I'ma Let You Finish! - hist Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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I'ma Let You Finish!

(With non-apologies to Kanye West)

I was playing Tomb Raider last night (Editor's note: This post was actually started back in March and I just discovered that I never finished it), a wonderful reboot of the series, and something hit me.

Early in the first overall area, when you've reached (I think) your third base camp, you get the ability to fast travel between base camps. I actually went back to my first camp because I figured I missed a bunch of collectible stuff and maybe I should go check it out while it's quiet, and while I still have the chance.

As I was doing this, it suddenly hit me. I don't have to do that. I can probably come back here any time during the game and do this, and then fast travel back to the furthest base camp I've reached.

Games nowadays give you this option. If they have collectibles to find, there usually is some mechanism to allow you to complete stuff after the game is over, or later on in the game. Sleeping Dogs gives you the opportunity to replay missions if you need to get a gold medal on them, or to help out with other things (replaying the wedding over and over again let me complete a number of medals, as well as the funeral letting me destroy a bunch of cars). Assassin's Creed lets you roam the world after you're done, collecting all those feathers, almanac entries, or whatever. Tomb Raider does the same.

Remember the days where if you didn't find everything as you were going through the game, you were out of luck? You had to replay the game if you missed a bit of intelligence or a database entry or whatever. I can't name any specific games, but most of the time I think these collectibles were not needed for an achievement or anything. They were just there for fun.

Most shooters have extra stuff that you can find. Hidden intel or logbooks or whatever. While they are not open worlds like Tomb Raider and the like, so they can't allow you to free roam after finishing the game, most of them now allow you to replay chapters or missions to let you do those searches. You no longer have to replay the entire game and have a walkthrough handy to make sure you catch each one as you play through. 

In the old days? If you missed that one little extra collectible? Tough. You had to play the game again. Or, perhaps, go back to an old save point if that particular game allowed that sort of thing.

Who here actually did that? Replayed a game solely because you thought you missed something?

I love that games are now doing this. Open worlds are especially great for racking up the missed stuff that you just didn't have time for during the game itself. The side missions, the collectibles, the achievement points. Who here completed Batman: Arkham City and then spent a few more hours roaming the city after finishing it just so you can do everything else?

If a game isn't going to let you do that, having a sort of open world (Fallout 3, I'm looking at you before the "Broken Steel" DLC allowed you to continue), it better warn you that there is no turning back after this point. That the game will end once you complete this final mission, even if it had an open world before. That was actually one annoying thing about Tomb Raider. The final mission did say that there was no turning back, but it didn't tell you that *after* the final mission, you can do whatever you want. I avoided the final mission for the longest time while I did a bunch of collectible stuff, and was seriously irked when I finished the final mission and discovered I could still free roam the island.

I can't think of any recent games that have this sort of collectible/achievement mentality that doesn't allow you to at least replay specific parts of the game after you finish, at least major retail releases. Some XBLA games and such may not let you do it.

I love that game companies now will let you actually finish the game without worrying whether you missed something first. It allows people who care about that sort of thing to rest easy and just enjoy the game as it comes.

There's always time for the hunt later.

What about you? Do you enjoy roaming the world after finishing to get all of the extra stuff? Or replaying missions to complete an achievement? Can you name some older games that frustrated you because you did have to replay the entire thing if you wanted to find something?

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