What Games Have You Put Down And Found Too Hard To Play Again?

There was a thread the other day about how someone had put down The Witness and found it impossible to return to almost a year later. And it reminded me of how I'd had exactly the same experience, but with Divinity: Original Sin.

The first act of Divinity was tricky because - and it's not a problem the sequel was - there was a lot of quests and information that you had to keep track of. It was a lot of info that could be easily forgotten if you only played a few hours and moved onto other things.

I ended up having to restart a couple of playthroughs just because it was easier to pick up all the information from scratch. And in that regard, it's easy to see how The Witness would be difficult to start over again.

What games have you stopped playing after a period, and found too difficult to start playing again?


    Far too many to count, unfortunately. Many of them are sprawling RPGs or very complex puzzle games. In the case of the sprawling RPG, if I’ve stopped playing it for a year or so, I often cannot remember the lore, objectives or characters. Pillars of Eternity is one such title with a lore that is very, very dense and full of long, cumbersome names that slip away from my memory like water when I stop paying attention to it.

    In the case of puzzle games, I can give a very concrete example -TIS-100.

    TIS-100 is a puzzle game that involves pseudo-programming. It’s designed to evoke the sense that you are creating programs for a very old computer. It looks more intimidating than it actually is, but it has it’s own cryptic set of rules which is purposefully made to look as non-intuitive as possible. Jumping back in a mere 3 months after I stopped playing was not a good idea - had forgotten how to do anything in the game and I had to learn it all over again, and given the limited free time I have, I just gave up. Which is a shame since it is an interesting game. The other Zachtronic games don’t suffer as much from this as TIS-100. Shen-zhen I/O is more intuitive, and just as complex. I would recommend that over TIS-100.

    Funnily enough, The Witness. Probably the first game ever in my gaming history that I've felt repulsed into quitting. I really enjoyed some of the Ahah! moments (e.g. working out the hardest tree branch apple puzzle), but eventually I started to feel that the game just didn't respect my time.

      Me too. I got stuck somewhere around the desert area last year and haven't touched it since.

        Yep, desert too. Although it was my fault. I had a soft heat-headache and playing that part of the game made it morph into full-blown migraine. Now whenever I think of the Witness I get the feeling that I'll get a migraine.

    I think it's really only Spore for me, that end game to get to center of universe is tedious and boring.

    I went back and started playing through darksiders (KB and mouse control still feels odd), F.E.A.R (that little girl still creeps me out to no end) and Dishonored (the pack of rats grossed me out first round haha)

    The Witcher 3. Not that's it's a difficult game, but it's difficult to devote the time that the game deserves.

    Dragon Age Inquisition I've had a couple of bashes at finishing since it came out. I enjoy it while I'm playing it but I feel it drags a bit, it's the only Dragon Age game I haven't finished multiple times.. despite enjoying it more than DA2

    Horizon Zero Dawn. All progress on it was halted as soon as BOTW came out, and then when I got time to come back to it I had no idea what to do, let alone what weapons did, the enemies' characteristics or where I was at in the story.

      I was a little like this, but went back to it and glad I did. The story propelled me to continue.

    Quite a few. "Guacamelee" most recently. I just couldn't remember what had happened or how to play on from where I was.

    I remember thinking that Grim Fandango was awesome back in the day. It kept a running script so you could always read back and re-familiarise yourself with the world.

    I'd love to see the following in games:
    - "The Story So Far" abridged cutscenes to get you back up to speed on the story (if relevant)
    - Revisitable tutorials without having to re-start (and skippable once you've got the hang of things)
    - Difficulty settings that can be changed at any time. I should be able to drop it down halfway through if I just want to see the end.

    As it is, I've used YouTube to watch the end of several games rather than actually playing them. I think I actually enjoyed watching Alan Wake more than playing it.

      The Story So Far" abridged cutscenes to get you back up to speed on the story (if relevant)/@

      Pretty sure the Telltale games do that.

        Makes sense, especially since there can be a month or more between sections of the game. I haven't actually played a TT game since Sam & Max Season 3.

      The Professor Layton games do the 'Story so far' every time you load up the game. It's a feature I really like and wish more games would do - particularly adventure games where you might completely forget that the next thing you were going to do was ask the npcs in area x for information about the suspicious butler or whatever, and there's no UI thing like a quest list to keep track of that. It feels a lot more natural than something like a quest log tbh.

      - "The Story So Far" abridged cutscenes to get you back up to speed on the story (if relevant)I loved how RE Revelations did this. It was more to do with the episodic format of the game I think, made it feel like a TV show or something, but it really suited the handheld nature of the system too.

    trying to play Dragon Age Inquisition again. But I always forget how truly terrible the UI is, on virtually every level. Love everything else the game is doing, but seriously rage quit every session over the UI Mini-game, every time.

      if you're more focused on the story just set it to easy and you can basically forget your party member existed, even when fighting dragons

      and the table top mini game can be gamed by flipping your clock

    Bravely Default. I got to that point in the story where things get deja vu, and I just felt like the game didn't respect my time anymore. It's a real shame as I was enjoying it a lot until that point, but I've never picked it back up.

      I put the game down for maybe a year, then pushed through when Bravely Second was announced. Ending was so satisfying especially if you have StreetPass and know others who played. I feel sorry for anyone that plays it on emulator.
      Im about half way through Second and had my mind blown again but maybe I need to be more interested in Octopath Traveller to finish Second? XD

        So you think it's worth grinding through to the end? Sadly I remember so little of the story now (I probably put it down over 2 years ago) that the ending may have very little payoff. :(

          Well it all depends. I dont want to spoil it for everyone.
          So much I want to say but wont. If its been 2 years thats a pretty decent amount of time. Maybe watch a video?


