Even the best games of 2015 are not without their faults. So let’s have a little fun and talk about what’s wrong with some of the best games of last year.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
People sure are smitten with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but it still has a lot of problems. For starters, the inventory is a jumbled mess, making being over-encumbered a guessing game as to what to drop. Then there’s the skill tree, which is too complex for something that basically amounts to ‘you do more damage now,’ or ‘better defense.’ There are stranger issues too like, who hasn’t accidentally fallen off a building in Novigrad and lost 30 minutes of playtime?
Also, there is such a thing as too much content and Witcher 3 manages to cram in enough to make it feel like a second job. Between Gwent, crafting, alchemy, and saving everyone’s life, I need to take some vacation days. Seriously, do I have to fill out a W-9 or something for this game?
The game that came out of ‘nowhere’ has forever changed a lot of gamers. There is no denying that Rocket League is a huge success, but that doesn’t mean it is without its fair share of problems. Sure there’s a good amount of variation and its addictive ‘just one more game’ nature but the breadth of content is much smaller than other similar sports titles. And don’t even try to play online nowadays unless you’re a rocket car savant.
It is also worth mentioning that Rocket League is almost a carbon copy of the studio’s previous title, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. But the real issue here is that it’s based on boring-old soccer. Nobody likes that, especially not in company with the best games of 2015.
From Software has clearly learned a lot from the Souls games but is it for the better? One could argue that this is the fourth time they’ve made the same game—even if there have been a lot of changes to the combat to make this one more action oriented. Once the combat is mastered, every fight boils down to roughly the same thing, and the majority of the bosses follow this same strategy as well: dodge, then attack. Things like enemy strengths and weaknesses are entirely optional as bludgeoning something to death works just fine. The world is also a step backwards from the more interconnected one seen in Dark Souls and the new chalice dungeons are a halfhearted attempt at making replayable areas.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
It took a long time but the arrival of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain definitely impressed with its extremely polished stealth gameplay. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Kojima’s goodbye to the series.
Let’s start with the story, or should I say lack thereof? Barring a few key moments, the first Chapter of the game (30-40 hours) is empty of any plot relating to the Metal Gear series to the point that the game could really be the next Splinter Cell. One could argue that you have to listen to the tapes the game gives you for the story, but listening to a radio drama is not only not what’s expected from MGSV, but it is also a major downgrade from the storytelling in previous entries.
Moving to gameplay, a strong focus on nonlethal weapon leaves you at a big disadvantage during a few combat heavy missions. This leads to random difficulty spikes that don’t fit in at all with the rest of the game and calling in ammo constantly during these missions is the opposite of fun. Also, where are the bosses of yore? The ones that featured bizarre but interesting characters? I guess that time has passed.
Fallout 4 was easily the biggest, and one of the best games of 2015 but to some it has as many issues as it has fans. Ignoring all the glitches and weirdness, there’s still a lot to be disappointed by. Let’s start with the giant mess of perks, most of which don’t do anything interesting or must be leveled up 3 times to be relevant. Then we get to the combat which is filled with bullet sponges and where pausing to heal via eating 10 melons is a viable strategy.
Then there is the world itself, specifically the city of Boston. At pretty much any moment you can find a Super Mutant infested building right next to a Raider camp, next to some random robots, and then the town Goodneighbor a short walk away. It’s claustrophobic and, perhaps more importantly, incredibly illogical from a narrative perspective. And how come even in large settlements no one bothers to clean up? There are papers all over the floor and it’s maddening!
See, not everything is perfect about some of the best games of 2015. Of course, if you look hard enough, you’ll always find something to complain about. In all seriousness though, these are smaller squabbles about some truly great games. Here’s to another great year for gaming in 2016!