play) and last year’s Devil May Cry are two recent examples. Devil May Cry lost me due to lack of variety a few hours in. Borderlands just failed to make me give a damn from the start.

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inevpatoria

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#6  Edited By inevpatoria

I'm sure everyone has their own goalposts.

For me, it depends so much on the game. I think the Outer Wilds is a topical, timely example. By all traditional standards, I'm probably among the group of people who should've bounced off the game within its opening hours. But there was clearly something more to it, even if it wasn't mechanical. Tens of hours later, I still haven't finished it, and yet I'm kind of wildly in love with it. Some mix of enormous respect for the technological and intellectual achievement it is and a warm contentment I find just being a part of its world.

It really comes down to finding that something more. If you can find it, you can see past the warts, the rough patches, the bad combat, the cheesy writing, the aimlessness.

And if you can't, you move on.

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bigsocrates

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I rarely "call it" on a game. I sometimes put a game down for a very long time (sometimes YEARS) but that doesn't mean I won't pick it up again. I stopped playing the original Assassin's Creed in 2008 but picked it up this year and finished it (though I started over from the beginning.) That's an extreme example, but there are substantially more where I might put a game down for several months or even a couple years and pick it back up.

In terms of why I put a game down...it's usually either life gets in the way, I get badly stuck, or I'm just getting bored with the game. It can happen at any point, though usually it's at least a third of the way through. I rarely bail on games early because I usually want to give it a chance to develop its mechanics and for me to get comfortable with the controls and get into the story etc... There are a few exceptions (Tokyo 42 annoyed the hell out of me) but it's at most a handful a year.

Obviously some of the games I put down never get picked up again, but it's not really a conscious decision and usually I intend to go back and finish them someday. Sometimes, as I said, I do.

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nateandrews

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#8  Edited By nateandrews

I think I've gotten better about recognizing when I'm having to force myself to play a game and just removing it from my hard drive so I don't waste my time.

The hardest thing is stepping away from a game that I had been enjoying. A few weeks ago I was going through Darksiders 3 and having a decent time, but I kept getting lost and had to consult a walkthrough several times to get my bearings and figure out puzzles. Eventually I have to accept that the developers are speaking a language that I'm just not picking up, and I don't have the patience to consult a translator (i.e. a walkthrough) every five minutes.

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Relkin

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There isn't one thing, really. Well, I mean, there are specific things that turn me off, but at this point I make sure that the game I'm interested in doesn't have one of those instant turn-offs before I play it.

So generally, it's not something with the game per se, but rather something singular about my experience that causes me to put it down. For instance, I think I'm probably going to put Cathedral down soon. I had really been enjoying it, but I hit a wall with it recently. For the life of me, I don't know how to proceed, and there doesn't seem to be any walkthroughs out there apart from full playthroughs online, which I don't intend on scrubbing through to find my solution.

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Captain_Insano

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I tend to drop a game now for a few reasons, these days I play video games far less than I used to, I have less time, other hobbies (board games) that I prefer investing my time in and I also have a shorter attention span.

a) The game isn't that fun yet and the 'fun' isn't anywhere near in sight. "Oh the game doesn't get good until 30 hours in? Yeah I'm out". If it's a slight bit away "trust me, beat the Cleric Demon and you'll understand Bloodborne" then I'll keep going.

b) The game has worn out my patience with it and I'm no longer that interested in it. I see you The Outer Worlds 10 or so hours in.

c) A lot of the time I'll simply get distracted by other stuff and forget or maybe eventually come back to it. Some games I can get right back in, others are pretty much done for good. This happens both with open ended games (Civ, Stellaris, Stardew Valley etc) and story ones (AC:Odyssey, Fire Emblem Three Houses etc). Shorter tighter story games I will usually try to see through if I'm moderately engaged. Howlongtobeat is very useful for determining this.

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Humanity

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Similarly as I get older I tend to value my time more and have lost the patience or energy to suffer through things out of principle. My limit in the past was “never” because I paid for the game so I was obligated to see it to the end. These days a game won’t bankrupt me so if it’s a dud I just move on. The time limit depends on the game really. Some open up later than others so I give it until at least past the un-official prologue.

