The Perfect Game – Part 4: Replay Value

Section 3: Replay Value

Yesterday I started, played and finished the Lost game (it is a game based on the TV series “Lost” not simply a game that is easy to misplace, it is titled “Lost: Via Domus”).  This got me thinking about how long you can play games for.  For example, I finished the game that I was playing before Via Domus, Just Cause, but I am still playing it.  There are some games where people will replay the entire thing (sometimes several times) after finishing it.  In this post I’ll discuss both this, and the fact that sometimes you put down a game before you have even finished it.

Before we get to that though, I’ll give you a couple of words on Via Domus.

Firstly, it is a story based game, if your not a fan of story games (or the Lost TV series) then you probably won’t like it (I think my next post will be on story vs no-story).  Secondly, even though I said I finished the game in one day, it’s not that short.  A couple of things to take into account with me finishing it in a single day is that it was a Saturday, I had nothing better to do and I get hooked on games with stories.  In total the game probably takes about 10 hours on average to complete (which is a little shorter than average, but still not extremely short, this might be the topic of another post), with me completing it in about 7 or 8.  Thirdly, the graphics in the game were extremely good, although I had to turn them down to 800×600 with low detail to make the game playable, and the cut scenes were still jumpy (this can be contributed to the crap GFX card in my laptop, a 7300go, if you have anything from the last year with 256mb or more of RAM you should be fine).  Finally, the story itself and the method the game used to tell it (flashbacks) was quite good, and worked really well with the game.

I won’t talk about the game much longer, but if anyone really wants me to talk about it, I can put up another post.  Here are two screenshots (taken at 800×600 and displayed at 640×480) from the game, the first one is from a pre-rendered cut scene, which is what the graphisc would look like inigame if you had it on max detail, the second is what they look like in-game with 800×600 and low detail.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, lets get to the real point of this post, Replay Value.  As I said at the beginning I won’t just be talking about Replay Value, I will also be talking about Play Value, as I think they both go hand in hand.

Before I really get into it, let’s establish some definitions:

  • Finish: Finishing the main parts of the game, ie doing the main quest line, killing the final boss etc.  This does not include completing all the side quests, etc.
  • Complete: Fininshing every side quest, collecting every item, unlocking everything.  In some games this is impossible in other (which are linear or don’t have anything to unlock) this is exactly the same as finishing.
  • Play Value: The power of the game to compel you to Finish it (or at least play it at all).
  • Replay Value: The ability of a game to let you (or make you want to) complete it, finish it multiple times, or play it through using differing strategies.

I’ve had this post sitting here for around a month, but been too busy to finish it, so I’m going to post what I have now and finish the topic later (hopefully tomorrow).  Hopefully I will also post about my new gaming PC (which has been what’s stopped me from posting) and some of the games I’ve been playing (Conflict: Denied Ops, Far Cry 2, GRID, Spore).  So…

STAY TUNED! For “The Perfect Game – Part 4.2: Replay Value (continued)”!!!

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