An Ode To The Unfinished?

By Jim Rossignol on December 15th, 2010 at 8:39 am.


Having watched Lego Star Wars creator John Smith get up in front of a thousand bemused Nordic game developers at a conference in Malmo a couple of years ago to sing a song about all the games he’s failed to finish, I know I’m not the only person who feels bad about abandoning a couple of games each year. In fact, I quite often use a few quiet days over the Christmas holiday break to finish something I started in the year. All too often I have a bit of a play of something and then have to quickly move on to something I need to play for review, or otherwise spend more time with. That leaves a bunch of excellent games hanging. This year that’s Starcraft II, whose multiplayer I have caressed lengthily, but whose single-player game I have left unloved in favour of Men of War’s co-op delights. Christmas, for me, will be in real-time, and full of Terrans.

So, I’m certainly not alone… but what about you guys? Anything to finish?

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118 Comments »

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  1. Dyst says:

    I rarely finish games to be honest. It takes an incredibly good game to hold my attention all the way through to the end. Over this Christmas Holiday I will be finishing my current play through of Mass Effect 2 and then starting on a bunch of games that I left unfinished. Lugaru, Half Life 1, Fallout 2, Psychonauts, STALKER Call of Pripyat, Space Siege, Red Faction Guerilla. My list goes on and on and I’m pretty sure that it’s going to carry over into next year.

    • SAM-site says:

      I’m in the same boat. Of the thousands of games I’ve bought over the years there are less than a dozen that I’ve actually finished. When I feel that there’s nothing more to see I’ll move on to something else. In some cases I’ll move on despite fancying playing some more with the happy knowledge that there is more waiting for me when I go back to it.

      Perhaps unsurprisingly the games I put the most time into are the ones with no real set conclusion – Sim City, MMOs, Football Manager, Civ, Rock Band, Elite and currently Minecraft to give a broad idea. Narrative-based games usually leave me bored.

    • Mithent says:

      Likewise. I have an extremely long list of games I’ve not finished, especially that nowadays it’s so easy to get so many for relatively little cost in digital distribution sales. It doesn’t help that I like RPGs.

      I really mean to finish Dragon Age in the near future, but that’s one of very many I’ve not finished. I guess the last “proper” game I did complete was Mirror’s Edge, which I bought earlier in the year.

    • anduin1 says:

      And I thought I was alone in this, I rarely finish games unless they’re really something special. Uncharted 2 for my PS3 is one of the few PS3 games Ive ever finished, finished Mass Effect 1 and 2 but never dragon age, witcher, assassins creed, metro 2033, etc. I just get bored and then its like hey, theres something else over here and I forget about it. This is why Ive opted to play and buy more games that have no story but very engaging gameplay. The Total War series has captivated me for years, same with the TIE Fighter games I keep going back to. But this season I hope to at least finish AC 2, and maybe a console game or 2.

  2. bob_d says:

    Anything to finish? Besides the 50 games I bought in Steam sales this year?

    • rocketman71 says:

      This.

      And StarCraft 2 can kiss my local network connected ass.

  3. Gassalasca says:

    I will be finishing this torturous little piece called Master’s Thesis. It’s longer than Dragon Age and more frustrating than Super Meat Boy.

    The spare hourse will be spent in therapy session, i.e. mining in EVE.

    • Sam says:

      I’ve had a quick Google but I can’t seem to find it, mind providing a link to Master’s Thesis please? Since we’re all masochists :P

    • Gassalasca says:

      I am told you can download the client from your local university’s server. It’s not cheap, mind you. I was lucky to get into mine during beta.

    • Armyofnone says:

      I’ll get to that game in a few years. Maybe they’ll nerf the difficulty by then? Hopefully?

    • Gassalasca says:

      Yeah, and then us oldfags will be able to tell stories of the old days, when it was wild west, and you had to 1 CC it or you weren’t considered a man. And how it was never the same after that patch.