Game Pass has done wonders to reinforce this mindset. Since it’s a subscription I don’t feel any guilt in just uninstalling something if I’m not feeling it.

Then again...I thought RAGE 2 was incredibly lacking and yet for the lack of anything better to do I kept going back to it after “calling it quits for good” after every single session.

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tacobelmont

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The Outer Worlds - I'm about 30ish hours in. I've waited for a patch, only to find the patch didn't fix the issue I'm having where a quest fails but I haven't even traveled to the location to start the quest yet (Friendship's Due is the quest). I've decided to just drop it until some more patch work is done, or if said patch on that quest is never done, just restart down the line once any DLC comes out.

Horizon ZD hasn't clicked with me for some reason yet. I've put around 15 hours into it, but something just doesn't grab me. I'm pretty overloaded in a backlog though, and I'm wanting to tear through the short stuff before FF7R hits. I think I need a few weeks to focus just on Horizon.

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mikachops

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Usually if I feel the mechanics or pacing have revealed themselves where I feel i'd just be doing a variation of the same thing if I kept going. These days, that's usually after 5 hours or so.

This is why a JRPG hasn't hit me in quite a long time, I think.

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tatsuyarr

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Sometimes I have to finish a game in a series to know I won't buy the next one like Uncharted 2 and the new God of War. Sometimes if I'm stuck I just watch a youtube video of what is waiting for me or I consult a site indicating how many hours I have still to spend until the end. That's what happened for Sekiro, when I watched the video for the end boss I decided it was too bullshit form me. And sometimes like for Outer Wilds, after a few hours the game just doesn't click for me because I don't like the gameplay or the graphics or the atmosphere (all of these for Outer Wilds if you wonder) and I just stop playing because there's a better game waiting for me.

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BoOzak

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I tend to see games through to the end if i've bought it. Games I get via a subscription I might try for about half an hour.

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notnert427

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In general, it's when I realize that a game doesn't respect my time.

The most specific example of it I can think of was RDR2. I'd forced my way through the (lengthy) opening which "teaches" you all the annoying survival mechanics and finally had some freedom to explore. Almost at the exact moment that I was starting to really enjoy the atmosphere, a pop-up in the game decided to interrupt my immersion in the world to tell me that my horse was dirty and that I needed to wash it. Fucking DONE.

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Ginormous76

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Like others have said, it's a case by case basis. If I'm enjoying a game, I'll keep playing. If a game gets boring, I'll check to see if I'm close to the end (if there's 1-2 hours left, I'll grind it out). If it's a story-based game (Life is Strange for example) and I'm not clicking with the characters I'll bail. If I'm just not having fun, I'll bail. There are too many games and not enough time these days to keep playing something I'm not enjoying.

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FacelessVixen

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When I have other shit to do.

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liquiddragon

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#19  Edited By liquiddragon

I think maybe it has a lot to do with picking the right game at the moment to play? I really try to go w my gut and also vary it up and I find myself rarely dropping games. A few weeks ago I put 20 hours into DarkSiders 2 and it was a totally serviceable game with a terrific soundtrack but I just had zero motivation to push on and had to drop it. But besides that, if I think I made the wrong choice, I decide pretty fast to recognize I’m not in the mood for it right then and just try again another time.

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TheRealTurk

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It varies depending on what I'm playing, but it's usually the point where I'm not having fun and can't see the game changing enough to find fun in the future. For example:

I fell of Dragon Quest Builders 2 when, after getting back from the first story island, I realized that the game expected me to essentially do that same loop 2 or 3 more times before I would be allowed to have a full complement of even basic abilities and actually be creative with the larger island they give you.

I fell off Sekiro sometime around the second big monkey fight. I hadn't been having much fun up to that point anyway and that's when I realized the game was never going to switch up its mechanics beyond "do more of this thing you already think is kind of bad."

