​What Game Have You Felt The Most Conflicted About?

​What Game Have You Felt The Most Conflicted About?
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Our attitudes towards games are very rarely cut and dry. Even in a wonderful, perfectly engineered game, you can still have lingering doubts. Likewise, you can fall in love with a game that is broken, yet does something very special.

Conflict happens, and that’s ok.

I’ve felt it when playing Grand Theft Auto IV, a meticulously designed, gorgeous ecosystem full of characters that just rub me the wrong way. I would be driving through Los Santos and see a sky that would take my breath away over a sprawling, complicated city only to think to myself, “My god, I really wish I felt some kind of connection to these people.”

I felt it when playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a game that despite being the most absurd, stupid Metal Gear game of all, ended up being one of my favourites, particularly with it’s campy, confusing, outsider-art ending.

I felt it while playing Remember Me, a game whose visual design and plot was so on point, so inspired by art that I love, and yet was hampered by major, crippling design flaws.

These aren’t criticisms. They’re personal feelings — loose, dangling emotions we all have, every time we play a game. We have them all the time, and it’s time to share yours.

What game have you ever felt the most conflicted about? Leave your personal stories in the comments.


  • Batman: Arkham Origins.
    There was so much potential there, so much opportunity story wise. You had a fresh, angry Batman, a host of villains who were only just/hadn’t met the Bats. You had a chance to show Gotham as the corrupt, busy metropolis it could be.
    Instead whole sections were copy pasted from previous games, the bosses (even amped up one’s on the box-art) had one fight and stuffed off, the story felt very samey.
    Then the bugs would start appearing. Graphical, gameplay…they were everywhere.
    On the positive side, they fleshed out the combat and ramped up the difficulty a bit. They introduced some new things, gadget’s that kind of made sense and could be used, and the Detective vision was fantastic (it held your hand a little, but it was still well done). The training is great. A few new tricks were introduced into predator sections, and a couple of the bosses were new-ish enough for me to have to have a couple cracks at them.

    I enjoyed and loathed it equally. It felt fresh as a fruit salad in some parts and as worn out as last weeks sandwich hidden up the back of the fridge, uneaten, in others. It has truly been the only game for the last few years where I sit right on the fence line.

    • I felt both games after Arkham Asylum were very average, even AC. I found that as much as I liked the story it was really an empty and uninteresting world, that felt like a copy paste of AA. I pushed myself to finish it and am happy I did but I didnt have the same feeling playing through it as I did AA.

      Oblivion was another game that was bittersweet for me, maybe my expectations were high after Morrowind, but trudging through the same caves over and over with enemies that take 1000 arrows to die and do 0 damage in return, got to me a little. Also the fact that the world was beautiful but the characters were so fugly took away from the experience … as did that ‘shut all oblivion gates to progress the story’ quest

  • There are many games I’ve felt that way about over the years, but keeping with a release from this year, I’d have to say Bioshock Infinite conjured those mixed emotions. When I think about the game, I think of it fondly. It had such an amazing world and characters and story. The thing is, as much as I love it, when I really think about it, it had many flaws, and those are flaws I felt when I was playing it that I tend to not think about when reflecting on the game.

    The gameplay, for one, wasn’t that great. It often felt like a generic shooter, except it lacked the tight control scheme of a generic shooter, so those long section of blasting my way through baddies never felt particularly fun.

    And while the overall story was great, there was a lot of filler and averageness between the awesome parts. Having to continuously go back and forth to try and get those damned weapons, or that side mission to get that lightening tonic (or whatever it was called) which felt like it was designed to throw an obligatory boss battle at the player, for example.

    So as a whole I love Infinite, but I disliked many of the individual pieces that made it up.

  • Too Human.

    Awful game play, terrible dialog and voice acting, some bizarre design choices (Dem Valkyries) and Denis Dyacks bullshit…

    But that astetchic, that fusion of technology and Norse mythology, that co op, that one more room becoming one more run feeling and the way your sound system lost its absolute frigging mind and your ears were blasted by a the choir from Hell when you picked up a rare item….

