So, here’s the thing. I’m afraid to finish Uncharted 4 and I want to tell you why.
It has been 15 months since Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End released on PS4 and 14 months since I bought it from Rossko who ended with 2 copies (Thanks, BTW). Until now, I’ve only reached Chapter 8 and I can’t bring myself to continue it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it – sure, it has its faults but they’re so minor they’re not even worth mentioning. The problem is that I’m enjoying it too much and I can’t bring myself to finish it. This might sound a little crazy and I’m putting myself in a pretty vulnerable position by writing this for the world to see. I can almost see the “this guy is nuts” comments appearing already but please, just hear me out.
Gaming is a pretty big part of my life. When I’m not chipping away at my single player campaigns, playing games to review or having late night online sessions with friends, I’m playing in co-op with my family on the TT LEGO games or, more recently, on Sonic Mania (Who knew my kids would turn out to be such good Tails players?). While other couples watch soap operas, my wife and I play Telltale games. While other families are playing board games, we’ll be playing a party game together on the PS4. Gaming is embedded in my family life and my PS4 is central to a lot of what we do together as a family – be that watching Netflix/Now TV, playing a game together or listening to Spotify. My wife and kids and I all have the same hobby and I think that’s pretty awesome.
But then come the slumps. If you’ve been gaming for a while, you’ll probably know the feeling. It’s that fog that descends on you as you look through all the games you have multiple times and think “Nope, I don’t want to play any of these” until you finally start something and probably end up turning it off less than 5 minutes later. For a family that games together, this can be pretty frustrating for my kids. When they’re begging me to play LEGO Worlds or Minecraft with them and my enthusiasm to even hold a controller is completely gone, it’s not a great situation to be in – but I’ve figured out how to avoid these slumps.
You see, it’s the “big games” that get me into these slumps. Over the years, I noticed a pattern. After I’ve plunged myself into the games I really enjoy and have been really hyped about, poured days into them and let them get under my skin, I come out of them feeling empty. After I’d rinsed every bit of game play I could out of Mass Effect 2, I looked at every other game and thought to myself “Well, you’re not Mass Effect 2 are you?”. The same thing happened after Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim, Resistance: Fall Of Man, The Last of Us, Burnout Paradise plus many more and, of course, the Uncharted games. I went into a slump and no game could satisfy me for weeks on end.
So now I try to avoid them. When we get a big game to review here at Finger Guns, I’m more than happy to let Rossko or Paul cover it. I prefer to play those games that are mediocre, middle of the road, less than epic. I prefer the games that I can drop after I’ve reviewed them and they won’t suck me in, get their claws into me and throw me into a slump when they’re done with them. Sure, some games surprise me – Edith Finch, LawBreakers and Victor Vran have knocked me for 6 this year after they unexpectedly blew me away – but I try to stay away from games I truly think I’m going to enjoy the best I can.
I know. It sounds nuts. But I’m not alone. After broaching the subject on some Facebook groups (shout out to PS4 For The Mature) and on other social media sites, a few others admitted to feeling the same and one had labelled it “the big game fear” which has kind of stuck. Some people theorised that it was something do with the massive dopamine rush you get from completing games you enjoy and being unable to recreate that often enough with other games afterwards. Others just thought it was just an odd quirk that we all had. Either way, it’s kind of nice to know I’m not alone in this.
The thing is, I really want to finish Uncharted 4. The first 8 chapters whet my appetite and, as much as I try and convince myself that I don’t want or need too, I *do* want to see it through to the end, especially with The Lost Legacy dropping this week. The game is still in my PS4 (I’m almost exclusively digital these days so it has been there for a long while) and I’ve still got the collectable guide tab open on my laptop. It’ll likely happen any day now. I’ll cave, fire it back up and overcome “the big game fear”. I’m expecting this one to hit me hard. I know it’s probably my last adventure with Nate and Sully and this makes it even more daunting. Hopefully I can power through the subsequent “slump” quick enough to “umm”, “aah” then bottle it over starting Destiny 2, Battlefront 2 and Assassin’s Creed Origins.