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Amazing games that leave you cold

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I recently posted in the MGS5 thread about how I'd recently gone back to it and, on my base PS4 in regular HD, the game just blows me away - specifically giving me a feeling of "how did they ever make this?" .  The open world, the characters, the base building, the horses, the dogs, the lady in the swimwear - there's something about Metal Gear 5 that absolutely grabs me when I play it.  Not only is it a great game to play, but I'm almost in awe of it.  Taking a headshot and missing, seeing all hell break lose as the guards react.  It's phenomenal.

 

But sometimes, this works the other way.  I'm playing Gears 5 online with a couple of friends, and they love it.  They describe it as a masterpiece, and you can see while you play that Microsoft must have thrown money and resources at this game from day one of development.  The graphics are stunning.  Sound design is phenomenal, specifically as you walk over ice and hear it cracking beneath your feet.  And if you shoot the ice deliberately it re-freezes in such a satisfying manner. It's a spectacle and a half and my friends love it.  But...  I don't.  I just don't get it.  A bunch of unlikeable, generic characters shoot some people, then move on to shoot some more.  There's an issue that my friends are better at the game than I am, so I do a lot of following them about, but even so... I just don't get it.  Why do they love it so much when to me, it just doesn't fire up any excitement, enthusiasm or joy?

 

One specific point, I don't see why having loads of different weapons is a good thing.  Playing say, Resident Evil, you have a small range of distinct weapons with benefits to each.  There's a magnum that damages the strongest enemies with precision, there's the scatter approach of the shotgun, there's the basic handgun that can become formidable through use of upgrades and the famous rocket launcher of course.  But in Gears, after about 5 sessions of play, I have no idea which weapon to use, why one is better than the other.  I just shoot everything with the first gun until it runs out of ammo, then I switch to another one.  Apart from sniper rifles I don't see any difference between any of the guns so I don't see why they put so many in.

 

We've talked about this in a tongue in cheek way, but for all the gentle ribbing, I think I have a point there.  For example, I still consider Ridge Racer and Burnout as the best racing games ever, but part of their appeal is what you don't get.  Ridge Racer has a handful of cars and one track.  The game is balanced perfectly so that through effort and practice you will get better and better, until eventually you can do that track forwards and backwards with the Devil Car.  If Ridge Racer had 400 cars and 30 tracks, none of it would have the perfect balance of the simpler game.  Burnout 2 remains the pinnacle of the series and the open world Burnout Paradise never reaches the same level of greatness because there's so much of it.  You can become an expert at Burnout 2, but Paradise has so much content that none of it has the magic.

 

For me, I think that, since gaming moved into 60fps HD visuals and digital surround sound, it's harder to tell if a game isn't any good or not.  They all look great.  But I think Gears is the first time I have felt a real disconnect with what I can see, what my friends see, and how it makes me feel.  I'm not saying I'm right here (and your experience may differ) but for me, Gears is a tedious slog through beautiful scenery, where everything is amazing, yet instantly forgettable.  After about 10 hours of play I don't remember any characters names, know any of the story and I wonder...  is it me?  Because last night I went back to Earth Defense Force online and had an amazing time.  Both games are fast, action shooters, Gears is obviously about a million times better looking.... yet... you get the idea.

 

Weirdly, I bought Resident Evil 3, thinking I could rinse it in a week and flog it for much the same as I paid.  My expectations were low because it's a reskin of RE2 and it's very short.  But I kept it because I love it and I have now put more time into it than RE2. There's something about the amount of content it doesn't have that makes it straightforward and accesible.  It's fun, action packed and fast moving.  They probably spent sod all on the development over and above what it cost to make RE2 bcause it's much the same game.  but the temptation to blow 90 minutes of lockdown on another speedrun attempt, to get all the side items and records, unlock everything, I've been loving it and didn;t expect to.  Less is more sometimes. 

 

I also notice that the incredible graphics of Gears of War (and they are incredible) make it hard to see what you are supposed to be doing.  The devs obviously felt this too, because you can press the left bumper to display everything in a way that lets you see where you are going.  It's crazy, but back in the day I never had an issue seeing what was going on in the first Gears game on 360 and also thought the graphics were great.  So is it me?  Yep.  Probably.

 

So what games do you love that everyone else hates, and what incredible, popular titles leave you cold?

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The recent-ish PS4 God of War. I played it quite a bit but stopped after I realised I just wasn’t finding it enjoyable. I can’t even remember much about it now apart from being confused by the menu.

 

The same for every Assassin’s Creed game (except the pirate one).

