We’ve all played a game that we have thoroughly enjoyed for the most part, yet have become somewhat jaded towards the end as it attempts to bring itself to a close. Just to clarify, the following games listed aren’t being portrayed in a negative light, as they are all games that have been enjoyed for the majority, but perhaps struggled to wrap things up in good time.
I might be unfairly branding an entire genre for suffering from this, but I often find this to be present in horror games for whatever reason. This could be down to the fact that those games in particular rely on maintaining tension from start to finish, which can feel like an almost impossible task. For example, playing through Layers of Fear at first was a game that was shrouded in dark mystery, with jumpscares galore throughout. Yet I felt it completely petered out as many critics have also alluded to towards the end. Mystery was replaced by confusion and it just felt overall rather underwhelming after what it had built up previously. The same goes for Outlast, though neither were necessarily long games, it just felt like the narrative became pretty far-fetched in its closing stages.
Glancing through the thoughts of fellow gamers on NeoGAF, it was interesting to see Alien Isolation crop up, which is considered a personal favorite of my collection. Yet its completely understandable to say that it potentially outstayed its welcome. The consistent tension and fear of being the prey that was built throughout was no doubt what made Alien Isolation so special, but it too felt rather exhausting by the time I’d finished it. I genuinely thought that when I reached the nest that the game was soon to be over, and how very wrong I was.
Moving off of horror games, some players have pointed to certain Nintendo titles for being stretched out too far. Mario & Luigi Dream Team for instance, as user Tohsaka believes the game could’ve ended much earlier:
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. I was ready for it to end like 20 hours before it actually did.
Others concur with Dream Team being a prime candidate, citing having to repeat large portions of the game as a catalyst to give up and go do something more constructive to put things politely. On the subject of Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword also seems to fall under this category, as Akuun posted:
Skyward Sword. It was an excellent 30-40ish hour game stretched to about 60 hours. Going “You’ve proven your worth, but I think I should give you ONE MORE TEST” like a dozen times got really, really tiring.
Other candidates that players have shared include games from the Assassin’s Creed series, Mass Effect 3, Bravely Default, Watch Dogs and Resident Evil 4. Going back to that explanation of Skyward Sword, it reminds me of playing Grand Theft Auto IV quite a few years back. Whilst there’s plenty of other things to be doing other than the story mode, when your sole focus is on finishing the damn thing it started to feel repetitive as it came to its climax. It just felt like “go kill this guy and we’ll give you the information you need” which is a formula for a lot of missions in the franchise to be fair, but GTA IV in particular seemed to drag out if you wanted to get it over and done with.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 could be an example to some, though from a personal standpoint this was a game that completely took me by surprise at the time I played it upon its release. It was my first experience with any of the games in the series, and I was rather unfamiliar with the anime it was based on, yet it managed to maintain a blend of exciting gameplay and in-depth story telling from start to finish. I couldn’t help but wonder when the final battle was coming, though. It felt like a lot of fights were very climatic to say the least, yet it still rolled on and on. That could again be down to my unfamiliarity with the anime, and its by no means a criticism because it was a fantastic game overall.
To join in the discussion, head over to this thread for more opinions on what games outstayed their welcome, or feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.