    I’m going to have to go home and farm the last few pieces for my armor set now…

    • Too Human was an awesome game trapped inside a terrible one. I’m with you, I hated a lot of the way they’d put it together, but the whole plot and setting and everything was amazing and I’m still kind of sad that any chance of a sequel has been effectively scuttled. Toward the end it was really starting to go into some interesting places.

      • Same here. The game system and interface were certainly left to be desired, but once you look past that and look at the mythology they brought into it. I am extremely disappointed that my Cybernetic Commando won’t get into a sequel.

  • Knights of the Old Republic 2
    I can acknowledge the rushed/lack of an ending, but the rest of the game was damn near perfection to me. I loved the party members, the story was interesting (until the last few hours where it fell apart), I loved the influence system and the way it expanded on all the mechanics introduced in the original Kotor. I reckon I must have played through this game at least 20 times to completion. So many different skills/classes/builds to experiment with

    • KotOR 2 is the better of the three games. Bioware were okay at Star Wars, but Obsidian were amazing at it.

      I think the big difference was that they tried to actually think about the conflicting philosophies in the game and everything, and set the Exile up as a more dynamic, conflicted character. There’s lots of little details which add a lot, like if you played a Female Exile (the canonical path) there are hints at something a bit more than a mentor-student relationship between her and one of the Jedi Masters you’re tasked with tracking down. They never actually say it but there’s subtext there.

      I also really liked that if you go dark and go around being a dickhead to everyone, Kreia tells you off. The Dark Side isn’t about trying to be the biggest jerk possible.

  • Red Dead Redemption.

    I loved the story and the setting. The story missions were good fun, and paced really well.

    I hated the side missions and some of the game mechanics (particularly tap A to sprint and the non-intuitive UI, as well as the PITA quick travel system). With the side missions, they were fun once… But when you went to do another one of those themed side missions it was identical to the last one and the appeal very quickly wore off.

    • True. At first I kinda shared your sentiments. But then I played AC3….
      And boy do I have new respect for how everything was implemented in RDR. Riding a horse was no where near as clunky as AC3, and the side missions were way more interesting,

  • Skyrim. I was pumped to play it, but when I finally got the chance to sit down with it, i found myself getting bored. I just would get lost, forget what mission I was on, and it would drag out. I enjoyed the story, and the art was amazing, but the combat and gameplay just felt too stiff, and it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged. To be honest, I think the fact that I went from Dark Souls to Skyrim that spoiled it for me.

    • Dark Souls is great at destroying other games for you 😛

      And I agree with Skyrim. Nothing grabbed me. Impressive technically but so damned boring and bland.

    • It doesn’t help that Skyrim has one of the worst game introductions I’ve ever seen. Seriously, the amount of exposition you are given in that cart-ride is mind-numbing even for someone that is well versed in the Elder Scrolls lore.

    • I’m pretty much the same on skyrim, I go back to it every now and then, but the combat is so crap it gets boring very quickly.

    • I was the same as you on the PS3 version but then I got a PC and mods improve everything wrong with the game. Admittedly it takes a lot of experimentation and tweaking to get a nice stable and rich experience (also it takes 13GB of mods in my experience!) but I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’ve got the time and patience to install them and read the endless reams of readme.txt files. Enemy AI can be overhauled completely, Deadly Dragons and other similar mods make dragon fights thrilling and very tense, difficult affairs, swordplay can be overhauled, more weapons, better smithing, better followers, survival mods and that’s not even getting in to the graphics mods.

      Dark Souls is amazing, thrilling and tense, but Skyrim (with the right mods) can be truly special.

