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5 blandest video games on modern consoles – Reader’s Feature

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5 blandest video games on modern consoles – Reader’s Feature

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Starfield – not an entirely successful game (Picture: Bethesda)

A reader names five of the most tedious and unoriginal games of recent years, including Days Gone and Watch Dogs Legion.

Standards in the video game world have reached such a level now that it’s very rare that the graphics are completely awful or that the controls and gameplay aren’t at least reasonably competent, at least when it comes to big budget games.

Instead, the biggest problem in modern times is that the games are bland and boring. A lot of this, I think, has to do with the publisher trying to make sure the game is as appealing as possible to a wide audience, which means making sure nothing is too weird or off-putting to less adventurous gamers.

That means that not only are most games copies of something else, or often multiple other games, but they always have the same basic settings and style of characters. That’s bad enough even when it’s done well but when it’s done badly, that’s when you end up with games as bland as this bunch…

1. Starfield

One of the strangest big name release of recent years, Starfield feels like something from the Xbox 360 era in terms of design and writing (its graphics aren’t great either, but I won’t pretend they’re that bad). The structure and mission design is horrendously dull and repetitive (I can’t believe you keep having to do that temple mini-game again and again), the combat is barely mediocre, and the whole thing is so blandly written the only reason you know it wasn’t done by AI is that by random chance a computer would’ve thrown something weird or interesting in there by mistake.

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Every single character is so boring it almost feels like a parody, as they drone on about their tedious private lives in the middle of a mission. Even worse than that is the whole concept of the game. A sci-fi version of Skyrim sounds great, so why did they make the whole space travel aspect of it so inconsequential and all the planets so boring? Starfield is so unambitious and old-fashioned it’s bizarre.

2. Outriders

Probably a lot of people have already forgotten this one, but it’s always stood out to me as the perfect example of good gameplay ruined by presenting it in the most bland and uninteresting way possible. It’s basically Gears Of War crossed with Destiny but with a story so bland I still don’t really remember it, even after reminding myself of the details on Wikipedia.

This is the problem with so many games. It’s not that you’re unoriginal that’s the issue, it’s that you’re unoriginal in your originality. If you get me. It’s fine to copy Gears Of War, or whatever, but find some better way to riff on it than just exactly the same setting and art style, only not as good. There’s some magic powers and other stuff in this game but none of it is as good as the shooting. Sadly, Outriders was meant to be a live service game but it was all too bland to last long enough for that.

3. Days Gone

I think what confuses people so much about Sony’s current attitude is that they were so on the ball with first party games last gen, and even the beginning of this one. Days Gone was a dud but they knew it and put their foot down on there not being a sequel. And with good reason because it was exactly the sort of by-the-numbers copycat game you’d expect from a less experienced team.

Everything in the game was copied from something else, including the horribly overdone zombie apocalypse. Copying other games but doing it worse is a common problem for all of these games but Days Gone doesn’t even feel like it’s trying. The weirdest thing is that the one thing that could’ve been interesting – the huge zombie hordes – doesn’t even come into it until the last few missions. Although even that ends up disappointingly dull and silly.

4. Watch Dogs Legion

I had to put a Ubisoft game into this list somewhere and I was planning to make it an Assassin’s Creed game, but I haven’t played the last one, so I don’t know if it going old school helped it at all. What I have played though is the third Watch Dogs game, on account of the second one being not too bad and this one being set in London. Needless to say, that did not help it.

Apart from the fact that it’s obvious nobody British had anything to do with the game it’s all the same old boring missions as an open world game, except with less of the interesting hacking and drone staff from the previous game. The worst thing is that the big gimmick of the game, that you can play as literally anyone, is rubbish. It means nobody you play has a proper personality or backstory. They say when you’re bored of London you’re bored of life, but that definitely doesn’t include the virtual one.

5. Saints Row

I debated whether to include this one on the list, because I don’t like to kick a man when he’s down, given the developer is no more, but what were they thinking with this one? Nearly 10 years after GTA 5 and this can’t even come close to being as good as that game. Since GTA 5 is basically an Xbox 360 game the new Saints Row should at least have beaten it on graphics, but it didn’t come close.

And the combat and driving? GTA’s not even good at those things and yet this is so much worse. Driving along a highway in Saints Row is such a bland and unexciting experience, as you knock other cars off the road like skittles. The mission design is boring and I don’t know what was going on with the story, but did they mean for it that you should hate all the main characters? And yet, again, the game can’t even turn that obnoxiousness into something memorable.

By reader Lambent

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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