Home Gaming I'm tired of useless 'features'

I'm tired of useless 'features'

3 min read
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Certain things are becoming standard in all sorts of games, whether you want them or not. Just about every action/adventure/RPG has some form of crafting, and it is worming its way into other genres as well. That’s fine, I don’t particularly mind, but other ‘features’ are starting to grate on my nerves.

My biggest gripes at the moment are with season and day/night cycles. Sure, in some games they make sense – certain creatures only spawn at night/winter, or you need it to be light to see something. I get it. But lately, it seems that every game gets these elements, whether it adds to the experience or not. For example, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has a day/night cycle. Now, maybe I didn’t play the game long enough to see why it was relevant – when the beta reopens I will definitely keep exploring and discovering. However, so far, it appears that the only purpose of night is to make it dark and irritating. Shops are still open, NPCs still wander around, and nothing changes except the fact that I couldn’t see the road and kept getting disoriented.

Dota 2 also has a day/night cycle. Now, I know that at ‘night’ the fog of war is apparently more dense, making is prime ganking time. However, other than that, it doesn’t really add to the experience of the game. Plus, most players will gank at any time of the day or night. Why add in the day/night cycle when most people still just run around killing each other?

Or what about every game letting you fully customize your character? Sure, it’s nice to make my little elf have purple hair and green eyes, or build my tank to look like a morbidly obese George Clooney, but I’m not convinced that so many games need it. Plus, by letting you name and shape your own character, it generally leads to poor voice acting opportunities and some confusing character interactions. There is nothing wrong with giving a player some set options, or even no options. Just give us a fantastic game and no one will notice that their character has a larger nose and smaller bust than they would have built for themselves.

Finally, there is the random inclusion of vehicles. Sure, driving around makes sense in some games, but I HATED it in some of them. Here’s looking at you LA Noire. Let me be clear, I’m a good driver in real life, but in games… I bash into everything. No really, I suck at driving in games, which is why you won’t be seeing me play Forza or Gran Tourismo. So why put it into games that really didn’t need it? As soon as I could, I let my partner drive me to all the crime scenes. However, you need to “free drive” in order to stop random street crimes and to unlock hidden vehicles. I’m not really sure why a game where you play as a cop needed hidden vehicles, though. It felt like an add-on purely “because videogame” and was a bit of a distraction.

Do you think I’m completely wrong? Do you love stumbling around at night with your fully customized character while driving down back alleys?

Last Updated: August 12, 2013

53 Comments

  1. ElimiNathan

    August 12, 2013 at 14:44

    Ye

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

      August 12, 2013 at 14:46

      πŸ˜€

      Reply

  2. ElimiNathan

    August 12, 2013 at 14:46

    I think in DOTA 2 some characters can also use some abilities @night ? Correct me if I’m wrong ?

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

      August 12, 2013 at 14:47

      heh you and Slade saying the same thing

      Reply

      • ElimiNathan

        August 12, 2013 at 14:49

        Sorry @sladeboender:disqus didn’t see your comment

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

          August 12, 2013 at 14:50

          Was not trolling, just find it amusing

          Reply

    • Tarisma

      August 13, 2013 at 10:30

      First rule of dota don’t fight night stalker at night.

      Reply

  3. Slade Boender

    August 12, 2013 at 14:47

    On the Dota side of things, quite a few characters are reliant on the night for a boost on some of their skills, Nightstalker and Luna come to mind, but theres a few others. Just FYI πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

      August 12, 2013 at 14:48

      heh you and Nate saying the same thing XD

      Reply

      • Convinced

        August 12, 2013 at 14:49

        You and you just said the same thing.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

          August 12, 2013 at 14:49

          I’m not Convinced πŸ˜›

          Reply

          • Convinced

            August 12, 2013 at 14:51

            I am Convinced you are not Convinced πŸ˜€

          • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

            August 12, 2013 at 14:54

            Are you Convinced about Convinced not being Convinced?

          • Alex [SS] PsyChoPanthis

            August 12, 2013 at 16:16

            so we heard you like being convinced

    • Gerhard Davids

      August 13, 2013 at 09:34

      Yup, more than that heroes’ vision ranges are affected differently at night also.

      Reply

  4. Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

    August 12, 2013 at 14:47

    Meh, not really, Random until I like what I see.