    Wish i had finished it the first time around.

    SO MANY.

    Correction. Too many.

    Basically every game I get bored of and never complete. I rarely go back to them... and when I do it’s usually a sober reminder of why I moved on in the first place.

    (In particular, long, complex RPG’s with a collectathon of objectives trapped within a shit UI. Fallout 4. Andromeda. Dragon Age Inquisition)

    There's not a ton that i never gone back to. Most time the game gets pushed to the end of the line and eventually gets played. The only real exceptions are the Final Fantasy games. I just can't deal with the grind.
    Nothing saps my interest in a game more than grinding, I find it boring game play wise and kills narrative momentum dead "We must go to the submerged island and slay The Immoral Servant before he awakens Serenity Chaos... right after I kill giant caterpillars and flying leeches for five hours."
    Any time the momentum gets broken enough/I find I'm too under powered for a boss, I end up putting the game down. Then I completely forget all characters and story from game so I can't continue plus I know I've already put too much time in to start again, so I just drop it.

    Last edited 24/01/18 1:12 pm

    Dragon Age: Origins. I'm pretty sure I'll have to restart that one. Haven't touched it in over 6 months.

    Too many to remember the ones that do come to mind are the Fallout series and the Mass Effect series.

    I don't know what it is, I like the post-apocalyptic setting of Fallout and the sci-fi setting of Mass Effect, but for some reason I never get very far before I put it down to play something else and I just never go back.

    Oh yeah, Skyrim's another one. Tried multiple times on multiple platforms, but I can never seem to stick with it. Waiting for a copy on Switch to arrive in the mail, maybe it'll take this time.

      For me, I think it is the fact that I know these games are huge and that I would need to sink too much time into them. I tell myself just muck around in the open world and don't bother with doing everything but subconsciously my brain says otherwise.... so these games just end up not getting played for long.

        For me that's not the issue. I clocked over 160 hours on Zelda: BOTW and enjoyed every minute of it.

    Fallout 4

      Played it until I hit the actual game part, discovered it was bad, Gaben refused to give me a refund.

    Enter The Gungeon, Spelunky....and many many more.

    Pretty much any game that requires a level of skill or proficiency with the game mechanics. Over time you lose that skill/forget how to play etc and can't just jump back in without restarting or spending a bunch of time refreshing yourself.

    For the two titles I mentioned above I beat both games and the hidden final paths etc but never completed all the achievements...I kinda said "good enough" on both of them but I had actively been trying to complete all achieves before I stopped....now there's pretty much no going back to finish them.

    Fez. I got stuck so stopped.

    Picked it back up months later and was stuck in a loop of the same 6 areas so I gave up

    If they ever make it X1 BC I might start again from scratch

    Last edited 24/01/18 2:06 pm

    Anything since Overwatch came out... :P

    But seriously, biggest ones are probably the Assassin's Creed Series. I got a platinum trophy (100% completion) on Assassin's Creed 2, and haven't been able to finish another one since. I actually gave up completely half way through Black Flag...Just cannot push myself to continue murdering Templars because I had my fill in AC2...

    Long RPGs with multitude of equipments, for example Disgaea. Coming back and looking at your roster, you can't remember who is good, who needed levelling up, who using which equipment is best etc.

    The other type are the skill-based third-person action games like Metal Gear or Bayonetta series. Most of the time I try to restart Bayonetta and comepletely get wiped by the basic units (had a save on Hard), and my muscle memory wasn't kicking in.

    Monster Hunter. A series Ive tried multiple times to get into but always give up on. Not necessarily because theyre difficult but more because theres theres so much going on and I cant be bothered learning it. I tried Stories most recently and have accepted its not a franchise for me

    A lot. I put Cuphead into the too-hard basket until it occurred to me I could remap my controls which made all the difference. Similarly I quit Bloodborne at Orphan and Lawrence until I rerolled with a non-bloodtinge build and finally, finally killed them.

    Chrono Trigger. Where do I go again? Hmm, looks like I've been here, looks like I've been here... ooh how about here? ACK, it's the final boss! Dead...

    Little King's Story is probably my most shameful. Even tried restarting it, but didn't get far before I got distracted again or something.

    Also basically every RPG ever.

    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It's really not a bad game, I enjoyed it thoroughly before I got distracted by Skyrim....left it at about 3/4 through. I really want to finish it but I'm dreading going back to it for some reason.
    I guess trying to reconnect with the light story, the open world and the grind, it might sound negative but strangely I was enjoying it. It's hard to go back to something like that when you've played games such as Witcher 3 and Skyrim. I'll go back...some day...

    Rain World. One of the most underrated/misunderstood games of 2017. Everyone should experience this game!

    In the first game I started I found myself stuck in an area so difficult, that despite having played around 10 hours, I scrapped it to start a new one…it was for the best. I’ve found myself several times in areas so crippling difficult and frustrating that I’ve put the game down for a couple of months. I’d eventually come back and try to push forward and if successful would then proceed to play another 10 or so hours, only to find myself stuck in another fucked up area! I give it a go every once in a while to see if I can get further, but I think it’s one of those games I’ll just never finish. And I’m okay with that.

    Please play this game! The latest PC patch apparently makes it a bit more accessible. I’m still waiting for it to come through on the PS4, at which point, I may even start a new game.

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