I had been pondering this question for a while as I looked at what percentage complete some of my games were. The problem with completion is that there are so many different ways to consider a game complete, and you don’t have to complete a game just because you have started it. I am a bit of a perfectionist so you would think that this would mean that I need a game to be 100% complete but don’t be so sure.
Do I finish games to 100% competition? No, I don’t generally. I have comparatively few games which are completed to 100% and most of these are from a period where I had more time to play to begin with. Time being a usual issue for an adult but I work round that. Well then, do I think of games as complete if I have less than 100% marked? Yes, of course. I tend to define completion dependent on the game. Some games I aim for 100%, for instance Lego games. That said even some Lego games I haven’t got 100% on because of a few pesky gold bricks and I don’t mind this. Other games, I am more flexible with my definition of completion.
There is obviously completion by finishing the main story. A simple definition and a good one. Where a game has a great main storyline, I will finish this and count this as complete. This doesn’t necessarily mean I look at the side missions, although I do generally work on most, if not all side missions, but I don’t need to complete these to count a game as complete. For example, the Mass Effect games I class as complete, but did I manage to do every side mission? Nope. Did I get every Riddler trophy and defeat the Riddler in all the Batman Arkham games? Definitely not (I truly admire you if you did! I mean in Arkham Knight there are over 200 Riddler collectibles). But I still say I have completed these games. Part of this is these types of games are so long and some tasks are time limited. So much planning would be required in order to do everything in a game and I like playing different games and as such don’t want to spend every gaming minute I have on the one game to do and see absolutely everything. I also don’t want to follow a walkthrough for my first play through in order to complete absolutely everything.
Yet completion could also mean getting all the achievements/trophies in Xbox/PS games. This would be a good and simple way of noticing if you had completed a game and it generally ties in with 100% completion although there can be achievements/trophies which are outside of the story. Achievements and trophies which are outside of the story includes things like collecting all the characters, use this weapon for (insert specified number) of battles/kills, or something that relies on you playing in a specific way. For me this sort of completion doesn’t often happen, unless it is a single player only as my skills in multiplayer depend a lot on the game in question. I don’t generally play much on the multiplayer side of games partially because of my skill level, partially because of time and partially because playing online with random people is less enjoyable for me, so for me this would be out of my grasp. I play some fully multiplayer games, for example Overwatch, a game which I really enjoy… I just happen to be distinctly average at it (at best, on a good day, with the right team…). I am never going to get all the base (ie not tied to timed events) Overwatch achievements, not unless I suddenly become Overwatch master overnight. Or invent a time machine or get access to a Time Turner and I can spend days playing without it impacting on the rest of my life. I dip in and out of Overwatch but can’t bring myself to prioritise this over other games.
The type of completion I generally do is a happy medium or at least what makes me happy. My happy medium is attempting to complete the story/all the levels as best I can. This doesn’t mean I see everything or know everything inside out. It doesn’t even mean that I do actually finish the story just that I aim for that. Although there are only a few games that just haven’t suited me that I didn’t keep going as it felt like a drag trying to complete the story. It means I play a game whilst I still enjoy it and I can do as much as I want to outside of the main story or I can run through it. I complete games to a level that I am happy with and that is fine by me.
Often completion to 100% (in terms of achievements and trophies) requires replaying the game on a New Game + or a harder difficulty level. I have interest in this, but only to an extent (although I have challenged myself to do this at one point this year). I want to enjoy my games and not feel as though they are a chore or going on for too long. If I don’t like a game, I don’t want to force myself through something I am not getting any enjoyment from. That doesn’t mean I don’t replay games either, sometimes you just feel the need to replay an old (or new) favourite or a “comfort” game if you will.
I am also increasingly pushed for time that when I do get a chance to play games I don’t want it to feel pressured into getting to 100% on a game when I actually want to play something else. I have an interest in playing some games to a harder difficulty but I also don’t want endlessly punished due to my skills at certain game types being less than what is required once the level difficulty increases.
Do you consider completion of games? Do you aim for 100% or when do you think of a game as complete? Let me know in the comments.