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Thread: Game features that you hate

  1. #1
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands

    Game features that you hate

    Just wondering what irks the rest of you here as far as gaming features go. I search through Steam a lot looking for the next greatest thing, but usually these two traits rule a game out for me immediately and having me moving on to the next choice.

    1) Procedurally generated levels - Some companies really try to sell this one hard, and I can see some advantages, but overall it's something I try to stay away from. I like levels and missions where some thought was put into the design, and everything is placed and routed for a specific reason or purpose. To me, procedural stuff often just ends up looking all samey and generic. That is what kills it for me with games like Spelunky and Binding of Isaac. Of course, there's exceptions - Don't Starve happens to be one of my favorite games of all time. But that's more for the survival/crafting aspects.

    2) Turn-based - Not sure why, but I have a hard time with these, I just prefer real time. Could never get into Invisible Inc. or Xcom. I know way back in the day, I played some Final Fantasy, SNES era. Maybe it's a control issue, or maybe I'm too impatient. But I think it has more to do with fluidity. I want there to be consequences to not reacting promptly.

    Aiight, how about you guys? The above stuff are major features that are core to gameplay, but it could be something minor too, like hating on enemies because they're blue.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Darmstadt, Germany

    Gazillion (mini-)DLCs that make it 1. hard to make sure you get everything and 2. make the end product freaking expensive.



    Related to the above - lootboxes.

    In-app-purchases, especially, but not only, for paid games.


    More seriously, secrets/hidden items that influence the later game. Like in Jedi Knight or the challenge points in Shadows of the Empire. I feel that hunting for them detracts from the story and is mostly boring, while if I don't get them all I still feel that I've missed something from the game experience.

    Another one is only giving you the most fun/awesome/overpowered weapon or ability at the very end, so you can never get to have enough fun with them. Like only giving you a BFG9000 or its equivalent for the end boss, who is so strong that you can't get a feel for how powerful the BFG9000 itself is. Unlike giving it to you early enough to be able to mow down 25 mooks with one shot, while needing three shotgun blasts for each of them.

  3. #3
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Oh dear, I'm grumpy and hate a lot of things. How much time do you have?

    1) Lowest common denominator design - This is a really popular trend, especially in AAA gaming. Trying to appeal to as many people as possible, but by adding features that are annoying at best, or actually lower the quality of the game at worst.

    Some examples:

    • Maps designed around the existence of quest markers and objective arrows, so that the levels themselves aren't designed to be memorable and navigable on their own merit - designers using navigation aids as a crutch to avoid having to do good level design.
    • Constantly telling the player exactly what to do next without giving them a chance to think.
    • Designing for the power level of the lowest system you want to support. Generally, this means PC games being poor console ports - I think the fact that Microsoft insist that XBox games are not too different from the PC versions helps spread this. The examples are everywhere:
      • Awful control schemes not designed for a keyboard, with a limited number of buttons, often doing double-duty by holding down keys, and not providing options to bind a specific key to common actions (e.g. a key that you otherwise have to hold something else to use, or go through a menu to access.)
      • Bad UIs with oversized text, designed to be usable on a distant TV from a sofa rather than up close on a PC monitor
    • Annoying UI elements, such as keybind reminders, that constantly take up screen space and cannot be turned off.
      (Worse, the keybinding reminders are often needed due to the aforementioned console-focused controls loving to re-use keys for different purposes.)

    2) Unskippable intro videos - there is no excuse to ever do this. EVER. Stop making me poke around in your game files and manually delete them.

    3) Intentionally bad controls - Yes, this one is about Starcraft. Games that make the controls intentionally bad as a form of "skill" gating, forcing players to be good at quickly performing repetitive and no-brainer actions, rather than focusing on the core of the game itself (e.g. strategy.)

    4) RPG bonuses / perks that make no logical sense - for example, taking photographs of enemies allowing you to fit more money into your wallet.

    5) Random points of no return - and this one is about Doom 4. That game liked to randomly cut off access to levels at certain "cutscene" sections, even when it made no logical sense to do so, and even though the game was otherwise open-ended.

    Edit: I forgot one:

    6) Off-centre third-person cameras - I hate these. I wouldn't go so far as to say that they make me feel sick, but they certainly disturb me. I found Dead Space really hard to play because of it.
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 1st Mar 2018 at 19:02.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2004
    Brethren, I take it you're not interested in Into The Breach?

    I'm not sure if I have any feature that will cause me to outright veto a game; in the right context, for the right game, I'll tolerate any of these, but they often still annoy me:

    1) Gratuitous, wildly flailing actions for a single simple button press. You just press a button and your character performs extensive, dramatic movements. I don't like having control taken away in this manner and it often just looks and feels silly and ridiculous to me. But Nier Automata kinda did this, and on the whole I still liked the game.

