This is just a brief musing on that exact moment when you know you’ll finish a game.

In Dragon Age: Origins when first talking to Alistair. His comment about mages and me being a mage and thinking “I have to know where this goes.”

In Mass Effect, in the sickbay after waking up from a Prothean Beacon download and Kaidan smiles, just a little bit and I thought “I’m going to fall in love with this guy.”

That moment when Vasco looks out over the ocean in GreedFall, hands gripping the railing of the ship. “If he’s a companion, I’m seriously in.”

Choosing between Kassandra and Alexios in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and seeing Kassandra’s magnificent shoulders for the first time. Oh and Lykaos. The doctor she’s in love with until Brasidas kicks down a door to a burning warehouse and makes me fall in love with him. Okay so there’s a theme here. But honestly, the introduction to Brasidas is a masterpiece.

Struggling, struggling and struggling with Assassin’s Creed Origins until that first, wide, toothy smile of Bayek’s and I knew he was different. That smile changed everything.

In the Order 1889 when the banter between Isolde and Galahad revealed a flirty but reserved relationship. I had to know. What happened next?

In Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy being snarky towards the sun priests, mouthing off and generally being so defiant, I had to know how it ended.

Conversely, starting God of War 4 and being treated to endless toxic masculinity and a shouty kid. Yuk. Turn it off.

GTA V where I suffered intros up until Trevor’s fucking a woman from behind, and I couldn’t stand stand the misogyny and racism any longer.

Red Dead Redemption where Bonnie tries to talk to James. I’m curious and James kills the conversation flat. Not to mention the endless horse but and awful controls of Red Dead Redemption 2.

It doesn’t take much to hook me. A smile, a quirked eyebrow, a cynical sailor. But then again, losing me is equally simple. Toxicity, sexism, racism and indifference.