Weekend Question: What dealbreakers make you give up on games?

PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: What dealbreakers make you give up on games?

We've all got plenty of videogame pet peeves, but usually it takes something special to make us quit and never go back. Maybe you'll uninstall a game over stealth sections that force you to start over when you're spotted, cutscenes where you lose the fight you just won, or quicktime events. Maybe you've got no time for games that take too long to get good, or are too easy, too scary, or too into blocking your path with things you'd easily be able to get past in real life.
 
The avoid list in my buying notes:
AVOID
3rd Person Perspective
Boss Fight stupidity
DLC still dribbling thru
Good Single-Play absent
Intro long and/or difficult
Long Cut Scenes
Mods not possible
Off-genre play
Quick Time Events

Boss Fight stupidity—spending more than 5 minutes doing the same ol'. Previous thread about this.

Intro long and/or difficult—Far Cry games are annoying, it can be 30 minutes to get to the real gameplay. All hail No Intro mods!

Off-genre play—I quit Far Cry 5 until a blessed modder made it possible to avoid the multiple obnoxious capture sequences of run n gun.
 
Obligatory grinding. I don't mind if grinding on my own terms every so often, but I do not care for games that halt all progress until you've filled some arbitrary progress bar by doing repetitive actions.
But we made this huge map, how else are we going to convince people to look around it? and marvel at the same textures all over place.

thinks Sacred 2 core game play was grinding... and its map was fun to look around.

I generally don't buy games that have barriers erected in them just to bloat them to 80 hours of "gameplay". I happily play a game that has 80 hours of content otherwise...

Now I see most games as front ends to my credit card and with NFT etc coming, its only getting worse. The constant hand in wallet is a massive reason I just don't look at a lot of games now.
 
thinks Sacred 2 core game play was grinding... and its map was fun to look around.
I haven't played Sacred 2, but for the first Sacred I don't think the core gameplay was grinding. You could grind if you wanted and I did spend quite some time killing skeletons to get the best skulls to enchant my items with, but it wasn't really necessary to progress the game.
 
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The avoid list in my buying notes:
AVOID
3rd Person Perspective
...
Wow! If you won't play 3rd person games, that rules out a lot of great games. So you don't like anything like Assassin's Creed or Tomb Raider? I just finished HZD, which is 3rd person, and it was a really great game.

It's weird because I personally think I like 3rd person more than first person in games. The weird thing about that is that Skyrim is my favorite game of all time, and I refuse to play it 3rd person. Haha.
 
I guess If I cant put up with a games art style then it almost doesn't matter how good the game is. Not many of those though, and easy to spot before you buy unless its a freebie from Epic or something you just happened to grab without really looking.

If its unplayable due to bugs that would be a big one too, but that easily avoided by not buying stuff at release, or waiting for reviews first.

Otherwise its all dependent. If a games combat is too simple it puts me off because shooting galleries, button mashing or just holding down a trigger while strafing is not engaging to me. But if that same game has an amazing story/characters or great puzzles or something else then I might put up with it. Looking through my library theres a lot I've petered out on but nothing I played and actively hated that stands out.
 
So you don't like anything like
Oh I like them indeed, just find them very difficult to play, which eventually frustrates me to quit part way thru. Last example was Control, which I would likely have enjoyed in first person.

Oh well…

One of the top deal-breakers for me is turn-based combat
Does that rule out all 4X?
 
I feel like my main games (Lost Ark/Destiny 2) are not games people want to play because of their grind systems lol.

Bad save systems. Theres other dealbreakers but this one gets the most of games i actually pay for and play. If i have to complete a whole board before itll save, ill usually leave it or take a lot longer to beat it. This type of saving doesnt respect my time and i often find myself having to end games abruptly. Annoying to do that during huge lengthy sections that i cant save in. Also, save systems tend to annoy me that state something like "cant save while in combat" but im away from where i was, but since something saw me, oop cant save yet. Those irk me too.