    2) Competitive multiplayer games that don't give you access to bots to practice or just learn the game in the first place, especially if they don't even let you load the map to learn your way around a bit, even without bots. I don't play this sort of thing much anymore, but it's always been something that annoyed me.

    3) Generally, I still think third-person cameras... need some work. I love Dark Souls, but even in those games the third-person camera can still be annoying or just head-shakingly silly (thank you so much for the underside close-up of a blade of grass when I wanted to look up!). I feel like third-person cameras are still in the pre-mouselook/WASD days of first-person games. Developers just haven't developed an elegant solution for placing and moving the third-person camera in all situations. I've wondered if VR could help. Having said all that, after Dark Souls helped me tolerate third-person cameras, I've gone back and enjoyed several games despite their annoying camera control.

    4) Most boss fights. For example, where the mechanics of the fight have little to nothing to do with the rest of the game. Or fights where you just tediously wittle down the bullet sponge foozle by doing the same thing over and over (and over). Generally, I just don't like boss fights, which is again a little funny because I love Dark Souls.

    5): Lootboxes and microtransactions suck on all kinds of levels. But this too, I'll tolerate, if the game is good and the microtransactions aren't required for proper play. They just won't get extra money from me. But even then it annoys me on some level, knowing I already paid for the game and yet it still has content I can't have without paying even more.
    Last edited by Twist; 1st Mar 2018 at 19:37.

  5. #5
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    1. Stealth levels where if you're seen, it's insta game over. This caused me to quit Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Good & Evil. I like stealth to be optional, like in Deus Ex. The stealth level in JK2: Jedi Outcast was acceptable too: if you're seen, people run to the alarms and when they sound the alarm, it's game over, but you can stop people from reaching the alarm by shooting them on time.

    2. Adventure games where if you fail to pick up something or do something earlier, later on you cannot proceed and have to start over from the beginning. Looking at you, Sierra.

    3. Adventure games where doing random stuff kills you, without there being a way to know beforehand. Like flushing the toilet in Larry 1 or walking across the bridge too many times in King's Quest 2. That last one is particularly bad, because you'll have played for many hours before you find out you can't reach the end of the game.

    4. When in an FPS you walk too far in a certain direction and the path closes behind you, when you still haven't checked out everything in the previous area.

    5. Checkpoints before a boss that aren't actually right before the boss, but require like 20 minutes of gameplay before you can try beating the boss again.

    6. Pixel hunts in adventure games. I'm currently playing Machinarium. I like it, but several times it took me a long while before I found out this or that cluster of pixels is a usable item.

  6. #6
    Open worlds that don't serve a purpose other than padding gametime and/or serving as a menu. I'm looking at you Mirror's Edge Catalyst.

  7. #7
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    1. Bling. I guess anything that would constitute bling like bouncing pop ups and in-world objects obnoxiously shimmering. Lootboxes might fall into this category.

    2. Crimes against mimesis. Problems not puzzles; no author mind-reading. The world & its objects should make some semblance of sense, unless there's some really good reason not too (like it's actually funny). Included in here are also puzzles that require pre-existing knowledge and create unwinnable situations.

    3. The god in the machine. Maybe related to that, this one is kind of hard to explain, but I don't like a game world where you feel like the author is the god of the world lurking in every corner, from the overall plot arc to the simple mechanics of doors and bullets, benevolently tossing gifts to you or little challenges that you can feel make him smirk when you curse him for it. I'd rather a game world that not even the creator has control over, that's authentically its own thing.

  8. #8
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    In no particular order...

    1. The Commute- Either an open world or an overworld that feels at least kind of nice to explore in the beginning of the game, but just turns into something to rush through later in order to get to the real action.

    2. The Turret Section- This isn't a deal breaker for me, but I always roll my eyes when one shows up.

    3. Horror entirely reliant on jumpscares- I like horror when it's tension based, but not if it's just an obnoxious set of monster closets.

    4. The Time Limit- I tend to like to take my time, think things out, and explore. If I'm not allowed to do that I tend to enjoy the experience less.

    5. The Escort Mission- Some games have handled it alright (Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us), but most of them can die in a fire.

    6. Checkpoint Saves- This one is nearly impossible to avoid in games these days, but I still internally shake my fist at games that won't let me manually save.

  9. #9
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    5. Checkpoints before a boss that aren't actually right before the boss, but require like 20 minutes of gameplay before you can try beating the boss again.
    This. Or checkpoints placed before a boss battle that has a long, usually unskippable cutscene first. WHY DO YOU DO THIS, GAMEDEVS

  10. #10
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    1. No manual saving. In the case of a racing game, or a 2D platformer (that's not a Metroidvania) that makes sense. But in RPGs and FPS games it's just lazy programming and poor game design.

