5 Games That Outstayed Their Welcome

I remember not so logn ago, that the internet was filled with arguments over value for money in games.  This often came down to how many hours of content was there for your £40 purchase.  There were a number of arguements over this in Call of Duty games due to their campaigns being rather short compared to other FPS games.  I felt that this wasn’t entirely fair as those games tended to have a rather extensive multiplayer mode in each release.  I suppose if you were only playing them for the single player aspect then that might be worth pointing out.  But I digress.

A game cover with a soldier walking towards the camera. How unusual!

As I get older I find myself valuing time more and more, so shorter games often get my attention more readily than ones that I will probably never have the required number of hours to finish.  I’m all for good, interesting content over a substantial campaign (so long as it actually is interesting and not just filler) or through other features in a game. However there are some really rather good games that just didn’t know when to call it a day.  Games that kept on going long after their mechanics and story had become a touch on the stale side.  Here are 5 such adventures that ventured on for a little too long.

Oh, and I’ve only included ones that I’ve actually played obviously.

Metal Gear Solid V

MGSV The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V (2015)

This was one of the first games I wrote a blog post about.  Interesting fact there.  If you read that in the past (or if you just gave that link a little click), you may have found that I really enjoyed the game when it let you get on with sneaking into enemy encampments and advancing the utterly bananas plot.  Solid mechanics and well made cut-scenes certainly helped too!

A vast open world that’s ready to be explored.  And then explored again.

Around half way through the game though, you need to complete missions to advance the plot (shocking in a video game, I know).  You can do this through sub missions or story missions.  Of course most gamers would go for the story missions, only to find that they were the same as earlier missions but with an added stipulation.  This broke the flow for me quite a bit and put me off carrying on with the game.  It got to the point where I just wanted it to be over.  Maybe the pain of carrying on was the real Phantom Pain…

Or not.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014)

This was the death knell of the series for me.  I found Assassin’s Creed III fairly tedious, but I assumed the more focused environment of a city might help.  And to an extent it did!  I liked that everything was fairly close together (although the crowded map made finding things harder than it should have been) and that the movement and combat was still fairly fun if you weren’t hot by bugs.  It wasn’t horrible.

Time to wheel this classic out again.

But I just did not care about the story one bit.  There were various famous histroical figures doing things because the plot demanded they did to make them good/evil, and characters died before I had any reason to care about them.  The reasonably engaging mechanics couldn’t hold my attention for long without a solid purpose driving me forward.  Before long I was rushing through story missions just to get the game over with.  Maybe Assassin’s Creed Origins will be more engaging for me.

Still Life 2

Still Life 2 game
Still Life 2 (2009)

Still Life was an interesting enough murder mystery point and click adventure (which was a sequel to Post Mortem, which has aged horribly).  The story followed an FBI investigator searching for a serial killer in Chicago.  Through flashbacks and investigation, you eventually confront and shoot the killer who manages to escape.  The follow up, Still Life 2, finds our investigator on the trail of another killer.  Due to the lack of resolution in the previous game, it seems reasonable to assume we’ll find out who the previous killer was here.

Still Life 2
The whole thing looks like it would fit into a Saw movie.

Still Life 2 starts well enough, with standard puzzles in a seemingly abandoned house.  But, as is often the case in point and click games, the puzzles become more and more obscure as you basically guess what the developer was thinking.  This, combined with the pace being unbelievably s-l-o-w meant that I didn’t bother getting to the end.  Once I ended up in an entirely new area that I would have to gradually find my way around, I decided that enough was enough.  Even the reasonably interesting plot couldn’t save this one.

Serious Sam 3: BFE

Serious Sam Before First Encounter
Serious Sam 3: BFE (2011)

I loved the Serious Sam games.  I remember staying up for hours upon hours one night playing the first game in the series.  The second one was pretty good too.  Fighting off literal hordes of enemies with powerful weapons was tremendous fun.  This entry in the series carried that on, but in a more modern way with finishing moves, more up to date (and realistic) visuals, and other such features.  And it’s fun for a while.

Serious Sam 3 BFE
You’d be forgiven for thinking this was any crappy Steam game released in the past 2 years from this screenshot.

It doesn’t half drag on though.  There are only so many combinations of enemies you can fight before it starts to get a little stale.  It’s around 10 hours long and could have done with being maybe two-thirds of that length because by that point I’d grown tired of stepping into another arena, fighting off a swarm of enemies before moving 8 steps forward and fighting another horde.

The soundtrack was pretty great at least.

Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation
Alien Isolation (2014)

This game was scary.  The atmosphere was tense.  The robots were scary.  The xenomorph was terrifying.  There was even a good story in there that follows on from Alien too.  There was a crafting system that actually made sense in the game’s context!  Imagine that!  It shapes up for a pretty great 8-10 hour horror experience.

You’ll spend most of your time either using the motion tracker or the flamethrower. For 20 hours.

