Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

What Keeps You From Starting Games You Already Own?

Illustration for article titled What Keeps You From Starting Games You Already Own?em/em

I want to play Assassin’s Creed Origins, I really do. The other day, Kotaku’s own Luke Plunkett told me that it takes inspiration from The Witcher 3, which is pretty much all you have to say to make me buy something and tear off the wrapping with my teeth. But then the other shoe dropped.


The first four or so hours, Luke said, are something you have to endure rather than wholeheartedly enjoy. They’re akin to the stale parts of older Assassin’s Creed games, rather than something fresh and witchery, he explained. I bought the game, but that tidbit from Luke has been kicking around in my head ever since. Every time I go to click the “play” button on Steam, I hesitate. Then I black out briefly, and when I come to, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is somehow open on my PC. Is it ghosts? A hyper-specific and very dedicated prankster? Who knows! But since I’ve already beaten Original Sin 2, I know it’ll give me more than enough fun to make it worth my time, so I end up sticking with it.

This is hardly the first time I’ve procrastinated over a game I’m not 100 percent sure about. Whether it’s because of a bunch of overly-long cinematics, complex mechanics I’m feeling too tired to learn, or a sloggy tutorial, I worry that the beginning of a game will feel like “work” when I’d rather have immediate fun. So I avoid the game in question for a while. I’m sure I’ll get around to starting Assassin’s Creed Origins eventually—especially since Luke keeps telling me to play it—but I’ve gotta warm up to the idea first.


What causes you to put off starting games? Are you allergic to slow starts, like me, or are you intimidated by steep difficulty curves, open-world maps with too much Stuff on them, levels that everybody says are boring, or the looming specter of a crappy ending? Something else? Tell us in the comments.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



The fact that I have like 50 other games I own that I haven’t started yet hahaha. I like to call it backlog paralysis.

But for a more serious answer, I am a bit of a stickler for trying to get the best experience of that game when I start. That can be as easy as “which version of this game should I get? Should I wait for DLC?” But if it’s a game in a series, sometimes I’ll go off the deep end and do way too much research into the series and see if I should play past games in the series, and then I see that I should, but then the older games in the series are on like the PS2 or something, and then I get wary because I’m not sure if I’ll wanna play a dated PS2 game, and now me wanting to play this cool new PS4 game has changed into me having to play a PS2 game, then a PS3 game, THEN this PS4 game.