      (I can’t decide which metaphor is more apt, the MMO or the hardcore arcade one)

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      James G says:

      Ugh, I kinda enjoyed Masters Thesis in a masochistic kind of way, but urgently recommend against the squeal, PhD Thesis, especially the ‘science edition.’ I finally got round to finishing it this year after promising I’d drop it on several occasions, and the ending is one of the biggest anti-climaxes ever. SPOILERS The end sequence is basically a page of text saying “Well done, you’ve got a PhD”, oh and you get an achievement that lets you put Dr before your name, or PhD after it, but most people just think you are a twit if you do so SPOILERS

      Oh, and if you get stuck, whatever you do, don’t look for a walkthrough online. The game frowns on this, and if it detects you doing so you’ll instantly fail. To be fair, this is made abundantly clear, and is the same as for the previous game, but it can be depressing at times. Also, you get a tutorial in the form of a ‘supervisor,’ if you do decide to play I recommend being careful at the ‘pick a supervisor’ stage, its not just a cosmetic option, and some supervisors affect the difficulty in different ways. Unfortunately as this happens at the beginning of the game you aren’t best equipped to understand all these details, so it pays to chat to NPCs and have a read online.

      Oh, for anyone interested, someone has made a ‘Lets play’ in comic for here: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php Which should give anyone considering picking up PhD Thesis a good idea of how it works.

      (More seriously, congrats on the Masters. I was lucky in that my Masters thesis was split into four separate documents, so I only got the full on feelings of isolation when it came to the PhD Thesis. I know how unfun it is, although think I still prefer the worst of the write up to the worst of the research itself.)

    • sinister agent says:

      The end sequence is basically a page of text saying “Well done, you’ve got a PhD”,

      Hey! I’ll have you know we put a lot of work into that ending. It’s not about the ending; it’s about the playing itself, man. Roleplay a little, yeah?

  4. Matzerath says:

    I just finished ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’! Felt good!
    My dirty secret is that I still need to finish Fallout 1-2.

  5. kikito says:

    To me it’s just the opposite.

    I’ve been on the newbie league (a.k.a. Plastic League) since SC2 went out. Still 8 matches to go. And I feel as insecure as the first day.

    • Quasar says:

      The second best piece of advice I can give you is just to skip it and jump in… I did maybe 10 practice matches, but you only end up learning how to rush for air.

      The best piece of advice? Watch Day[9]’s daily show. Some of the stuff he talks about will be a bit advanced, but you learn so much. I went from mid-bronze to almost-gold in a week, just by cramming a ton of Day[9].

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      This. Day9 is extremely entertaining and insightful. If you watch his shows and try to implement what he talks about (workers, supply, money, and minimap checklist) you’ll be out of bronze in no time. Honestly if you just learn to macro really well you’ll make it to platinum. I still get distracted by strategy and let my macro fall apart so I’m still in gold. :)

  6. fuggles says:

    I’m currently fighting through The Void. Whilst it’s an excellent game it is oppressive and stressful and I got distracted half way through in like January time and never returned. Now I am giving it a serious go before probably cheating if I get stuck, just to remove it from my To Do list.

  7. Jack says:

    I’ve left many games behind, but sometimes, I swear to come back to them. I just finished Planescape: Torment this week, after abandoning it halfway through in highschool. Whatta rush.

  8. Angel Dust says:

    I finish most games I start but I am looking to finally finish Mass Effect 1 in hopefully preparation of Steam Xmas Sale for its sequel.

    I have come to accept that I will never, ever finish Super Meat Boy though.

    • Groove says:

      I have the exact same plan!

      Apart from that I will finish SMB, obvs =P

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      TheApologist says:

      Oo oo me too. I will be doing literally exactly these things.

      And also lots of uni reading. Lots and lots of reading…

  9. Shadowcat says:

    So many games, I daren’t count them.

    But top of my list is TRON 2.0, which I was a long way into about six months ago. Great game, that.

    After that, I might tackle Heavy Gear 2. Or perhaps something from my GOG shelf.

  10. Ripple says:

    I guess it will be Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.. Started that a while ago, never finished it as it crashed and I have no idea why I didn’t just start up the game again.

    So now, for the next few weeks I will enjoy a great story!

    • Qabal says:

      Dreamfall isn’t really a game. It’s more of an interactive story with most of the interactivity removed. At one point, you finish a cinematic, walk down an alley for 5 seconds, then trigger another cinematic. I loved it to bits, but it definitely doesn’t fit my conception of a game.

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      Oozo says:

      Yeah, “The Longest Journey” is also on my list. Got pretty far, actually, but I decided that I have to play it the same way I watched the entirety of “Buffy” this year – in small bits and pieces.

