We gamers, in our never ending quest to find and play the best games available, have learned to accept certain unfortunate things in our games. Bugs, design oddities, and absurdly condescending tutorials are among the bigger sins, but there is something even MORE evil than all of that. I’m referring, of course, to shitty gameplay mechanics. The parts of games intentionally produced that just don’t feel quite right in any way, or just belong in the development dumpster. This list would be quite different for a lot of people, but these are six such gaming sins that piss us off the most.
Modern Underwater Stages
When we were still gaming in 2 dimensions, it was pretty easy to throw together a decent, understandable underwater level. Hammer the jump button, float down carefully, somehow throw a fireball. Easily digestible, harmless fun. Now that we’ve been in the 3rd dimension for a couple decades now, these levels have become unpalatable in every way. The controls quickly devolve into an infuriating mess of unintuitive analog wiggling, button holding horseshit, and hoping to God you’ve found the right rhythm to not drown to death. It SUCKS. I’d honestly rather the game designers just equip me with some concrete slippers and toss me into the water instead.
Look, unless you’re Minecraft, with its titular mining and crafting, or one of its immediate peers like Terraria, you should really ease up on the crafting mechanics. We get it now, we really do. With one piece of stone, a little twine, and a log, you can build a ten acre mansion. Yes, it WAS fun, but I’m sick to death of roaming around and collecting seemingly useless pieces of whatever in order to build a shitty little hut in the shadow of mobs of idiotically designed enemies. Of course, it could get a lot worse and the previously mentioned Minecraft is brilliant, but I’m going to lose my mind if I see crafting on another game’s highlight list. PLEASE craft yourselves a new game mechanic.
Quick Time Events
Whoever thought it’d be a great idea to press X to do something disproportionately cool should be taken out back and beaten. It was annoying when it first started popping up in games like God of War (and that had a GOOD implementation of them) and downright insulting by the time Resident Evil 6 launched. Now, decades after their introduction, they just come off as hopelessly lazy. Take a look at the disastrous launch of The Order 1886 for any proof you might need, where that game proved to be low on highlights when the best thing said about it is that there are some seriously realistic dicks in it. These are only excusable in cinematic games and, ever then, only barely. Next time I see them plaguing a game, I’m smashing whatever console I’m playing and quitting modern gaming.
You’re running through the level, finally finding the right stride, murdering every fool that dares cross your path with a cocky exuberance that can only be described as Kanye West. It feels good. It feels gamey and right. Then, out of nowhere, some stupid asshole named Chad with a room temperature IQ flags you down and needs you to take him 2 feet down the road to do some insultingly useless thing. Out of your good gamer heart (and lust for sweet, sweet XP) you agree to help this waste of digital skin. Sure, we’ll go get your doodad so you can make a thingading Chad, whatever. Ten minutes later, Chad is still running into that cardboard box that’s apparently full of mercury and totally unaware of the football fields of space on either side of it, and you’ve just been killed trying to coax him out of his exercise to make actual progress by an enemy who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to defeat a splintered twig. Fuck you, Chad.
There is no kind way to express my intense disdain for stealth missions. Not stealth games, mind you; just those missions tossed into decidedly non-stealth games. Dodge the obviously stupid guard, avoid the enormous spotlights apparently manned by absolutely nobody, throw a rock at the ground in front of your ADD-suffering foes. It all ends up feeling like playing a particularly cruel game of Red Light Green Light with Helen Keller. Nothing grinds my experience to a halt quite like these poorly implemented missions, especially when I become so incredibly bored by their existence that I completely forget how to do anything other than stare blankly into space, wishing to have my own neck snapped to avoid these kinds of terrible missions in the future.
Open World Games
This one is kind of a cheat since open world games are less a specific mechanic and more of a genre, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to bitch about them behind their backs. I can’t think of anything less fun in a game than being dropped into the middle of a vast, mostly empty landscape with not a sense of purpose to be found. Sure, I COULD wander aimlessly and listen to all of the bad English accents my ears would allow me to, fight the occasional dire whatever, and loot the seven million crates that somehow little every room until I’m a walking Home Hardware, but I won’t. I refuse to. I’d much rather put in another game, pretty much any other game, and have the kind of experience that doesn’t demand several years of my life to derive any joy from.
What about all of you? What parts of games do you think need to go away forever? Sound off in the comments below with your opinions and friendly objections to our own grips.