Why The First Few Hours Of A Game Are Crucial

If your first few hours of a game were for a review, they would be totally different. You'd be looking at how it performs, how it looks, how it plays. But most people won't be reviewing the game. They look at those first few hours as a whole. Asking themselves two questions: was it worth my money and should I keep playing it?

I suppose, in a strange way, a reviewer even has to look at this. Is it worth your money and should you even play it at all? Who knows. At the end of the day who really knows. A review is an opinion and really and truly a game has to be experienced by the person who wants to play so they can make their own mind up about whether they should continue to do so.

This is why the beginning of a game is so important. Of course, I'm mainly talking about games where you're in for the long haul, but even in a shorter game the first portion serves to set the tone, set the story, set up the characters and set the world.

If it does this badly then I'm sure many people, myself probably included would simply turn it off, shut down the console and walk away. If I did this, in a few months I might come back, jump in and completely forget what had happened (although, that can be a good thing). Sometimes those few months to digest what happened and what could happen are crucial and jumping in there is a better beginning. That's what I find sometimes.

Other times the game does the beginning so well that you really can't put it down. You simply can't stop playing. Hopefully that continues forward and everything doesn't fall to pieces.

Here's the thing. The beginning is important. The middle is important. The end is important. And, the bits in between are important. That's why it's nigh on impossible to make a perfect game. The balance between story, character development and how everything looks have to strike the perfect balance.

I think that is what makes a game so much harder to make perfect than something like a movie, TV show or book. Because it encompasses all of those mediums, a video game has more pressure put on it than any other entertainment property.

And that's why they're awesome. And that is a whole different post altogether.


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