8 "Awesome" Video Game Mechanics We All HATED

Brilliant On Paper. Terrible In Practice.

death stranding bb
Kojima Productions

In order to stand out in the crowded sea of video games that are released on a nearly continual basis, developers often have to think outside the box when it comes to making their game catch you and by extension the attention of your wallet.

Therefore questions about said box quickly turn into, "well what if the box was only opened with motion controls?" "what if the box WAS motion controls?" "What if the box was actually a pre-order bonus that players unlocked with motion controls?"

And just like that, we've lost the point we were trying to make in the first place as do a tonne of video game mechanics that tried to be different but all ended up being seen with the same ire.

It's easy to make a great idea on paper that fails to materialize into greatness for the player, and even those that sound utterly "awesome" can lead to moments of frustration and backlash from the fanbase which is what we're talking about today.

8. The Persuasion Mini-Game - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

death stranding bb

If there's one thing I'm an absolute sucker for in video games, it's systems and mechanics that focus on talking your way out of problems as much as I end up finding myself talking my way into them.

Any game with a charm or charisma stat that has real influence on the gameplay will usually mean I lean heavily into that through my play sessions, wringing extra loot out of NPCs, sidelining boring quests with a turn of phrase, and even getting bosses to back the hell down when they see my razor-sharp wit.

And yet when it came to Oblivion, an otherwise absolute masterclass of a game, Bethesda managed to bungle their persuasion mini-game in such a way that it's still perfectly functional and oftentimes useful but is just so uncannily horrible to use over and over.

The idea behind the mechanic is sound, use a rotating wheel with different values in order to charm whoever it is you're speaking to, but the implementation and accompanying "panopticon of pain" seems to be the animator's attempt at conveying base emotions of pleasure and hatred, all make for an utterly ridiculous experience.

You're basically chatting absolute !*$% to them while hoping that your Trivial Pie-alogue of Persuasion matches up to what they like. There's no skill, there's no finesse, it's basically the same as the lockpicking mini-game but the lock is someone's face and it's not always happy with you pocking a metal rod up its nose.


Jules Gill hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.