Sessler's Soapbox: Collection in Games

Posted: April 5, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Collection in Games
Adam talks about how collectibles in games can either help you explore or bring you out of the experience depending on how they're implemented.

Comments are Closed

  • rifleshoot

    I generally don't like collecting when there are over 50 things to collect. When there are too many things, collecting becomes a hassle that doesn't justify itself, even with a reward for getting them all.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 3:28 PM

    I'm surprised Homefront wasn't mentioned. The collectibles in that game were atrocious.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 2:22 PM
  • ChrisHero22

    Although Spiderman Shattered Dimensions was far from the perfect game, I thought it did the collectible thing right.

    Both from the hidden spiders and the emblems, to the challenges in every map. It always felt like you were collecting with purpose, it added to your overall experience, and the challenges helped you complete web of destiny to unlock more things. A lot of the challenges were unique as well, and added a layer of depth to the game.

    Batman AA was another fantastic collectible game. The Riddler trophies of course, but the Riddler challenges as well. Some of them were actually tricky, and on top of getting you engaged and looking around in the world they made you consider the subject matter of Batman adding even more depth.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 1:18 PM
  • JMannWannabe

    Sorry, I wasn't listening. I was watching the Lego Star Wars game being played behind Adam. . . . I'm gonna watch it again!

    Posted: April 6, 2011 12:50 PM
  • Tylerr

    I think collection is good if it has some kind of good impact on gameplay, but if your forced to do it, or have to do it because the game is harder without it then it becomes a nuisance.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 11:46 AM
  • suryu

    yea i felt the same way about yakuza 3 the sidequests was the best i just finished it then i herd that yakuza 4 was comming out played the demo and idk if i can take 80 or more side missions cause i am not buying another ps3 if this one goes on the brinks of overheating OTHER problems they tend to have

    Posted: April 6, 2011 9:14 AM
  • Slayinfool

    I find myself collecting a lot more in open world games like GTA, Oblivion, Fallout, etc. I enjoy exploring those worlds so having collectables to search for helps. Bioshock is unique cause of the type of world they created. I was interested in seeing every area. Seeing what was behind this door or that door. A game like Call of Duty I could careless about searching other then earning an achievement. A game like Assassins Creed gets boring exploring cause your basicly seeing the same rooftop or alley way over and over again. So finding all the flags got very mundane. Overall I like searching for collectables. It does offer a sense of completion. But most don't offer anything cool when finding everything. Like a cool weapon, or some other in game item I can use.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 8:39 AM
  • listlurker

    Collecting has to make sense /within/ the story, and add something to the gameplay before it earns my respect. Mass Effect 2, as mentioned, is one game which got it right, I think.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 7:08 AM
  • DarkStrategies

    Good stuff Sir Adam. I have been plagued by the aspect of collectibles and/or completion-ist style gaming from childhood. I'm pretty sure my perfectionist, borderline OCD type tendencies have spilled over a bit into my gaming methods. The last game I really truly played to "play" was Super Mario 3 for the NES. Since then I always have this urge or need to get everything and complete the game 100%. More often than not it does spoil the game experience a little with the stress of having to do that. Recently, I have been getting over that train of thought and not caring as much about the entirety of the game and concentrating on the campaign for what it is. This has opened up a whole new world of enjoying what I like most about the escapism nature of playing a video game. Recently, my fiance and I have gone through Super Mario Brothers Wii, Donkey Country Return, and are now about the complete Kirby's Epic Yarn. The first two were quite fun to go back and collect everything and ace the games, however... Kirby's fabric collecting routine with all the apartment tenants frustrates me. Not that the levels are particularly hard, but WHY are their so many levels of the same thing!? My fiance and I just don't understand the reason for a developer to do that. She and I would just like to move on to a new game and not be bothered with collecting this many pieces of fabric for no particular reason. (Unless of course there is some hidden new world that opens up when we get them all, but I doubt it). I do believe game developers need to understand this more and have some quality control in this area of their games.

    Happy Gaming,

    Dark Strategies

    Posted: April 6, 2011 6:55 AM
  • Dunkelregen

    I think the important thing here is that there needs to be a reason to explore when collecting. We need that carrot to give us that sense of accomplishment. Searching every last corner of the world map on Fallout 3 really does give you something for your time. All sorts of stories pop up when you explore the world to it's fullest.

    At the same time, I have watched my mother play RPGs (like Lands of Lore) where she clicks on every stinking wall, and in old FPS games like Wolfenstein 3D I found myself doing the same thing trying to find hidden caches. It only draws out the inevitable and slows the pace.

    You really need a reason to explore and find all the goodies (early GTA hidden packages for weapons appearing at home) otherwise it just feels like a waste of time (AC1 and it's flags for... um... naught.).

    Posted: April 6, 2011 1:20 AM
  • bretthoof

    I have a love/hate relationship with collecting items. Sometimes I end up spending more time looking for items that may not even be around instead of actually playing the game.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 12:19 AM
  • RPG-fan

    I hope that when Witcher 2 is out, Adam will be the one to review it. It will probably be his first PC game review in a while.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 12:13 AM
  • TD_ThA_MoNsTa

    Great Soapbox. Mass Effect 2 is a great example of what he's talking about with in-game collecting.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 11:25 PM
  • expl0siv0

    This reminds me of a feeling I often get when playing the single player of Red Dead Redemption. I want to do everything in that game, side quests, hunting, flowers you name it, I'll do it because the world is sooo well realized. However any time I do a main quest John Marston will complain about how he just wants to get his family back and not deal with whatever BS he is currently dealing with. This almost creates the inverse effect of what Adam is talking about here where the character doesn't want to do unnecessary things, thus making the player feel a little conflicted. I think when Patrick Klepek was around this was one of his main complaints of Redemption.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 10:08 PM
  • StrongestSaiyan

    Collecting needs to not feel like a tedious chore for me to bother. I never put much time into hidden packages in GTA because I felt there was no reason. I did go for all the bobble heads in Fallout 3 because it substantially improved my character. It's more a matter of quality over quantity. I don't want to search for 100 identical items just randomly scattered that just involves me spending hours and hours doing nothing but moving, I want to search for 10 that take effort and are unique in some way.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 9:12 PM
  • doodle_billy

    collectibles need to make sense to the story for me to want to get them. bioshock , halo odst, halo reach, brutal legend, assassins creed and ect.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 8:50 PM
  • superdookieness

    When I was little I stupidly bought the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Video Game. In the game after you beat the campaign you have time to go back and collect the remaining candy. But after you find all of the candy you can't play the freaking game anymore. What game would have you unable to beat the game after collecting everything I swear that game was conceived in Hell.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 8:50 PM
  • randomlogic

    I usually leave collectibles for a second play-through or if i will have the opportunity to get them later.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 5:47 PM
  • Jizedi

    Thumbs up if you're tired of comments with "Thumbs up if..."

    Thumbs up if you're tired of people not knowing the difference between "to" and "too." It's easy to ignore until it happens TOO many times and I want TO hurt someone.

    Just making a point. If you give this a thumbs up, I hate you.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 4:48 PM
  • TheSuperSofa

    Thumbs up if you were to busy watching Lego Star Wars instead of Adam's face.

    Posted: April 5, 2011 3:50 PM