I love and hate the autosave feature at the same time.
I don’t think that I am the only gamer who has a complicated relationship with autosave in video games. There are times when it’s a godsend, and times when it completely ruins your game.
There are some games I wished had the autosave features. Let me recount an experience that most gamers know all to well. Here you are, playing an RPG game and you’ve spent more than 6 hours playing. You’ve probably collected a rare weapon and beat an extremely difficult boss along the way.
For some reason, you’re always too lazy to save your game even if it only takes a minute. You’ll probably do so when you finally decide to stop playing, which we all know isn’t anytime soon. Everything is fine until your game freezes.
Your eyes widen and your heart felt like it stopped beating. You’ve lost everything and maybe you’ll hold out hope that it will unfreeze if you just keep waiting. Nothing happens and your game is gone forever. It either lacked an autosave feature or it was really crappy that the last checkpoint was hours before.
At one point, this seemed like a tempting idea:
I don’t know why, but there’s this intense feeling of loss whenever this happens. I feel like there’s an actual grieving process. I have to take a break from playing the game because the pain was still fresh. It’s like I needed time to grieve before I do everything all over again.
If the autosave worked well though, then it would have made my day. I probably wouldn’t have learnt my lesson and still find myself dependent on the feature if that was the case.
However, there are times that the existence of autosave ruins your entire game especially in choice driven video games. This is particularly evident in Quantic Dream games wherein it heavily relies on autosave to save your progress.
I’m not talking about the times you revert a decision that has dire consequences in the future. That’s cheating since the game was really designed to be suspenseful. However, my qualms are with the times when you accidentally select the wrong dialogue options.
Your game is now defined by something completely unintentional. I once killed a love interest from the Mass Effect games because of this. I also remember playing Heavy Rain and running towards the console to shut it off whenever this happened.
I’ve realized that it’s good to have autosave though, but the feature really needs to be implemented well. I like the concept of having multiple slots for autosaves because it anticipates possible file corruptions and there are different points you can jump to.
Gamers can do this manually and it’s called “save whoring.” It’s a phrase that describes the act of saving in an absurd number of slots as a fail safe to jump into different points of time in the game.
What do you think about autosave?