Going back and replaying one of your favourite games can be just as good as playing the latest 100-hour AAA release. There’s a certain comfort to sitting down with something that you’ve already beaten and fallen in love with. Even though you already know every plot twist and gameplay intricacy, there’s still loads on offer. Brand-new titles can be expensive, so maybe you have no other choice to go back to a game that you’ve played before. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you won’t have fun. From learning new playstyles to discovering hidden details, here are the reasons why it’s great to go back for that second playthrough and beyond.
It Can Be Comforting
Sitting down and replaying a game after a few years can be like reuniting with an old friend. You know what you’ll get from the relationship, you always have a fun time together, and there are no awkward introductions. Therefore, as you already know how to play, there’s no time spent unnecessarily dying over and over because you misunderstood the mechanics. You can go in as an experienced warrior right off the bat and punish those early enemies. Think of games like Skyrim; everyone will have their own preferred playstyle, and you can optimise your build right from the start with all the knowledge you obtained your first time around.
You’ll also have a good understanding of the story. At times, it can be a bit daunting going into a completely new game. You have to learn all the character names, places, and other details of the lore. While this can help create a rich and detailed world, sometimes you just want to switch off and have some fun, rather than trying to follow the narrative. By knowing the destination, you can focus on enjoying the journey.
Nostalgia is also a huge aspect of the comforting factor, especially if you’re coming back after several years or even console generations. You can tap into the best parts of your childhood as you relive a classic – even if your memories may have exaggerated reality slightly.
Replaying a game can also help you to get excited about upcoming sequels. Preparing for the next big release by replaying its predecessor will make the experience even richer, as you refresh your memory about the story and gameplay.
You Can Discover Something New
There’s actually still a lot of new things to gain from replaying games. Many video games are complex experiences with dozens of hours of content, layered stories and deep combat systems to master. During your first time playing, it can be easy to get lost in all of this, resulting in you missing out on details. That’s why during another playthrough, you’re likely to notice things that went over your head the first time.
This can be in terms of the story itself. This is particularly the case with games like The Last of Us Part II and Red Dead Redemption 2, which have well-written and structured plots of which the significance of a small detail early on is only revealed hours later. With the benefit of hindsight, you can get so much more out of your playtime as you notice clever little references or easter eggs.
Memory can get foggy over time, meaning that even if you think you remember a game quite well, another playthrough may show that you forgot some really cool gameplay elements. For example, with great combat systems like God of War or Devil May Cry, you may have not used certain combos or special moves. Restarting with fresh eyes might help you discover new things, making your second playthrough even more fun.
You Can Do Things Differently
Similarly, you could deliberately do things differently a second time. A lot of games offer various choices in terms of playstyle. When you start replaying, you can choose a different starting class, in something like Demon’s Souls, which can basically make it feel like an entirely new game.
Alternatively, you can install mods on PC to make the game function or look drastically different. This way, you can customise the experience to your liking. There are many passionate modding communities and some are even available on console, for Fallout 4 and Farming Simulator, for example. For your first playthrough, it’s probably best to go in without any mods so you don’t mess anything up and get the experience that the developers intended. However, when replaying the game, you can go as wild as you like and mutate it into something as bizarre or as immersive as you like.
For narrative-based games where you can affect the story, subsequent playthroughs allow you to make significantly different choices. For example, in Telltale’s The Walking Dead series and Detroit: Become Human, a lot of your choices are literally life and death. What’s more, there are many different endings and story beats that can be missed entirely. Maybe your first time through, you can just be yourself and see what happens. On another playthrough, you could decide to be the worst scumbag possible. Alternatively, you could try being silent for all conversations just to see what happens.
Go For 100% Completion
Finally, going for 100 percent completion is great motivation for replaying a game. Getting the Platinum trophy or seeing that beautiful ‘100%’ next to your save is very satisfying – being proof that you’ve mastered everything. This often involves a New Game+ playthrough, going after every collectable, playing on the hardest difficulty and completing specific challenges. Basically, it will help guide you through experiencing all there is to offer.
Completely finishing a game is great if you’re looking for something to do while replaying that doesn’t involve mods or self-imposed challenges. It’s essentially a checklist designed by the developers to create a rewarding experience, pushing you to try things that you may have avoided the first time. It may bring your attention to a mechanic or feature that’s initially easy to miss. Some specific challenges, such as the ‘Brutality 101’ trophy/ achievement in Batman: Arkham Knight, forces you to master the combat and is only possible after a lot of experience.
You may not get the same hype about replaying an old game compared to something new, but you’ll gain a greater appreciation for something you already love. By doing a second playthrough of your favourite title, you’ll get a greater understanding of the story, become a master at the mechanics, and can experience all there is to see and do.
(Video by: JuiceHead)