I’m not even sure I want to do the math on the hours played vs. the days it has been out. So I won’t. But suffice to say, I’ve not been playing anything else since Rise landed in our hot-little PC-player hands. It has risen to the level of ‘all-the-time’ game that few others have. A subject I wrote about two years ago prompted, in part, by my then obsession with Monster Hunter World but also by Belghast putting a stop to the hunt for any kind of ‘Forever’ game.

I described the ‘all-the-time’ game as:

“A game so compelling and interesting to us personally that it consumes all available game-playing time. There is no longer any room for anything else amidst our feverish desire for more.”

Unlike the forever game, there is no expectation that it will be here to stay eternally. There is an acknowledgement that while the relationship between game and gamer may burn bright it is also doomed to be short-lived, at least in the grand scheme of things.

Short-lived these flings may be, but I count myself beyond lucky to find them when they occur.

In that original post, I had three such experiences over the course of 2019. But I never stopped to look back at my 2020 or 2021 ‘all-the-time’ game experiences, so as a bit of a catch-up:

YearGameHours
2019Asheron’s Call111.6
2019Warframe80.6
2019Final Fantasy XIV75.7
2020, 2021World of Warcraft349.4
2020Monster Hunter World: Iceborne64.0
2021Black Desert Online148.9
2022Monster Hunter Rise83.6*
* So far! as of 25th Jan 2022.

There is the odd game I played for more hours than the ones I listed here in the course of a year. For example, in 2020, I played 103.1 hours of Cities: Skylines. But that didn’t quite qualify. Those were hours sustained over multiple months. At no point did I feel the strong, burning compulsion to play that and only that.

Monster Hunter Rise: Magnamalo has the right idea. He can feel the fire.

So far, none of my crazier ideas that often accompany this burst of frenzied playing have come to the fore. I haven’t started formulating any guide posts. I’ve not seriously considered going for an all achievement run. Although… I have broken off from the main target of a hunt if I see something else that I suspect might be either a small- or large- crown. I saw the littlest Diablos I ever did see the other day! Was pretty sure it was going to be a miniature gold crown. It wasn’t though! So I can only imagine just how tiny that lil blighter must actually be.

That aside, I once thought these all-the-time games came around perhaps once every three months.

That didn’t happen in either 2020 or 2021 though. I had one at the start and one at the end of the year and that was it.

This year though?

Hoo boy.

This time there are three strong contenders within the span of little more than a month. Monster Hunter Rise we had on Jan 13th. Lost Ark Feb 8th. Then Elden Ring Feb 25th.

And those are just the three I’ve decided I can’t let go of. Dying Light 2 (Feb 4th) and God of War PC (Jan 15th) could well and truly have become this sort of brief, but bright, all-consuming game. It’s a very first-world problem to complain of, but my word, there are just too many good games launching right now!

Lost Ark: The shared across-class opening Tutorial sequence.

The goal I set for Monster Hunter Rise this month was merely to get through Low Rank. Well… I did that. And I’m now well on my way through the High Rank story. Rise seems to have a bit more of a regimented approach, with every 10 HR levels a new urgent mission, behind which unlocks the next 10 HR levels.

I know there is a HR 100 mission, but I don’t know for sure that it continues to be a 10 level gap I suppose all the way. It’s possible the gaps increase after HR 50. Last night, I beat the urgent mission for HR 40 and made a good bit of progress toward 50. So I guess I’ll see soon enough!

At this current rate, I suspect I have time enough to finish up Monster Hunter Rise’s High Rank story before Lost Ark lands, but it’s going to be close. Very close. Very close. Lost Ark into Elden Ring though, doesn’t have a chance. Perhaps I can get to max level first though!


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

2 Comments

Nimgimli · January 26, 2022 at 4:53 am

If it helps at all, God of War is pretty short. Howlongtobeat has the main story at 20 hours and ‘completionist’ at 50, so you can squeeze it in between a couple of All-The-Time games as a palette cleanser! :)

    Naithin · January 26, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I’d probably be shooting for something closer to the completionist end of things this time. I finished the main story + some extras on console, but I didn’t get through all the Valkyries for example.

    I’m sure there will be a lull later in the year where I can slot it in though. :)

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