    • You know I’m inclined to agree. i like Skyrim, it’s a masterpiece in some aspects but it feels TOO large and empty in some aprts and too stiff in others. Still a great game though

    • I wanted to like Skyrim (everyone of my friends loved it and even my kids liked it) but I would literally fall asleep playing it – it wasn’t the gameplay either but lore – having to buggerize around with magic spells and potions and such just makes my eyes glaze over – just as I can’t sit through Lord of the Rings, nor can I sit thru Skyrim – I just don’t like medieval fantasy

  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

    I loved the story, setting and atmosphere.

    But the game was very poorly paced and felt like it dragged on and on. Moreover, they seriously went overboard with the amount of puzzles.

    I sincerely hope they streamline all of this for the sequel.

  • I’d have to say GTA 5… I was so excited for that game… SO excited. Played for a week (finished it in that time) and I’ve never touched it ever since.

    I have no idea why… Perhaps I’m sick of those games now? I never did that with San Andreas. I spent so much time playing San Andreas… And honestly I can’t see any faults in GTA 5… I just got instantly bored for some reason.

      • Very odd, I’ve done a similar thing to the both of you.

        Does anyone else thing it might have a lot to do with GTA: Online?
        I feel a bit like once I finished single player, I was wasting my time running around Los Santos in single player when I should have been levelling up my GTA Online character.

        At the same time GTA Online is still a little bit too broken to really dig your teeth into at that stage, bugs and server issues meant that it was either near unplayable or that you might lose your character at any time for the first few weeks. Then they promised a ‘stimulus package’ of cash was so large I felt like I was wasting my time playing earning $1000 at a time when I was about to collect a huge, free bounty.

        Then two next generation consoles launched, neither of which have backward compatibility support…. So I guess that’s largely the end of GTA V for me. I don’t think it’s the fault of GTA V or the world of San Andreas that I’m not going to rack up 100’s of hours with the games like I did with the last few, just a bunch of weird timing issues and the ambitious GTA: Online.

        • I suspect it was a bit to do with GTAO but for me at least the narrative felt spread too thinly across 3 characters. In fact, now that I’m thinking of it, what would probably have wowed me would have been dedicated coop. A crime buddy comedy/drama/shooter would hang together quite well narratively, the addition of a permanent second character who can also be played by a person would allow for adding much needed gameplay advancements as @cufcfan616 mentioned below and it’d be fun to have some degree of competition when it comes to the story. Just imagine how cool it could be to have a GTA game where there were 2 players in each cutscene and you had some mechanic akin to the paragon/renegade interrupts from mass effect although being GTA I guess it’d be more a manipulative prick/psychopath system.

          GTAO did need more to do for certain though, it is fun to run a private/crew only instance with a friend and just cruise round doing stuff but the mechanics they designed dropping you back in open world after a successful mission just made it prohibitively annoying to keep going, we spent as much time figuring out if we were connected to the private server, quitting, restarting the server and going through the invite process as we did playing the actual game. For a first stab it’s not a bad attempt and in servicing the group who don’t mind playing with randoms it does the job quite well but organised friend stuff was just too annoying.

          Then again, I thought the weakest of the GTA3 era games was san andreas so maybe I just don’t like the city…

          • Yep, you hit the nail on the head. I was saying it from day one, if they have 3 characters i wont feel as connected and into the story as I noraml would. It was an amazing game with graphic details like no other, but I also smashed through it very quickly and now have no urge at all to play it again

    • Maybe because gameplay in general hasn’t moved on as much as our expectations have since SA came out. I love San Andreas. I still go back to it and pump hours into it. GTA V is a fantastic game, don’t get me wrong. It just didn’t grab me in the same way.

      I’m putting it down to being older and having seen and done a lot in games, it takes a lot more to completely blow me away. I’m sure for the younger generation who this or GTA IV might’ve been their first GTA that GTA V will be the bees knees, but I’m turning into a miserable git these days 😀 I guess I was expecting a bit too much from it. I should lower my expectations and just enjoy it for what it is because it’s still brilliant

    • I was exactly the same with GTA V. I played it for a bit, finished the story and then went ok, what now?

