Can a video game with horrible gameplay be truly considered good?

Simply Sami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,083
Don’t see the praise most naughty dog games get. Story wise they solid. But the praise they get is way over the top as the gameplay is average. Uncharted 1 is just awful in terms of gameplay. They slightly improved over the years, but still don’t think they masterpieces.
 

Phantom88

Member
Jan 7, 2018
597
The popularity of witcher 3 on this forum makes it seem so
Gameplay doesnt mean just combat, like most people seem to think so. And even so, the combat is well above average in Witcher 3. Well above. The insistence this forum has with calling the combat really bad then equating combat alone to the gameplay of the game feels like a meme at this point
 

takriel

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,941
User warned: platform warring
Don’t see the praise most naughty dog games get. Story wise they solid. But the praise they get is way over the top as the gameplay is average. Uncharted 1 is just awful in terms of gameplay. They slightly improved over the years, but still don’t think they masterpieces.
Psst. Haven't you heard? This forum really likes their Sony first-party games. You keep this up like me and they will brand you a troll really fast.
 

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,733
Not really, and it's one of the reasons why some of the GOTY picks throughout the years are baffling to me. Atmosphere and story are important, so are graphics, but first thing's first the game's gotta feel good to play. If it doesn't, it's not a good game. Games like Bioshock or Prey have a great atmosphere and cool ideas, but their gameplay is just dull and unfun, as actual shooting mechanics they are extremely weak, thus in no way I'd consider them anywhere near the greatest games. Games are an interactive form of art, so in first it's the interactivity that needs to be good. With music, if a song is well-written you can excuse a poor production (of course it depends how poor we're talking about). With movies, you can excuse a blurry black and white look from a century ago if the acting's god-tier and the story is brilliant. But in games you are to spend possibly dozens of hours playing, interacting. If the act of interacting is not fun, then the story may be the best in the world but the most important chunk of the gameplay is just not good, so I don't consider games in this situation good enough to be considered for GOTY talks.
You lost me at Prey has bad combat and that shooting things is the only part of combat gameplay.
 

icecold1983

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,682
Gameplay doesnt mean just combat, like most people seem to think so. And even so, the combat is well above average in Witcher 3. Well above. The insistence this forum has with calling the combat really bad then equating combat alone to the gameplay of the game feels like a meme at this point
All of the gameplay in witcher 3 is bad. Movement is awful in all areas, control feels terrible, and yes combat is of course atrocious
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,996
You lost me at Prey has bad combat
Personal opinion. It definitely doesn't feel as smooth as the best shooters around (not that it's the only thing going on in Prey, but it's important).

and that shooting things is the only part of combat gameplay.
I never said this. You do, however, spend a considerable amount of time shooting at things or battling enemies, and the actual act of doing that is just not particularly fun compared to something like Doom or Call Of Duty. I'm perfectly aware these games are not trying to be those kind of games, and in fact I appreciate the tactical options they give, but the gameplay still feels too weak and boring to me. Again, these are tastes, not sure what's to contest about those.
 

MidweekCoyote

Member
Mar 23, 2018
297
I mean, Doki Doki pretty much had no gameplay, yet it's excellent entirely for its narrative/out-of-the-box/expectation shattering reasons. So, yes.
 

Disgraced

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,269
No
Consider thinking about gameplay like you would in a tabletop RPG—which is one video games' closest mediums of comparison. In tabletop the story is not only just as important as the gameplay, they are united elements. Who your character is, what they do, how they do it, and where they go is all just as (if not more) important than how they fight. It's all part of the role-playing experience. You don't just roll the dice for fighting. You're meant to constantly interact with the game world and roll for how well you do so. Video games work similarly when they're not ludonarratively dissonant, and that for the most part depends on the game designer and dungeon master.
I mean, Doki Doki pretty much had no gameplay, yet it's excellent entirely for its narrative/out-of-the-box/expectation shattering reasons. So, yes.
I would say Doki Doki has a lot of interactivity towards its latter half, actually. More than most games even with what it asks you to do and how you're meant to "complete" it.
I don't know of many games that ask you to close them alter their files.
Although it's true that most of it is your standard visual novel fare.
 

Phantom88

Member
Jan 7, 2018
597
All of the gameplay in witcher 3 is bad. Movement is awful in all areas, control feels terrible, and yes combat is of course atrocious
Default movement was pretty out there, but after they patched in alternative movement it was alright. Its stopped being an active negative point.

But this is still not gameplay. Gameplay is the totality of the game's systems actions and reactions. The movement, the difficulty of the game, the missions, the objectives, the inventory, the item placement, the enemy encounters, the potion system, the dialogue tree, the dialogue ramifications, the choice and consequence system, the flow of the game, the artificial intelligence, the leveling up system, the sign system - this is what the gameplay in Witcher 3 is. For some reason, the bulk of gamers have no idea what gameplay is. Its either the clashing of swords in a game like witcher or the act of releasing a bullet from a weapon in a shooter. Seems all games are reduced to a singular act even when they have a hundred different systems in place.
 

