The way we play games is changing – or, at least, the way I play games is changing. Historically, I’ve always been a one-and-done player; from my collection of favourites, it’s only really the Shenmue saga that I’ve revisited multiple times. And, strangely, GUN – I’ve beaten the PlayStation 2 Western at least half-a-dozen times and I’ve no idea why. Anyway, I digress.
The thing is, there are more games than there’s ever been, and yet said titles are demanding more of our time. I’ve noticed quite recently that I’m returning to a lot of my favourites over and over again, whether it’s to earn Triple Rewards in the latest GTA Online promotions or to open Ultimate Team packs in FIFA 21 and NBA 2K21. To be honest, the problem has got so bad that I’ve considered drawing up a calendar to plan out my play time.
Of course, this is a bonkers idea: I should not be scheduling my leisure sessions. But while I enjoy the fact that my favourites are constantly getting new content, I’m finding it stressful to keep up. Judge me if you like later, but I wanted to add Eric Cantona to my Volta Football squad – however, that would have required me to abandon my Demon’s Souls playthrough just to accrue the required points to unlock him. He’s gone forever, and I fear if I don’t shelf Cyberpunk 2077, so too will Dua Lipa!
It’s a first-world problem of the highest order, but I do think it’s a problem. I love the look of Rocket League’s new season; it’s all pulsating LED lights and dramatic goal-line pyrotechnics. But with my slate already so full, I can’t imagine ever having the time to unlock the good stuff in Psyonix’s soccer simulation. There’s double XP and a brand new Battle Pass in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, too, but I think I’m going to have to skip it.
Even single player games, most notably Ubisoft published ones, have gotten in on the act. There’s a holiday-themed festival unfolding in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla this month, and you can participate in all kinds of events to earn tokens which can then be traded for unique gear. It looks like a lot of fun and I’d love to participate, but I haven’t even started the Viking epic yet – it’ll all be done by 7th January, and I’ll miss it.
Meanwhile, there’s that new heist in GTA Online clawing at me for attention, and Madden NFL 21’s Ultimate Team has a list of activities as big as my backlog. Honestly, I feel like there’s too much to do at times – it’s overwhelming.
I do, of course, appreciate I’m a unique case – I play a lot of games. These seasonal updates and time limited objectives, they’re for the ultra-hardcore fans – it’s to reward them for playing and retain their interest. But I want to see as much as possible; as alluded to above, I love the look of a lot of the content that’s being added to these titles. Heck, the new Fall Guys season looks like superb fun as well!
I think I’m going to have to come to the realisation that a lot of this content isn’t made for me – I’ll simply never get to see it. Yes, it sucks – it’s a real shame, but unless I resort to high school-esque time planners then I’m going to have to let it go. I’ll keep playing GTA Online; I’ll keep playing FIFA 21 and NBA 2K21. But I can’t commit to every service-based game – it’s impossible these days.
What are the service games you’ve committed to, and are you managing to keep up? Have you found yourself having to abandon certain titles because you simply have too much to do at any given time? Retain your interest in the comments section below.