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I had to face that there’s something about modern GTA that doesn’t quite connect with me (or GTA is the same and it’s me that’s changed). I find myself having to actively try to dampen my enthusiasm for Rockstar stuff, because I’ve got this idea that their games are an exciting time, even though I’ve not really enjoyed one of their games for years. I definitely had fun in V, but playing them and talking about them makes me grumpy. 

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I'd agree with the Rockstar stuff. It all seems very...clinical to me. 

 

I'd add Super Smash Bros. I've never understood the series. I can appreciate what it does, but it just leaves me cold. 

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15 minutes ago, Broker said:

I had to face that there’s something about modern GTA that doesn’t quite connect with me (or GTA is the same and it’s me that’s changed). I find myself having to actively try to dampen my enthusiasm for Rockstar stuff, because I’ve got this idea that their games are an exciting time, even though I’ve not really enjoyed one of their games for years. I definitely had fun in V, but playing them and talking about them makes me grumpy. 

The newer GTAs are definitely less fun.

 

When it was 2D and/or cartoonish in the PS1/PS2 era games, I could enjoy going on killing sprees, mowing down pedestrians. When it became more realistic, it ruined that fun.

 

I found I didn’t really want to cause murder and mayhem when it seemed more real - I just wanted it to be more like Pac-Man or something.

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I've not truly enjoyed a GTA since GTA Vice City if I am honest with myself.

 

I have similar thoughts on assassin's creed which just seemike collectathons to me. Trying to ignore them just makes me feel like I am not playing the game "properly".

 

I also never gelled with Horizon Zero Dawn. Loved the premise and the world building etc. But I quickly got bored with the gameplay.

 

One of those things I guess - I can see why they are good games to some people but they don't excite me at the moment.

 

But - I think I would quite like to play a remade RE2 if it ever came to Switch.

 

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I really enjoyed GTA5 but it was touch and go at first because the opening few missions with Franklin are unbelievably gratuitous with the language. In a game that has pretty much continual dialogue through cutscenes and the driving, theres barely a moment when someone isn't saying motherfucker or the N word.  I'm all for realistic dialogue, or even to go over the top a bit for the exaggerated GTA style  but it's way way too much.

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Think sometimes this is due to fatigue if you are a long time gamer? 

 

Think what happens over time is a simple concept gets overburdened with unnessary extras and features so the game can he sold as something new. Franchises are terrible for this. Gears is a great example. For me the original Gears had a very pure gaming mechanic a cover based shooter. Big guys big guns big monsters. A fun engaging storyline. Tried the latest one and there is just too much faffing around with things - upgradable robot thing and it becoming more involved rather than a run and gun with a story. 

 

It's like this with many games these days IMHO they keep needing to add extra things to a game to make people interested. Or gouge money out of gamers for DLC. Not sure. Sometimes they should stop a franchise when done and create something new and bring the new ideas to that. But people like next iteration of a franchise. See how many 2/3/5 etc we see after game titles.

 

Suppose it's just the way the industry is these days unfortunately and with games been relatively cheap in comparison to say 10-15 years ago dev costs need to be recouped somehow I guess.

 

Personally like the purity of older games. Like gauping at the visuals of new games though to see the visual progress but the mechanics rarely change. Take arcade racers as mentioned or Gears. 

 

It's all not a bad thing it's progress I guess. You either keep moving forward with it or take a break and find something you do enjoy. One thing there has never been so much choice so you will find something you will enjoy for sure.

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Pokemon. I’ve tried twice with Let’s Go and then Sword but it’s just quite joyless to me, though I see the appeal.

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Dark Souls. Not the series - I’ve seen at least one ending for 2 and 3, and if people want to count the whole SoulsbornekiroRing genre then I enjoyed playing through Sekiro and got the platinum for BB. But the first game just didn’t appeal in the same way. I can’t remember what was so offputting but I think there were a few lengthy boss runs and a few moments where I’d receive a new status ailment, not have the item to treat it and simply wait to die. Anyway, I had too many evenings of zero progress which is why I’m always so averse to going back.

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I've been playing God of War on and off since day one. I recently decided to go back and just polish it off. Turns out I'm only about half way through. I really don't know how. I must play it in like ten minute chunks. It's just such a slog. Walk and talk while the fans go apeshit. Do an incongruous fiddly 'puzzle' while the fans go apeshit. I quite like the combat but having spent a lot of time with FROM and Platinum games, it feels pedestrian. It looks incredibly impressive in some areas and looks like it must be fun, but I feel almost nothing when I play it besides boredom. Spider-Man is the same. I enjoy swinging around and will do that for five minutes but the moment the game starts nagging me to engage with its collectible crap or 'emergent' checklists, I turn it off. Just let me be free. 

