Patience is a situational thing for me. Sometimes, I have it in abundance and other times I barely have any before I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air and yell to the ceiling, “FORGET IT!” Playing certain video games is a test in patience for me and I find myself expanding it more and more when I’m playing a game with so-so to terrible gameplay, but makes up for it in the writing itself.
Two games that come to mind in the less than stellar gameplay but fascinating story department are Spec Ops: The Line and Remember Me. I’m absolutely terrible at shooter games and playing Spec Ops isn’t a cakewalk for me. As I progressed further into the game, I realized it isn’t entirely my lack of bad shooter skills that’s making me fail certain missions but the actual gameplay itself. Pressing certain button commands often don’t register right away and I find my poor Captain Martin Walker either getting shot point blank when I’m trying to duck into cover or the grenade I set to throw at hostiles doesn’t get released and I have to do it over again. It’s really frustrating when this happens more times than it should. There have been times I yelled and cursed at my TV when my character was doing things I didn’t want him/her to do.
Despite the wonky gameplay mechanics of Spec Ops, I was determined to slog through it just so I can get to the next part of the story to reach the very end. Sticking with the game and dealing with the annoying aspects of the gameplay has extended my patience by a lot. I died way too many times in certain parts of the game, which is even worse when you’re really close to being done with a chapter or about to reach a checkpoint. Dying so many times often forces me to turn off the game and put it aside for the time being. I didn’t want to do that with a game like Spec Ops. Eventually, I’d figure out a better strategy to get through the rough spots of the game or in extreme cases, change the difficulty setting to easy if I was really overwhelmed by the situation before me.
The endless amount of patience I found in myself has been surprising. Having a go with Remember Me recently has asked me to find the almost endless patience I found with Spec Ops. Again, the less than amazing gameplay factored into having to deal with minor irritations and tediousness with playing Remember Me. I did find enjoyment in appreciating the look of a futuristic Paris and slowly uncovering what Nilin’s real story is as you get further into the game.
I can report that I have also died a good amount of times like in Spec Ops, but my attitude has been to just grin and bear it. My only hope is to not find myself stuck finishing a mini-boss or major boss in the game. Usually when that happens, it becomes the kiss of death for me in terms of getting around to actually finishing the game. It has happened to Final Fantasy XIII and I haven’t touched that game in ages because I simply got stuck.
What I’m noticing about the games I’ve been playing lately is the gameplay may kind of suck and isn’t necessarily fun, but what keeps me playing is the story and characters. I’ve played games where there’s usually a balance of good gameplay and story. This time around, we have a case where gameplay isn’t anything to get excited about, but the story and characters are strong enough to forgive the other shortcomings of a game.
Once I’m hooked onto the story, there’s nothing stopping me from seeing it through to the end. My desire to know how it ends far exceeds any irritation I feel about playing. Quitting doesn’t become an option and my patience is well rewarded once I get to the end and it’s as satisfying as I imagined it would be. I just have to hang in there.