I fell of Assassin's Creed Odyssey about the first modern day segment when it became clear the game just wanted me to continue doing the same thing for another 30+ hours. It wasn't that I hadn't been having fun, but it wasn't so much fun that I was enthused by the idea of mindlessly repeating that ad nauseum.

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Tom_omb

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Sometimes, lately, I have the best intentions to play a game, I tell my self "this is the game I am playing right now." Then... I don't touch it, or any other game for days, or weeks. My will can't live up to my intentions. Resident Evil 2 is a recent example. I love the exploration in those types of games, but the gameplay is too stressful. The enemies are virtually unkillable, there's no relief from the tension.

I relate with the feeling that games are too long, and demanding of your time. I have a bit of an open world fatigue in recent years. I like playing a short indy game every once in a while.

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Ginormous76

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@tom_omb: You should bump the difficulty down to Assisted then.

Oh, this is one thing that is kind of the opposite of the thread, but in some ways similar. If I'm feeling like the game is a slog and I'm thinking about bailing, I will knock the difficulty down to try to run through it. Some times, this makes the game so much better (like Jedi: Fallen Order) and other times it just shows me that I am done with the game.

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Savutano

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#23  Edited By Savutano

When the enjoyment wanes, something else pops up (with intent on going back, depending what type of game it is), or a simple rage overcomes me (end of Horizon Chase Turbo...RIP Crystal DS4). I'll make the choice whether or not to go back to a game depending on how much I'll have to remember when I return, and whether or not I'll be able to hop back in. I tend to choose harder difficulties lately, since it seems I enjoy to punish myself (again, depending on what type it is). I'm 32 now, through my 20's I started to choose easier difficulties, because I just wanted to relax, but I've seen a resurgence within me that wants a challenge, and misses the feeling of completing something that took some out of me.

Edit: Also, completely agree with @liquiddragon:

"I think maybe it has a lot to do with picking the right game at the moment to play? I really try to go w my gut and also vary it up and I find myself rarely dropping games. A few weeks ago I put 20 hours into DarkSiders 2 and it was a totally serviceable game with a terrific soundtrack but I just had zero motivation to push on and had to drop it. But besides that, if I think I made the wrong choice, I decide pretty fast to recognize I’m not in the mood for it right then and just try again another time."

Replace Darksiders 2 (tried a while back) with Rage 2 (it was everything they said the first game would be, it's actually completely okay, but I bounced off eventually while deciding whether to put the requisite amount of time after 20+ hours, to finish or move on). Variety is important, and there is just so much out there, that there's no excuse to play the same thing over & over again, unless that's what you want, than all the power to you.

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trh5001

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This is an old example but i got 5 minutes into dark souls 2 before i returned it. As soon as I moved once in that game I knew it wasn't for me.

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Teddie

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A few months ago I restarted and beat Digital Devil Saga after putting it down 10 years ago, so I guess I'll say "never, apparently"?

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j-mack

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Most of the time I don't decided to quit, I just trail off as something else grabs my attention and I'll probably return to those games at a later point.

I do tend to quit a game when I feel like I saw all the content; Phoenix Point, Darkest Dungeon, Star Dew valley, etc. A lot of these I really like, but they don't seem to hand out rewards to the end.

Difficulty spikes can also turn me off. I dropped Sekiro at the final and gave up on Apex Legends when they didn't add skill based match making. I put in time that had gotten me threw similar games and challenges with no real improvement, and just a lot of frustration to show for it.

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Tom_omb

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@ginormous76: I did eventually do that, but it was kind of too little too late. I still may return, but I've been trying to get through the first REmake since the GameCube version. Over a year ago I tried the PS4 version of RE1 and fell off. I loved RE7 early last year and I felt I was ready for RE2 last month. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The ammo scarcity and enemy resilience of the remakes' brand of survival horror really tests my patience. One day, maybe.

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Nodima

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It's never one specific thing, though a common theme comes around to some kind of skill ceiling. I was a Game Genie / Gameshark gamer as a kid, and franchise modes in sports games have been the one through line of my gaming life. Both things allow you to tailor your experience to something that is both entertaining but lenient. The games I "drop" tend to be games I either set an unnecessary expectation for myself, or find myself unable to meet the expectations of the game. Especially with the latter, if I can't keep having fun at a lower difficulty, or find the game's whole point is the difficulty of it yet I don't see myself getting better, I have a reasonably easy time letting go.

