There are so many big open world games today that allow you to make your way through the story at your own pace, and I love it. It’s great that I can choose whether I want to explore every small side mission or strictly stick to the main storyline. And, with each game my preferences change.
For instance, while playing Marvel’s Spider-Man and the Miles Morales spin-off, I explored every corner of those games. I completed every mission, side quest and everything in between. I did the same with Ghost of Tsushima and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
There have also been games where I only complete the main storyline, and others where I start off with some side missions but ultimately stick to the main path. So much goes into my decision on whether to dig through a game or quickly mainline it — the characters, the world, the content within the side quests.
Something I’ve seen a lot of lately, and I’m sure it’s been around for some time, is that message you get when you’re about to begin that final chapter in a game, but there’s still more to explore.
This happened in a few recent games I recently beat (Kena: Bridge of Spirits, The Last of Us: Part II, Death’s Door, Boyfriend Dungeon). This is how it goes down: you go to start a mission and you get a warning message that reads something like:
“Are you sure you’re ready to do this? There’s no turning back after this point! Don’t you want to go check on that one mission or grab some more items, explore a bit more? The game will end after this. Proceed?”
I feel like that always takes me out of the game — even when I’m at that point in a game where I hope it will end soon because I’m ready to move onto something new. I was totally enjoying this game, then I’m all in my head during every battle thinking, Is this the final one? I would rather just continue playing and hit the credits and be surprised that I just beat another game.
I get why they do this. People may get annoyed if they believe they’re starting one more quick mission before bed, only to unknowingly jump into an hour plus long mission trying to beat the game, and staying up way past their bedtime.