Video games can be food for the soul, if you let them be.
Calming, meditative experiences... as long as you don't touch the competitive multiplayer.
Yet sometimes, like a stale crumb in your bedsheet, it just takes one thing to ruin an otherwise comfortable experience. Your whole session thrown into disarray by unexpected shifts in what you thought the game was offering.
Unfair driving sections, literally blacked out rooms and suicidal rescue victims are just the tip. How about the incessant use of insta-kill stealth sections, or boss fights that have no regard for your character builds up to that point?
There are times when luck will be on your side and you can scrape through by the skin of your teeth. But chance is a fine thing and more often than not you'll be reaching for that power button. You'll tell yourself you'll come back to it, but any good player knows that's not always true.
So with that in mind, here the most absolutely frustrating moments in recent games that had you quitting out through gritted teeth. Apologies for any PTSD this brings up.
10. L.A. Noire - A Different Kind Of War
It would be unfair to call L.A. Noire a one-note game. Whilst being a detective is its core mechanic, mixing in some shooting and driving into the fold adds some levity to proceedings. There's only so many times you can watch Phelps yell without provocation at someone before you call it a day.
When it's done right, it's great. Car chases through 1940's Los Angeles and gunfights with the Black Dahlia murderer in dank, underground church passages are tense and exhilarating. These are the high points.
It would be hard to quantify what players would want from a finale to this game, but for many, this wasn't it. It's not that it's terrible, it's just such a slog that many just lost interest so close to the end.
Played out in five parts, switching between Phelps and rival-cum-reluctant-ally Jack Kelso, the final sections were pure attrition. Running after bad guys with a flamethrower would be fun in any other game.
But in a game that favoured grilling questions over flaming gameplay, it was unexpected and more trial and error than necessary. How do make a flamethrower section bad, seriously?!