Comment of The Week: Is It Good to Use a Walkthrough?

On our discussion of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s boss battles, reader JC had an interesting thought about walkthroughs and how they related to games like DXHR that feature a world worthy of exploring.

I do think the current wiki generation is a detriment to replay value. If you follow a guide and get the “best” route through the game the first time, the need for replays falls off dramatically. It would be better for people to just play the game, instead of run to the internet and post “How do I (this)?” It feels like a whole generation of gamers are coming up without the actual experience of discovering something for themselves.

An example would be that I didn’t even know you could save Paul in Deus Ex until Invisible War came out, and it wasn’t until a couple months ago when I replayed the original to get ready for Human Revolution that I learned you could killphrase Gunther.

I can get on board with this; to me so much of why I love games is for the feeling that I’m experiencing something new and exciting. On the other hand, walkthroughs can be useful and in no way detrimental for some games; how many folks only finished Catherine with the help of a guide?

I, of course, am not condemning walkthroughs, but this is something to think about.

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8 Comments on Comment of The Week: Is It Good to Use a Walkthrough?


On September 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I would have to say that walkthroughs can be a lifesaver in certain situations. The way I typically go about games is to play them myself the first time through with no help and then, for subsequent replays, I like to use a walkthrough to get all the items or hit up anything I might have missed in my first play through. On rare occasions, walkthroughs can be life-savers when I am completely stuck on something and can’t progress through the rest of the story, but I try to avoid walkthroughs even in those situations if I can help it.

Phil Owen

On September 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Yeah, I think that’s generally how I treat them.


On September 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

Up I agree with Apoc as well. That’s how I use them.

Its like having a cheat sheet with answers in front of you studying math or science. You should try to figure it out yourself to get the most out of the experience. But having the answers is always nice for those times you get stuck.

But a game like DEHR, I don`t think you can really get stuck. Its not a puzzle game. I`ll read it after I completed a mission to see what I could have done differently and what I missed.


On September 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

For me it comes down to the old problem of ATPvsGTP (Available Time to Play versus Games To Play).

My rule is if I get stuck in a game during a full playing sesion (normally 1 hour), it’s time to read a walktrough to progress.

Games are to be enjoyed, and if you’re not extracting enjoyment out of one, because you’re stuck in one point, there’s no point in persevering.

Makes me laugh comments about “a whole generation of gamers”… there has ALWAYS been guides and walktroughs availables in the past, albeit not as readily available as on a Google search, you had to buy a magazine for it. But also Internet has been around for, what, 20 years at least, it’s not like a “new thing”.

So, to me, Walkthroughs Yes, When Required. Not systematically.


On September 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Guides can come in handy when you are forced to do something stupid.

Metroid: Other M comes to mind. The game was very short and fairly easy, but every once in a while they make you do a “pixel hunt” which is downright stupid.

Or, the original Zelda for example. Sure, when I was a young lad I had all the time in the world to burn every bush on the screen. Nowadays, I don’t have that kind of patience.

And imagine doing the master quest for that game without a guide. Or Simon’s quest is an even better example of the need for a guide. They just stick you in the world and say “figure it out yourself”


On September 5, 2011 at 5:53 am

In the case of Catherine, I just want to play the game once. Without a walkthrough,I have missed trophies, important interactions to save other dreamers and now I have to play this silly game again to complete these tasks. What a waste of time.
Walkthroughs are definitely welcomed in my view.

Garyn Dakari

On September 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

Well for me, I just play the game the way it is, and if I don’t like it, I either quit, or get mods.(Depends on how long the game is) Only time I’ve used walkthroughs are for really old games like Dark Forces, and the original Monkey Island game. Those were because they were so old it was hard to see what you were supposed to do(Especially in DF).

michael uman

On September 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I’m so glad walkthroughs are even more available then ever.I LOVE video games but am not a hardcore gamer.I’m a 51 year old gamer that’s been playing video games since i was 12.I don’t have the time(or interest) for multiple play throughs.I’m also a spaz so i can use all the help i can’m really more of a gaming tourist.I usually play on easy and I want to complete the game.I have more games in my collection that even on easy became a drag and i quit.I try to use the walk throughs sparingly but on RPG games like deus ex and fallout i like to know what my options are.Even with the hand holding it takes me forever to make my way through these games.I like to scavenge and explore the open worlds so i spend just as much of my time looking around these worlds as playing the game.