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Uncharted. I mentioned it the other day in the completed thread after finishing Uncharted 4. The biggest thing I think is that it's so busy making sure you're doing exactly what it wants you to do and constantly making progress that it rarely leaves any room for you to actually enjoy yourself. Well that and the way the game aspects barely evolve over 15 hours - it's incredibly repetitive. 

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If a game leaves me cold I definitely wouldn't call it amazing. There are a lot of popular game series that I simply don't get. Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty. Uhhh. However, what I should like and invariably leaves me unsatisfied are Sony's 3D action adventure games. They just seem to me to be style over substance. Shiny graphics but just not very satisfying, and quite often limited gameplay. Maybe they're aimed at people who like big Hollywood action movies, the type of thing that again I'd rather not waste my time with. God of War was ok - I liked exploring the big lake in my boat. Uncharted essentially involves pressing forward and occasionally pressing a button to cling to a ledge or jump, interspersed with cut scenes, a shootout or a fairly obvious puzzle. I liked swinging around the city in Spider-Man, but all just aren't very good in my opinion.

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12 hours ago, mdn2 said:

I'd agree with the Rockstar stuff. It all seems very...clinical to me. 

 

I'd add Super Smash Bros. I've never understood the series. I can appreciate what it does, but it just leaves me cold. 

Smash is incredible. Easily the best fighting game ever made. Have you played 1v1 against a similarly skilled opponent and stuck with 1 character for a while? That's a good way to learn how the game works and get a sense of why it's so good.

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I'm playing through Quantum Break at the moment, and the idea that you go off exploring to read people's emails really doesn't sit with the ongoing narrative. You have characters expecting you to walk and talk, or some emergent crisis and there you are moving around corners of rooms to find yellow icons. 

 

The game encourages you to do this by making it a means of powering up or to unlock/change events - but there you are whilst Beth or someone is saying quick we need to escape to save the world reading a historical document of how a monument was built or somesuch. 

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Smash. Its not a fighting game and isn't half as fun as it likes to think it is. Hate it.

 

Any of the Zeldas. Always get around half way through and then it gives me some convoluted fetch quest, an annoying dungeon or I simply get fatigued. See Wind Waker stupid ass tri force quest. Fuck off with that.

 

GTA games and most open world games. The amount of icons and do this type things on the map make me want to switch them off.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stanshall said:

I've been playing God of War on and off since day one. I recently decided to go back and just polish it off. Turns out I'm only about half way through. I really don't know how. I must play it in like ten minute chunks. It's just such a slog. Walk and talk while the fans go apeshit. Do an incongruous fiddly 'puzzle' while the fans go apeshit. I quite like the combat but having spent a lot of time with FROM and Platinum games, it feels pedestrian. It looks incredibly impressive in some areas and looks like it must be fun, but I feel almost nothing when I play it besides boredom.

 

Yeah but maaaaate it's all done in one "take" with no camera cuts.   I had to laugh when people banged on about that.  Like who fucking cares!

I'm playing through God of War now and it's....ok.  It's starting to leave me cold. But I paid for it and I'm hoping the story gets a little more interesting or some of the bigger monsters get a bit more interesting in taking them down.

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5 minutes ago, El Spatula said:

Any of the Zeldas. Always get around half way through and then it gives me some convoluted fetch quest, an annoying dungeon or I simply get fatigued. See Wind Waker stupid ass tri force quest. Fuck off with that.

 

The latest Zelda doesn't have that. You can do what you like but I guess then the open world nature would leave you cold.  I hate the bullshit quests too but this one has been good and I'm at the final boss.

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Nope really didnt get on with Breath of the Wild either. Just found it very samey and a bit irritating. Not that interested in scouring a massive map for seeds and identikit shrines.

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52 minutes ago, gossi the dog said:

If a game leaves me cold I definitely wouldn't call it amazing. There are a lot of popular game series that I simply don't get. Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty. Uhhh. However, what I should like and invariably leaves me unsatisfied are Sony's 3D action adventure games. They just seem to me to be style over substance. Shiny graphics but just not very satisfying, and quite often limited gameplay. Maybe they're aimed at people who like big Hollywood action movies, the type of thing that again I'd rather not waste my time with. God of War was ok - I liked exploring the big lake in my boat. Uncharted essentially involves pressing forward and occasionally pressing a button to cling to a ledge or jump, interspersed with cut scenes, a shootout or a fairly obvious puzzle. I liked swinging around the city in Spider-Man, but all just aren't very good in my opinion.