    Love the day/night thing.

    Also, not sure about Zoe driving skeelz yo

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 12, 2013 at 14:49

      I can agree with her there, LA Noire cars steer like pregnant cows.

      Reply

      • Jakster

        August 12, 2013 at 14:50

        What drove you to steer pregnant cows?

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          August 12, 2013 at 14:51

          Curiosity.

          Reply

          • Jakster

            August 12, 2013 at 14:51

            Brave Cowboy.

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 12, 2013 at 14:48

    My biggest gripe is those stupid little animations they do when performing an action for the sake of immersion. They may only be a couple of seconds long, but after I’ve watched my char open a bag for me to access my inventory, or sit down at a campfire to access a menu 100s of times, it becomes really aggravating – especially when you can’t skip it either.

    Reply

    • Argentil

      August 12, 2013 at 15:02

      It’s all in the name of immersion. Some people enjoy roleplaying.
      It’s unfair to dismiss these additions so flippantly, because they add a lot for some people,
      myself included. I enjoy detailed animations, season changes, day-night cycles, their omission leaves me disappointed. Roleplayers are the kind of people who will stick with an MMO for years to come, so indulging them makes sense. I enjoy diving into whatever game I’m playing (which is why I cannot, for the life of me, play horror games) – and I’m not an RPer.

      One of my favourite memories of FFXIV beta phase 3 was sitting at the docks in Limsa Lominsa watching the sun rise. The luminous engine, wow man, I had a double rainbow moment.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        August 12, 2013 at 15:18

        I’m not being flippant, I really do find it very annoying to be forced to watch my character do the same animation over & over again just to get into a menu. Some games let you skip that, but others don’t give you any choice. For me it’s almost as bad as a non-skippable cut scene – I want to watch the first time & don’t skip them, but if I die I don’t want to be forced to watch it again & again until I get past that part of the game.

        The other stuff you mentioned I’m quite happy with. Generally I don’t like being rushed around a world & like taking time to see things. That’s something I didn’t like about Mirror’s Edge, I wanted to explore a bit & look for the collectibles, but most of the time you had to move quickly.

        Reply

        • Argentil

          August 15, 2013 at 13:46

          The flippancy was more aimed toward the tone of the article than your comment, sorry about that. I do that a lot.

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            August 15, 2013 at 13:53

            No worries πŸ˜€

  6. Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

    August 12, 2013 at 14:53

    I love stupid features in games.
    Saint’s Row has become nothing but superfluous, stupid features. and it’s great. :P.

    Reply

    • HvR

      August 12, 2013 at 15:27

      give me a WUBWUB

      Reply

      • Seraphim

        August 13, 2013 at 13:17

        Here take this instead *hands HvR flaming electric guitar*

        Reply

    • Kromas

      August 12, 2013 at 16:54

      There is nothing stupid about skydiving tanks!

      Reply

  7. CodeName Tailgunner

    August 12, 2013 at 15:09

    “I am a good driver in real life” – From a woman. I think not. Driving games are just giving you an objective perspective to your subjectively flawed reality.

    Reply

    • Zoe

      August 12, 2013 at 15:12

      lol, if women are such bad drivers why isn’t there a “1st for men” insurance?

      Reply

      • CodeName Tailgunner

        August 12, 2013 at 15:19

        Same reason why there is no such thing as the white lawyers society or People Against Male Abuse. Frankly we don’t need the help.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

          August 12, 2013 at 15:34

          Wow, first time thinking about it that way. Kinda makes sense.
          10 points

          Reply

          • CodeName Tailgunner

            August 12, 2013 at 15:48

            I suddenly have an odd sense of achievement and success. And here she was trying to tell us that we shouldn’t enjoy useless features.

            My first 10 internet points ever. I won’t spend them all in one place.

          • abzSUNOFMAN

            August 12, 2013 at 18:15

            You need to think more and tailgunner shouldnt be so sexist…. there are plenty of great female drivers out there. I’ve never met one but then again I’ve never seen a UFO either and still believe *whistles the x-files theme as he walks off looking at his phone in hopes to dl the ringtone.

          • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

            August 12, 2013 at 20:55

            Hence thought of it “in that way”. Have though about it, a lot.