      Other than that, I am a hopeless completist.
      I finished quite a lot of full-length games this year, most of them classics (“Thief: The Dark Project”; all three of the Half-Life 2 games, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Another World, God Hand (!)… have bought Torment on GoG, but somehow struggle to finish it, even though I played it to completion back in the day). And a few not-so-classics (yet), like “Plants vs. Zombies”, “Bookworm Adventures 2″, “Dragon Age”, “VVVVVV”…

      Considering the fact that STALKER, The Longest and Dragon Age combined took more than 150 hours out of my time, it’s not even that surprising that I didn’t get around to finish all the other games.

      Funny enough, I didn’t finish any of this year’s AAA-games that I bought – still have to do a lot of “Dead Rising 2″ and haven’t even popped in “New Vegas”. And don’t even get me started on all the Steam sale-games I never even downloaded yet (“Amnesia”, “Mass Effect”, “Monkey Island 2″, “Alpha Protocol”, “KOTOR”, oh, and there’s always some more bandages to be picked up in “SMB”…)

      Plus, there was the rare case of games this year I decided not to finish, ever: “Mirror’s Edge”, “Persona 3: FES”, “Assassin’s Creed 2″. Maybe also “Killer 7″.

      It also really was a year when I started to appreciate all the utter madness of the really short or never-even-made-to-be-finished Flash, RGP Gamer and Game Maker games. And Minecraft, of course.

  11. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Ahh ok, I think I actually have quite a list to catch up on! Lets see;

    The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
    A Couple of ‘Old School’ C&C Games (You know, when they were good)
    ArmA 2, ArmA 2:OA
    and probably many others but, they are not stored on my HDD
    Also just got Silent Hunter 4 so hopefully that will be good, I was told to avoid Silent Hunter 5, but couldn’t remember if #3 or #4 was the better one…

  12. Spacewalk says:

    I’ve still got Call Of Pripyat to get through. It’s been sitting on my HDD untouched for the last six months. I still haven’t started Torment which I got recently and I haven’t even touched Pathologic and that’s been on the shelf for how long now. I’m just not motivated at all.

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    Rinox says:

    I always hear everyone talking about not finishing games, like a friend who’s started 10 games of Morrowind and never finished them.

    It’s strange, since I rarely don’t finish a game. Doesn’t really matter if they aren’t amazing or not, and I rarely buy crappy games it would appear (or I have a high tolerance for games with issues?). And no, I’m not terribly OCD either. I don’t care about things like achievements and finding the 1000 Riddler’s hidden objects.

    I think it may be because I mainly play story-based games, which are more inviting to complete. I don’t buy games that are just about ‘getting high scores’ because I don’t care about beating them. Or I play co-op games, which automatically make things more fun and give them a 2-player drive to finish them.

  14. Crescend says:

    Oh god there’s just too many games to finish, for example dragon age origins, starcraft 2, super meat boy, oblivion, dead rising 2, bioshock 2.. just to name the most important ones. Trying to finish anything all the while regularly playing minecraft, Eve and L4D2 is just madness.

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    Schaulustiger says:

    I have to admit that I never finished a single Infinity Engine game, but with GOG now having Baldur’s Gate 1/2 and Icewind Dale 1/2 I intend to erase that dark spot from my gaming history. Alas, I just fear that the Christmas holiday will not nearly be long enough for that monstrous task.

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    Dolphan says:

    Lots, but standouts are New Vegas, which I’m a fair way through but drifted away from to play AC:Brotherhood and Fable 3 on 360, and Mario Galaxy 2 which I played about 2 hours of, loved it, completely forgot to ever play it again. There’re are a few things I’ve bought on PC that I really wanted, bought and just haven’t even played, like Men of War and Recettear.

    Oh, and STALKER:SoC, but I seem to play the first couple of hours of that and stop about once a year.

  17. mcwizardry says:

    I also intend to finish the SP campaign of Starcraft 2 at some point during the winter break.

  18. Deoden says:

    Super Meat Boy is the first that springs to mind, if only because the down arrow key on my laptop broke. As such, I can’t move down on the world map without replaying levels that have already made me a heart-attack risk.

