Readers discuss the video games they wish they’d never played, from time wasted on Destiny 2 to battle royale hit PUBG.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Hatton, who asked what game do you feel ended up being a waste of your time? Did you still finish the game and if not how often do you end up giving up on a video game before beating it or spending a substantial amount of time on it?
We had a wide variety of answers, including classics ranging from Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night to The Last Of Us. And yet in many cases not only did people end up finishing them, they even played other games in the same franchise/genre.
The game I most regret playing, at least recently, is Red Dead Redemption II. The painfully slow start nearly had me switch it off and trade it in, but I persevered and started to quite enjoy it. The trouble is that I only QUITE enjoyed it even at the best moments.
The graphics and voice acting were superb, but I wasn’t impressed with the story and the sheer amount of horse riding required between each bit of interesting play. I know a lot of people adored the game, but I found that too much of it was simply dull. At no point did I find I was actually having fun playing it, which has become the most important thing to me in a game.
I ended up playing it through to the end, just to get it done, but I ended up with a feeling of disappointment.
I really wish I hadn’t bothered with is Crackdown 3. Now, I know that’s kind of my own fault and I should’ve just listened to the reviews but I loved the original and had kind of convinced myself that there was no way the third could be as bad as the second and that people were just being overly critical.
The thing is though I wouldn’t even necessarily call the game bad, it is just so outdated it’s almost kind of embarrassing. Not one little effort was made to update it, in terms of gameplay, graphics, or anything. I don’t really understand how it could possibly have taken as long as it did.
And as for the multiplayer… well, I don’t regret my time on that because it last about two goes. What a load of broken rubbish. I doubly wish I hadn’t spent any time on the game because then I wouldn’t have all these regrets.
I would love to get back the time I spent on Fallout 4. Looking back I have no idea why I spent so much time on it, but it’s over 250 hours! I’ve always been a big Fallout fan so I think it was almost a sense of obligation to try and 100%. Although don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it at the beginning and I certainly don’t think it’s a bad game. It’s nowhere near as good as Bethesda’s other ones though and now I’m other side of it I really wish I’d spent that time doing something more productive.
Funny thing is I think the reception to Fallout 76 has made me look back on the game with even more regret, as if it was exposing how I’d been suckered into playing it. Needless to say I never played that game, so I hope that shows I’ve learnt my lesson at least.
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I think the game I most regret playing was Oxenfree. It was on sale on Switch for around a fiver, so I didn’t feel too guilty about it but it was just a game that wasn’t for me. It’s not because I don’t like these style games because I have enjoyed others, but I just found myself not really engaging with the narrative or the characters in Oxenfree. I regret it because I saw it through until the end, as I was waiting for something good to happen and I suppose I was kind of intrigued as to the mystery of the island at the beginning, but by the end I just didn’t really care that much.
I know it’s a short game but it was still a few hours I could have been spending playing something else I enjoyed more. Oxenfree taught me a lesson though, now the most time I will give a game to grab me is two hours. If I’m not engaged with the narrative by then, or if the gameplay isn’t interesting me much, I will move onto the next game. There is the odd exception if I have heard from people that it takes longer to hit its stride, for example Red Dead Redemption II.
I gave Red Dead Redemption II more time after the first couple of hours would still be classed as the tutorial, however, by the end of chapter 3 I still wasn’t enjoying it much so I stopped playing it. This was a hard thing to do for Red Dead because I enjoyed the first game so much and thought I was missing something, but when I read that others were having similar problems to myself with the game I didn’t see the point in continuing with it just because it was a Rockstar game. I don’t regret playing it though because it sure was incredible to look at.
Now playing: Blood & Truth (PSVR) and Axiom Verge (Switch)
In the bin
Maaaaate, I’ve had some stinkers that I’ve regretted over the years!
The first was probably GTA IV. After thoroughly enjoying the third instalment and San Andreas/Vice City, the fourth game was a major disappointment. Nico Belic was about much fun as third degree sunburn! I dunno how they got it so wrong, I gave up after having to take a date to a bowling alley! Seriously? What is this, The Sims? I’ve tried it several times since and I still can’t get over how forgettable the game seems.
But despite this, I was one of the 1.35 billion people who bought GTA V.
The second was Bethesda’s 2009 reboot of Wolfenstein. Whereas the previous Return To Castle Wolfenstein was excellent, the new game started off well… until I found myself drifting through silly fourth dimensional Nazi portals! Wait,- whut… It was completely jarring and ruined the immersion; so much so that I threw the game in the rubbish. In the rubbish! I never throw games in the bin!
This act of spite haunted me for many years until I decided to buy it again (yes, I’m a bit nuts). It now sits on my shelf with a warning label, should I ever decide time has sufficiently rose-tinted my view of this painful disappointment.
Having said that, I was first in line to buy Wolfenstein: The New Order. Go figure!
The third game I’ll mention is Assassin’s Creed. I still struggle to fathom how this game killed Prince Of Persia. The controls are about as clunky as a 1950s gearbox and Altair has more arrogance than a certain American president. The accent doesn’t help either! Who on earth spoke like that in 1160 AD?!
As you can probably guess, I headed out to buy Assassin’s Creed II.
Sometimes you get lemons I s’pose. We can’t let them jade us though, as it’s all part of the gaming fabric!
Sonny (AERO_HDT – PSN ID)
After I read all the positive reviews I bought Dark Souls and spent many hours on the game. I only made very limited progress in the game and couldn’t justify the time needed to complete the game.
I was also becoming increasingly frustrated with constantly dying and not being able to figure out why. At least I can tell myself that I gave it a go but in future I will be sticking to easier games.
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Out of the loop
Technically the game I have wasted the most time on is Destiny. I spent about 1,000 hours playing the original game and its expansions. However, I enjoyed the majority of the time I spent with it, so I am not nominating that. The sequel however…
When I started playing Destiny 2 it seemed like an improved version of Destiny and had an actual story. I happily finished the campaign and moved onto the post-game, this is where things started to sour.
The original Destiny was a bit lacklustre on the post-game but the Nightfall Strike, Weekly Heroic Strike, and Raids were all things I enjoyed and happily completed one to three times every week. On Destiny 2 I hated the changes to the Nightfall Strike, the rewards of the Weekly Heroic Strike made it pointless, and the Raid was merely OK. There was also Trials of Osiris but I hated that in both games.
In Bungie’s defence they also added other means to get the top rewards but some of these were quite grindy and not that fun; realising this was the nail in the coffin. I had done lots of grinding in Destiny and enjoyed all of it, so why was I not enjoying grinding in Destiny 2?
The excellent primary gameplay loop is the reason I played Destiny for 1,000 hours and the sequel still has the same basic structure. There is a difference however and that is Destiny let you use one basic gun and two specialist ones, whereas Destiny 2 has two basic guns and one specialist. This change allowed for better balancing of the multiplayer but for me removed variety from the single-player, which in turn made it less fun.
Essentially, this small change to the primary gameplay loop and the changes to the weekly loop meant I simply did not enjoy Destiny 2 as much as the original, despite improvements elsewhere. It took me about six months of regular play before I properly realised this, which is why Destiny 2 is the game I have wasted the most number of hours playing.
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