    2. Bad tutorials that go on for too long. Weave the teaching of gameplay into simple easy to get bits in a level and leave it there thanks. Half-Life 1 did tutorials very well.

    3. Games that require a walkthrough to get anywhere at all. Where the game gives you no idea at all on where your supposed to go.

    4. Games that have massive maze-like levels that are easy to get completely lost in.

    5. RPG's that force you into playing the game 1 way, and not offering any actual roleplaying or choice. Fallout 4 is a big example of this over the previous entries.

    6. Games in a series which diverge so much from the games before it, that it's not really even the same game series anymore (eg Command and Conquer 4).

    7. Games released in an unfinished state for a particular platform, and which never get fixed by the lazy developers (eg Assassin's Creed Syndicate).

    8. Games that strongly urge a particular way of playing, then throw all of that out the window when it comes to the boss battles (eg Deus Ex: Human Revolution).

    9. Games that corrupt your saved game if your unlucky enough. Costing you days/weeks/months of work. Fallout New Vegas is an example of this.

  11. #11
    Registered: May 2004
    Third person cover-based shooting. It's enough to immediately lower my opinion of a game, with perhaps the only exception of Vanquish.

  12. #12
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Turn-based[/B] - Not sure why, but I have a hard time with these, I just prefer real time. Could never get into Invisible Inc. or Xcom. I know way back in the day, I played some Final Fantasy, SNES era. Maybe it's a control issue, or maybe I'm too impatient. But I think it has more to do with fluidity. I want there to be consequences to not reacting promptly.
    I can see how it would be annoying simply for being so unrealistic for each character to "take turns" during a battle. How do you feel about pause-time (FTL, KOTOR) or simultaneous turn-based (Frozen Synapse, Qvadriga) combat?

  13. #13
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Myself, I can't stand RTWP in RPGs, especially when that form of combat has been crowbarred in to an adapted pen-and-paper ruleset that is traditionally turn-based.

    Things that annoy me?
    Achievements. Especially when achievement systems can't be turned off (I'm looking at you Steam).
    A very few games have done interesting things with achievements, most of them from Capcom. But these days, they break immersion, and can railroad players in to playing in particular ways. Achievements at their worst are hollow gamification used to bypass actual game design, checklists of drudgery.
    I think Nintendo recognised this early on, which is why to this day they don't have an achievement system.

    Reams and reams of dry text exposition leaning heavily on made-up words. Yeah, as well as being RTWP, Pillars of Eternity pulled this shit, and I ended up not giving a fuck.

    While I appreciate some games that need a wiki in order to play them (such as Dwarf Fortress), others have no excuse. In particular, the arcane and cryptic obfuscation of systems in many of the Souls' games. Initially, it was quite a kick immersing myself in systems outside of the game. But now I've got very little patience for the byzantine unreadability of mechanics in games such as Bloodborne. So many items with unexplained dependencies, so many badly-named stats and abilities, with game-changing symbiotic bonds hidden from the user by shambolic user-interface design.

    But I'm a bit of a Souls grump anyway. I rinsed Demon's Souls twice over when it came out, in part because at the time I was without a decent gaming PC. And I've grown increasingly tired of the basic formula which hasn't changed at all over the course of what, five games now? Basically, it was fun the first time around, still pretty cool the second time, but is now hard up against the cliff-face of the Law of Diminishing Returns.

    Or maybe I'm just pissed off that they recently turned off the Demon's Souls servers, which segues nicely in to my next point...

    The gaming community's acceptance of publishers making the running of game-servers a purely in-house operation.
    It ties up with horrible intellectual property exploitation and profit maximisation strategies, and guarantees the loss of certain important games. How many MMOs have died purely because even upon dying, greedy intellectual property owners have refused to release server and source code to the community?

    That kind of greed-driven behaviour has also been responsible for the death of mapping and modding in the FPS genre. In particular, I find it insulting that now that id are owned by Bethesda, you no longer see their SDKs being released publicly, or code being open-sourced for id games developed under Bethesda's ownership.
    I think/hope this kind of behaviour may very well end up biting them in the arse. An engine is only strong as long as it has a large community of people willing and able to learn how to use it. And id were already fighting a losing battle against the Unreal engine before the Bethesda buyout. Now that the only people experienced with modern id tools are those employed by Bethesda, they'll have an ever-shrinking pool of talent to choose from.

    Thankfully, Tim Sweeney and Epic are still doing a good job making their tools widely available to the community, but there's a part of me that balks at the idea that one party may end up dominating the commercial game engine space. Yes, Unity's around, but the feeling I get is that it's still not as highly regarded or easy to use as Unreal, just cheaper.

    And there's also a lot to be said for the developer of an engine making a game for hobbyists to develop around. How many professional developers got started by modding and mapping their favourite game?
    I know for certain that there would be no Call of Duty if it weren't for Quake 3 being so mod friendly.

