Replayability in games

Don’t you just love coming back to a good game again and again. Maybe it’s a game you played as a kid and now you are just picking it up again after all this time, the nostalgia you feel, unable to forget how awesome that experience was. Perhaps you just beat it, and you want to start from scratch and try a new path through it.

I sure do.

Playing through games again and again isn’t something new to me. Sure enough, when I was a kid and I got my first game and handheld console, which was Pokemon Ruby for a Gameboy Advance, that was the only game I had. Playing through it again and using different teams each time was basically how I spent a year of my life.

Even today, I have played through some of the games in my Steam library 4 or 5 times at this point.

But what keeps me coming back?

Mostly because it’s super fun and enjoyable. Think about it, what do you do when you are thirsty and you finish a can of Coke? You have another (unless you have none left, then you sit and cry about what could have been). The point is, why stop at one? You enjoyed the first can so much, and the second is no different. Playing a game is similar, you play through it once, love it, and repeat.

Another feature of playing through a game a second time is that you already know what is coming. Hence, you can invest more time into exploring and looking for secrets and completing bonus objectives without having to think about the story too much. This always changed up the gameplay enough to warrant at least another second playthrough for me.

But eventually this gets boring, after a couple of cans of Coke, you get full. So how to developers get around this to ensure you don’t get full of their game?

Variety is the obvious one I can think of. Different ways to play through, such as different classes each offering a unique experience. Difficulty settings, these change up the game by offering a new level of challenge and getting you to think differently about how you play. Randomness of course, the purest of the lot. Why would you stop playing a game when you will basically never have the same two playthroughs? And you have open world games, that afford you so many options that you can pick one of many pathways through the game, again, changing it up.

These features may occur alone, together, or all at the same time. That would be an open-world, randomly generated class-based game with a selection of difficulties. I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I’m sure there is one out there. The point is, they are all there so you can continue to enjoy the game.

But that brings it back to the root of replayability. The game needs to be fun. If you don’t enjoy it, you might not even get through the first can. Let alone a second.

As for remakes of old games, I feel like they provide the opportunity to relive old games with a fresh coat of paint, rather than offer a whole new experience. Otherwise, they offer people who never played the original version a chance to play the game on modern machines, which I adore. In truth, the only time I get remakes is if I have never played the base game that is being remastered, or if my copy of the base game is lost and not found. I do recall the Halo: Combat Evolved remaster had an awesome feature where you could switch between new, remastered graphics and the classic graphics on the fly, a feature I wish more remasters could employ.

But that is just me, I would love to know what you think. What games do you enjoy playing through again and again? And what do you think helps the replayability of games? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you enjoyed this post, give it a like, and maybe read it again, granted it will be the same post, no random generation here. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