The next one is just broken buggy games that go beyond a launch window and are still broken and bad (im looking at Outriders, Cyberpunk2077, Wolcen Lords of Mayhem...) All games that where just bad with this weeks and weeks after they released.
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I don't like it when games move the goalposts on already set mechanics. Examples include: Making unkillable adversaries killable later in the game with little prompt (The Evil Within), enemies getting to take double turns in turn based games (XCOM2), and giving players access to items that provide an unfair advantage in competitive games (Fortnite - Infinity Gauntlet / BRUTE Mech, Warzone - Juggernaut).
 
One of my recent bug bears recently has been Roguelikes. With work/life commitments and my growing steam collection i have little time or patience for delays in completing my games. Roguelikes rub me the wrong way in that luck is a deciding factor on how far you get. Throw in the repetitive nature of playing the same few levels and my patience wears thin as i make little to no progress or experience anything different to keep my interest going.

Speaking of progression. I've never been one for competitive multiplayer, the repetitive nature of playing the same few maps and implementing the same tactics just doesn't appeal. of course part of the problem is probably because im playing solo and not being any good at them. Being on the losing team in a stacked game isn't fun, I remember spending a large amount of time online quitting and searching for lobbies either to be on the winning side or finding a balanced game. That said, I don't mind losing if the match was good and I could hold my own, but those are few and far between.

Then of course good old fashioned bugs. if the game keeps crashing or a game breaking bug, its time to call it quits and leave.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Solaris, Distant Worlds, and Sins of a Solar Empire are fully real time 4X games.

Once I've bought a game, there's only one dealbreaker for me: if it doesn't look like I'm not having fun and it doesn't look like I will be anytime soon. There's plenty of things that I've learned I don't enjoy, but I can sniff those out in the reviews and game descriptions/trailers.
 
I haven't played Sacred 2, but for the first Sacred I don't think the core gameplay was grinding. You could grind if you wanted and I did spend quite some time killing skeletons to get the best skulls to enchant my items with, but it wasn't really necessary to progress the game.
It really depends on what difficulty you in. Sacred 2 has 5 difficulties, and although no way you want to grind anything in the first few plays through (I would only start in easy to play long enough to get some skills and then restart with the same character in normal), once you reach last few difficulties it pays to slow down and try to get better armour parts or weapons (depends on class). You would get new parts for armor sets every 15 levels or so (some of my characters exist just to create bank space for set collections). That and the Community patch added more difficult areas to explore.

There were some areas that had way too many rats in them, but that was a constant problem in that region and if you were only doing the main quests and never decided to explore entire map, may never see them (all this talk of game wants me to play it). It wasn't really grinding unless quest was to collect X of something, nothing like WOW drop rates used to be in 2007 on some quests.

Brian doesn't like 3rd person views? Funny, I generally prefer them. Most of the games I watch/play use 3rd person. I don't really like 1st person really.
 
Jan 23, 2020
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After spending the last 3 weeks playing Chivalry 2, I thought i'd decide on a whim that i'd give Bannerlord a second chance. And then I remember why I bought Chivalry 2 in the first place.



Considering the archer to everything else ratio, it's impossible to play anything other than archers. In fact, I think this is an accurate depiction of how Bannerlord plays:

Imagine the 2009 tactical shooter, where you have a squad of US Marines going up against a generic OP4 that's clearly modeled after Al Qaeda and both sides are duking it out on a fictional depiction of Kabul, except the entire game is reskinned to be in a medieval setting.

