Hello and welcome to a new series I'm calling Café Bites, which are short little pieces about stray thoughts I have and want to write about but, you know, not too much. This first piece's art is by @bigpapaswamp, go follow them on twitter and stuff!
After I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to spend more time playing single-player games instead of forever stuff, I decided to give God of War (2018) aka Press Square to Yell Boy Simulator another shot. I didn't get very far the first time I played GoW, and dropped it before I guess some pretty big events happened.
This time around I'm enjoying it! I'd call it a good, maybe even great game. Which got me wondering: what makes us go back to old games and enjoy them on a second chance?
One aspect I know certainly helps is playing GoW on a PS5. The system isn't screaming in pain while the game is running, and the fan doesn't sound like it's about to take off. On top of that, the whole game runs at 60FPS now, which I'm a sucker for (it's the same reason why I redownloaded Horizon Zero Dawn, to see if I end up enjoying it more as well). And load times are relatively quick, too. So that's all nice.
But beyond that, I think timing is important too. I can tell now that I simply wasn't in the right headspace for GoW when it first released. For one, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I'm immensely turned off by stuff that has a lot of hype built around it. Everyone and their mom was talking about how great this game was, so my expectations came up short when I tried it near its original release. Now, with some breathing room, I can appreciate what it was going for - even the dad/son stuff, which hits different now than it did in 2018. Uh, not because I have a son or anything but because I hate my dad LOL.
And that isn't just narratively, either. I was impatient with GoW's pacing a few years ago. I found it a little meandering. That wasn't really the case, in retrospect - I just needed something faster than what I was getting. Now, with a fresh pair of eyes, the game feels less "meandering" and more deliberate. There's not much fluff in the GoW reboot. Everything you do matters to some extent, and provides rewards that have value in the context of the rest of the game, whether it's a bit of lore or a new piece of equipment. Because of that, even when I only have time to play for an hour or so, I feel like I've made progress of some kind, even if it's not story progression.
It's interesting, having an entirely different perspective on a game that I couldn't gel with previously. I'm pretty confident I'm going to finish GoW this time around, and will hopefully move on to more games like it in my backlog.
What about you? What makes you come back to an old game and give it a second chance? Let me know @mintmakesthings!