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.
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
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!
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…
Assassin’s Creed: Unity
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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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!