      I found myself not enjoying just walking around blowing everything up. i found myself just normally driving the speed limit and following road rules… it came to a realization that i just didnt enjoy being reckless anymore.. i found it very strange. i never played the story missions in any other GTA game yet i found this one to be the only one that put me off being reckless.

    • I think the zaniness of Saints Row kind of made GTA feel dull for me. That and the world while large felt so small.

  • Past games? Diablo 3 hands down. I LOVE the series and put an ungodly amount of time into the first two and the expansions, but felt so betrayed but the use of the auction house that it destroyed the (at the time) unfailing trust that i had with Blizzard and where their priorities were. It seemed like it had become less of the game that people had grown to love and more of a cash dump. I still really want to like it. I’m hoping the expansion will make some giant changes (like how it’s closing the AH).

    Current games? BF4. I love DICE and I love the series, but i’m having massive game-breaking issues that just aren’t being fixed and it’s making me question my support of the series in general. Which brings their future releasing in and out of the series into question.

    • Great example with Diablo III.

      I can deal with a bad sequel, but when a series you love is intentionally turned into an exploitative cash grab (Battlefield fits right into this category too) it drives me nuts. Particularly when the game mechanics themselves are still solid and the only thing holding it back is the greed of the developers/ publishers.

  • Anything with obnoxious DLC, pre-order bonuses or which sets out to f*ck over gamers who ONLY pay full retail price.

    I get really frustrated rewarding companies who look to gouge their customers at every possible opportunity.

    So right now its Forza 5 (great full priced game but riddled with free-to-play mechanics), Battlefield 4 (non-premium members being shafted to the back of server queues? That’s fucking bullshit) and anything where a logical addition to the game is held back as a day-one pre-order bonus (THQ used to do this terribly with their UFC games, not just making fighters you want DLC but splitting the pre-order bonuses up among stores so you can’t get fighters who would otherwise have been shoe-ins for the game).

    Nothings worse than having to accept that if you want to play a series that you used to love that you now have to deal with EA or some other bullsh*t company. It’s even worse with something like Forza if you eventually cave and give them another $10 so you can collect credits at the rate you were intended too before they started charging for cars.

    • I still haven’t played SimCity. And I racked up hundreds of hours on Sim City 4. For the reasons you just listed.

  • This is Skyward Sword to a tee. The game is not average, it is half amazing and half horrible.
    Amazing setting, music and art direction, fun (or at least promising) new mechanics and items, all bogged down by poor design choices, overly structured level design and wasted opportunities (ie. flying).

    Never have I been more conflicted about a game.

    • I’m with you on this one, although maybe for different reasons.

      The Wiimote was the biggest thing for me, while OK it never quite felt like it was working quite perfectly. I ended up playing though the game but you had to stop every few minutes and re-calibrate the controller.

      Also I think the overly structured level design was a result of the shitty Wii hardware. That game looked DAMN good for a Wii game but it was never going to be possible to pull off all those kinds of graphics and go crazy with the level designs.

      In the end it left me conflicted mostly because the hardware let down what was clearly classic Nintendo design and gameplay. The use of the Wiimote would have been great if it was just that little bit more reliable, if they’d had the 360 or the PS3’s horsepower they could have made graphically amazing in the way all Zelda games prior to the Wii were.
      I love it, but I still think “what if?”….

  • Heavenly Sword – in spite of it’s generally familiar gameplay that’s done better elsewhere, it’s a game that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts. Also I must be the only one to quietly prefer POP Warrior Within to the generally better regarded Sands of Time though I do love that whole trilogy.

    On the other hand, I’ve found all the God of War games after the first to be nagging disappointments. I’ve always felt that the magic of the first has never been recreated successfully in subsequent sequels and prequels but I can’t quite put my finger on why that is.

    • No way, loved Warrior Within. Best Prince of Persia by miles. The storyline and tone were awesome. The metal music rubbish was a bit sad/overboard, but other than that, it was easily one of my favourite games of that generation. I liked the whole, just when you think the game is over, there’s actually way more to go dynamic as well. I remember being just utterly baffled by how they could go from a game of that quality to the atrocious Two Thrones sequel.