  19. Turin Turambar says:

    I think i have around 65 games in the pending/unfinished list.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Oh dear. My list of games I _have_ finished would be much shorter. Still to finish (off the top of my head — I’m sure there are more):

    Just Cause 2 (unlikely to bother — I’m satisfied with what I played and feel I got my money’s worth)
    The Witcher (I want to finish it before I pick up its sequel)
    King’s Bounty (I don’t think I have time for such a long game these days)
    Amnesia
    Far Cry 2 (see King’s Bounty)
    Stalker: COP
    Dawn of War II (for some reason I just can’t get into the game — I’m only on about the fourth mission. I think I’m too much of an ork lover to enjoy slaughtering so many of them — it makes me sad)

    Not to mension consoletoy games — I like JRPGs a lot, and they’re all about 40+ hours to finish. I don’t really have time to do them all. I have FFVIII, FFIX, Vagrant Story, Dragon Quest IX, SMT: Strange Journey, FF: Four Heroes of Light, FFT: War of the Lions, and more in varying states of completion. For some of them, I think Leigh Alexander’s piece on unfinished games on Kotaku ( http://kotaku.com/5705281/i-like-games-too-much-to-finish-them ) might explain why I haven’t gotten around to finishing them. I wonder if her piece applies to any of the PC games in my list too.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      The storyline missions are pretty hilarious in JC2. Recommend you see them through they aren’t very taxing. Just utterly rediculous. Completion does not equal 100% because that is definitely masochism. Explodey, explodey masochism.

  21. Simon says:

    Final Fantasy 6 and Super Metroid.

    Yeah, you heard me.

    Also Super Meat Boy, Sam and Max Season 2 and so many games I bought in those damn Steam sales. May or may not include the first Humble Bundle.

  22. Nick says:

    The only games I don’t finish are ones I start to hate after playing them. So far its been Force Commander (JOOOOOOHHHHN!), Dark Stone and Halo 2 (although I think I got very close to the end of that, I just didn’t care anymore.).

    There’s stuff I have bought that I have yet to play, but I’ll get there soon.

  23. Sigma Draconis says:

    Far too many to count. Some PC games, some PS3 games, quite a few DS games, and a shockingly large amount PS2 games on my backlog.

    With the PS2, I recently got into tracking down some games that fell through the cracks when they were first released. Unfortunately, most of these are lengthy JRPGs (of the Shin Megami Tensei variety, so HARD JRPGs at that), and I eventually fall out of playing them. So they end up dropping further down my backlog in favor of games that don’t have an actual endgame (TF2, etc.) or stuff I’ve already played.

  24. Heliocentric says:

    Literally hundreds of games, some scarcely even installed. Some i’ve read the manuals or readme notes. But dozens are either never downloaded or opened.

    Did you know gamersgate will let you gift games you’ve not collected the key for.

    Ooh look, christmas sales.

  25. Tei says:

    My unfinished stuff:

    – Ozymandias Colony: a sim city in space, in full 3D, and somewhat inspired by dune and Quake1. I started with the 3D engine, and abandoned it because I got a girlfriend, and girlfriends take too much time. http://telejano.berlios.de/option/oz17.jpg

    – A galcon clone with powers, in full 3D. I stooped working on it, because the “programmer art” I did for it was soo bad. http://zerror.com/unorganized/space2.jpg

    -Kanada invade USA2: actually I don’t know if I can call this unfinished, as I managed to release a playable thing with a few levels. but the AI was soo bad, even going straight in line mostly failed.
    http://telejano.berlios.de/option/usamap-war.jpg
    http://telejano.berlios.de/option/vfactory_005.jpg

    – A game about nukes and cars in the desert (I forget what gameplay was about). I managed to release some tech demos, but then got busy at work. Work is the new girlfriend.
    http://zerror.com/mods/nuke1.gif

    Almost all these stuff is unfinished because I lack the skills and time, so was so horrible and slow to create, that I got bored, or busy on something else.
    I have a list of finished stuff, but that is probably off-topic :D

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    For me it’s Burnout, Men of War & Titan Quest.

    I don’t mind saving them for a rainy day though, i got the lot for less than a tenner.

  27. sebmojo says:

    I’ve never finished a game of Civ IV.

