If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be? That’s the question posed by Strange Girl Gaming as part of her Sunshine Blogger award nominations last month. A big thank you to her for choosing Later Levels and giving me the opportunity to ponder over this difficult conundrum, as well as publish the following musings in her honour.
One of the things I love most about video games is the variety. The term ‘non-gamer’ has become somewhat of a misnomer; there are so many different types of genres, styles, mechanics and platforms nowadays, that it’s highly likely everybody would find something they loved if they just gave it a chance. From open-world quest-packed RPGs to quieter, shorter adventure titles, there’s something to suit every individual.
That’s why choosing just one to play for the next sixty years is incredibly tough. It’s the same as ice-cream: regardless of how awesome the stuff is, wouldn’t we all get bored of eating it if the only type available was vanilla? It’s obvious I love the adventure genre but even I’d grow tired of it if that was the only thing I could play. You know what they say about variety being the spice of life: it keeps things interesting.
So to answer Strange Girl Gaming’s question, I need to pick a title that has plenty of elements so it was possible to mix things up every now and again. When I got bored of completing quests for example, I could head into the map and simply explore or go annoy the inhabitants in a nearest village to see what reactions I could get out of them. It would also need to be something with many hours of gameplay as a minimum.
I have to admit I’ve struggled with this challenge and it’s probably the hardest nomination question I’ve had to answer so far! I therefore haven’t been able to narrow it down to a single title and I’m torn between two. Which should I choose to fulfil my gaming needs for the rest of my years?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a fairly obvious choice and one I’m sure many other gamers would pick. There’s just so much to do within this game and every time you head out into the landscape, you always seem to find something new: a mudcrab trying to steal a fish, a villager reading a book under a tree, a mage trying to perform a spell. Although I’ve completed many of the side-missions I’ve still not finished the main quest itself; and I’d have plenty of time to do it if this was the only game I was allowed to play.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is the other option. As well as being an excellent title and one of the best of last year – and featuring a kickass female lead who everyone wants to be friends with – it also includes an awesome photo-mode. I spent over 130 hours playing this game and I’d hazard a bet that around a third of those were due to me taking screenshots. Imagine the photo gallery I’d be able to build up over a 60-year period; that’s plenty of tweets right there.
I’m guessing there are some readers who are surprised I didn’t go for The Secret of Monkey Island, the point-and-click which sealed my future as a gamer almost thirty years ago now. But I just couldn’t imagine this being the only game I was ever able to play despite adoring wannabe pirates, fine leather jackets and insult-swordfighting. Adventures are all about their story and puzzles, and they lose much of their mystery once you know both inside-out.
Writing this post has made me realise that although I have my favourite games, they’re not releases I’d necessarily want to be the only ones I had access to for the rest of my life. And if that’s the case, is there ever truly such a thing as a ‘favourite’ title? That’s a big question for another time, and one I may attempt to answer in a future article.
Thank you once again to Strange Girl Gaming for the award nomination – you certainly gave me a lot to think about with this one! Which game would be your only one?