      That was probably one of the biggest disappointments I have ever had as a fan of video games. Aside from Fable 3. That was another franchise that was frustratingly close to greatness with at the very least, the first two games.

  • Epic Mickey. The world and everything was really cool and I wanted to see it all. But the constant stream of fetch quests wore thin extremely quickly, and it soon became a real effort to want to continue and see it through to the end.

  • Dishonoured.

    But I’m not that conflicted about it. I just didn’t think it was much fun. All the reviews said it was great. I thought it was a 7/10.

  • Ar Tonelico 2. Poorly coded with tons of really bad framerate drop issues, a bug that would cause the entire game to crash and one of the most shoddy and barely complete localizations ever (typos, poorly translated names, inconsistent naming, plot that barely makes sense at some points due to bad translation, some stuff not even translated at all, etc.). The subject matter was kind of trite and stupid a lot of the time and the constant innuendo got old very fast.

    I loved that game so much, despite all the problems. I couldn’t even tell anyone why. Aside from the soundtrack there’s really nothing that stands out as a remarkable quality, but the whole thing just really clicked with me.

  • Agarest: Generations of war. The battles were so repetitive and got boring after a while but I still found myself wanting to play it the next day :S

  • The Last of Us.

    I really wanted to like it, I really like the other Uncharted games, but I found myself almost forcing myself to play it out of some kind of stubborn effort to give it the benefit of the doubt.

    I felt like they took took an Uncharted game, took out the grandiose set pieces and charming characters (the meat) and left the ‘kill a room full of guys, look around for a bit then kill another room full of guys’ boring mechanics (the bones). It also didn’t help that the story was obviously aping certain movies and shows (the road, walking dead etc) but never really got there, failing to live up to the source material and never felt for a minute like a post apocalyptic world.

    There were no shocks, no consequences, no real build up and a really flat, rushed ending that was easily predictable from mid way through the game. I literally gave it away a couple days after I finished it and couldn’t care less.

  • I have to say AC III. I am a huge AC fan and was really excited for III, but it let me down a bit.

    The city environments are nice as usual, and the story is great (although I’ve not finished it yet), but I think they missed an opportunity with the frontier environment. Somehow it just doesn’t pull together with the assassin-y feel, and the free-running through the trees mechanic doesn’t do it for me.

    Add to that a slightly disappointing main character (Connor) and it was a bit underwhelming

  • I have a couple problems with Uncharted. Nathan Drake is one of them. It’s funny because I really like Uncharted but most of the time I find myself wishing Drake would just shut up. All the witty remarks just make him unlikable and his character has never really been developed. Nathan Drake at the start of Uncharted 1 is pretty much the same Drake at the end of Uncharted 3.
    Nathan Drake is at his most interesting when he’s subdued and taking things seriously. Unfortunately there is only about 25 minutes of this throughout the trilogy.

    Actually I really hate the climbing sequences in Uncharted, as well. Too often in Uncharted the climbing sequences are just quick time events in disguise. Jump now, go left, jump again, climb upwards, kill this guy quickly, move across to the left, and so on.

    There’s also the problem of entire missions with nothing to do with the plot like the ship in Uncharted 3. Seriously, all that time in the clutches of those pirates and by the time Drake makes it back to where the story is really happening, the plot hasn’t moved on at all. It’s as though they designed the set pieces first and then make a story around them.