    Also, Bioshock FO3 and the Witcher are all sitting at about 80% complete.

  28. Evil otto says:

    A whole pile I’m afraid. Let’s see…
    -Prince of Persia(haven’t started yet, got it for St. Nicholas, but I heared it’s pretty bad)
    -Dead Space(awesome, but I’m so easily scared)
    -Borderlands(I have no friends who own the game, so It’s kinda boring)
    -CoH(somehow I completely suck at this game, think I’m just playing it the wrong way)
    -Machinarium
    -Osmos
    -World of Goo
    -And Yet it Moves
    -GTA: Vice City
    -Sins of a Solar Empire
    -Arcanum(I detest the combat system)
    -Star Wars: Knights of the Old republic
    -S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl AND Call of Pripyat
    -Winterbottom
    -Deus Ex(I’m genuinely enjoying it, so that’ll be all right)

    Dear Lord, seems I have to get busy this holiday.

  29. Andy says:

    You can add me to the ‘still to complete SC2 single-player’ list.
    On top of that I’ve got:

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent
    The Claptrap DLC for Borderlands
    Deathspank (which I’ll probably never get around to)
    DAO: Awakening (I made it through the vanilla game but have only played 5 minutes of the expansion)
    Just Cause 2
    LC: Guardian of Light (and I think I’ll try to finish Tomb Raider Underworld too)
    Supreme Commander 2

    and all that’s in-between power levelling my new WoW toons and my Civ5 addiction…. :s

  30. Miked says:

    I’ve only played Mass Effect 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 this year as that’s all I have time for. Would like to get that Batman game sometime. Poor soggy Batman.

  31. Curious_Orange says:

    I’m a serial game unfinisher, I clearly have the attention span of a 10 year old with ADHD, I have many games across many platforms I really need to get round to finishing, some of which I’ve been feeling guilty about for literally years –

    GTAIV’s expansion thingys
    Bioshock 2 Minerva’s Den
    Dawn Of War 2
    Crysis (my PC hates it and crashes invariably after about 45 mins, so can you blame me?)
    Fable II
    Mass Effect 2
    Mario Galaxy 2
    Company Of Heroes
    Dead Space

    There’s probably more than that, but just looking at that list makes me feel horrible – I’m a bad gamer!

  32. Lukasz says:

    I managed to complete 14 games this year. Excluding Sim City 4 which is really impossible to complete without dedicating years to it (like SC3000 dude)
    I still have to finish
    DA:O
    Superfrog (2nd stage of circus atm)
    Penumbra
    Rome total War
    Ben There Dan That (well played only 20min)

    that games i started…
    i have 60 untouched games still on steam/gog/retail
    stupid sales (will add 3 more to gog in a week and i promised myself to not buy more than 2 games from steam during its sale)

  33. BooleanBob says:

    Pathologic; just after the bit where the army first rides in and it starts to get really interesting.

    It’s a travesty because it’s totes one of my favourite games of all time. I keep telling myself I’m just waiting for the new localisation of the game, but every time I remember it the possibility of going back seems that little bit more remote.

    I’m dying inside :'(

    And as someone mentioned above, Arcanum. Another one of my favourite games, but the steadfast desire to roleplay a beautiful but indolent gunsmith (high tech and charisma but fuck all combat ability) meant that I ran out of remotely doable quests after a dozen or so hours. The combat was indeed a hateful thing.

  34. Butler` says:

    You don’t know how happy this thread makes me. It’s like some kind of self help group.

    I can’t count the games I haven’t completed, but probably should have.

    And Jim, I’m happy to report I’ll be right there with you, SC2 my chosen game to finish this Christmas break. I’ve brought a fancy soundcard and a Sennheiser PC350 headset to celebrate the occasion (with the sound in SC2 being sublime, I’m really looking forward to this).

    After that, my console-ish list contains AC2, Fable 2+3, Mass Effect 2 (CRIMINAL as I’m quite far in), Uncharted 2, blah blah blah depressing depressing depressing.

  35. Ed Burst says:

    I finally finished GTA 4 this week. I’ve had it for about a year but got stuck on the final mission; game crashing, the ‘climb into the helicopter bug’ and when I finally climb in to the helicopter successfully I’m expected to suddenly take over the controls and chase someone and I can’t remember how to fly.
    Maybe I should finish Dragon Age next.