Celeste is a game I eagerly dropped once I got my fill of it; same with Super Meat Boy. In a similar way, Sekiro made clear it was what it was and I realized I'd had enough. Alternatively, Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 both kept teasing me with a game I'd love to play, only to always feel kind of slapdash and overeager to summarize everything about video games in their time, and at some point I just found myself offering those games a polite no, thank you.

I dropped Modern Warfare Remastered because I decided to play it on the hardest difficulty in honor of Brad's epic moment back in the day, only to realize I wasn't there for such intense, hurtful game design sometime near the mid point of the campaign. The Witness made me feel like an idiot almost immediately and I just didn't enjoy that, while Fez was something I played years after its height and also felt dumb during, so it just felt like I'd come to the game entirely wrong and had no incentive to see it through.

By and large though I feel a certain obligation to finish a game I've purchased, or honestly even played a decent amount of. One of the wild gifts the PS4 gave me was realizing just how few people finish games; it made me think back to how much I loved and played Super Mario World, but I'm also 100% sure I never knew about half the things that are actually going on in that game. I'd just defeat Bowser while running a couple Star Road levels and call it.

I definitely feel a sort of obligation to try my darnedest to see a game through to the end once I really start it, maybe part of that has its root in not having a constant reason for calling it on one game or another. I found myself starting to really want to know what it felt like to play a game past when I was feeling any normal, adrenalized form of satisfaction from a game. But like I said at the start, I can say a very meaty portion of the games I do "call it" on tend to be very specifically, tightly designed action or puzzle games that my hands/mind just can't align with.

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Whitestripes09

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#29  Edited By Whitestripes09

A game becomes disappointing when it feels like I'm chasing after an experience that I'm just not getting from it. It's just not worth my time if I feel like I'm waiting for a story beat to hook me in or waiting for the one mechanic to make the game loop exciting.

Buyer's remorse is a terrible thing. It's made worse with games because they can be long experiences. There's this feeling of obligation that you should finish the game to get your money's worth, but honestly? As I get older and find myself having less free time, I've been learning to just drop it and cut my losses. It's just not worth investing time into a game that I feel like I am regrettably playing.

My two prime examples....

Kingdom Hearts 3

What a weird feeling playing this game. After so much waiting and so much hype, I just ended up feeling empty once I got my hands on it and made it to the Frozen world. It was such a departure in both gameplay and story that I just don't feel the magic anymore with this series. Which sucks, because I was a pretty die hard fan that was willing to defend the nonsensical story. Shelved and then traded in.

The Outer Worlds

I love Fallout New Vegas. It's still one of my top favorite games of all time and so seeing the creators make a spiritual successor in a new sci fi setting got me pretty excited. Yet this game felt so dull in its gameplay and setting that I'm wondering if New Vegas was just a fluke. My character concept was a charming gunslinger, which seemed like a pretty simple build. Yet, I felt like I had broken the game because I was able to charm/persuade myself through most confrontations or shoot my way out with a bunch of upgraded hand guns. Very odd game that feels like there's some concept that wasn't fully realized with it. Luckily this was on Xbox Game Pass, so I didn't feel guilty uninstalling it.

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Fooman12

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Super picky these days with how/what I play, which mainly amounts to quick-burst games like Rocket League for an hour or two, though if I get a new longer game, I typically give it an honest go of several hours. Borderlands 3 was the exception. I loved the first two and had a lot of fun playing through them with friends, but this most recent one was awful. The shoot/loot loop didn't appeal to me the way it used to thanks to heavily playing The Division games and really liking their systems, and the "humor" of constantly screeching in my ear every 30 seconds with incredibly annoying dialogue got old fast.

Almost bounced off Jedi: Fallen Order, but bumping down the difficulty and finally following the recommended story path have kept me wanting to see that one through.

