Facing the Facts: I’m Done Completing Games I Don’t Enjoy Playing

Author: Nathan Doverspike

For nearly 18 years, I’ve been playing video games, from Tomb Raider 2 to Horizon Zero Dawn (go play it if you haven’t, it’s amazing) and loving my time with most of them.  Every once in awhile you come across a game that just doesn’t click for you, whether its the story, theme, gameplay, art style, or maybe something as simple as the music.  I used to do everything I could to push passed these obstacles, in the hopes that there would be some sort of payoff in the end; some feeling of satisfaction for continuing with a game that I didn’t necessarily enjoy.  One title, named Mass Effect Andromeda did just that; it broke me of this habit.  As the title of this article states, after playing Mass Effect Andromeda, I realized that I can no longer beat games that I get no enjoyment from playing.

Before I get into all the reason I refuse to beat games I don’t enjoy and the game that ultimately crushed my soul, I need to say this first.  I LOVE Mass Effect 1 through 3.  I was even alright with the original ending of Mass Effect 3 before they extended it with free DLC.  It had a conclusion, even if it felt like there wasn’t as many choices as there could have been.  It made sense, and that’s what I wanted.  I also adored the characters.  There’s a reason there is a giant piece of artwork featuring characters from Mass Effect in my living room.  The characters and their stories were the best part of the original trilogy, in my opinion.  That said, on to this albatross of a game.

There’s not enough space on this page to describe how frustrating that game was.  To start, the facial animations at launch (they released a patch  that fixed some of the issues) were not only atrocious, they were appalling to behold.  They were so gross, that I thought I was playing some terrible $1 Steam Greenlight game (RIP Steam Greenlight) that used Unity stock assests to make a quick buck or two.  Want to see how ugly they can be? You’ve been warned.

Mass Effect Andromeda Weirdest Face Ever

This is the first person I interacted with in the game. Little did I know, it didn’t get much prettier than that…face.  I think that’s a face?

Yup, that’s how my failed journey through the boring and uneventful game called Mass Effect Andromeda began. With that face staring at me.  Ok, so the combat was satisfying and the skill tree allowed for a bevy of customization.  But in a game that resembled Dragon Age Inquisition more than the original Mass Effect trilogy, I didn’t enjoy the exploration, party members (there were only six, SIX), or the bland/terrible story they tried to tell.  I loved the premise: you are sent on a 600 year journey to find another galaxy to colonize in case the Milky Way is destroyed by the Reapers.  Cool right?  It is, until some of the worst writing in video games is on full blast right from the start and all the characters look like they are from some alpha version of the game.  It felt unfinished.  By all means, it was.

I spent over THIRTY FIVE hours on this turd.  I did everything I could to enjoy it.  I would play podcasts while playing so I had something interesting to listen to (the dialogue is embarrassing except for maybe Drack and Jaal).  That only helped so much, until I realized I wasn’t even having fun exploring the FIVE planets. Yeah, you have the pleasure of exploring FIVE planets the WHOLE GAME.  Even Dragon Age 2 had more locations to explore, and they even recycled a lot of them to pad the time it takes to beat the game.

I ended my playthrough after reaching the third planet.  It was a giant ice location full of sadness and emptiness. Wait, that’s what I was feeling while I was playing this.  Sorry about that. I meant to say it was full of empty space and sparse enemy encounters, sprinkled in a few giant towers that you need to scan (that part sucked too) and a ton of fetch quests that amounted to getting some experience and nothing satisfying.  I couldn’t take the punishment anymore, so I traded in Mass Effect Andromeda and used the money to wipe my tears away.

As we come to the end of my sad tale, I want to make it clear that I am totally cool with anyone liking this game.  I just found it unbearable for the reasons listed above, but everyone is more than welcome to have their own opinions and likes/dislikes.  I want to hear from YOU!  Are there any games that you just couldn’t finish?  Why? Was it because of the gameplay, story, or something else entirely?

 

 

 

Four Reasons Why Horizon Zero Dawn is One of The Best Open World RPG’s

Author: Nathan Doverspike

Horizon Zero Dawn was the biggest surprise of 2017 to me.  It didn’t come out of left field like Shadow of Mordor did in 2014, where I knew almost nothing about the game and absolutely loved it, but it did something I feel never fully accomplished: it made me want more even after I was completely done with all of the main and side content.  Horizon, in my humble opinion, is the best open world game that has come out in years, and here are four reasons why.

  1. The Story

Not know for their stories, open world games usually rely on their world-building and interactive environments and interesting characters.  That’s why this is my first and most important reason for this game being so good. The story starts slow, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t quickly speed up after the tutorial ends around hour 2 or so, and won’t let you breath until you finish the final mission.  In total, I would say I spent about 20-25 hours on the story alone, and loved every minute of it.  Every twist and turn, every revelation, every boss battle was enthralling and engaging unlike any other game I’ve played in a long time.

horizon zero dawn blood sky2. The World

The world of Horizon is beautiful, and when I say beautiful, I mean look at the screenshot I took above. That is the game running on a normal PS4 on a 1080p TV.  No PS4 Pro needed here, the game is a treat to look at.  It’s photo mode really allows you to capture the beauty of the game by letting you take stills of the game in motion.  You can even move the camera as shown above so Aloy isn’t even in the picture. The sunsets and snowy mountains aren’t the only highlight of the game either.

horizon zero dawn big kill

3.  The Creatures

The nature of the mechanical beasts is a massive spoiler, so I won’t dive into that whole plot.  What I will say, though, is that they are so much fun to hunt.  Yup, that’s right, you get to hunt giant mechanized dinosaurs and sabertooth tigers in a video game.  The giant beasts that inhabit this land are dangerous, and some are downright terrifying to fight.  An ability you unlock later in the game makes them even more awesome, but you’ll have to play the game to find out what that mechanic is and how much better the game gets after you unlock it.

horzion zero dawn at nighttime

4. The Combat

While this is the last item on the list, it could have easily been my top choice as well.  That’s what makes this game so amazing: there isn’t just one thing it does well.  It does everything almost perfect, mixing so many awesome concepts and mechanics together.  The combat is so satsifying.  Sliding between a metal T-Rex’s legs, going in slow motion, firing arrows into its underbelly, and regaining your footing only to watch, for a split second, your arrows explode and send giant chucks of armor into the air before dodging incoming missiles and planning your next attack on the monstrosity. That’s just one example of how fluid combat is throughout the game.

I love this game! I put over 40 hours into it, and I am just over half way done with all of the side quests!  That isn’t including the upcoming DLC planned for the game, that sends Aloy to a whole new area with new beasts to slay.  Hopefully after reading this, you’ll go and at least watch some YouTube videos of it and eventually give it a shot.  After all, who doesn’t want to ride around on a mechanical bull and slay giant T-Rex monsters?