Daily Thought: First Impressions


Each day I write a post concerning what has been on my mind, could be gaming related, could be anything. I just like to vent! –TheGoblin


Wow. Those first ten minutes?

First impressions of a game are important, those first few moments of a game can make or break a players opinion of it, they need to be pulled in and they need to care enough for them to put in a long session of gaming in order to progress in the game. This is more true than ever now in a generation of gaming that is driven by the narrative, lets compare gaming to another medium.

When deciding whether or not you should carry on reading a book it all depends on that first chapter, I mean, what’s the point in carrying on if you don’t actually care what happens to these characters, if they’re not relatable then how can you care about them and why the fuck should you waste your time with this crap? With a narrative-driven game this is what it all depends on. Give players a reason to carry on, connect them with the characters and they will play it to the end to see what happens.

For an example of a game that completely ignores this, look no further than Assassins Creed 3. I’m not the biggest fan of Assassins Creed as it is, I’ve played through the other games during game droughts here and there for the gameplay alone, which is a bit ridiculous considering the scope of the world, and all the different characters, during different periods of time. Not one of these characters I cared about, but the character I cared the least for, was Desmond. The main fucking character. Never have I cared less about a character before, he is so bland with his only defining quality being that he looks remarkably like Adam Sandler, and that makes me smile a little.

Went off on a big of a tangent there but coming back to Assassins Creed 3, and first impressions. The beginning of this game is played through one of Desmond’s ancestors (Something Kenway, I can’t remember) while the rest of the game is played through that character’s son (Connor). Kenway is a massive bellend, why they chose to put such an annoying character during the most crucial part of a game for people new to the series is beyond me. Who actually enjoyed hearing his smarmy remarks, and for that matter, who actually gave half a shit when *SPOILERS* he turned out to be a Templar?

Now, without going into the fact that the rest of the game was a shambles, and ended in a way that should of shocked the world, but really no one with two braincells to rub together actually cared about, even if these later parts were any good, they would be tarnished by them first few minutes. I am not ashamed to say that after playing this game for around three hours, I went to trade it in, and bought a half-decent game.

Wow, I’ve just realised this post has turned into an Assassins Creed rant, it wasn’t meant to be this way, lets circle back to my original sentence.
‘Wow, those first ten minutes’, I bet a lot of people who went out an purchased a game this past Friday can guess what I’m talking about. The beginning of The Last of Us told a story that could of been spread out over a 600 page book, but lasted just ten minutes. The loving relationship between father and daughter, the beginning of the end of the world and how quickly humanity breaks down. From wandering around the house looking for your father, seeing an explosion in the distance and trying to make for a quick escape through the city the tension slowly ramps up until your running for your life through a city crawling with infected, right up to a climax that now stands as one of the most emotional times in any game. All of this in ten minutes. Naughty dog managed to capture my heart and break it in such a small time, the brilliant twats.

The importance of them first ten minutes is that I now care about these characters, and I want to spend my time seeing them through to the end of their story. That is how you start a game, so fuck you Ubisoft. Dickheads.


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