By – TPG Staff

New Game Plus 2

New Game Plus is, at the very least, an interesting feature designed to keep players grinding after their favorite games have come to a conclusion.  Some gamers love being able to keep their equipment and go in for another run.  Others see it as a boring diversion with little value.  The question posed to the staff of TPG – what do you think of New Game Plus?  We give our answers and then ask for yours.

Steven Smith

If a developer wants an easy way to pad their games, this is the method I prefer. I don’t care for half-hearted multiplayer modes or unlocking new characters who have slightly different gameplay mechanics.  New Game + is almost like a nice reward for completing the game. Especially in one with RPG elements such as skill trees and upgrades, it is fun to replay without having to stress your perfect build all over again.  There has also been a growing trend of games that offer a super difficult “nightmare” mode as an additional challenge.  I don’t find these game modes quite as satisfying.  If the game is already very difficult or long to begin with then a harder game mode kind of detracts from the initial accomplishment of completion.  This might be okay for a mindless shoot’em up or platformer, where the challenging gameplay itself is the main focus.  However, for titles with memorable levels or a half-way decent and interesting story line I think New Game + is the way to go.

Armaan Khan

If you asked me this a year or so ago, I’d have given you a different answer.  Back in those days, I never bothered with New Game Plus. I’m the kind of person who tries to always move forward, and never look back, so whenever I complete a game, I would delete it and find something new. Back then, I saw New Game Plus and its ilk as mere padding, as something to artificially increase play time and provide the illusion of more content that there actually is.  Recently, however, I’ve been losing interest in games. Titles that would, a few years back, have excited me now leave me feeling empty inside.

Everything just seems like it’s the same.  Run around shooting aliens or brown guys.  Or maybe you’re stabbing them with a sword.  Or lopping heads off with an axe. I’ve done those things many, many times before. There’s no need for me to pay 60 bucks or whatever, just to do the same things I could do in any game I already own.  Instead of buying new games these days, I’m returning to the old ones in my collection, and seeing some value in New Game Plus.  I still consider it to be padding, though. NG+ doesn’t add anything new to a game, so you can’t say its presence is a meaningful one.  But it does give old coots like me somewhat of a different experience in a game that we’ve completed already. Not that I need it though; I’m perfectly happy replaying my old games as they are, with or without New Game Plus or anything like it.

Adam Ames

I find New Game Plus to be nothing more than padding.  It would be one thing if enemies became smarter or used better tactics, but most are simply bullet sponges.  With so many games available in the marketplace today, unless you are an absolute fanatic of a particular title or series, New Game Plus does not have very much appeal.

New Game Plus

Thomas Faust

Truth be told, I usually don’t bother with New Game+. Playing through a game’s campaign once is enough for me; there’s a huge backlog of other games waiting to be played, after all. Come to think of it, I couldn’t probably even name five PC games that do have such a gameplay mode off the top of my head.  However, the ones I do remember are quite excellent and definitely worth playing.  There’s Nihilumbra, which we reviewed only recently.  This game tricks the player into thinking that the main campaign he has been playing is all there is, and then presents him with its version of New Game+, called the Void mode. Here, you replay each level once again, but the puzzles are so much more devious.  I still haven’t made it through the whole thing, but I keep trying.

Another New Game+ worth experiencing can be found in tower defense/RPG hybrid Defender’s Quest. NG+ ups the challenge once again, while introducing a lot more content, such as side-quests and a diary that fleshes out the story some more.  Having experienced the additions that NG+ brings to both games, I can definitely say that they wouldn’t feel complete without a way to tackle the whole game once again. Of course, if NG+ is only used as padding to extend your playtime, it’s certainly less exciting.

David Queener

New Game+ sounds great. It can be great even, but it almost leaves me hesitant about the game as a whole.  Typically what we get is a version of the game “jazzed up” (kids still listen to jazz, right?) from what the original was. But what if I thought the original version needed more spice to it?  I can appreciate the variety that such things add, but perhaps try integrating it into the base game over time? Games are already stretched mechanically by the third act, sometimes they are down to just one or two tricks up their sleeve during the second.

Why not introduce some variations on a theme once the player’s ability to execute the game’s required skill set has been proven?  Give me the element resistant enemies now, with the higher occurrence of mini bosses and similar.  When I am done with the game, you can freely stray beyond the scope of the game’s tone.  Take a cue from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with the cheat menu that let you play the game in a grainy film view at 1.2x speed, with the audio being strictly ragtime music, or perhaps with MIRV grenades and enemies turning into tires on death. Give me a juicier game now, and I might not even desire a New Game+, I might just like your game a lot more than I had.

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  • Matt C

    Generally I don’t care for New Game + modes. It’s hard these days to find enough time to even complete a game the first time round, so a game has to be something special for me to see the ending. As such, I can only think of two games I’ve ever played which employ New Game + like mechanics.

    The first is Ico on the Playstation 2. The Japanese version, like the EU one (IIRC), allows the player to play through again once they’ve seen the end the first time round. This ability was originally missing in the US version. The second play-through unlocked a slightly different hidden weapon, had slightly more powerful enemies, and allowed the player to access a “hidden” cut scene at the end of the game.

    It also provided translated subtitles for Yorda which are not translated in the first play through, so the second time round you can understand what she is saying to you. That certainly made playing the game a second time worthwhile.

    The other game is Diablo 3. While a lot of people don’t like it, I love collecting loot and the subsequent runs through the game allow access to better and better loot. But even with that one, I only now revisit it rarely when I am left wondering what to play next.

    Thus I would say, I’d rather developer concentrate on providing a memorable experience for the first time round, than worry too much about how they can make games last longer. There is nothing wrong with having an unforgettable, short experience.

    • AdamAmes

      I completely agree with the last paragraph.

  • JoJo

    I liked NG+ in Arkham City. I thought it was fun to continue with my gadgets.

    • AdamAmes

      It seemed to me, other than a few tweaks, the enemies were just harder for the sake of being harder.

  • Mark

    I only play a few games so New Game Plus is great for me.

  • Skyturnedred

    I barely have time/patience/skill/determination/cake to finish the games I play in the first place. Unless the new game plus adds something really significant, I don’t see the value in it (for me).

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, it does have great value for people who can’t really afford to buy that many games a year, so instead of starting over all the time, you can play with all your stuff at your disposal from the beginning. Still, I think the game should add some significant changes/improvements to game mechanics.

    • Adam Ames

      I had not really thought about the pricing aspect. That is a significant deal with effects a lot of people.