Where To Sink the Time?

My birthday is coming up this next weekend. 33 doesn’t feel like it means much outside of being one year older. It’s old enough to feel like an adult, but young enough to still be in touch with society and culture. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love for video games, and that doesn’t look to ever change, considering it’s been about 30 years since I first played one. Sure, I get irritated with the state of things here and there, and sometimes I don’t feel like playing anything but I can’t imagine myself not being a gamer until arthritis or carpal tunnel steal my ability to be one. With that said, I think it’s going to be a long while before I’m not longer interested in the medium, if ever.

I was given the option to pick a game as my birthday gift by my father. It’s been the usual gift over the years, and I do love getting a new shiny when the opportunity presents itself. So, given a price range of $60, there were plenty of options that I had been considering. The biggest titles that I’ve had on my wishlist for a time but haven’t picked up yet and have been contemplating were Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher III, Dragon Age Inquisition: GOTY Edition, and Fallout 4.

Having played Blops3 a bit on my friend’s PS4, I can attest that I really enjoy the game, and it’s a return to greatness for the series. However, despite glowing professional reviews of the PC version of the game, the reviews on Steam are still filled with contempt for shoddy optimization. People with better GPUs than I were having trouble with the game. I have a system that is only a few months old, and assumed I would be able to play the game flawlessly, but that hasn’t been the case for many people. Granted, it has only been out a few short days, and apparently some of the issues have already been fixed, but I’m thinking it might be best to scratch that one off of the list for now. I would just wait and buy it once I have a PS4, but I hear there will be modding and custom map support like the good old days of CoD on PC in the future, so perhaps that will be the time to pick it up. Either way, I can still play this one at my friend’s house, so it’s off the short list.

Grand Theft Auto V was another strong contender, mainly because the PC version is supposed to put the console version to shame and already has mod support. I have played bits of the game in the past and rather enjoyed it, this feeling being a similar return to the glory days similar to that which I described about the new CoD above. However, the game is old if you go by the original release date, despite coming out on PC early this year. Still, I think this one would be best purchased when it’s on sale, and it isn’t currently. So scratch that as well.

The Witcher III looks incredible. Eri had nothing but positive things to say about it for the long while she was playing it, and I would like to get in on that experience. However, it’s not a franchise I have any history with (from what I’ve read, the first game is pretty bad and the sequel was only passable) so it doesn’t have the pull of some of these other titles. I also know that it has a ton of DLC, some of which is free but more is on the way, so it seems to be the type of game I should wait to purchase, preferably when it’s a GOTY package on discount. I’ll get it one day, but I’m not dying to play it.

That brings me to the last two games, both of which I have been really excited to play for a long time.

Dragon Age Inquisition released about a year ago, but since then has seen multiple DLCs, and just last month released the GOTY package that includes everything for the full box price. That’s more of a deal than the $60 would have been a year ago when the game was new. I also know from playing through both DA:O and DA2 + all of their DLCs that the full experience is so much better than just the base game. I’ve read mostly positive reviews about the game, and though most people agree that DA:O was the better of the two, I liked both of them and know that I will enjoy DA:I.

Fallout 4 released this evening. I’ve read horror stories about Bethesda game launches in that they tend to be buggy messes. Most of the reviews from both professional journalists and those from players on Steam are all reporting that the game is running surprisingly well and though there are some bugs still, it’s nothing compared to recent launches from the company. I first learned of Fallout 4 back during E3, and I knew it was a game I was going to want to play, even going back and playing New Vegas through most of the way to get back into what a Bethesda game can offer. This one is also $60 out of the gate and has a $30 season pass which will most likely be worth the purchase even at a later date.

I’m torn between the latter two, because I know they will both provide a deep engaging RPG experience, and many hours of gameplay. I’m a big fan of BioWare and Dragon Age, while I have enjoyed portions of Fallout in the past and would love to jump into that on day one.

So my question to you, dear reader, is what game would you choose, given the option? Reasons can be given in the comments.