Yasumi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,993
VNs are just continuous single button clicks, and some are absolutely better than a large percentage of games out there.
 

Pyro

Member
Jul 30, 2018
2,609
United States
No. If it’s serviceable at the very least, then it can be. Otherwise I feel like it brings out the question of “Why isn’t this a [insert other medium]?”
 

CaviarMeths

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,936
Western Canada
I can get absorbed by a great video game story and liveable world, but if I'm constantly fighting against gameplay mechanics, I'm out. I can't take it. Really just makes me want a TV adaptation. Really looking forward to Witcher 3 Netflix series.
 

SunhiLegend

The Legend Continues
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,308
For me it depends whether you like the gameplay or not, gameplay can be average or poor but if it's something you get some satisfaction from and enjoy playing through then you can still enjoy the game.
Games like The Witcher 3 where the combat is terrible, people do like it enough to play through the game, for me I can't play it since it's not engaging or satisfying at all so hard to stick it.
Whats weird to me though is when I see comments where someone would acknowledge that the combat is bad and not something they enjoy but then go on to say it's still a 10/10, best game they've played this gen etc., it's like a major part of the game, what you spend probably like half the time doing when you're in control of your character XD, for me there's no way I would rate a game that high with a major component of the gameplay being poor.
 

dm101

Member
Nov 13, 2018
681
RDR2. That was difficult to get through with the hold whatever button to do said action and to just plain shoot anybody.
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,662
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

Everything about the combat, hand to hand or ranged, was hot garbage on account of the game being released as a barely held together beta. But looking at the finished product, there's a chance it would have sucked anyway.

Still one of the best RPGs ever.
 

Rion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,641
RDR2 for me. I played for 50 hours because of the great story and because of how beautiful and interesting to explore the World was.

The controls / combat were absolutely abysmal by modern standards though imo. Brings a 10/10 game down to a 7/10 game for me. Such a shame.

Hopefully the inevitable PS5/XB2/PC versions can run at 60fps and eliminate much of the input delay and on PC at least there will be mods to offer a way of skipping unnecessary animations that slow the game down (like looting bodies / picking up objects in stores).
 

Fastidioso

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,674
Psst. Haven't you heard? This forum really likes their Sony first-party games. You keep this up like me and they will brand you a troll really fast.
Oh sure. ND is appreciate just because all the world is full of sony fanboy but thanks to God exist people which shine our peasant mind with brilliant post like this and they honor us with their superior knowledge in this forum.
 

Phantom88

Member
Jan 7, 2018
597
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

Everything about the combat, hand to hand or ranged, was hot garbage on account of the game being released as a barely held together beta. But looking at the finished product, there's a chance it would have sucked anyway.

Still one of the best RPGs ever.

Its absolutely not hot garbage. Jesus christ. Its just a simple hack n slash with melee weapons, its absolutely entirely functional and gets the job done. Ranged weapons, are stats based, dont feel that good to use, just a few of them. Vampyr released last year or The Sinking city released couple of weeks ago have infinitely worse combat systems than bloodlines, and were released 15 years later.

Then, the exploration, the clans, the dialogue tree, the choice and consequence, the stats based ramifications of the game, the missions, the objectives, the maleability of the game's systems - those are all gameplay facets my dude. Bloodlines is not a game with shit gameplay.

I wrote above how all encompassing "gameplay" really is. Bloodlines is one of the shinning beacons of gaming - not a game with shit gameplay. Dont think many people wouldve given two shits about it if the gameplay were shit
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,662
Its absolutely not hot garbage. Jesus christ. Its just a simple hack n slash with melee weapons, its absolutely entirely functional and gets the job done. Ranged weapons, are stats based, dont feel that good to use, just a few of them. Vampyr released last year or The Sinking city released couple of weeks ago have infinitely worse combat systems than bloodlines, and were released 15 years later.

Then, the exploration, the clans, the dialogue tree, the choice and consequence, the stats based ramifications of the game, the missions, the objectives, the maleability of the game's systems - those are all gameplay facets my dude. Bloodlines is not a game with shit gameplay.

I wrote above how all encompassing "gameplay" really is. Bloodlines is one of the shinning beacons of gaming - not a game with shit gameplay. Dont think many people wouldve given two shits about it if the gameplay were shit
I vehemently disagree. Reloading, weapons switching and combat AI were well below subpar. Even most spell casting (as a Tremere, no less) was meh at best. Melee was super messy and third person shooting was plainly unfun.

