Gaming Replayability

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Gaming Replayability

Postby [Prey] » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:29 am

Game Informer asks "Why do we replay some games and not others?".

In a market full to the point of supersaturation with endless gameplay options, why do we still replay games? It certainly is not for lack of titles, genres or outlets for gaming. Even with a healthy portion of newly released games on my plate… even I sometimes succumb to the call of games from my past.

It turns out, there are plenty of motives to replay games. With reasons spanning from financial limitations to quelling nostalgic urges, it seems these days the average gamer’s collection doesn’t stay put long enough to collect dust.


http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/ ... .57550.htm

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Postby Plant » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:12 pm

I think "Financial Limitations" is something of an indirect reason. I wouldn't say it's a reason for replaying games, but something that stops you from playing more new ones, meaning you then have the time to play old ones.

Nostalgia is an interesting reason, but then you'd expect disappointment, right? Rose-tinted glasses and the like? I've replayed games like Deus Ex and Outcast countless times and they're always just as good as they were the first time.
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Postby RCHD » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:41 pm

Nostalgic urges covers a lot of it for me. Remembering how much fun I had doing x & y is always a key factor in me picking up an old game. These days, money does come into it. I can't afford that many new games because I'm saving for other things. Time often factors as well. I find it easier to replay old game for just half and hour or an hour at a time, while new games I tend to become more immersed in.

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Postby Mantis » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:52 pm

Generally nostalgia and the option of doing it by other means. Not on the level that 'Oh I can replay Half Life 2 and just use the crowbar and pistol!' or anything silly like that though, and it'd have to have been fun enough the first time round to make me think that a play through doing it differently would be equally fun.

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Postby Plant » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:58 pm

Yeah, doing stuff differently is a big factor. Tends to be games where you can take different approaches or pick and choose how to deal with a situation, rather than just running through and shooting, that are replayable.

Saying that, games that are just run-and-gun are replayable because you don't buy them for the levels or the story, you buy them to run-and-gun, so in that sense they're infinitely replayable.
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Postby Mantis » Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:11 pm

I rarely ever find myself replaying just run and gun linear shooters. Take Halo 3 for example. A fair few of the levels on that are just straight forward linear run and gun affairs with very little difference each time. These levels are ones I never go back to, but levels like the massive vehicle ones and the ones with the Scarabs I generally always find myself going back to because there's lots of the ways to take them down. I must have repeated the Covenant level a good 20+ times now but I still go back every now and then to do it.

Bioshock was a much better game than Halo 3, hell it probably was more fun too, but I'd never find myself going back to that because it's all very linear and there are very few options you can take apart from save little girls or eat their souls. Likewise I'd never go back to Half Life 2 either because that's just a run and gun linear-fest that pushes you down a single track, even though I really enjoyed it the first time.

So I'd certainly not say that run and gun games have that kind of replayablity. Definitely not for me at least.

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Postby [Prey] » Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:33 pm

Mantis wrote:I rarely ever find myself replaying just run and gun linear shooters. Take Halo 3 for example. A fair few of the levels on that are just straight forward linear run and gun affairs with very little difference each time. These levels are ones I never go back to, but levels like the massive vehicle ones and the ones with the Scarabs I generally always find myself going back to because there's lots of the ways to take them down. I must have repeated the Covenant level a good 20+ times now but I still go back every now and then to do it.


There are those games that perhaps have one or two must replay levels, but then you obviously have to play through all the bumf to get to them which usually means cutting corners in a "I could play this blindfolded" kind of manner where everything you do is speeded up 10 fold. And this mostly exists when replaying shooters.

Far Cry has always been a strong example of going back to replaying a shooter and for the most part you get a slightly different experience each time. As there's much more in the way of gaming options open to the player that simply don't exist in most other corridor based fps games, every time I started replaying it I never feel the need to speed run through any of the levels on offer.

Then there are games such as Thief: Deadly Shadows, even though it's fairly linear it's down to the stealth based element that ensures you attempt to play it as it should be played. Because that way is always the most rewarding when replaying it. Other games I'd say have plenty of replay value are the likes of Mafia, most of the GTA series, Hitman games and perhaps most titles that gets labelled under the sandbox shelf of games. Even though games such as Crysis just don't have that must replay appeal it probably should have had.