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Pezen

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I used to be better at finishing games, either due to more spare time or I simply didn’t jump as fast to other games. But as other’s have said, it was also a slight case of ”I bogught it and I want my money’s worth”. But having realized the concept of sunk-cost fallacy, why continue playing a game I am more or less playing out of obligation rather than enjoyment? The financial loss is the same either way, but if I keep playing I keep sinking time into something that’s not giving me anything back.

That being said, I don’t put down games with the intent of never ever giving them a second chance. Some games are the right games at the wrong time. Some games simply wear out their welcome but are fun once again a year later. It used to be my MO when it came to Assassin’s Creed post Brotherhood. I would play about 3/4 of the way through those games and put them down. By the time the next one was around the corner, I was back on the wagon and usually ended up finishing the previous one before the new one came out.

But in general these days, I just drop games organically. If the game isn’t drawing me in, I just don’t force myself to play it. There’s rarely a specific thing that makes me drop a game though, it all mainly comes down to a lack of urge. Strangely enough, a lot of games that I enjoyed up to that point still fades for me. There’s actually very few games these days that really keep my attention all the way through.

But there’s just so many games these days that I just don’t sweat it. And, some days I just wake up and feel like playing a game I haven’t touched in years. I’m sure I’ll wake up some day and suddenly install and finish AC: Origins.

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Gundato

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Bounced off a fever dream play of Terraria (probably more than I have played since before hardmode existed) because I could not be bothered to make a boss arena for Wall of Flesh. Part of that is definitely on me for picking a large world. But mostly it was just the hassle of getting down to hell and needing to let voodoo demons kill me if I was on an extended grapple over lava.

Thought it was just the prep work but I still actively love HOTAS games (and went down the rabbit hole of collecting my own config for my hotas in MW5) so... yeah.

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Bonbonetti

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#33  Edited By Bonbonetti

Dark Souls stands out, which I quit 30 hours in or so.

I was starting to loose interest in the game early on though, somewhere around the Sif fight, but wanted to experience the same hype or rush that everybody else seemed to be having, so I soldiered on.

I just felt as if there was no point at all to what I was doing, why I was going around killing all these things. For me the narrative plays a bigger role than just being a "filler" for the mechanics in a game, for me its main function is to keep you motivated, to give you a purpose for your actions. With Dark Souls I felt I got none of that, I was just rolling around hacking at things. It ended up making the whole game feel rather hollow and empty.

I exited Darksiders 3 after just 3-4 hours, after a one-shot kill by a boss ... where I realized it's no Darksiders game at all (to me). I should have known better though, watching a few pre-launch videos would have warned me, but I ignored them.

God of War (2018). I quit after 10 hours or so after not enjoying the combat mechanics, and the story-line didn't keep me interested. The settings were quite cool, but that alone was not enough.

Games I enjoyed considerably more than the above games, and would rather replay again than go back to the above: Rogue Warrior, Alien Colonial Marines, and Star Trek (2013).

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beforet

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I'm in the "I don't quit, I just put it down and forget to pick it back up" camp. My most recent example of really dropping a game was Death Stranding. When I started, I actually kind of liked it (though I thought the BT sections were stressful in an unfun way), but then I put the game down to focus on some other games that were coming out. The other day, I decided to load back into it and was just crushed by the number of systems in that thing. I had forgotten most of the controls, and accidentally threw myself off my bike, damaging my cargo. This was in chapter 2, and I put the game down and I think I might be done with it for the next year. I'm pretty sure if I do experience that game it's going to be through a Let's Play, but I don't know if I really need to.

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nutta27

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#35  Edited By nutta27

I was the same as most here, I would stick through to the bitter end. Mainly because time was plentiful and money short.

Now money isn't as much as an issue (definitely isn't plentiful) and time is short. Even shorter in two months when my first child arrives.

I give a game one maybe two play sessions. Until I feel like I get the general gist. If it doesn't catch me I leave it. There's just so much to do nowadays (WWE NETWORK, Netflix, Prime Video and Gamepass), why spend time on something you aren't enjoying.