  36. NieA7 says:

    Quite a few of the games I play can’t really be finished anyway (Guild Wars, Gratuitous Space Battles, Dawn of War, Minecraft), while for several others I’ve finished the main part but still occasionally plug away at extra stuff (Recettear, Shatter, Burnout Paradise). I’ve also got stacks of games bought in sales that I’ve never even started (I feel especially guilty about Mirror’s Edge for some reason), but there’s the list of shame too. Off the top of my head, started this year but now seemingly abandoned:
    Crimson Skies (lost interest)
    AvP Classic (got lost in a level and couldn’t be bothered to find my way out)
    Serious Sam HD (lost interest)
    Thief: Deadly Shadows (got freaked out by consequences of inaction, haven’t had the courage to go back yet)
    Bioshock (played the demo several times, bought the game, couldn’t be bothered to go through the demo bit again)
    Psychonauts (everything about it is great except the actual gameplay, I just haven’t got the stamina to get through the Meat Circus)
    Freespace 2 (I HATE slow bombers, can’t deal with the missions I have to fly one)
    Octodad (much more fun to watch than play)
    Planescape Torment (started briefly, looked great, got put off by the time commitment so I’ve saved it for later)
    Sacrifice (just stopped playing, not sure why – the campaign was quite fun really)

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      The bomber missions in Freespace 2 frustrated me in the same way but I was a much younger man when I played it & persisted until I got past them (not sure if I would these days especially since I’d need to buy a joystick to play it). There aren’t many from what I recall & you get back to flying even better fighters so it’s well worth perservering (plus the story in the Freespace games is pretty good).

      Serious Sam is too much fun not to finish. I’ve finished the First & Second encounters in the old versions ages ago & I bought the HD pack when it was on Steam sale recently just so I could do it again when the fancy takes me.

  37. LukeE says:

    Games I’ve never finished…

    Dogs of War – the one with Craig Charles’ voiceover. It was bloody hard.
    The Witcher – I got distracted by something else.
    Oblivion – It was a bit shit. Probably the least amount of time I’ve ever invested in an Elder Scrolls game.
    Bioshock – I just didn’t think it was that good.
    FFVII – I got through to the final boss battle when I was far too low a level, and it was practically impossible. I couldn’t be bothered to go lvl up.
    STALKER – I may have been in one of my more active EVE moments.
    Maniac Mansion – although this was because I lost the manual and couldn’t get through the door at the top of the stairs.
    Icewind Dale – I mean… I just rolled up 6 characters and hacked the crap out of random monsters for an hour or so before thinking… ok when is the actual ‘game’ going to start.

  38. sneetch says:

    I finished SC2 single player within 2 weeks and I loved it. Finished Crysis and Dawn of War II too.

    Yet to finish so many games including Mass Effect (the first one, have the second one installed and wasting hard drive space already), Singularity, Metro 2033, Bioshock 2, Dragon Age, King’s Bounty (almost there again after losing my saves during PC migration), The Witcher (want to finish it before the sequel comes out, hopefully I still have my saves) and so very, very many more.

    Haven’t finished AC2 on 360 or Uncharted 2 on PS3 almost there in both just a little push would do either, I think I’m reluctant to finish them because they’re so good (an excuse that even I recognise as bullshit). Only about 30 stars into Super Mario Galaxy 2 too. Halo Reach is largely unplayed (dunno why I bothered getting it tbh).

  39. AukonDK says:

    Amnesia… I’m just too damn scared of it!

  40. Jake says:

    Also The Witcher here, I notice a lot of people have listed that one. I’m 11 hours in and it’s rapidly losing it’s appeal but the sequel looks good so I want to finish it.

  41. Dare says:

    I think I usually finish my games, but there are exceptions

    Dead Space (decided I just didn’t like this one)
    GTA IV (ditto)
    GTA San Andreas (stuck on the last mission)
    Penumbra: Overture (it actually got boring)
    Planescame: Torment (it keeps turning me off)
    System Shock II (I was exhausted after getting out of The Many, never finished)
    Thief II (the last mission wore me out)
    Far Cry (damn mutant creeps argh)
    Doom III (the game just sucked)

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I haven’t finished Far Cry but it’s not on the list of “to be finished” any more due to the same issue.

