You know what they say — you can’t win ’em all. And we’re inclined to agree, especially when it boils down to gamers’ attention spans. The fact is, not every video game will keep a player immersed from beginning to end, and there are countless reasons why their completion rates will never surpass a quarter of their user base. It could be, of course, that the characters are too complex, or that the mechanics are far too demanding. Or, you know, it could just be that the story isn’t all that interesting, to begin with.
It can be a lot to ask, putting a fifty-plus hour campaign in front of a gamer and then expecting them to ride it out. It’s a bold move, and it doesn’t always sit well with some folk. But what surprises us, though, is seeing some of the biggest releases of all time struggle to maintain a somewhat average 50% completion rate. Just take a look at these five cult classics, for example.
5. Grand Theft Auto IV
It’s incredibly hard to believe that Grand Theft Auto IV, a game that basically revolutionized a whole era of gaming, was in receipt of so, so many unwilling followers. The fact is, though, the blockbuster action-adventure game only went on to hold the attention of a rough 20% of its player base. The other 80% of its users, well, it could be that they just weren’t all that bothered about mopping up the campaign missions. Who knows, maybe Roman’s endless requests to go bowling had something to do with it?
Of course, Rockstar is a evidently capable of creating compelling video games, as well as immersive open world playgrounds for players to fool around in. And Liberty City, sure enough, was filled to the brim with things to do, many of which could easily distract players from following the main road. The funny thing is, though, Grand Theft Auto V went on to achieve the highest completion rate several years later. Go figure.
4. Demon’s Souls
Demon’s Souls, being a product of FromSoftware, comes preloaded with all of the nasty difficulty spikes and disadvantages you’d come to expect from a Soulslike title. That said, it’s also supposed to be the easiest of the Soulslike series, with games like Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice stacking much, much higher. Needless to say, its questionably low completion score of just 25% suggests otherwise.
Seeing as FromSoftware’s games have this habit of pushing players to breaking point, it does make sense that only a quarter of Demon’s Souls‘ player base has gone on to beat it. And the same goes for the bulk of its other games, too. Though, the fact that 75% have dropped out of the easiest one does say a lot about the franchise as a whole.
3. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
As much as we’d love to brag about all the times we crushed Crash Bandicoot back in ’96, we just can’t. The reason why, of course, is that the game was brutally difficult, straight up. And just as we thought the N. Sane Trilogy would rectify the issue by easing up on the toughness just a tick, it actually wound up being twice as tedious — hence the low completion rate of just 20%.
Anyone who’s played Crash Bandicoot will know of its stupidly hard difficulty spikes. They begin sometime after the third level of the first game, and only continue to get worse as the sequels roll out into Warped and beyond. Sure, it may look cute and harmless on the surface, but the truth is, Crash Bandicoot is in possession of some of the worst platforming levels ever conceived, and it really is no wonder why so many drop out before completing them.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
We’ll be the first to admit that playing through Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredibly taxing experience. On top of its forty-plus hour campaign, Rockstar’s open world playground also contains an entire country of side quests, activities, and random encounters. And it’s because of the high level of content, suprise surprise, that many have jumped ship partway through.
As it turns out, only a rough 28% of gamers have played Red Dead Redemption 2’s main story long enough to cross the final threshold. That, of course, involves playing through the mission ‘Red Dead Redemption,” as well as the epilogue as John Marston. All in all, that’s about fifty hours of work, give or take. Fifty hours that, quite clearly, 72% of players couldn’t quite hack.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
It may be commonly referred to as one of the most popular video games of all time, but the truth is, it’s also one of the most most backlogged, with only 29% of its players actually making it through to the finale. Perhaps it’s due to the size of the game world, or the fact that players just haven’t found the time to explore its every nook and cranny without interference. Whatever the case may be, we can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, in spite of its enormous player base, is one of the most retired games of all time.
Anyway, let us not forget that Geralt of Rivia is still one of the most recognizable faces in the industry. His lengthy tales, however, remain some of the most unheard of in the book, thereby making The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a lot of talk and very little bite. Still, we can’t spread shade on a masterpiece, even if is does possess one of the worst completion rates in the history of gaming.
So, what’s your take? Have you been able to complete the above five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.