With triple-A titles, some of the more vocal gamers always want more. More content. Bigger, flashy, more visually-intricate graphics with more P, more K, more FPS.
When was the last time you saw a AAA game announcement which didn’t say something like, “THE BIGGEST OPEN WORLD IN THE HISTORY OF VIDEOGAMES!”, or “THIS GAME’S MAP WILL TAKE YOU FOUR REAL-WORLD WEEKS TO TRAVERSE!”?
The need for copious, bounteous amounts of content is something of a double-edged sword, however.
Of course, it means you get to play your game for longer - like a kid on summer holidays, the idea of a visually-stunning game you could play from dawn ‘til dusk for two months sounds like a dream. However, most of us are now (at least not physically) not children any longer, and the idea of a game being an all-consuming time-sapper actively discourages me.
If a game proudly proclaims “100 hours of gameplay”, I just read “you won’t complete this game this month”.
Some AAA games, whether through artificial bloating or unsatisfying core gameplay loops spread too thinly, are just... not worth finishing.
10. RAGE 2
Quite possibly the winner of the “they made a sequel to WHAT?” award, RAGE 2 is actually extremely frustrating due to it doing a few things pretty well, and actually distinguishing itself from the plethora of other contemporary FPS, with its neon pinks and blues careening across the HUD with garish glee.
Given that the previous game’s unique selling point was effectively “baddies fall down in cool ways” and pretty much nothing else, seeing this departure really did boost my spirits to try it out.
However, I soon realised the game was suffering from Icing-But-No-Cake-Designitis - a condition some games suffer from, where the individual mechanics sound super-awesome in isolation, but once their lustre wanes you’re left with something sorely lacking.
Despite a soulless open world and forgettable story, I made it quite a bit through RAGE 2, but then it committed a cardinal game design sin - towards the end, it tasks you with grinding repetitive, bland side-missions for hours Just to unlock the final story adventure. No ta.
This is an absolute deal-breaker to me, and incidentally, the reason I also just watched the end of ReCore on YouTube.