NAG Online confessional: I’m a crappy completionist


This is a new feature thing, a feature thing about shame. Gamer shame. We’ve all experienced it in any of its many forms at some point or are probably experiencing it right now (like I am since, you know, I’m starting this whole thing). This includes the writers here at Ye Olde NAG Online, which is why I’ve decided to come up with a little challenge for said writers.

To start off this hellish ride into the depths of crippling humiliation, I’m going to come clean about something I do as a gamer that I believe is fairly dishonourable, then at the end of the article, I’ll challenge one of my fellow writers to do the same. They will then challenge yet another writer, and we’ll see how far this full-disclosure train goes. So first, let me tell you about all the games that sit unfinished in the dark annals of my collection…

Firstly, I need to give you some idea of how bad my habit of not finishing games has gotten over the years. Here’s a list of a few games in my backlog I have yet to complete, even though some I’ve had for more than a year. I’m only going to be listing the ones I feel really bad for not completing (YET! [You’re not fooling anybody. – Ed]), especially since they’re really, really awesome:

  • Any Borderlands title other than the first
  • Rage
  • Alien Isolation
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • This War of Mine
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Dark Souls II and III (to be fair, I’m one boss away from finishing Dark Souls II… though I’ve been one boss away for about a year)
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (even though it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played)
  • Fallout 4 (especially shameful as I’m doing the mod showcase for it… I know I know!)
  • Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (I usually finish the campaign mode with these things in a night or two… just not this one)
  • The original BioShock (BioShock 2 and Infinite sure, just not the game where it all started)

Man, that’s probably the most embarrassing list I’ve ever made, except maybe for the one I needed to add to my CV under “What are your greatest accomplishments”.

What makes my list of uncompleted games extra sad, is the fact that I honestly love all of them, it’s just that there always seems to be a reason or two holding me back from getting to the end-credits.

One of the reasons is fairly simple: I’m particularly fond of Blizzard games. Heroes of the Storm owns an extremely hefty chunk of my self-allotted gaming time, and after getting back into Hearthstone a few weeks ago (Whispers of the Old Gods rocks), I’m left with even less time for other games. Other titles are only considered after all the daily quests have been completed. I don’t think this will change anytime soon – in fact, it will probably get even worse if I decide to get Overwatch as well (who am I kidding, I’m totally gonna get it, the beta was a friggin blast!). The only way out as I see it would be to follow my original plan of going cold-turkey and stop playing Heroes of the Storm as soon as I own all the heroes – bought using gold, not real money – and have levelled the ones I like to at least 12.

Abathur says "hero collection inadequate, must evolve."
“hero collection inadequate, must evolve.”

The time I’m left with after the aforementioned quests have been completed is sometimes enough to get into a non-competitive, single player game, especially during weekends. So more often than not, that’s exactly what I do. Except, if I decide to play any RPG (which happens to be my favourite genre), instead of loading up the character I’ve invested the most time into, I start all over again. Well that, or I decide to do everything other than the main quests. Usually I’m all for squeezing every last bit of content out of the games I play, but it’s getting kind of ridiculous.

I probably have about ten different characters, each with different classes, weapons, armour, playing styles, and temperaments in each of the RPGs I’m currently (sort of) playing. My usual excuses for doing this are something like “I’m just restarting because I think I picked the wrong perk with my other character,” or “I don’t like that other choice I made”, or “the team I started out with sucks,” or even “the way that guy looked at me that one time was lame so I’m starting over.” It’s not a perfect system, but it worked for me… for a while. Even though I still feel like at least I’m seeing and exploring more of the game world than I would have if I’d only done one or two playthroughs, but I’ve come to realise that in my quest to see, hear, smell, feel, experience, and screw up everything within these games, I find myself losing interest in them. Which is, you know, really friggin bad. Basically, I’m the type of completionist that has trouble actually completing games.

But nonsensical excuses aside, I know I’m not currently fully experiencing the great games I’m fortunate enough to own, and it makes me sad to think that some of them might be forgotten before they’ve been completed. But right here, right now, I vow to these games that I’ll put in more effort into controlling my restart impulses, and will show them the love they deserve. And yes, I know I just vowed to spend more time playing games like it’s going to be a difficult thing to do.

Anyway, that’s it for my confession, and man do I feel better. Feel free to shame me in the comments for my terrible transgressions, but be sure to share yours as well.

Oh, and before I forget, I hereby challenge Matthew Fick to share his most shameful gamer secret. I’m already preparing the hot tar and feathers.