Our New Year gaming resolutions for 2024

The first week of January is always one of my favourite times of the year. It’s a time for making plans, setting goals, thinking about all the cool new games I’ll be playing over the next 12 months (while also looking nervously at the pile of games I missed over the last 12 months and placing them very, very gingerly on the teetering and totteringly tall pile of my backlog). And, of course, making some new year’s resolutions. Traditionally, I don’t often set myself too many resolutions – I always give myself a reading goal (35 books is what I’m aiming for this year), for example, but the rest I usually play pretty fast and loose with – more ‘nice to haves’ rather than ‘musts’, I’d say.

This year, though, I do have a few gaming-related resolutions on my list, and in discussing them with the rest of the RPS Treehouse, it turns out we all have some games-themed goals this year. So I thought it would be fun to share them with you all below. And if you’ve also made some gaming resolutions for 2024, tell us about them in the comments. We can hold ourselves accountable together, like that big curtain of eldritch eyeballs up there in the header from good game Norco.

Alice Bee: I want to play more small, bitesize, weird games – basically, to become Alice0. Last year I was on the Big Games beat, so I played and reviewed a bunch of huge games, and then spent the free time I had playing PowerWash Sim because it calms me. So, games that I can play in a few hours – even under an hour? Yes pls.

A set of cards in Slay The Spire
Card games are your friends, Alice Bee, I promise! | Image credit: Mega Crit Games

I’d also like to play more non-violent games that are non-violent in ways beyond the ‘wholesome’ array of growing and making pastel things. I don’t really know what it means, but I suppose I’ll know it when I see it. And finally, I might try to understand deckbuilders. I’m not a great strategy game player because I play for instant wins, i.e. make damage number go up (which is why I am okay at RPGs, because playing DPS is an allowed-for role). Is it a valid tactic in deckbuilders? I don’t know! It doesn’t seem to be in the way I play. I need to Dr. Kawashima this shit to avoid FOMO around the next Slay The Spire.

Ollie: This year, I want to get extremely good at any game that is not a FPS or Soulslike. This is my year for unlocking every squad in Into The Breach, for reaching the end of Baldur’s Gate 3, for beating my brother at Age Of Empires II. At the very least, I shall try to not spend all my free time playing Elden Ring or Hunt: Showdown.

A row of enemies are lined up in Into The Breach
That reminds me, I should also go back to Into The Breach at some point. What a game. | Image credit: Subset Games

Katharine: It may surprise you to learn that I’ve never actually played a GTA game before, so one of my resolutions this year is to complete GTA 5 in the run-up to the inevitable hype around GTA 6. Other games on my homework pile also include Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and finally, finally play Final Fantasy 16. Relatedly, another idea I have kicking around is trying to make a more concerted effort to tackle my backlog, which may or may not result in a new column of some kind depending on how successful I am at, err, building up a backlog of things to write about. Funny how these things come around, isn’t it?

Alice0: I want to play fewer repeatable games. Most of my 2023 playtime went on runs of roguelikelike arena shmup Brotato, then roguelikelike deck-building tower defence game Heretic’s Fork, then Left 4 Dead ’em up Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. They were fun to play over and over and over, but it doesn’t feel adventurous to mostly (not exclusively, mind) play three games across an entire year. I had to force myself to uninstall Brotato for my own good. So let’s get back to trying loads of different games, whether they’re an hour long or 20 hours. Hell, maybe I’ll even finish a huge open world singleplayer game, though I’m adamant that 80 hours of ticking off map markers in a megablockbuster offers a far less interesting and satisfying time than an equivalent 150 runs of one wee roguelikelike game.

A vista of tall plants, a river and large mountains in Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora
Pandora is calling to you, Alice0… | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Ubisoft

Ed: Last year, I sort of bounced between lots of games and only finished a handful. I think that’s because the job demands spending lots of time either reviewing something, or feeling like I need to keep on top of everything. In the end, I spent less time with games as a whole. For 2024, I’d like to reset a bit and – without jeopardising my actual job – give personal picks my full attention without feeling like I need to blaze through them and move onto the next big thing.

If anything, I’d like to bring my gaming habits back to the days of Xbox 360, where I’d mainline something for aeons, and where I’d spend quality time with games on a machine which didn’t have an enormous library of tabs and distractions. If I miss something, I miss something, but hey, at least I might give one or two games a real go. Wish me luck.

Jeremy: This year I would be thrilled if I caught up on all the games that I missed in 2023 when I was moving across the globe (but bought anyway because my Steam list is a never-ending array of eldritch backloggery). This includes everything from the remake of Resident Evil 4 to Dave The Diver, so there’s quite a lot to get through. I’d also like to finally finish Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous, because I’m convinced that I’m incapable of playing it alongside Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader without losing myself to too much Owlcat number crunching. Meanwhile, I’ve got my Steam Deck loaded up with comforting JRPGs and hope to continue playing them at night in bed before sleep, a nice habit that I took up in the final weeks of 2023 and find just as relaxing as curling up with a good book.

A battle with a huge mechanical Chaos monster in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
The allure of the giant CRPG is eternal and unrelenting… | Image credit: Owlcat Games/RockPaperShotgun

Edwin: This will sound both Worthy and overfamiliar, but as much as is possible, I’d like to spend this year writing and thinking about games in a non-industry way. By which I basically mean: resisting the tendency to fixate on the activities of a handful of giant publishers and take their cultural centrality for granted, which goes beyond low-balling triple-A shooters and championing individual small-team projects to developing autonomous lines of coverage that don’t rely on big marketing beats. I’m hardly alone in wanting to do that, and many are already doing it – you might want to check out Marina Kittaka’s 2020 manifesto Divest From The Video Games Industry and Brendan Keogh’s book The Videogame Industry Does Not Exist.

It’s a tricky line to walk for specialist press, of course, because we rely on the volume of interest those mega-productions generate for our livelihoods (and the games in question may be interesting and well-made). I guess my personal victory objective as a writer in this space is to get to a point where something like Starfield rocks up and we can say “eh, we don’t need to write about that”, without any particular animosity. Beyond that, I’m always trying to develop my understanding of how production conditions are reflected in the thing you play. I want to be better at identifying symptoms of overwork, for example, in the make-up of any given open world game. I’d like to better understand the relationship between video games and the military. Oh, and to chuck in something a bit less Worthy: I’m always keen to try out outlandish approaches to RPG combat and dungeons. Stuff like Cataphract OI.

Kiera: This year I want to tackle my deplorable backlog of unfinished games. While my shame knows no limits, I have three big titles in mind. The first is God of War Ragnarök. Sadly, my Kratos has been perpetually stuck in Sindri’s house for the last year midway through the campaign. I like to console myself by considering it as a nice little holiday for him. As per my confession during our most anticipated PC games of 2024 list, I’ve also never completed Dragon Age Inquisition, despite playing the previous two games and adoring them. As such, I really need to buckle down and play it before Dragon Age: Dreadwolf eventually releases. Since I’m already exposing myself, I would like to round off the list with Elden Ring. I played through the entire game, struggled my way past every encounter (including the nightmare that was Malenia) but never defeated the very last boss. At the time I was moving house and during the chaos stopped playing for a couple of weeks. Of course, this was enough time to completely forget all the skills I had painstakingly learnt and become an honorary newbie again. I would love to finish the last boss before the Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC comes out. Wish me luck!

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