Then the second 10 hours kick in.  The alien is less scary now as you’ve seen tons of it.  The coridors looks similar no matter where you go (the bits outside the station are still pretty cool at least), you’ve crafted everything worthwhile, and know most of the story.  All that’s left is to slog through half the game to get to the conclusion.  This game is a perfect example of less is more, and for the first half it absolutely nails that.  Encounters are rare and intense, and you don’t even see the xenomorph until a good 3 hours in.  The second half forgets that and has used all the tricks it has.  Disappointing after such a great start.

A couple of games worth mentioning (but don’t quite fit).  Borderlands 2 became a bit of a slog for me towards the end.  This was more because I was trying to do all the side missions so the gameplay had started to become a little stale by that point.  Still a good game mind!  Most of the Warriors games could fit in here for me too (Warriors Orochi 3 is the one sticking in my mind) simply because the story mode goes on for so long in most cases.  But the story is never really why you’re playing those so it gets something of a pass.

How about you?  Any games you loved playing before they got beyond tedious?  Any that you gave up on through sheer boredom?  Tell me about it!



33 thoughts on “5 Games That Outstayed Their Welcome

  1. I love Persona 5, its in my top 5 games from this year. But right now I’m on hour 60, and from looking ahead I can see that I’ve still got 3 dungeons to go. I really enjoy the world and gameplay, but its becoming repetitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Fallout 4 is this for me. Those damn needy settlements keep ruining my adventure, haha. I will sit down and beat this game someday, I hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Metal Gear Solid V is something of a paradox in that it goes on too long and feels incomplete at the same time. Its ending was pretty underwhelming, forcing you to go through the opening stage again for no real reason along with failing to resolve most of the open plot threads. Either way, I agree with its inclusion on this list.

    For me, I’d say a good example is Dragon Quest VII. I really enjoyed it, but its pacing was absolutely glacial, and it forced you to backtrack through certain dungeons for no higher purpose than to pad out the length of the game. At least half of it could have been cut with nothing of value being lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Metal Gear Solid V definitely fits into this category. I got bored within about 10 hours with the game. I suppose I could’ve stuck with it if the story was on par with something like the original Metal Gear Solid, but with all the random bullshit in it, I couldn’t even feign interest. Just another case of a game that got weaker by being made into an open world game.

    Far Cry 4 made this same mistake. There was just too much ancillary crap to deal with, and the general feel of the game felt really off. I ended up finishing it, but I felt the true ending was the easter egg ending, which feels wrong to me honestly.

    Then there’s Fallout 4, which followed the amazing story of Fallout: New Vegas, and dropped the ball so hard that I eventually quit the main story and set the game down for several months, before forcing myself to finish it so I could sell my copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few people have mentioned Fallout 4. There was just so much needless crap in there!

      It’s no surprise that a few people have mentioned open world games too. It’s that whole thing of pointless fluff missions making the main game feel bloated and uninteresting.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In my experience, all of the Tales games have this problem. Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Graces in particular built up to what could have absolutely served as the final boss battle, and then a deus ex machina revives the final boss and all of his most powerful servants so you spend another 10 hours defeating people you have already defeated. I don’t see the purpose in extending playtime by just repeating content, so I haven’t played Tales again in quite some time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh jesus, Tales of the Abyss.. I still have that sitting on my shelf and taunting me. I’ve never spent 20 hours playing a game and still had no idea how to play, or what the heck was going on with the story. Lol, brought back some rough memories! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with you on Phantom Pain and Alien: Isolation, even though I love both games.

    I hated that Phantom Pain made you do repetitive side missions in order to progress the plot. To me, it’s the one blemish on an otherwise perfect game.

    As for Alien: Isolation, I could have done without the part where you fight the androids. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the game and drags on for way too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The thing with Serious Sam is that it seriously (hah!) benefits from playing with friends. We used to LAN party with Second Encounter and it was great. Years later, I bought this huge Serious Sam deal off Steam that had all the damn games in the series and upon playing an HD remake of Second Encounter as well as the one you showed above… they just went on _forever_ and just weren’t the same at all. Part of the formula of that game is the multiplayer, I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My god does MGSV overstay its welcome. I put 40+ hours in to that thing and from what I understand, I still have like another 10-20 to go. I don’t think I’ll ever finish it as it got to be so repetitive after a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The one that comes to mind for me is Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2….the story just dragged and dragged. By the end, I wanted everyone dead, just so I could play something else.

    Fallout 4 is a good shout too. Great game, but the settlement building can really drag your focus away from the story. As you say, why can’t the settlers build the settlements while you save the world? I blame Preston ‘I’m in charge, but you need to do everything’ Garvey….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I snapped and joined The Railroad because of him. I found myself shouting at him “Why don”t YOU save humanity!”

        I like the fact that I destroyed the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel and he is still standing in Sanctuary, asking settlers to tidy up….

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My first pick would be any Pokemon game. Don’t get me wrong Pokemon is one of my most favorite games all time. But after completing the elite four there’s just no real thing to do anymore. Yes you could go for a full pokedex. Just by exploring, leveling, breeding pokemon constantly. But it really takes ages! Still love the Pokemon games haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, post game content really does need to be meaningful. I’m loving Mario Odyssey’s post game (essentially) treasure hunt. There’s no way I’m getting all 999 moons but I’m certainly going to get as many as I can before I get bored.

      Liked by 1 person

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