8 Totally Broken Parts Of Great Video Games –
Year to year, games are only growing in scale, and with that comes a greater chance of certain aspects being neglected or bugs missed.
This is surely only going to become all too common, as hundreds – if not thousands – of developers band together to bring us increasingly large triple-A experiences. Though “known shippable” is a term used by developers when it comes to bugs and glitches the team just can’t squash before going gold, for the most part, broken features of these games are baked into the very DNA of the product (just ask Bethesda).
For two generations developers have had the ability to patch games an excessive number of times, often feeling like what you’re playing is being held together with no more than string and plasters. Somehow these have either been missed, or are just such an integral part of the game that the very framework would need to be re-engineered.
Be wary, and have an emergency save on standby, as conversations between players and studios can only help so much.
8. Basic Movement – Almost Every Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed was known for stalking of targets with the intentions of giving them a good “Uh, Uh, Uh” (as a great man once said) or for the layman, a good stabbing with the iconic wrist blades. However, to stab these historical baddies, the assassin first need to traverse the streets from whatever time period has been selected back Ubisoft that year.
This is where issues start to emerge, as your highly skilled assassin’s greatest challenge is to climb up or down the building in his way.
Sounding simple, these “masters of acrobatics” will seemingly discard the player’s choice of where to jump, falling to their demise amongst a crowd of onlookers.
7. High Road – Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Concessions had to be made for N. Sane Trilogy, so Vicarious Visions made both the original Crash and Cortex Strikes Back back handle the same way as Crash 3: Warped.
Now yes, this at first does come across as what is best for business, but it also broke Crash one for a lot of players. Crash now felt worse than Glover did on the N64, with outcries of missing jumps or seemingly being cheated, as the simplest enemies would become stupidly challenging. The game over screen became all too common, with the treacherous High Road being the most egregious offender.
Everything was off, Crash wasn’t landing right, and not even the trusty “running the ropes” trick was helping. Such a decision to “modernise Crash” might have seemed like the right course of action at first, but this meant Vicarious Visions turned a nostalgia trip into a mid-life crisis.
6. Blood Trails – Max Payne
Max Payne’s noir cop thriller antics captured audiences, not for its stunning direction and shock factor opening, but by perfecting bullet time in a game that wasn’t The Matrix. Max was out for revenge, but what really set this game apart was diving into every fight with two pistols in hand, blowing off the heads off bad guys.
In pursuit of Max’s revenged players were greeted with a wall – a wall in the shape of a bottomless pit and only lines of blood to follow. In the dark.
It was as if the developers had run out of time and needed to pad out the game by a few hours with this being the cheapest option on the table.
Props have to go to Remedy for trying to create playable stages of Max’s pain with these sequences whilst ghostly happenings occurred around him and that baby crying throughout. Sure these were creepy as hell and built up that Max’s suffering, but walking a tightrope of blood just wasn’t fun and not what this title needed.
5. Shields In Windows – Rainbow Six Siege
There is one glaring aspect of Rainbow Six that routinely gets in the way of perfect matches: Deployable shields. These things normally service a match as you’d expect, by blocking direct sits from opponents that attempt to pixel each other through doorways and across halls, but when placed by windows at a certain angle, the trouble really begins.
Call it a glitch, call it an exploit, but what it really is, is broken.
Much like invisible walls, these are supremely frustrating and no more so than at clutch points in a match. How one of the largest publishers in the industry with one of the most popular games online that is growing day by day can still allow this to be broken is beyond sense.
Ubisoft has pledged to fix this, but the player base is still waiting.
4. Enemy Detection – Hitman Absolution
Absolution came some 6 years after the now cult classic Blood Money and forget everything that made the Hitman titles so damn fun. Much like the Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, Agent 47 was seemingly going through a midlife crisis and was trying to be something he wasn’t.
Linear levels and a focus towards action were not the death knell for Absolution, but more the hypersensitive NPC’s patrolling every level in all corners.
Even when wearing a disguise, you’d be spotted across the map. There was a small meter to burn that let 47 put his head down… but that only made your disguise active until it was depleted.
This could’ve been due to pressure by the publisher at the time to make Hitman more of a bankable franchise, upping the focus on confrontation and action, but it truly did forget its roots. This wasn’t what Hitman was, and now with disguises being rendered almost useless, the only way to make it through this game was to remain hidden or go out guns blazing.
3. Interrogations – L.A. Noire
If you’ve ever watched a police interrogation scene you’ll know there’s normally a good cop and a bad cop, but when World War 2 veteran Cole Phelps is on the case, this is all out of the window. At any time there will be multiple button prompts to Contradict, Accuse or Agree with the person across from Cole, but out of nowhere, he will start screaming trying to find the truth.
Team Bondi went to great lengths to ensure that players could spot characters’ ticks and traits, to see if they were lying. Sadly, this was one of the reasons Bondi inevitably went under. When all was said and done, the facial capture was truly fantastic and will be held up for years to come, but none of this matted when Cole would sporadically overact without warning.
It didn’t matter whether it was a humble housewife or a convicted criminal, everyone was treated the same. Despite the ending that came out of left field, this was almost a perfect detective game, it just shamefully fell apart thanks to choices in the interrogation room.
2. Xenomorph – Alien Isolation
What’s more terrifying than a date night all alone on a ship in outer space with a Xenomorph? Well, that Xenomorph knowing where you are at all times.
This is because the Alien’s A.I. in question has two “brains” that are in constant battle against one another. One knows where you might be hiding at all times, whilst the other is none the wiser, but constantly hunting. So now just picture the classic movie in which Ripley is trying to escape and then bam, the Xenomorph appears right in front of her and it’s all over.
This will sometime happen for no viable reason other than the good brain has let the information slip to the hunting brain. The Xenomorph will be magnetised towards the player with no hope of escape, and if you’re miles from the last checkpoint… it just sucks.
In Isolation, no one will hear you scream.
1. The “Body Scan” – Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Pandora Tomorrow is the runt of the litter when it comes to the original Splinter Cell trilogy. Building on the original in almost every conceivable by expanding Fisher’s move set, weaponry and gadgets, the “body scan” strike penalty was extremely heightened this time around.
The name given to when the game “scans” the entire environment for enemies you’ve not completely hidden in shadow, even if they were out the way or stuffed into a back alley, you’d get an alarm warning regardless.
On top of this, Pandora Tomorrow’s scan mechanic was so harsh, it meant almost every time a body was “found”, the alarm level was raised by one. If Sam hit three that was game over, and in some instances, this would lock players into an inescapable whirlpool of failure.
Better have a backup save ready or restart the mission because otherwise, that was the end for Third Echelon’s top agent.