Around the corner, I have an extremely crowded itinerary for video games. Obviously, I’m picking up Halo 5: Guardians on October 27th. Halo has been one of my favorite franchises ever since I bought an Xbox 360 in 2006. But obviously I can’t just start playing Halo 5, I need to boot up The Master Chief Collection replay Halos 1 through 4 (and ODST, which features no Master Chief but is an otherwise excellent and underappreciated game and perhaps features the best use of a saxophone in a modern FPS, but I digress). Anyways, I’m sitting in a fairly decent spot having completed 3.5 of the prerequisite 5 games, but that does leave me in the position of having to complete a campaign and a half in 8 days. Back in my undergraduate days, this would be no problem. Alas, I am at a point in life where I can no longer play video games until 1 AM (in fairness, I probably hit this point sometime during grad school, but old traditions die hard). So this morning I designed an itinerary by which I will approach the remaining levels, factoring in relative length and difficulty of the campaigns alongside the likelihood of me having something else to do that evening (read: watch football or the baseball playoffs) and the pacing of the story told in the levels. After all, who reads the last chapter of a book, immediately reads the first chapter of the next book, then stops for the night? It’s an unnatural ending point! This plan is definitely feasible since my “hardest” day (and I loathe to use that term for a leisure activity) is a Saturday where I need to beat 3 levels. However, I remain sad on an existential level that I have to schedule my Halo time and have newfound respect for my friends who have spouses and/or children and make time to game. I now understand why you don’t achievement hunt as ruthlessly as I used to.
This is to say nothing of the juggernaut looming on the horizon that is Fallout 4 and Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void releasing on the same day. I’ve been looking forward to both of these games for years and it’s just not fair that both are releasing at the same time (in particular since I pre-purchase Legacy of the Void this summer so I could get access to the interquel missions, which were mechanically satisfying but thematically disappointing, but I digress). I’m still not sure how I’m gonna handle this one. If history has taught me anything, it’s that open-world Bethesda games will take hundreds, not dozens, of hours to complete. History has also taught me that I won’t regret a single one of those hours being spent. On the other hand, I’m much more invested in the story of Legacy of the Void especially since it’s finally focusing on the protoss, a race of psionic warrior-poets who use their powers to build dope laser swords into their armor. However, for as much as I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the Starcraft II trilogy’s story (yeah, video games are really weird when it comes to numbering; I honestly can’t explain it anymore, but that’s a story for another time), I also have a lurking suspicion that it’ll end with everyone putting aside their differences to defeat a common foe, just like every other Blizzard game. I’ll probably end up having to swap weekends between the two.
Or I could just not play them the day they come out. But that doesn’t seem like a reasonable option at all, does it?