From The Armchair: Leaving Things Unfinished

ArmchairWhat ho, chums!

After struggling to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III, I finally decided to permanently shelve the game this week. It’s not often that I’ll leave a game unfinished – I hate abandoning things halfway through, and the same goes for TV series, books and pretty much anything really. So that gives you an indication of just how much Assassin’s Creed III was irritating me: you should have heard the names I was calling Connor the other night when I directed him to air assassinate General Pitcairn, only for him to leap onto the back of Pitcairn’s horse instead. Presumably, when I pressed the button marked “assassinate” he interpreted it as a command to “ride off into the sunset with the target and live happily ever after”. Actually, perhaps they should introduce a button that does specifically that, might make a change from all the murdering.

Still, all this irritation got me thinking of the select club of other games I’ve given the old heave ho while halfway through. There are a few that have been so mind-bendingly difficult that it was all but impossible to get to the end: old school games like Kid Icarus, Castlevania and Mega Man 6 spring to mind. Having said that, I’m proud to say that I finished Battletoads on the NES all those years ago – I guess paying £45 for it in 1990s money was enough incentive to see that bastard-hard game through right to the end.

Possibly the most infuriating moment was leaving Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic unfinished. I’d borrowed it from a friend, but I was just about to head off and live in Japan, so I had to give it back when I was right near the end – just before the infamous twist, as I found out later. I always vowed to buy it myself and go back to finish it off, but I never did.

I almost gave up on Deus Ex: Human Revolution a couple of times because it annoyed me so much, but in the end I saw it through. The same can’t be said of Jade Empire, which I began and enjoyed, but I just couldn’t face the idea of pouring 60 hours of my life into it when there were so many newer games around that I wanted to play more (I bought the game a long time after it was released). The same was true of GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Vice City Stories – once something has been sitting unplayed on your game shelf for long enough, the excitement at playing it dwindles down to nothing, especially as newer and more interesting games begin to emerge. I recently got rid of a slew of old PS2 games that I was partway through, simply because I had no idea when I would find the time to play them. I also remember parting with Half-Life because it just became too frustrating, even though the start of the game was fantastic.

So what games have you left unfinished, and why? And are there any you wish you could go back to?

Toodle-pip for now!

Did you ever finish Half-Life?
Did you ever finish Half-Life?