    Rassen, frassen.

    Sorry, went a bit off-piste there.
    Last edited by Malf; 2nd Mar 2018 at 07:02.

  14. #14
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I'm not really a fan of turn-based either, but I don't get the hate that real time-with-pause gets.

    It allows you to both have a real-time game, but also allow players to take a break to think about what they are going to do next, rather than having to make split-second decisions.

    It certainly fits in games like Commnados or Evil Islands, which focus on stealth and it's very useful to be able to stop and survey your surroundings before proceeding (I was kind of surprised that Shadow Tactics didn't allow pause, though it did at least have Shadow Mode to help with concurrent actions.)

  15. #15
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    Complete changes in gameplay halfway through a game. E.g. deadlight
    Ramifications of decisions made earlier in the game that make it impossible to win the game. E.g. xcom
    Old skool pixel graphics for the sake of it. E.g. Too many examples
    Certain types of art styles such as Warhammer and Torchlight
    Mobile games without paid versions (I.e. I'd rather pay for a game then have ads and never ending in-app purchase nags)

  16. #16
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    Malf just reminded me of my number seven...

    7. Always Online Singleplayer- STOP THAT! Apart from being really annoying, the game loses many of its features if the servers ever get switched off.

  17. #17
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Had another prime example of unexplained mechanics this weekend. I started Hellblade. Nowhere in the game does it tell you that you can recover from being downed by hammering a button. It subtly implies that you can recover, with the voices telling you to get up, but nowhere does it actually come out and say how to do this.

    This would be acceptable if we were still buying games the way we used to, where you'd get a physical box and a manual. But if you're mostly targeting digital sales these days, you better make damn sure all a game's mechanics are explained in the game itself.

  18. #18
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    • Forced stealth sequences
    • Escort missions
    • Shooters with scripted sequences where you have to defend against continuous waves of enemies until a timer runs out. I.e. SP campaigns with shoehorned in "horde mode". Waiting for chopper extraction in All Ghilled Up at the Pripyat Ferris Wheel in CoD4 comes to mind, god awful mission!
    • Lack of save anywhere/quick-save.
    • Unskippable cutscenes
    • Unskippable company logo boot-up screens
    • QTEs
    • Season passes which don't include ALL of the DLCs
    • Forced stealth sequences

  19. #19
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    If we're talking features, as in intentional gameplay design rather than oversights, bugs and other contrivances, off the top of my head:
    - save limitations;
    - forced third-person cover/stealth in first-person games;
    - arbitrary per-item inventory limitations instead to aggregate encumberance;

    I'm sure I'd hate lootboxes if I ever played a game with lootboxes, too.

  20. #20
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    3. Adventure games where doing random stuff kills you, without there being a way to know beforehand. Like flushing the toilet in Larry 1 or walking across the bridge too many times in King's Quest 2.
    Slightly on a tangent, but that reminds me of a particularly extreme example in the old Spectrum game "How to be a Complete Bastard" based on the comedy book by Ade Edmondson. The premise of the game being you are at a party and need to play as many practical jokes as possible eg putting plastic wrap on the toilet basin (not highbrow stuff we're dealing with here). If you choose to reset the party host's computer, then it actually resets your computer. You not only lose your progress in the game, but are forced to load it all up again off the cassette tape. I can appreciate the humour of it, but my goodness it's irritating.

  21. #21
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Heh. That's awesome. Are there at least any clues that it might happen?

    Riddles. Indeed any time I have to guess at what the game mechanics are going to be. I like obstacles where you know the mechanics and have to use them to progress. I don't like obstacles where you have to figure out (or just guess) what the mechanics are.

  22. #22
    My favorite unwinnable states are from the Hitchhiker's Guide Infocom game. Here's probably the nastiest one, quoted from tvtropes:

    "For instance, at the end of the game, Marvin will ask you for a specific tool to repair the ship with. The tool required is randomly selected from a pool of ten—except that if you are missing any one of those ten items, then the game will always choose that one. So, if you left the toothbrush in your bedroom at the beginning of the game, then you'll be forced to start over completely."

  23. #23
    Registered: Aug 2004
    And then you bring the toothbrush the whole way only this time he wants the toothpaste (or whatever). Yeah, that game was notoriously evil.

  24. #24
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    For the record, I thought stuff like QTEs, microtransactions, and always on single player were obvious things nobody liked, so I didn't mention them.

    @Eva - What the deal with Season Passes that don't include all content? Yeah, I would not be too happy about that, that's pretty awful.

  25. #25
    Registered: May 2004
    I don't really know if scummy business practices and fleecing the customers should be considered as a feature of a game. Same with bad (as in badly done) game design.

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