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Video games have been a great storytelling medium since the days of the NES. Though boasting minimalist graphics, programmers were able to circumvent those limitations through memorable gameplay and fun writing. Dragon Quest, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Ultima, Gargoyle’s Quest, Mother, Secret of Mana, and Terranigma were all amazing narrative games from this era of bit graphics.
However, the advent of polygon models and easier game engines has enabled developers to create visceral experiences that seemingly last a lifetime. Programmers are now capable of creating worlds that were impossible before, giving their writing team more creative freedom in terms of what stories they want to tell. The Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Batman: Arkham, Uncharted, Witcher and Metal Gear Solid series erupted and have established themselves during this time as not only wholly video games, but also phenomenal pieces of storytelling.
Unfortunately, sometimes fans exaggerate just how amazing a game they’ve just played really is. The truth is, the subjective experience can blind people to the objective reality of the game. At its best, this can cause a title to develop a sour reputation in the future, but at its worst, it can lead to individuals actually getting death threats, as was the case with Hello Games and No Man’s Sky.
Whether it’s nostalgia, bandwagoning, or simply sunk-cost apologetics, here are seven examples of popular video games that we believe to not be that great.