And let's say both teams were to have enough honor to keep the archer headcounts to a minimum. There's still going to be problems because with all the available playable classes, some of them are a bit too good or absolutely worthless relative to the amount of respawn tokens required to play as them. One might shrug it off as the game having a large quantity of classes that it's hard for TaleWorlds to keep track of, but in some cases like the Imperial Recruit, Sturgian Brigand, and Vlandian Sharpshooter, they've been left imbalanced for such a long period of time that i'm convinced that said imbalances are intentional design decisions.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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This is a good question for me, because I feel like Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy hits all the "usuals".
* Sudden quick-time events that I fail repeatedly; followed by long 30s plus reload-retry times
* Slow/laggy especially in busy combat, exactly when you need it to respond to your commands quickly

I mainly persevered through because the character writing / voices were absolutely spectacular. But even though there's a bunch of collectibles I didn't find, lore achievements etc.. there's absolutely no way I want to replay it now. Which is a shame because I think there's an amazing game in there just dying for some kind of optimisation.
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
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In my case it's bad save system. Not so long ago I bought Wrath: Aeon of Ruin in early access. The game is very good on its own. The shooting is satisfying, the level design is ok and I absolutely love Quake 1 engine style. The game has one horrible aspect though. It's the save game system. You basically gather tokens that are used to save game at any spot. While it doesn't seem that bad, in reality it's very frustrating. There's of course a limited amount of save tokens on every level. This means you have to use them sparingly.

Given the fact that the game is quite hard, it often forces you to replay huge portions of particular levels. It's not Dark Souls where frequent deaths mobilize the player to try again. In Wrath it simply discourages to continue. I suspect this save game system is supposed to extend the game, but it doesn't do its job unfortunately. I'm a huge fan of retro shooters, but due to this system I almost dropped the game.
 
Feb 20, 2022
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Among the biggest warning signs I notice is incompetence in a game's developer or publisher. I have been burned by a few games where I should have known better and ran away much faster. Everyone makes mistakes but the following games abused the privilege:
Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances: took a well known and relatively well liked franchise setting and tried to use it in a cash grab pay to win base building non RTS.
Mechwarrior Online: had such lovely bungles as making Clan Mechs initially overpowered pay to win, only to nerf them in line with IS mechs when they became available to free to play players. Oh and did you know they briefly sold 500$ gold mechs?
Archeage & AAU: A long history of poor publisher choices that contributed to the game changing hands more than once. AAU had a rocky release made worse by pay to win being legitimized(in their supposedly non p2w version of the game) by allowing rampant use of multiple alternate accounts. Then the publisher at the time put out paid DLC that let people farm better infusions for upgrading gear that softly violated the second selling point of the game, buy once and only once. Finally the next publisher swapped to a monthly payment model in a complete reversal of this to try and cull the aforementioned rampant alternate accounts.
 
In my case it's bad save system. Not so long ago I bought Wrath: Aeon of Ruin in early access. The game is very good on its own. The shooting is satisfying, the level design is ok and I absolutely love Quake 1 engine style. The game has one horrible aspect though. It's the save game system. You basically gather tokens that are used to save game at any spot. While it doesn't seem that bad, in reality it's very frustrating. There's of course a limited amount of save tokens on every level. This means you have to use them sparingly.

Given the fact that the game is quite hard, it often forces you to replay huge portions of particular levels. It's not Dark Souls where frequent deaths mobilize the player to try again. In Wrath it simply discourages to continue. I suspect this save game system is supposed to extend the game, but it doesn't do its job unfortunately. I'm a huge fan of retro shooters, but due to this system I almost dropped the game.
I've got to agree. Bad save systems are obnoxious and they rarely add any value to the game. I just want to save whenever I want. It's especially egregious in your example (an others like it) because it doesn't actually serve a purpose. In some games, it's an "immersion" thing, like in Kingdom Come: Deliverance and saving at a bed (I just modded in unlimited saving anyways). Sometimes, it's altogether baffling: I was playing VA-11 Hall-A on Switch (a visual novel where you play as a bartender), and you can only save after each day. Why one earth would you do that? It adds nothing to the experience. Just let me safe my game whenever...
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
753
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I agree. The option to save anywhere unlimited amount of times is the best available option. Although I don't mind if there's an auto-save system similar to this in Batman Arkham series. It saves frequently enough, so it's not invasive for the whole gameplay. But again, the good old "save anywhere as frequently as you like", is hard to beat.
 

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