  • Bionic Commando 2008. I have not played the original games. I just thought I needed to clarify that.
    The swinging mechanics were great in places, but pretty mediocre in others. I can’t tell if I like or hate the story.
    The story had some pretty good themes in it, like when Armstrong the military general has a rant about how all the bionics had their own statues, but there was no tribute to the fallen soldiers.
    I am probably the only person who likes the missing wife twist, although I think it could have been handled a bit better.
    The protagonist was also a bit crap at times. In the game, he is massacring battalions with obvious glee, but all the text logs label him as a tortured soul that still has phantoms pains from losing his arm. There is a weird dissonance to everything. The sniper character was totally pointless, and the Russian bad guy was pretty bad.
    The boss fights were mixed. The helicopter fight was really good, the Mohole metallic snake was sort of alright, and the Russian bad guy fight was pretty crap.
    Also, the PC port was trash. It gave 360 controller prompts even when using a mouse. It made some of the QTE’s even more annoying.

  • Of Orcs and Men

    It’s very much an acquired taste. The combat system is both confusing and interesting. Graphically, the scenery can rival a game like Skyrim at times, while the character models of a lot of the enemies make them look like they just stepped out of a PS2 game. And when it comes to narrative, the overall premise is very good, but most of the characters sound so juvenile, as they swear like sailors.

    I actually think the IP has a ton of potential, but the developer really needs to hire some talent into their ranks, or sell it on to a group with more experience. As it stands though, I’m pretty sure we’ll never hear from it again.

  • GTA V is definitely the most recent that has me very conflicted. I haven’t really touched single player since I finished the story, but i’ve been spending quite a few hours each week playing online. Some days i’ll have a great session and its a lot of fun, but more often than not i end up quitting in frustration due to the CONSTANT bugs, glitches and errors. It seems to me that Rockstar are focussing their efforts on the wrong things (DLC, stimulus etc) when they need to get the game actually WORKING PROPERLY first! Its letting a great potential go to waste.

  • I’d say Persona 3 would have to be the biggest conflict I’ve had over a game. I absolutely love the non-Tartarus part of it, but found the dungeon grind parts (ie. Tartarus) started grating on me pretty early in the game, turning me slowly off it.

    Bioshock Infinite was a strange one. The world, story (aside from the ending, which I understood but felt was contrived) and artistic direction was fantastic. It’s just that it was interrupted with dull and repetitive shooty bits. There was so much potential for fun (Tears had so many uses outside of combat that could have been integrated in) but instead it was just cover based shooting, “grenades” (Vigours), and supply drops/turret deployment (Tears).

  • Final Fantasy 13
    There were so many things that I wanted to like about it, and when the game was good, it was great, but too often it was .
    If they tidied up the story a bit to make it easier to follow, added a bit of character development for people not named Snow (who was an even bigger whinging bitch than Tidus) or Hope (who was the only one that actually developed throughout the game and by extension was the only character I liked) then made Gran Pulse about 50% larger and let us know the end of the game was coming then people wouldn’t be so angry at the game.

    I played it through recently again and did a shit load more grinding this time around and the game was fun because some of the bosses weren’t nearly as tedious (I am looking at you Barthandelus)

  • Far Cry 3. I actually really enjoyed the story. I was even moved by the outcome of the ending I chose:
    Where Jason survives, and accepts that his journey has changed him for the worst.

    I thought that was a pretty mature ending for an FPS.

    But what the fuck happened to Vaas??? That part of the story just made no sense to me:

    Vaas stabs jason in or near the heart, dream sequence/boss fight ensues, then Jason wakes up with Citra and is informed that he defeated Vaas

    It’s that initial stab that doesn’t sit right with me, as it looks like a death blow.

    • I feel ya.At least the part where you killed Hoyt and everyone else in the room was cool. Vaas was a pretty cool baddie, just didn’t feel the kill satisfying enough.

      Regarding the ending

      I also ranted the alternate ending part joining Citra. I wish there would be alternate endings than just 2 based on your skills obtained or quest completed. Say if you’ve obtained all skills, completed all mini quest, then you can truly be a badass king instead of Citra stabbing you like a littlebiatch.

  • Who could forget Mass Effect 3. *cries*

    Another game is maybe Fallout 3 New Vegas. The game was free to explore but was actually very linear. They purposedly made you walk around the map in a counterclockwise direction. This cheesed me off a little.

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