Fighting in Vampire was a real fucking chore and one of the reasons why the sewers sucked so bad.

Another way to look at it is that the fantastic RPG elements were massively brought down by some of the jankiest action ever shown on a cult classic.

It's a terrific game, but there's an enormous gulf in gameplay quality varying on your style and each section of the game.

It's also one of the reasons why Bloodlines 2 animations and combat don't concern me. It looks janky as all hell, but all the other good stuff seems to be there.
 

noyram23

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,071
Yes because the medium have moved on to just "gameplay" at it's centerpiece, videogames are more than the sum of its parts. Deadly Premonition and those eurojank games are samples to that
 

Edgar

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,686
For me it depends whether you like the gameplay or not, gameplay can be average or poor but if it's something you get some satisfaction from and enjoy playing through then you can still enjoy the game.
Games like The Witcher 3 where the combat is terrible, people do like it enough to play through the game, for me I can't play it since it's not engaging or satisfying at all so hard to stick it.
Whats weird to me though is when I see comments where someone would acknowledge that the combat is bad and not something they enjoy but then go on to say it's still a 10/10, best game they've played this gen etc., it's like a major part of the game, what you spend probably like half the time doing when you're in control of your character XD, for me there's no way I would rate a game that high with a major component of the gameplay being poor.
There's nothing weird about different priorities of what an individual can and will enjoy while still acknowledging particular flaws.
Also the end experience, the sum of its parts is far far more important and resonant for majority of people rather than one individual thing. I for example can't enjoy purely gameplay driven games, no matter how good it feels to play. I need to care for why I'm doing what I'm doing. Gameplay loop alone gets boring really fast
 

Gnorman

Member
Jan 14, 2018
1,576
It's subjective, if I enjoy the game it's good to me. There's a few games that are considered to have almost perfect gameplay mechanics that bore me to tears and would ever choose to play.
 

takriel

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,941
Oh sure. ND is appreciate just because all the world is full of sony fanboy but thanks to God exist people which shine our peasant mind with brilliant post like this and they honor us with their superior knowledge in this forum.
Well, well, aren't you the posterboy of the people I'm talking about lol.
 

Hentailover

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,060
Moscow
Good or bad are largerly subjective. Just cuz we happen to reach some sort of consensus on extreme cases more often than not does not change that fact. Honestly, with toxic behavior around reviews, review score and general horrid way people treat dissenting opinions on theirprecious geek products online, I think it'd be healthier if we just moved on from this weird objectivist point of view.

As for my examples, alpha protocol, two worlds 2.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,886
Madrid
People really have no clue what "atrocius gameplay" is, do they? I profoundly dislike both TLOU and Witcher 3's combat (so much so that I dropped both), but they're definitely nowhere near "atrocious".
 

SunhiLegend

The Legend Continues
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,308
There's nothing weird about different priorities of what an individual can and will enjoy while still acknowledging particular flaws.
Also the end experience, the sum of its parts is far far more important and resonant for majority of people rather than one individual thing. I for example can't enjoy purely gameplay driven games, no matter how good it feels to play. I need to care for why I'm doing what I'm doing. Gameplay loop alone gets boring really fast
Yeah, I guess you're right, and I'm not saying one individual thing but if it's something like I said you'll be spending a lot of the time doing while playing it's hard to get past that, a lot of my favorite games this gen are story driven but the combat is also engaging enough that I'm able to see out the story/character arcs etc., others where gameplay I've not liked but enjoyed the story/characters I'll just get my story fix through youtube since for most games that kind of stuff I don't actually need to play the game to experience/enjoy. I can play a game with satisfying gameplay but poor story since I can skip that stuff but the other way round I can't do.
 

RunesmithCaryll

PlayStation EU
Verified
Jan 8, 2018
634
It's a 'your mileage may vary' kind of situation and a question of what captivates you most about the games you play. If you merely play games for mechanics and challenge, I'd imagine janky gameplay would be a deal-breaker. If you're more there for narrative, setting or atmosphere, then maybe not.

I don't think there's a right or a wrong, I think the bigger challenge for many people is accepting a that 'critically acclaimed x' is not for you, because it doesn't push your buttons. I liked BotW, but I know I'll never love it like others because it lacks key things I really look for; I really like the gameplay look of RotN, but I'm having a hard time looking past the art direction, which doesn't nothing for me.
 

Mr.Deadshot

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,422

BeaconofTruth

Banned
Dec 30, 2017
1,561
No. If you have bad gameplay, you are a bad game. You can not be bad at the interactive aspects of an interactive medium. I can get a story elsewhere (often better), and the visual/audio stuff are ultimately the superficial achievements of the game. The gameplay however is the defining characteristic of the game. No matter how well written or told the story is.