I'd say the tide is changing now though, as there seems to be far less games released today that I'd class as instantly replayable compared to what was being released 2-3 years back. Bioshock is a given I guess, but that really depends on the player in question and how well they took to the game on their original run through. Oblivion is another example.

There's also the Mod factor to consider, as many games regain a new level of replayability based on something new that's been released. The new S.T.AL.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost Mod being a perfect example.

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Postby Plant » Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:41 pm

For run-and-gun, I'm thinking along the lines of Serious Sam and, before it ditched sprites, went 3D and turned shit, jDoom.
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Postby Lee » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:05 pm

Boils down to gameplay at the end of the day, some games have it and you like playing them so are more likley to pick it up and play it again, while others have you feeling well empty after playing them and wondering why you bought it. And also the fact that many games play so similar that you had a better time with game that came out before everything became so samey.

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Postby Hikaru Sulu » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:35 pm

I replay Baldur's Gate 2 because it's still better than most RPGs out there.

I replay Call of Duty just for some mindless shooting.

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Postby DjchunKfunK » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:16 pm

For me I replay games for different reasons. Part of it does come down to nostalgia and re-living the cool parts in games, but most of the time I replay games because they were fun and not to necessarily get a different experience out of it the second time around. Games like the Baldur's Gate series and Max Payne 2 are a couple of the games that I always find myself going back to. The first because like Lar says it is still one of the best RPGs around even all these years on and Max Payne 2 because it is always fun to take people down in slow-mo.

Often I find that the games I like the most like Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, HL2 and Bioshock will only get one play through. I'm not really sure why, maybe because the experience was so good the first time around that i don't want to sour it by replaying the game for a second time and maybe finding flaws that I didn't the first play through. I would rather the game just remained a perfect compartmentalised experience, safe forever as a classic gaming experience.

Having said as I am older now I find I have much less time to play games. I always had difficulty completing games when I was younger and most of my games remain uncompleted, but now that I have even less time I rarely go back and replay old games. Instead I try to play the ones out now. If I can't afford to then I will go back and pick up one of the many games I missed out on the first time around due to lack of time.
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Postby Hikaru Sulu » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:31 pm

Games I have completed, and then played through again are Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment..... that's about it, actually. I've completed the Call of Duty games, and then played individual levels for a bit of fun, but never set out to complete the whole thing through. I'm actually quite bad at finishing games, so I've gotten half-way through a game, stopped, and then replayed it before (Morrowind is an example there).

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Postby DjchunKfunK » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:36 pm

I'm normally pretty bad at finishing games, like I mentioned, but for some reason in the past few months I have been able to sit down and complete about three games. Maybe it's something to do with renting games and wanting to get my moneys worth.
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Postby [Prey] » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:03 pm

Nostalgia really is a considerable problem at times though, and as it usually starts with someone mentioning a game and then you dragging it's dusty arse of a shelf then installing it. Then preparing yourself to relive the magic that was there years before, only to find it's not quite as magical as you once remembered. It's a rather bitter sweet experience quite often.

I guess we all wear rose tinted glasses to a degree when we look back (I know I'm probably more prone to it than anyone else here) but as my father once taught me - you should never spend your entire life looking back at what was great. Because you may just end up ignoring something that's currently right under your nose that's equally as good.

And if anyone here is bad at finishing games (bordering damn right useless) it has to be me. I buy so many games that just end up sat on the shelf after being played part way through it's untrue. Unless they are shooters of course wich I never seem to have any problem finishing whatsoever.

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Postby JohnyHumf » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:31 pm

I play old games because I can't afford a PC to run new ones, so that's me just finished Deus Ex last night, now I'm thinking of going onto OpFlash or Thief.

Course when I eventually shell out for a new gfx card I'll have loads of old games to play that I haven't got round to, including: Morrowind, Thief 3, DX 2, Kotor, the Half Life series, the only sin episode.

Of course by that time it'll be more about time restraints, I'll have to work the majority of the day, then there's looking after my bitches (canine and human :wink: ), sleeping, drinking, down the pub, shagging, socialising and even more work. It's the main reason why there will never be any MMO's in my to play list, too time consuming.

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