Games That Just Didn't Keep You Hooked


I also don’t find that the setting appeals to me at all. It all looks like this generic fantasy dead world that has interesting item descriptions I guess?


Splatoon 2. Missed the first one so I was excited to give it a shot once I found a Switch, but just bounced right off. The game feels detrimentally “accessible,” to the point where playing it just felt like a giant plateau. Never felt a sense of a skill floor or ceiling, so the only sense of progression I felt while playing it came from unlocking new guns, which shouldn’t be a thing to begin with, and wasn’t enough to keep me playing.

Horizon: Zero Dawn. I started playing Horizon when it first came out, but it pretty quickly got bumped down the priority list by Nier and Persona 5. By the time I got back to it a patch had gone through that nerfed my go-to combat strategy of “sit in this bush and whistle,” so I actually had to engage with the combat more often. I didn’t think said combat was very good, so I stopped playing.

Breath of the Wild. Speaking of combat I didn’t think was very good. I still put probably 35-40 hours into this game, but at some point, for as amazing as the world was, I felt zero satisfaction engaging with any of the things within it mechanically. By like hour 10 I was actively avoiding confrontations whenever possible. I also think the biggest draw Zelda has for me, personally, has always been the dungeons, and I don’t think those were adequately replaced here. The three divine beasts I managed to get through would probably rank pretty low on an all-time Zelda dungeon ranking, and out of the 60’ish shrines I did I honestly can’t remember any of them outside of a couple of the really bad ball-in-a-maze motion control entries.

Destiny 2. I mean, I spent probably 6 solid weeks playing nothing but Destiny 2, so this is only really an entry relative to the fact that I played Destiny 1 from release day to about a month before Destiny 2 coming out. I’m all for reducing the loot grind (although even then, they may have gone a bit overboard), but what killed D2 was how they neutered the PvP. The changes they made to the movement and the weapon load outs drastically reduced the skill ceiling and made every game feel exactly the same. Individual skill became a non-factor; player mobility and kill potential both became so low that if you tried to do anything on your own you’d just flicked to death by 3 people before you managed to accomplish anything.


I actually know exactly what you’re talking about. The jump feels more like a “vertical ascent” rather than a fluid jump upwards, and your jump doesn’t feel like it organically slows, it just stops as you go up. I feel if it just had a better animation for jumping it would feel better. I don’t think this is why I stopped, but the jump definitely could have felt better IMO.


Didn’t finish Dandara? Why you little… WHY YOU LIT-


THAT’S IT! Holy crap, thanks for putting that into words, it’s been bugging me for ages what exactly about the jump felt so off.


@rabbit tbh Celeste has some real issues with dash direction and stick sensitivity. There were points during the C-sides where I felt like 1-in-8 or so deaths were because the sticks and my fingers didn’t agree on the angle I’d put in. Enough people have noticed this that I don’t think it’s just a few of us.

@Glorgu I know exactly what you mean about Hollow Knight’s jumping… but for whatever reason I actually really liked the deliberateness of it. I love how differently people can react to the same controls.


Breath of the Wild was this for me, a game I tried to find reasons to like because of a sense that if everyone else likes it so much, there must be something I’m missing. But ultimately, I didn’t enjoy the things the game had you do, and found a lot of it pretty tedious. Combat was very unsatisfying, the rapidly degrading equipment felt like a bad idea teleported in from 2007, the shrines I came across (about 15 or so I think) were all pretty simple, with most of the difficulty coming from fiddly tilt controls, the menu management and inventory management felt clunky to nearly mass-effect levels. I told myself I’d give it a shot through the first divine beast but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. I never got the sense of exploration that many others who played it seemed to find. Nothing about the world felt particularly interesting to me. It wasn’t bad, exactly, just not enough to drag me along through all my other issues.


Yeah, I like Twilight Princess a lot, but that tutorial… woof.


Yeah this is not a game I expected to be on my list of ‘didn’t keep me hooked’ games - a beautiful open world game where you kill robot dinosaurs and it’s just gathering dust on my shelf.


I’ve gone through this a lot in the last several months.

Multiplayer games have been a big one for me. I just couldn’t with PUBG after a while. I realized I just didn’t have the time or inclination to play it enough to get any better at it.

Breath of the Wild. I put a lot of hours in, but sometime after I finally activated my first divine beast I just…couldn’t go on. The emptiness of the world, the small handful of enemies, and the bits of story being separated by what felt like four dozen hours of “exploration” just sapped me of my enthusiasm.