            And not knocking female drivers, but agreeing about the comment I replied to.

            Hehe, Xfiles….

      • HvR

        August 12, 2013 at 15:29

        Because men already pay 40% less at all the other insurance companies.

        Reply

        • Zoe

          August 12, 2013 at 18:40

          love to hear which insurance companies – my husband and i have identical risk profiles except for gender, but i’m the primary driver because it costs 60% less that way…

          Reply

          • HvR

            August 12, 2013 at 22:07

            Proper risk profiles should be gender neutral mostly dependent on the individual, best way to get proper insurance deal is get a good broker. Cut my insurance cost by half with no excess payments moving away from “no middle man” insurance companies that advertise on tv to my current broker.

      • TiMsTeR1033

        August 12, 2013 at 15:29

        because they know men like speed. hehe

        Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        August 12, 2013 at 15:30

        but how can you crash into everything in driving games? its not that hard is it….. Oh wait maybe its reaction time. Ive heard to play some driving games in first person view and to do well you have reactions similar to that of a fighter pilot… πŸ™‚

        Reply

      • Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

        August 12, 2013 at 15:33

        So I hear there is a new useless radio spot add-on feature thing for Lazygamer..

        Reply

        • Zoe

          August 12, 2013 at 18:41

          πŸ˜›

          Reply

  8. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    August 12, 2013 at 15:17

    That’s kind of how I feel about smartglass. I recently gave it a whirl on my nexus, and while the idea is interesting, the implementation is just half-arsed. I really hate useless features too, or at least ones that promise to “get better with time”..

    Reply

  9. brad coetzee

    August 12, 2013 at 16:22

    I for one love customising game characters. Features Im not to worried about but clothing is quite necessary I feel( for some games). Like Just Cause 1+2. I just wish I could get Rico to wear a pair of board shorts. running around the tropics in all black, long pants and shoes looks really uncomfortable.

    Reply

  10. Rock789

    August 12, 2013 at 16:43

    I like the dark… In real life. In gaming, I don’t really mind. But in terms of driving, I love driving! Both real and virtual. Bring on the in-game driving sequences… And Forza / Gran Turismo? LOVE IT! πŸ™‚ Absolute car nut… So racing games are my forte’.

    Speaking of which… Perhaps some Forza 4, Porsche expansion shall be played tonight! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  11. HellHound1ZA

    August 12, 2013 at 17:44

    Sounds like you don’t like gaming at all considering all these “gripes” you have with video games have been a staple for close to twenty years? Maybe you’ll be happier playing the Atari where there is no immersion in video games or 3D characters for you to have fun with. They let us customize our characters so Its not always the same thing we see over and over in games and at least that way we can make characters that speak to us and are totally unique compared to the twenty thousand other people playing the same game. Driving shouldn’t be in some games like LA Noir because you’re a cop? Are you for real? Have you never seen cops driving around in the streets? If you don’t want to drive around in the game, don’t get in the vehicle., simple! If you dont like the way gaming has progressed with “useless” features then maybe its time for a new hobby?

    Reply

    • abzSUNOFMAN

      August 12, 2013 at 17:58

      I’m really tired of writers’ opinion pieces that generalize and spout off criticisms based on their gaming preference. LA Noire for instance was amazing and I’m grateful to this day for GavinMan… for suggesting it to me. As for the relevance of driving in that game, they crafted an amazing city that wows me every time I choose to drive myself to a crime scene and not make use of the thoughtful fast travel feature, placed to give you te choice and not criticize having to drive. I love it when games add useless features but as long as the game itself doesn’t feel as if it was incomplete. But lemme jump on the bandwagon of silly ish here and say I hate chicken schnitzel because I don’t see the point in having the chicken go through an extra process before i can cook it and get it in my belly! Seriously – petition anyone?

      Reply

  12. abzSUNOFMAN

    August 12, 2013 at 18:02

    *Standing in the alley with a pitch fork and waiting.

    Reply

    • Vampyre Squirrel

      August 13, 2013 at 13:17

      Waiting for the night cycle?

      Reply

  13. VampyrKing1

    August 12, 2013 at 18:17

    I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

    Reply

  14. Xcalibersa

    August 13, 2013 at 08:07

    I love stupid features. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  15. DadGamer

    August 15, 2013 at 09:25

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