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Should gamers be allowed to skip through campaigns?

Is it a good idea to be able to skip to the end of the campaign in any game?

When I first saw the announcement that Black Ops 3 was allowing you to jump straight into the final mission if that's what you desired, I didn't really think too much of it. I never cared much for the campaign in any of the Call of Duty games.

But since then, I've been seeing more and more people wanting other games to follow this example, claiming that it's even archaic in some cases that areas of the game have been walled off without you 'earning the right' to play it by completing certain parts of the campaign. 

I even read a post somewhere that mentions this is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM). 

One thing I don't understand about this logic is...why? Why would you even play the last level of the game without knowing anything that happened in the previous levels? You are pretty much skipping ahead to a point in the game where you've got next to no idea why you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, who the people you're with are, or who the f*** it is you're fighting and for what. 

Maybe I'm just one of those people who needs to have a reason to be doing what they're doing in a video game. I like the journey to the end as much as the ending itself. The journey exists to justify the ending and vice versa. If a game that features a story manages to pull that off, that is the mark of a good game.

Skipping past the journey renders the ending meaningless. If you're fine with that, why are you even playing the campaign mode?

Heck, it's the same for a good TV show, movie or book. Let's say you've never watched or read Lord of the Rings. Did you skip to the very end and see the Ring and Gollum sinking into the fire? What would you think was happening if you were watching it without any context? Oh look, some kind of creature and a golden ring perishes in a fire. Eagles everywhere! People are celebrating and there's some dude getting crowned the king and marrying a hot elf-woman. Oh, and there's a bunch of midgets standing around as well.

Whoop-de-do.  

Skipping past the journey renders the ending meaningless. If you're fine with that, why are you even playing the campaign mode? 

There are some arguments trying to justify why allowing you to skip to wherever you please should be normal. The people in favor of this are generally the ones who got stuck on one particularly difficult boss fight somewhere in the middle (or perhaps at the beginning) of the game and never saw the end because of that. Or perhaps they lost a saved file due to data corruption. 

Or they're just plain lazy and want to see the ending without working for it. 

I sympathize with the ones who've lost save files and couldn't bring themselves to redo the earlier parts of a game. I remember having that problem with my PlayStation 2 where I couldn't finish Devil May Cry 3. Today that problem's almost non-existent, though, thanks to certain steps you can take, like online accounts/backing up storage to the cloud. But even then, stuff can go wrong, so I can agree with this case. Something needs to be done here.

As for the others, well...I'm not going to judge you. If you're lazy enough to skip forward, well...you're choosing to not get the full value of the money you spent on the game. You can argue that books and other forms of entertainment don't impose such restrictions, but do you really mean to tell me that you skip to a later chapter or later scene and are satisfied with not knowing what brought you to that point? 

Despite me pointing out reasons why you shouldn't be skipping forward, I'm not completely against being able to do so.

As I stated at the very beginning, if it is within reason, selecting an 'episode' of the game should be fine. Games like Black Ops 3 don't have RPG elements or a form of character progression. Its campaign mode serves to tell us a linear storyline, so if a player wishes to not get the full experience, it doesn't make that much of a difference. 

My main problem is with those asking for this feature on every game. Games like Skyrim? Mass Effect? Witcher? Dragon Age? Fallout? That's just to name a few. Would it be a good design choice if we were able to skip to the final chapter of these games? If you did skip forward, how would you play it out? How much of the game's design would have to be changed just so you can have this feature? 

Think about it. 

Published Oct. 21st 2015
  • shox_reboot
    Columnist
    Completely missed the main point mate. You paid for it? Alright. Does it have the feature you wanted? Good for you. Does paying for it mean you're allowed to demand features you want, things that other people who're paying for it do not? No.

    When it comes to what I'm discussing here, you can't have both worlds and not expect the game's design to change drastically.
  • Dustin Frisch
    Correspondent
    You paid for it, so you should be free to do whatever you like.

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