9 completely overrated games
Opinion

9 completely overrated games

Translation: Patrik Stainbrook

The whole world loves these games. The whole world? Well, not entirely. One small editorial team of grumpy gamers takes a stand against the hype. To us, the following games are completely overrated.

We’ve all been there – pop culture sensations that you just don’t understand. What exactly makes them so astounding? All you can really do is get on the complain train. To make sure I’m not the only one having fun, I asked my fellow editors which games they think aren’t worth the hype. Here’s what they said…

Pokémon – I’d rather catch a cold than these critters

The hater? Philipp
The designs are nonsensical, the names could’ve been made up by first graders and gameplay-wise it’s as complex as rock, paper, scissors. I’ve given various Pokémon instalments a fair chance. And of course, like the rest of humanity, I stumbled around with my smartphone in 2016 to capture Pidgeys, Jigglypuffs and the like. But it was only the mass phenomenon that swept me away, not the gameplay. And I’m loath to use the term for Pokémon GO anyway.

Collecting stamps is about as exciting as playing Pokémon.
Collecting stamps is about as exciting as playing Pokémon.
Source: Nintendo

But the regular games are no better. Gameplay’s been the same for 20 years, the graphics are subterranean and the quality even seems to be declining. I think back to Arceus. It was released five years after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but looks like it was developed for the Wii. I really can’t understand the enthusiasm around Pokémon. I’d much rather play Palworld. It looks great, and I can always biff the cuddly creatures over the head if they don’t do as I say.

League of Legends – designs from hell

The hater? Domi
Before you ask, I’ve spent maybe an hour playing League of Legends in my life. The gameplay just isn’t for me. But the real reason for my irrational hatred of the game is its soulless and wildly thrown together character design. Dumb characters and ugly skins. What even are they? A cartoon pug crawling around on its butt? A grotesque depressed mummy? Scantily clad ladies with a well-defined physique? How the heck does it all fit together? Hint: it doesn’t. The character design is the fever dream of a manic AI. I can’t explain it any other way.

With over 160 champions, it’s no surprise that the designs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
With over 160 champions, it’s no surprise that the designs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Source: Riot

God of War – God of Bore, more like

The hater? Simon
Always the same enemies. Fewer bosses than I’ve had in my life. A combat system that constantly serves me new combos, yet, they’re that tricky I always use the same standard attacks anyway. An upgrade system that has virtually no effect on damage dealt. And a camera that’s constantly glued to the protagonist’s butt, as if I were playing Colonoscopy Simulator. I started the game three times and abandoned it after two hours. And yet in the end, despite knowing better, I struggled through God of War. My favourite moment? Shortly before the final boss, the game throws another ten minimally modified enemies at you to artificially prolong everything.

Simon, pictured here playing God of War.
Simon, pictured here playing God of War.
Source: Sony

«But the story!», I hear fans shout. The story about an annoying son and his brutal taciturn father wouldn’t even suffice for a bad 80s B-movie. It’s completely predictable, and the relationship between the two is superficial. I don’t get the hype.

Dark Souls 3 – pure torture

The hater? Luca
Two hours. Two damn hours. That’s how long I put myself through the cruel torture of Dark Souls 3 before my revelation. This game is the incarnation of madness, spreading nothing but frustration, rage and despair – a true trip to hell.

First, those enemies. Monstrous beasts, but at the same time impregnable fortresses that look as if they’d been spawned by LSD-addled demons. And me? A weak little weenie in armour, being tossed around like a ragdoll by these creatures. «Learning by doing,» explains Dark Souls 3 enthusiast Simon. Yeah, right, as if I have the time and inclination to memorise the attack patterns of every hellspawn while I’m constantly biting the dust.

Luca also died a little inside while playing Dark Souls 3.
Luca also died a little inside while playing Dark Souls 3.
Source: From Software

Speaking of which – in this game, death really is my best friend. He returns me to the last bonfire every time I die. Just in time for me to throw the keyboard out the window screaming. The beacon in question is 40 minutes back. Thank you, Dark Souls 3, for this valuable lesson in time management and the great opportunity to improve my anger management skills. But seriously, who the hell does this to themselves? Who wants to spend hours playing a game that turns you into a grim, cursing shadow of yourself? I certainly don’t know. Okay, maybe I just don’t have the skill for Dark Souls 3. Time to turn my attention back to the God of War reboot. A fabulous game, Simon doesn’t know what he’s saying.

The Last of Us Part II – story yay, gameplay nay

The hater? Kevin
First things first, I think the story and characters in The Last of Us Part II are great, just like in part one. The gameplay, on the other hand, is boring as hell. Exploring lacks the magic of the first part. Those passages don’t draw me into the world like The Last of Us did in 2013. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that the world is familiar to me and no longer seems so mysterious. But the passages are just too slow and too long. I don’t want to spend half an hour collecting resources for the upcoming wave of enemies, I want to know what happens next in the story.