      My problem is that I tend to play games on hard difficulties which makes most games an actual enjoyable challenge but Far Cry is just stupid. On normal the early bits are a too easy (even on hard they’re not that difficult once you know which weapons to hang on to) but on hard the later sections are insanely difficult & I’m too lazy (and proud) to start over on normal difficulty.

      Actually writing that makes me want to try & finish it again now because it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I don’t think I’ve even re-installed it since I built my latest machine in July 2008 so it should run even smoother now.

  42. Carra says:

    Left Fallout 3 – New Vegas unfinished.

    I should go and finish it.

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    Napalm Sushi says:

    I finished few of the games that I started during what I’ve come to know as the Age Of The Knackered Graphics Card, when constant fear of the regular hangs and graphics card restarts made maintaining a sense of immersion impossible. So with Crysis, Supreme Commander, Fallout 3 and others remaining barely-played, and both Mass Effects still awaiting my attention, I just went and bought Arma 2: Combined Operations and both the addon packs.

    There’ll be no catching up any time soon.

  44. Bioptic says:

    Here’s the typical list of “failure points”, where I’ll get distracted from playing something I’m moderately enjoying but doesn’t have a deathgrip on my mind:

    1) First hour or so. I got the game in a sale, had time for a quick blast through in the evening before having to do other things, and consider it ‘sampled’. I intend to go back to it, but remember that I really want to put more time into another game that I’m much further in before properly embarking on a new one.

    2) First major frustration. So the game has ungenerous checkpoints. Or a large difficulty spike. Anything that makes it less than largely stress-free. I’ll put it down, and when I think of going back to it I’m reminded of stuff I could be doing in my free time that’s just as rewarding and doesn’t feel like I’m pouring my time into a void.

    3) First point of boredom. The repetition kicks in – you enter a new area and feel a little dismayed at having to do it all over again. You have to endure several unskippable cutscenes before a tricky section you have to repeat several times. Retrying the mission involves a long, eventless drive back to the start point. I’m reminded of the many, non-boring games I have available…and go back to step 1.

    4) Mid-point fatigue. You’re far enough in that you’re invested enough in the game to finish it, but are neither being drawn in by the novelty of the setting/characters/mechanics nor propelled by the narrative making your objectives seem obtainable in the ‘endgame’. You bear no ill-will towards the game, but the slightest distraction will ensure that you can totally forget about the game for months at a time, and going back becomes harder and harder.

    4) Sidequest fatigue. You’ve reached the point of no return – the end of the game is perhaps an hour away. Now’s the time to do all the sidequests – collect the glowing orbs, delve into the backstory of your party, try out the poorly-implemented RTS minigame. And most of them are shit, and those that aren’t are long and numerous. You can’t press ahead and just complete the damn thing, because you’re robbing yourself of value, and because you need the full experience the developers intended.

    The games that I tend to finish aren’t the worthiest, or the most novel – they’re the ones that simply don’t reach that critical point of failure for any of the above. Of course, a higher-quality title will avoid many of these pitfalls, but it does mean that I’ve finished Mass Effect 2 whilst failing to make much headway into Dragon Age, despite me thinking the latter is a better game experience.

    • Chris D says:

      Good description. Usually I’ll press on through the first few but mid-point fatigue and side-quest fatigue are the ones that will kill a game for me. Especially side quest fatigue, which is why despite playing and loving every FInal Fantasy game from 6 through 12 I have only finished 9, even though I was on the home stretch of all of them.

      I have a different problem with games in a sale. I will be happily playing one game and then notice that there’s 75% off another this weekend. At which point I will go “Ooh! shiny!” and launch into the new one, fully intending to go back to the old one. Sometimes I do, sometimes not.

      Design wise the biggest killer is bad savepointing. If I have to walk for miles, watch a long cutscene. Whittle down a bosses health over two sections only to die from a tricksy last minute near death super attack then the chances are I’m not going back.

    • Jhoosier says:

      There’s a point in there I hit a lot: The final level. I was on the final bit of Fallout 1&2, Baldur’s Gate, and Half-LIfe 1. I finally completed the Fallouts a year or so after 2 came out, and I only finished Half-Life 2 years ago. There’s some point where I get burned out and not even a compelling story can keep me going.

