Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Games you couldn’t get into

Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Games you couldn’t get into

by ava360
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Readers reveal the games they’ve always tried to enjoy but could never get on with, including classics like Resident Evil 4 and The Last Of Us.

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Ishi and covered every kind of game, from the obscure to the famous. Why was it you didn’t connect with the game and was it because the game was different to what you expected or was there a problem with the difficultly, story or other elements?

In the end most of the games mentioned were famous ones, including multiple nods to all-time classics such as Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and The Witcher 3.

You heard right
For me, I have tried multiple times to enjoy The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, but cannot seem to get into it.

I bought it as soon as I got my Switch because I had heard from multiple friends and video game sites, YouTube, channels, etc. that it was perhaps the greatest game ever.

Well maybe it was too hyped up for me, but I found it… less than enjoyable. While I can see what some people love about it, for me it does not work. I don’t like the minimal story and direction, and the combat with the weapons breaking is annoying to me. The puzzles and the art style were pretty much the only things that I can say I enjoyed about this ‘modern classic’.
PS: Please feel free to roast me for this hot take.

Burn the heretic
The game I’ve tried to like but always failed to fully enjoy is Resident Evil 4. I originally played it back in the GameCube days but gave up halfway through before moving on from that console and now, almost 15 years later, I’m picking away at the PC version – and still the same old feelings pervade.

It’s that control scheme, you see. I just can’t get used to it. The basic movement feels OK, until you want to turn, or reload your weapon, or aim, and it just feels clumsy. I appreciate that the tank controls are part of the appeal for most people, but, for me, it eventually crosses that fine line between inventive and frustrating.

At least now on the PC version aiming with the mouse is comfortable (years of PC gaming have made me hopeless at controller aiming) and I genuinely hope to finish the game at some point. I just wish I could enjoy the ride as much as everyone else does.
ghostman (Steam ID)

Vulgar murderers
This is probably quite odd, but I can’t stand The Last of Us Part 2.

Whilst the game may be compelling, the characters are all morally bankrupt, psychopathic mass murderers, and no one comes away clean, except maybe poor Joel.

It’s typical of Naughty Dog, and many other developers, to create games with likeable characters that just so happen to kill lots of people, Nathan Drake and Lara Croft being prime examples, but the cast of The Last Of Us Part 2 just seem to be so full of hate and rage that the story can’t compensate and, once again, you don’t get to make the moral choices yourself.

I came away from playing it feeling dirty and won’t be playing it again any time soon, but I really wanted to get into the grit of it so I saw it through to the end. It certainly could win awards for graphics but the story is almost like someone read I am Legend and thought it sounded like a great fit with the whole who-are-the-real-monsters tale.

But it just transpired that, due to the nature of the gameplay, everybody is a monster regardless. Maybe that means Naughty Dog actually succeeded in what they were trying to achieve, but I just think it comes across as rather vulgar.

GC: Poor Joel? We can only assume you didn’t play the first game.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Me Grimlock hate Aloy
It’s Horizon Zero Dawn for me. I was really looking forward to it at first (who doesn’t like the idea of robot dinosaurs?!) but I just can’t get into it.

I liked the world and its robots but found the focus was overused on quests. It’s fine to scan enemies but to keep using it as a detective vision for tracking people and looking for clues got boring for me.

I also couldn’t warm to Aloy, who I found very aloof and found most of the conversations she had with people very unengaging.

I’ve given up on it twice, so maybe it’s just not for me but I’ll probably find myself going back to it somewhen for the robot dinosaurs!

Japanese only
There are three games I have tried on multiple occasions to enjoy but have never really got into. These are Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and The Witcher 3. The similarity amongst these is the open world aspect and the pretty much ‘go and do whatever you like whenever you like’ kind of gameplay.

My main issue, I believe, is that I like some direction in a game and the feeling that after two hours I’ve made progress rather than just wandered round and not even scratched the surface of the game. My other gripe was the combat in all of them, it just never clicked for me and really impacted my enjoyment.

This isn’t me saying I don’t like open world games and as a counter to this, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Fenyx Immortals Rising have been two games I’ve sunk over 70 hours into each. Maybe their inclusion of shrines, etc. made it feel as though I was making progress after completing a few. I also enjoyed the lore much more, which made me want to explore and continue on the adventure.

I’m also a huge fan of epic Japanese role-playing games such as Lost Odyssey, Star Ocean, and the Tales series so long games certainly don’t put me off either. I guess, in conclusion, Western role-playing games just aren’t my cup of tea. I haven’t tried Skyrim and think I’ll leave Avowed well alone when it’s released.

Blame the hype
The first game that came to mind for me is Red Dead Redemption 2. I hadn’t played the original but fell for the hype and… was bored within minutes.

That’s not sarcasm, I hated the opening bit in the snow where you have to move around do everything the game tells you, like some remote control puppet. The graphics were great but once I realised the whole game was going to be like that I gave up pretty quickly.

Failed attempts
I think I tried three times to get into The Witcher 3 on PlayStation 4. In some ways it wasn’t the game’s fault, as when other stuff comes along that I really want to play, anything else I’ve got on the go would have to be reeling me in effortlessly if I’m to stick with it. In this case I think it was XCOM 2 and Titanfall 2 that pulled me away.

I did try and return later, because of the critical reception and word of mouth, but I just found too many obstacles. The menus and inventory system seem unnecessarily dry and overly complex. The controls felt amateurish, especially when it came to simply trying to get on my horse, and I think enough has been said about the combat. I just never felt it was pleasurable to just move around in the world, which I feel is textbook stuff.

The killing blow was probably the game almost instantly committing that typical open world sin of dumping a hundred map icons on me just because I wandered into a small village or something. I always regard that as the gaming equivalent of someone recommending a TV show to me and then telling me before I start that there are 12 seasons to get through. And it’s a slow burner for episodes 1-20…

It didn’t help that every quest I played tended to consist of the same content, taking me to a location using my medieval satnav, activating an already-cliched detective mode then culminating in some unremarkable combat. As someone who doesn’t usually care much about story in games, some variable plot outcomes and dialogue options wouldn’t usually constitute enough variety to keep me engaged for more than a few hours.

I think if I can get it for cheap on Switch, I’ll give it another go, as I tend to have a higher tolerance for games I can play on a handheld, where I’m often caught off guard by how many hours I’ve poured into something.

It’s easy to fall into that arrogant trap of assuming you’re the only one that can see the emperor has no clothes, so I like to try and make an effort to at least understand what other people see in some games.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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