The Witcher 3. I made it through the Crones of Crookback Bog, or whatever, and almost to the Bloody Baron. I just didn’t enjoy it and the world. Admittedly, I already have a bias against games that make me play as a guy. I hated how virtually every woman in the game was either a nameless peasant in rags or a mega-hot sexytimes person who Geralt meets naked and probably winds up in bed with. The combat wore me out after a while. For all the praise I’ve heard the game’s open world get, I just didn’t engage with it at all - it felt very inorganic and artificial to me. None of the villages and places like that felt actually lived in, just populated by characters doing canned animations repeating two or three lines of dialogue. The one part of the game I legitimately enjoyed in my time with it was the minute or so it let me play as Ciri, who was much more fun that Geralt.

Dishonored. I started playing the first game, intending to play through the whole series. I knew the first game was highly praised, so though the protagonists of 2 and Death of the Outsider appealed to me more I figured it’d be a good introduction. After playing a little while into the story I just ran out of steam. Something about it just didn’t hook me and I’m wondering now if that style of game isn’t my thing, because…

Prey. I wanted to like it so much, but maybe games that lean so much into making you feel uncomfortable/nervous/anxiety-filled aren’t my thing. I loved the environment of the station, and I wanted to know where the story went, but it wound up making me feel really uncomfortable. I dunno, I have come to realize I hugely prefer games that give me safe places to decompress in between the action/horror/whatever. I wound up in Morgan’s office and was too uncomfortable to leave again. I really wanted to like the game, so maybe I’ll have to give this one another try sometime.


SUPERHOT. Yes, I finished the plot - but only because I’d seen not one achievement pop along the way, and assumed it’d be coming. Nope. Not even for finishing the plot. And I looked at the achievement list, smirked, and deleted it. Not even as a freebie.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. I tried to go back, post-Origins, and I bounced off of all 3 I had (Black Flag, Unity, Syndicate) - but I’d at least consider giving the others another shake. But Syndicate was just rubbing me up the wrong way from moment one. Linearity, cardboard cut-out characters, just HORRIFIC Laaaaaaaaahndaaaaaaahn accents… Like a Mary Poppins game set in Batman’s idea of London. Ugh.

Sea of Thieves. I just wanted it to BE something, but what it is is the hollow shell of Rare past. Looks amazing, zero depth. Multiplayer issues other games solved years ago. Can’t even make your character, FFS. Nothing to strive for, at all. Just… hollow.

My biggest ever, though, was also Halo 5. The single player is utter garbage, designed to be played co-op and co-op alone. The multiplayer is the ghost of a game that was great,but was murdered being ground up to make money. They changed the physics of stuff, changed the weapon handling, gave me 3 brain-dead followers and forgot to write a story. It’s embarrassingly poor, for such a huge franchise, and I actually dread Halo 6.


Black Flag has it’s own problems, but I think it’s the best realization of “Assassin’s Creed” since 2 (or Brotherhood, depending on how streamlined you like things). If there’s one to go back to, I think that’s the one. On the other hand, it is what it is from about hour 5, so if you’ve made it past that it’s probably not worth anymore of your time.


Gonna add myself to the people who sort of bounced off of Dishonored. It’s a great game, but it asks so much of you that you can’t really just turn your brain off and burn through it. I wouldn’t say that I have stopped playing it, I just have taken a long break. Whenever I pick it back up I have a blast for an hour or so and leave with a strong sense of satisfaction when I complete a mission, but it doesn’t really have too many video-gamey hooks that make you want to keep playing. Maybe it would be different if I went through killing everyone like in Bioshock, as the skills I unlock would help contribute to a power fantasy or whatever, but I’d much rather go around exploring and being super stealthy and non-lethal.

I’m hoping Arcane isn’t looking at the achievement progress of people who played the game and getting discouraged because I love what they’re doing, and like the idea that at any given point I can play a great hour long heist level of a game.


Surprised to see a lot of people saying they bounced off of Dishonored due to the stealth gameplay not holding up for them. I’ve put a lot of time into that game and still love traversing the levels even when I’m not playing some kind of supernatural tornado of death. (I actually recently did a replay of the game and found areas in two levels that I’d never seen before.)

Personally, I have tried to play Psychonauts so many times now and I just can never get very far into it. It seems like a fun time. I love the art and the characters, but I just don’t want to actually play the game.

I think something similar happens when I try to play Fallout: New Vegas. I love the concept, lots of people I respect have high opinions of it, every time someone pitches it to me it sounds like it cures all the ills of Fallout 3 & 4. But then I pick it up and it throws a bunch of systems at me and I end up feeling like I’m just not playing it right. Again, characters and setting are fun, but I don’t actually want to play it in the end.


I picked up Torment: Tides of Numanera, and had been excited about the Kickstarter. I loved Planescape Torment, and was curious to see how a current-day take on the Torment formula would work out. Plus I figured that T:ToN would be an easier introduction to the Numanera setting than reading through the core rulebook.

But after playing through about eight hours or so, I realized that I just…didn’t care. The world was nice and weird and trippy, and the process of discovering it should have been interesting, but it just felt bloodless and boring. This was capped off when I found out that the NPC who I instantly disliked was one of a small set of potential party members. Agghhh, pass.