      As for the checkpoints and all that, I just got Just Cause 2 in the Steam sale and played it for hours last night. Great fun, but the save points are completely whack and I haven’t found a quicksave button.

  45. PlayOm says:

    Most pressing game to complete is Mount and Blade: Warband. Time to finally take the plunge and establish my own glorious kingdom

    I’ve given up on GTA4 because there is such as thing as a game being too big (for its gameplay mechanics at least) but I do intend to do more than toy aimlessly with STALKER

  46. matte_k says:

    The Witcher and Just Cause 2 are top of the list for me, although i’ve just picked up Metro 2033 (damn you, Steam!). There’s a handful of titles i’ve never quite finished, usually because I got stuck on a level and then uninstalled it to make way for something else (Red Alert 3, Cogs, Blade Kitten, Rise of Legends), or just lost interest (GTA 4, Stranglehold). Or games i’ve bought in a sale and not got round to playing because of other things happening. That list is probably the bigger chunk, including Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Viva Pinata, Supreme Commander and Arma 2.
    Hell, maybe one day i’ll even finish Republic: The Revolution-never could get past the second city…

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Same here for Republic but in our collective defence, that game was so mind-numbingly boring I don’t think it truly counts.

  47. Malibu Stacey says:

    I’ve got a whole Steam category named “In Progress” containing games I’ve started but not finished (yet) just to motivate me to finish them. Unfortunately for me I play far too much of games which don’t ‘finish’ per se such as Team Fortress 2 & AI War which doesn’t help at all.
    I have been getting back into Torchlight recently though. I’m at about level 30 in the dungeon now. Seeing as I’m on holiday from tomorrow (16th) until the 10th of January I should have plenty of time to get through the games I’ve started & not finished as yet. Top of the list would be S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl (with Stalker Complete mod) which I’ve attempted twice before without the mod & then lost my saves due to dying HD and/or rebuilt PC. I would like to finish Bioshock (yes the first one), Overlord & Stubbs the Zombie before I start other games but I know I’m weak & will end up playing Recettear or Mass Effect or Metro 2033 or Kings Bounty: The Legend or The Ball or Trine or …………

  48. Schadenfreude says:

    A game has to really rub me up the wrong way for me to abandon it all together; finish 90% of my games. The only game of note that I left uncomplete and would like to get back to over Christmas is Arx Fatalis. Got quite far in once before but managed to Quicksave myself into an unbeatable corner so gave up.

    Never finished Prototype and don’t think I will. Hit the stage were you couldn’t do anything without getting bombarded by helicopters and got boring real quickly.

  49. mbp says:

    Life is too short to waste time finishing games that don’t especially grab you.

    I did a rough count a while back and reckoned that I only finish about a quarter of the games I buy but I have few regrets about the unfinished games because in most cases I just got bored of them long before the finish line.

    I do have a few nagging regrets however – games that I really enjoyed but where I was unable to overcome the final hurdle. Such games haunt me for a long time and sometimes I even go back and try to finish them later:
    In Doom 2 and Unreal I was only able to overcome the final bosses by cheating
    I still have never overcome the final level of Medal of Honour Allied Assault.
    Homeworld: I got stuck on the second last level but came back to finish the game more than five years later.
    Serious Sam: I couldn’t overcome the final boss when the game first came out but I got him last year when I did a full replay.
    Rome Total War: Although I loved the game and played it plenty I didn’t get around to finishing a long campaign for years but last Summer I spent an entire month doing a Scipii campaign and finally took the emperors crown.
    Most recently: Batman Arkham Asylum, I got through the whole game up to the final fight without learning to use the combo system and then realised that the final battle was pretty much impossible without combos.

  50. Feet says:

    I’m another serial game unfinsher, the list of games unfinished and sometimes even unplayed is very long. This is why I generally prefer open ended games like online shooters, BC2 and TF2 and the like. There is no finish per se, only the end of the map which is never longer than 30 minutes away, maximum.

    That said there are a few games I will try to atleast start or continue, if not actually finish over Christmas, them being Amnesia: The Dark Descent, AI War and no doubt I’ll purchase one or two games in the various sales. I’m hopeful for a cheap ME2 that I can then play 6 hours of and then never finish, like I did with the original.