In life, we would all like a reset button to be able to load our lives from a previous point when things go a bit awry. Most videogames let us do this, but is it always a good option?
Often the most magical parts of our lives – and indeed games – come out of the blue. Our achievements and successes would not seem so high without the lows. When it comes to videogames, though, we can often avoid the low moments by continuously restarting until we have that perfect playthrough. And as ideal as that is in some situations, the search for an error-free game takes away from the amazing stories we can tell when we’ve lived through a series of mistakes and wrong turns.
Enter “Ironman mode”. A mode that continually saves your progress over the same file so can’t go back, games with Ironman modes make you live through your mistakes. And while it sounds pretty tough, games can actually be all the better for this! Here are five games that would benefit from having an Ironman mode.
1. Football Manager Series
Okay, this may be the third time I have mentioned Football Manager in as many articles, but what can I say? I’m obsessed. In fact, I was playing this game as my beloved Charlton when I thought of this list. I had just lost to Crystal Palace.. I am normally quite laissez-faire when it comes to losing — I like the realism of grinding out a season after promotion and enjoy the thankless task of keeping your team’s head above water.
This attitude went out the window when I lost to Palace, though. I reverted to a backup save. While this felt good in the short-term, the rest of my playthrough felt tainted. I should have waited for the next derby to rectify this grudge match. What I needed was an Ironman mode to stop my horrific desires.
2. Life is Strange
I could have put down any number of choice-based story games, but I’ve gone with Life is Strange as it offers up some of the most difficult choices in the genre. The moral dilemmas in these games are set there to plague our minds. Do I save Doug or Carly in The Walking Dead? And what would happen if I didn’t graffiti on Warren’s door, would he still fancy me? After making these hard choices and seeing the reaction caused by them, our weak-willed nature can make us desperate to tab-out and restart that chapter to see which reaction we prefer.
Ultimately we should be making decisions based on what we think is best at the time and not on the reactions they cause. It will make the pacing of the game go as intended and will add emotional weight to every decision that you make. Replaying the game after – perhaps without Ironman mode – will be far more enjoyable too, as you can thoroughly explore the worlds and branching narratives without worrying about it spoiling the plot.
Essentially, it would be better if Warren fancied us for the choices we make and not the ones he wants us to make. Ironman mode will make that happen.