I’ve wanted to play multiple games for the first time for a myriad of reasons, but the one I seem to keep coming back to is Halo 3. I’ve beaten that game’s campaign dozens of times and have memorized literally every weapon placement, enemy spawn point, and secret route. It’s all a bit routine now. Experiencing those epic battles for the first time, not knowing what was coming next, would be magical. Revisiting the excitement of my first forays into online multiplayer would also be a dream come true.
I wish I could play Breath of the Wild with fresh eyes. That game was such a beautiful and serene experience that I played every single day for hours. I discovered something new each time I booted it up. My time with BOTW was truly magical, but it did get boring during the late game when I had filled up the map. There were few secrets left to discover and I never ended up beating the game. Returning to the game now seems daunting and the only way to truly appreciate such a modern masterpiece is to somehow play it again for the first time.
I would love to be able to play The Witness again for the first time. There are plenty of narrative games that are strongest during their first playthrough (Journey, Red Dead Redemption, The Last of Us), but a good story is worth retelling, even though you know how it ends. With The Witness, the experience relies on the player’s lack of knowledge, and the process of learning is what makes the game so powerful. Without the surprise and discovery of that first playthrough, the game is little more than a bunch of simple puzzles you know the answers to. I could admire the ingenuity of the design, but the magic of that first revelation can never be recaptured.