The Backlog. It peers at us from the stack of games beside the TV, the back of our drawer of shame, or for the more organised, our obsessively-ordered games shelves. It’s a constant reminder of our failings. The releases that have been purchased with the hope of providing countless hours of entertainment, only to be discarded prematurely. Kim and LightningEllen recently invited the blogging community to confess, accept and ultimately love their backlogs.
Fortunately, it seems that my backlog isn’t as bad as most. I’ve owned a Nintendo Wii, PS3 and PS4 but each time I’ve completely switched out the system along with all of the games. I’ve recently returned to my PC gaming roots, and have no doubt that I’ll need to replace my “less than 100” badge of honour with one more substantial before long. Steam makes it all-too-easy.
I’ve had a tough time figuring out what justifies as ‘part of my backlog’. On my PS4, I’ll often add those monthly Playstation Plus freebies to my library, regardless of whether I have any intention of playing them or not. Maybe we could call this the ‘soft’ backlog. The guilt-free and ‘friendly-neighborhood-spider’ backlog (not that Spider-Man is part of the backlog. That game demanded to be played through to completion immediately without passing ‘Go’ or collecting £200). A comfort blanket of content if we ever found ourselves locked inside, with only our games collections for amusement (hmm… if only).
But then there’s the backlog that we have invested in, but failed to finish. I’m still revelling in in the fact I recently wiped Dark Souls III off this list, but there are many others still sinfully unaccomplished. I’ve found that many of them are the kind that require a hefty amount of time, containing a huge number of side-quests and exploration. The kind of games that seem to do their upmost to keep you from doing anything but continue the ‘main story’, prolonging the games completion.
Shortest game: Dragon Age: Inquisition (partially completed)
Occasionally, I’ll enjoy and play a game all the way through to the final point in the story, the culmination of all of those invested hours leading to this grand finale …and my brain just decides at that point that I’ve seen everything and chooses to move on to something new. As an example, I played through 95% of Uncharted 4 in a short space of time, and yet it was several weeks until I decided to conclude the story.
I had a similar experience with Dragon Age: Inquisition a few years ago. I enjoyed my time with the game, reached the final battle, but just didn’t finish it. I can barely remember now what that mission actually is, but I know that I could finish up the story in an hour or two. With a new Dragon Age game being worked on, I guess I should consider clearing Inquisition from my backlog soon.
Longest game: Far Cry 4
A game I was bought a few years ago, that remains unplayed apart from some very early aimless wandering. Farcry 4 is unlikely to be the longest game I have in my backlog but it is the one with the longest playtime required to finish, simply because I’ve barely started it.
Game which has spent the most time on your backlog:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (partially completed)
Skyrim is one of the few games in my Steam account after revisiting my library after several years away from PC gaming. Apparently, I invested 81 hours into the game back in 2012, but from memory, I barely feel I scratched the surface of what Skyrim had to offer. It remains fairly high on the ‘to do’ list..
Game most likely never to be played: Yakuza Kiwami
For this one, I took a browse through my PS4 library where much of my ‘soft’ backlog exists through those free PS Plus downloads. Yakuza Kiwami is a game a know nothing about, have no interest in, and I should imagine it will stay in my backlog indefinitely. Let me know if I’m making a massive mistake!
The person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog:
Being fairly new to the blogging/social gaming scene, I’ll no doubt have a few answers for this one this time next year. Having said that, my current backlog has taught me to trust my own judgement more than social media hype, and I’ve learnt to ‘plan ahead’ with my games purchases. For example, towards the end of this month I’ll be jumping in to the world of Nier: Automata with it’s rerelease, and next month… Sekiro!
Now having a Gaming Laptop as well as a PS4, I expect my backlog to only grow in one direction in the future. Kim and LightningEllen suggested that our backlogs should be something to be proud of. They can demonstrate a breadth of gaming knowledge, and act as a resumé proving our openness to variety…
…and I’d much rather have a backlog of unfinished originality than a stack of Call of Duty clones 🙂