The one that got away

Everyone has their ‘one that got away’: a video game they should finish but just can’t do it. Whether it’s down to limited time, a preference for a different genre or being distracted by newer releases, we all have a title we started but which now sits gathering dust.

Earlier this week I wrote about the reason why I can’t bring myself to complete Dreamfall Chapters, despite adoring The Longest Journey series since first playing it in 2006. It seems like a ridiculous one now it has been put into words on the screen before me: I don’t want to finish it because that would mean the end of the story. But regardless of how silly that is, I’m not yet ready to push forward to the finale and watch the credits roll.

Dreamfall Chapters isn’t the only title by Ragnar Tørnquist that I haven’t been able to complete; there’s another which torments me just as much, albeit for a different cause. This ties in nicely with a question put forward by Dan from The Couch Petito as part of his recent Unique Blogger Award (for which I’m very grateful and humbly thank him for!). Which game did you start but not finish either because it was too difficult or not for you?

Since being introduced to the world of indie gaming and creating my Steam account a number of years ago, there were two releases I wanted to play. The first was To The Moon, which I completed in one sitting and then promptly added to my list of favourite games. The other was The Secret World (relaunched last summer as Secret World Legends), a ‘story-driven shared-world action RPG’ developed by Funcom.

The main reason for this was the fact it had been directed by Tørnquist, the person who’d had a major hand in creating The Longest Journey. The other was the story hook: ‘Players plunge into a shadowy war against the supernatural, where ancient myths and legends cross over into the modern day. Armed with both weapons and superhuman abilities, you will build your powers, solve deep mysteries, and destroy terrifying evils to uncover a dark and captivating storyline that traverses the globe. Can you reveal the truth?’

Well, I certainly wanted to try and do just that. But it just didn’t work out that way.

My Steam profile shows I’ve played five hours but I can’t have made it more than 30 minutes into the game. I can’t seem to get my fingers around the controls: I’m not the most coordinated person at the best of times, but there’s just something about The Secret World which turns me into a button-mashing-mess. Keyboards have been pushed to the floor and mice thrown across the room in bouts of frustration before ‘uninstall’ is clicked.

I’ve tried to play this game at least ten times and the sad thing is, I still want to. I have a feeling I’d really enjoy it if only I could overcome that initial hurdle. My other-half tried to help by learning and teaching me the control scheme a couple of years ago; but that training session was short-lived after a mouse was launched and missed his head by inches (sorry Pete).

I recently purchased Monster Hunter: World and after a few hours of playing, I thought it was going to go the same way as The Secret World. But after getting some good advice from Ben, The Optimistic Gamer and Daniel from Home Button, I’ve actually been able to stick with it (changing to the Dual Blades really helped). I doubt it’ll ever make my favourite games list but I proud of myself for persevering.

So it could be that’s what I need for The Secret World: some more good advice. And with the combat system having been redesigned for the Secret World Legends relaunch last year, perhaps I need to try again. Maybe it’s time to turn this ‘one that got away’ into the ‘one that I finally got to grips with’.

8 thoughts on “The one that got away

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U comes to mind. I loved the Xeno- prefix trilogy on PS2, Xenogears on PS1, and Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii, but I can’t find 150+ hours to even talk myself into starting X on Wii U. I mean… I found that much time for The Witcher 3, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Persona 5, but I haven’t found the motivation to put aside so many other games for Xenoblade Chronicles X. Maybe if they port it to Switch and I don’t have to be tethered to my Wii U or TV all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sinking 150-hours into a single game can be really daunting when you’re adulting. I loved Horizon Zero Dawn last year but haven’t been able to face the thought of such a large title since, and have been playing shorter indies since…


  2. Good to hear you’ve gotten into Monster Hunter! I like the Insect Glaive a lot—being able to dodge and roll easily is more up my alley than some of the weightier weapons. I also feel like I could start a whole separate blog just about games I started but never finished.


    • Ooh ok – I haven’t tried the Insect Glaive yet but maybe I should give it a go. I tend to have more of a ‘hacking’ play-style rather than being slow and methodical, so it sounds like it might be a good weapon for me!


  3. I’m trying to not turn Final Fantasy V and Assassins Creed: Origins into that. Really, I just put them on hold, while I get my bearings and figure things out, but I don’t want that hold to be extensive. I don’t know why I’m like this. I definitely play for fun, but I also play to review, so there needs to be notes taken and whatnot while I’m in the midst. I should start utilizing the PS4’s screenshot function…


    • I’ve started using it more since playing Horizon Zero Dawn last year and loving the photo-mode. I wish more games had something like this! I’m starting to find I’m now taking screenshots not only for future reference in terms of posts, but also because I want to capture the moment for myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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