Kevin would’ve liked more story and less action.
Kevin would’ve liked more story and less action.
Source: Naughty Dog

Which also brings me to my second gameplay misstep – battles. Once one wave of enemies has passed, the next one follows. It never ends and always follows the same pattern. I’m aware this is what Naughty Dog wants. «Circle of Violence» and such. However, the boring gameplay loop of exploring and fighting was too monotonous for me at some point, and I abandoned the game. I watched most of the story in Let’s Plays – and took a wide berth around the gameplay passages.

Farming Simulator – utter crap, and not even good as fertiliser

The hater? Michelle
Simulators have always been a mystery to me. And as I write my first game review on Farming Simulator 23 of all things, my confusion triples. Spending hours grazing virtual fields, laboriously parking and unparking tractors and saving up money for my next vehicle. Where’s the charm? The action? The element of surprise? I game to escape reality – not to jump in headfirst.

Michelle would rather plough a field by hand than play Farming Simulator again.
Michelle would rather plough a field by hand than play Farming Simulator again.
Source: Giants

Elite: Dangerous – librarian instead of space pilot

The hater? Debora
«Go on, play Elite: Dangerous». I heard it from all sides for years. Flying through the galaxy in your own spaceship did indeed sound great. The game promised an incredible degree of freedom. Too much. The short tutorial ends with: «And now do what you want and have fun doing it». OK, what do I do now? There’s no story. I can make credits by accepting transport missions. Once I’ve done this often enough, I can buy myself a bigger spaceship. Only to transport even more random stuff. After three freight missions, I was fed up. So I asked fellow pilots who spent hundreds, even thousands of hours in Elite: Dangerous for tips. «Discover the galaxy,» came the prompt reply. For this, I need a ship that can make long hyperspace jumps and special equipment for explorers. Only, where do I buy the stuff?

Yes, Elite: Dangerous is beautiful. And complicated as all hell.
Yes, Elite: Dangerous is beautiful. And complicated as all hell.
Source: Frontier

There are special ship dealers across the Milky Way. I find this out online, the game doesn’t explain anything to me. It was only with the help of wiki pages, including shipbuilding configurators, that I managed to put together a ship I could replicate in-game. Why is everything so complicated? «No wonder», a buddy noted. «Sign up for the forums, otherwise you’ll be lost.» For Elite: Dangerous, you need a second screen to constantly check online what the game is keeping from you.

Somehow I finally made it and flew off in my new ship. My goal was to find some star that no one had ever visited and immortalise myself in the codex. But despite the countless systems I visited, this success eluded me. After a total of 76 hours of playtime, I’d lost interest. Elite: Dangerous has its moments, but I’ve given up my career as a pilot.

Destiny 2 – a toxic relationship

The hater? Chris Walker
After over 3,500 hours playing Destiny 2, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve probably wasted my life. Always the same endless grinds and seasonal events with identical mechanics every time. New exotic weapons that excite me, but end up gathering dust in the Vault after a few rounds. Although the story expands with each season, it’s always disappointing because I’ve already finished it after a few days. Why do I even keep playing? Am I a slave to Bungie? Does Daddy Destiny control my gaming behaviour? The game is pure poison for me. Of course, I also play other games. In the end, however, I always find myself back in the Crucible game mode, where my own toxic side comes out against other players.

Chris can’t stay with Destiny 2, but he can’t leave it either.
Chris can’t stay with Destiny 2, but he can’t leave it either.
Source: Bungie

Fallout – Story? Yes, please. Gameplay? No, thanks

The hater? Patrik Stainbrook
Fallout’s lore is amazing. As a Skyrim fanboy for over half my life, I’ve come to adore the wonderful, wacky universes Bethesda (and yes, Obsidian) knows to conjure. Just one snag – for Fallout, I only learned this on YouTube. Minidocs, Top 10s, in-universe stories – they all convinced me of Bethesda’s storytelling skills. Then why, I hear you type, wasn’t this the case in the games? In short, actually playing a 3D Fallout is like pulling teeth for me.

Patrik would rather watch Fallout videos on YouTube than play it himself.
Patrik would rather watch Fallout videos on YouTube than play it himself.
Source: Bethesda

Gameplay? Slow and arduous. Quests? Repetitive, bland and uninspired. Movement and combat feel like I accidentally created a deaf-blind vault dweller, and the V.A.T.S. aiming system erases even the slightest potential for fun. At this point, I often hear the New Vegas argument. True, Obsidian’s Fallout is considered one of the best instalments by fans. But as wonderful as the Mojave Desert looks, it’s simply Fallout 3 – the worst part – without the puke-green filter. But what the heck, I just hope the upcoming Amazon series lives up to the source material. The games definitely don’t.

Is there a game that makes you shake your head in disbelief? Let me know in the comments.

To show you that we do more than just grumble, we’re already planning an article featuring our most undervalued games.

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Being the game and gadget geek that I am, working at digitec and Galaxus makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – but it does take its toll on my wallet. I enjoy tinkering with my PC in Tim Taylor fashion and talking about games on my podcast http://www.onemorelevel.ch.To satisfy my need for speed, I get on my full suspension mountain bike and set out to find some nice trails. My thirst for culture is quenched by deep conversations over a couple of cold ones at the mostly frustrating games of FC Winterthur. 


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