Perhaps it's the case with the biggest ones that are trying to appeal to the broadest audience. I mean, 3rd person action/adventure games are probably my favourite type of game overall, but most of the recent ones have left me cold. God of War, Uncharted 4, the new Tomb Raider. In some cases they're too streamlined for their own good, so they barely require playing. With GoW it was more the way it tried to do everything at once, with pointless systems stacked on top of each other. The only one of the big Sony ones that's worked for me is Horizon, which has some generic open world elements, but at its core there's a game worth playing around with.

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Ditto Smash Bros for me. Think I had the GameCube version years ago and didn’t really get it, but tried again with the latest Switch one. Managed to grind a few hours out of it, mainly playing with my son, but ultimately it’s too busy and mad and hectic and I just find it exhausting and unsatisfying. It mystifies me how popular it is. 

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1 hour ago, El Spatula said:

Smash. Its not a fighting game and isn't half as fun as it likes to think it is. Hate it.

 

 

Is that because it doesn't require you to learn 40 hit combos to win? Smash is the best fighting game because it's not like all the other incredibly slow and boring fighting games and the basic moves and a feel for the spacing and timing are all you need to compete.

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The mystery is why Smash is so incredibly popular across the world, but why the UK, and particularly this forum, just doesn't get it.

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Bloodborne

 

I've tried time and again, I’m a huge souls fan played them all to death but Bloodborne is so unrelentingly grim that it makes me slump into depression, it really brings me down.

i know I’m wrong and it clearly is amazing but I value mental health more than a trophy

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I think I might get on with Smash if the visuals didn’t give me a headache. I can never focus on my character or understand what the hell is going on. It just feels chaotic and impenetrable. 

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1 hour ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Perhaps it's the case with the biggest ones that are trying to appeal to the broadest audience. I mean, 3rd person action/adventure games are probably my favourite type of game overall, but most of the recent ones have left me cold. God of War, Uncharted 4, the new Tomb Raider. In some cases they're too streamlined for their own good, so they barely require playing. With GoW it was more the way it tried to do everything at once, with pointless systems stacked on top of each other. The only one of the big Sony ones that's worked for me is Horizon, which has some generic open world elements, but at its core there's a game worth playing around with.

 

Agree totally - much as I am enjoying Resident Evil 3, there's a bit where Jill climbs up to the top of  building being chased by the Nemesis and it really annoys me every time I play it because there's so much going on, she slips and falls and pulls herself up, Nemesis narrowly misses her with his flamethrower, fire spreads, scenery collapses, and all you are actually doing is holding forwards on the left stick.  Anyone watching would think it's an amazing gaming moment but the player is only one button press away from doing absolutely nothing at all.  I first experienced this feeling in the Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider and I've never got past that feeling that a game should be a game, you should control it, and play it.  In Gears there was a moment the last time we played when I realised we hadn't actually done anything for about 10 minutes, we were just walking through a cutscene, picking up items as we went, but not actually playing anything.  There's a great video on Youtube of Call Of Duty where the player completes the first level without using their weapons because the NPC characters play the game for you and all you need to do is follow them, and at one point you fire one bullet to make a cutscene happen.  You're a character in a long, prescripted animation, and whilst you do have full control it's literally playing without you.

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In tomb raider I had to let go of the stick at one point and Lara just kept going. Turned out it was a cutscene :lol:

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Smash and Animal Crossing. And bloody hell have I tried with Animal Crossing, it just doesn't click for me. I've restarted New Leaf a billion times but just lose interest too quickly. I had it on the GC and seem to remember enjoying it, but not enough to pick up any others until New Leaf. 

 

Plus a whole bunch of stuff like the Uncharteds, God of War, Last of Us (which I finished but wasn't wowed by). GTA is another. Bloodborne as well. But for all of these I can see why people love them and thing they are great, the Souls games especially. It used to be a bit frustrating that I didn't get on with these games, I really wanted to like them. 

 

I'm old enough now just to accept that there is some stuff I don't like that a huge amount of people do and thats fine. I guess I'm looking for something different from my games. Its the same as with books, there are some genres and styles I'll never gel with and thats fine.

 

It makes it really weird following this forum when the 'big' releases are coming out. I love this place, but feel a bit left out when the hype for the latest big thing comes along and I can't get too excited or involved. But then there are enough people who like the more niche releases and then I can get hyped and involved

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2 hours ago, El Spatula said:

Nope really didnt get on with Breath of the Wild either. Just found it very samey and a bit irritating. Not that interested in scouring a massive map for seeds and identikit shrines.

 

Oh yeah forgot about the seeds.  They were optional though.  I see your point about the shrines though.  :)

 

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