The other game that comes to mind here is Fallout New Vegas. I really liked Boone as a character and really wanted to earn his loyalty. But when I discovered that his loyalty quest was almost certainly screwed because I had already done things he wanted (without him in the party, because I hadn’t met him yet) I might have ragequit, furious at the idea of replaying through that much of the game.


This tends to happen a lot for me with games that require a lot of mental energy. I really enjoy myself in the moment, but when I’m sitting down and deciding what to play, I lean towards something that expects less of me. Running a few missions in Warframe or idling in a clicker game will be familiar and provide the comfort of the numbers going up, while a session of Stephen’s Sausage Roll (which I haven’t touched in maybe half a year, despite being agonizingly close to the end) might result in me beating my head against a wall for an hour with no discernible progress.

I’ve bailed on countless games that I was really digging because of this; the stress of getting past a tricky segment or making a tough decision makes them cede more and more ground to something a little more comfy, until the time cost of starting back up becomes prohibitively high. My most shameful ditch is probably Pyre, which I’ve been avoiding for the past two months in fear of losing my perfect record (despite everything I’ve heard both inside and outside the game suggesting that failure isn’t always a bad thing) after a particularly close scrape in my last match. It feels like I’m close to the end, and I keep telling myself I’ll get back into it, but every time I have a solid couple hours to burn I just find myself slipping back into another podcast game.


This happens to me with most JRPGs. I always love them at first because they so often have these richly designed worlds and wonderful music and fun characters, but the endlessly grindy turn-based combat in most of them really wears me down. I think the only JRPGs I’ve finished without using emulator cheats have had real-time combat or had something like Paper Mario’s action commands. Even when they have an actually interesting or fun take on turn-based combat I will inevitably get sick of it and fall off. The tendency for JRPGs to be insanely long with lots of padding doesn’t help either.

Even something like Final Fantasy IX, which has one of the most beautiful and richly imagined settings in any game I’ve played, I just can never manage to finish, no matter how many times I try.


Because I have such limited time for games, anything that isn’t either a) super compelling or b) mindless and satisfying AF get booted. I realize that I’m somewhat ridiculous in this regard, but hey, that’s alright. This is more of a problem for PS4/PC games and less for the Switch, since I can sit under my desk at lunch every damn day to get through games that would otherwise have lost me when I’m in the midst of toddler-ing at home.

Some recent examples (after I wrote this I realize it contradicts what I said about the Switch–oh well):

Bayonetta 2
Ya, people here are going to probably hate me for disparaging this one, but I honestly don’t get it. Yes the enemies are weird and rad in a pseudo-religious way that I’m down for, but the combat ain’t that satisfying. The sexualization of the main character doesn’t help. I understand that the developers are making some interesting critiques of the genre here, but the double entendres don’t land at all for me. Sending back to Gamefly this week after a couple hours of legitimately trying to like it.

Breath of the Wild
I know everybody loves this game, but the lack of atmosphere in this game kills it for me. Don’t get me wrong–I do really, really like it, but it’s not compelling at all in a way like Elder Scrolls, my go-to standard for open world A-RPGs. While it’s fun to explore, glide from towers, complete shrines, beat up some moblins, the lack of a cohesive narrative or world puts a damper on the whole experience. I don’t get a feeling of accomplishment or excitement for completing those tasks. That’s just it–they’re tasks and little else. Maybe that changes near the end of the game, but after putting in 15-20 hours, I’m always choosing Skyrim instead when it’s time to pick up my Switch…

This seems to be a common one in this thread. The atmosphere in this game is great! I love all the interconnecting systems, politics, characters, motivations, etc. Turns out that the tedium of stealth just isn’t for me.


I find it interesting that multiple people weren’t hooked by Fallout games in this thread, because that’s close to my experience as well. I played about an hour and a half of Fallout 3 and just couldn’t understand why other people found so much in it. Granted, I was about fourteen at the time, so perhaps I should return to it sometime. Honestly, I think I was a little too young and impatient, but I’ve never been one for similar games in recent years


Probably an odd one for most people but Overwatch. I don’t really care much for online mutliplayer games, or even co-op games really for that matter, but all my friends picked it up and eventually I figured I would too. So I got it, and played for a month or two, then something else came out, and I just never cared to go back. I enjoyed what little I played (well over 60-70 hours so I put in some legit time with it too) but IDK, nothing about it impressed me personally. I get why everyone else likes it but for me, its solid meh.

Other than that sadly, Pyre. I LOVE the other Supergiant games too, and again, another unpopular opinion here but Transistor was easily my favorite. I liked pretty much everything about the game except for like… the main hook of it, the actual matches haha. Something about them, maybe it was me and I could just never get the hang of them, but eventually I just gave up playing. Maybe someday I’ll go back and try and see the ending since I’ve finished both of their other games.