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4 Misunderstood Games That are Actually Good


Staff member
Too often, I see gamers speak out against these games, but at the same time, I do sort of understand why some people don't like them, so I'm going to try to clear these titles up as best as I can.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Ever since the release of The Witcher 3, and especially after the release of Bethesda's more atrocious Fallout games, it's becoming more and more popular to say that Bethesda makes and has always made terrible RPGs. And the one game in the ES series that gets the most flak for this is definitely Skyrim by far. Now, I'm not going to say that Skyrim is a perfect game. It absolutely has its flaws, but to toss it out altogether is, I think, completely unfair and uncalled for.

Most of the complaints against Skryim come from the fact that its characters are shallow and the stories are simply written. They also argue that Skyrim's combat/leveling systems have been too streamlined. Now, some of this is pretty true, but the thing is, Skyrim was never aiming to be this extreme story extravaganza. In explanation, I really want to rip off Noah Gervais' amazing video on this. Basically though, the most important character in Skyrim is you. Player one. Further, the game aims to be a fantasy simulation as much as it possibly can with the story serving the gameplay much more than the other way around. The game is built in such a way that you can play the game any damn way you wish and everything will still be accounted for and ready to go.

Now, having this design philosophy means sacrificing a few big things, most notably depth of character and story. But specific RPGs aim to do specific things. Dragon Age may have a much more engaging plot and characters, but it's also incredibly linear in comparison to Skyrim. You have fixed routes through the story and that is it. With that said, one game is not superior to the other. Some people love what Skyrim offers more, and some other people want games in the vein of The Witcher 3. Or maybe some people like both. It's all a matter of taste.

2. Far Cry 2

It doesn't surprise me at all to hear that FC2 was not liked by many people. Problems cited were the constantly respawning checkpoints, no convenient fast travel, malaria, and constantly jamming/breaking guns. So let's say you get a mission. For one, if you need them, you gotta drive all the way to a gun store to get new weapons. You'll probably run into two or three patrols and a checkpoint or two on the way. Ok, you got all those weapons. Now you need to make your way to the objective. Oh wait though, you're having a malaria attack, so you take your medication. Alright, NOW you're ready... To run into three more patrols and two more checkpoints. Oh wait, someone got a lucky shot off with a sniper rifle at one of the checkpoints and now you got flanked and now you're dead. Great! Now you need to start back at the gun store because you didn't save. Fine, you go through all that crap and get to the objective. Hard as hell, but you manage to get it done. Awesome, now you just need to make your way back... DAMN IT. A patrol caught you by surprise and killed you. Fine! You start at the former objective point, make your way back, have another malaria attack. Now you have enough diamonds to buy... One gun.

I get it. I really do, but this is one of those cases where the game doesn't explain properly the best way to play it and perhaps even to think about it. The key to enjoying FC2's gameplay is to SLOW THE HELL DOWN, and the key to enjoying FC2's overall world is to remember that nothing here is your friend. You're not the hero. You're just another malefactor with a gun. You are in this brutal world, doing dirty deeds done dirt cheap. But although nothing is really your friend here, you can conquer it. You can destroy it. You can make it your bitch. Despite the game world generally working against you, you still have all the tools at your disposal to rise above everything.

As brutal/edgy as it sounds, remember that you're not here to save the day. You're not here to get more cash, upgrades, or even to complete objectives. You are here purely for the hunt and the kill. You are here for the moment-to-moment destruction. That is all. That is FC2. And FC2 delivers on all of this quite well. And if you can truly realize this and apply it, suddenly, all those respawning checkpoints look like opportunities. Patrols? Easy kills. Outposts? They're yours now.

I could go on, but I'll just leave this excellent link here if you want more information on exact tactics/good loadouts/etc.

3. Doom 3

What the hell is this game? Doom was about super fast run-and-gun action, killing demons by the truckload in mostly well lit environments. Here, you're just running around with a flashlight in pitch black hallways and rooms like a dumbass. Yep. Carmack thought this was a good idea for Doom 3. Open some doors and get randomly pounced on. Step into a room and hear an enemy, but now you gotta make the decision of either having your flashlight out or a gun. Oh, and don't forgot all the audio logs and emails you'll have to go through to get some random door code or box code. 10/10 Doom gameplay, John. So impressive...

Now, I didn't really get the proper way to play this game either until I came across this quite awesome video of a Nightmare speedrun for Doom 3. And then it hit me. You see, this game is the opposite of FC2 in a way, and the way John Carmack intended everyone to play Doom 3 (creeping along corridors with the flashlight) was kinda shit. When you don't take your time, and you just blast through the areas as fast as possible, the game instantly becomes MUCH more fun and what Doom 3 was supposed to be. It's still not perfect, but it does offer a much more different and unique experience. The weapons are mostly well-balanced for this as well and quite satisfying.

What I recommend is getting a handy list of all the door codes and etc. so you don't have to look through all the damn PDAs. Having said all that though, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy Doom 3's more immersive atmosphere. I guess I would also recommend just playing the game normally if it's your first time, and if you find it's just not working out for you, then switch to a much quicker more intensive play-style.

4. Neverwinter Nights

Ending with another RPG, we come to NWN. But what's that, you say? NWN was actually critically acclaimed? People loved it? Well, yes, but pretty much entirely for the engine itself, the great tools it provided for custom content, DM Mode, and its overall multiplayer. The minute you start talking about the main campaign itself, then the gloves come off and people will instantly start comparing it to Baldur's Gate 1 or 2, although not unjustly so. To be specific, people cite the weird cutting down of party control, inventory control, and heavily restricted party size. And perhaps the biggest complaint of all is that the story was seen as uninteresting. Boring. Uninspired.

Yes, there is no doubt for me either that NWN's story is a pretty typical story of sword and sorcery. The brave/reluctant heroes venturing forth to defeat an ancient evil across the lands. But you know what? That's kind of why I like it. It is a typical fantasy story, yes, but I believe it's decently executed. And perhaps just for me, there's something about the Forgotten Realms universe that's incredibly fascinating and absorbing for me. Even further, there's enough interesting side quests peppered all across the campaign. The quests and interactions don't have a lot of depth, but they have just enough to pull you in at least a little bit. And finally, there's the amazing music by Jeremy Soule that just completes everything. I swear, that man will go down in history as a musical genius along the likes of Marty O' Donnell and Alexander Brandon.

Ok, that's all fine, but even so, why did people rebel so much against NWN? Well, I believe this to mainly be the fault of the starting area. You're locked in the city of Neverwinter for a while, and while the plague-ravaged city is a pretty cool setting, you'll be spending a lot of time there retrieving 4 separate plot items in 4 different areas. Inevitably, you'll start to get bored of it all. This is where I find most people just kinda give up on NWN prematurely. I mean, I did it too when I played first this game a long long time ago, but later on, I gave it another chance and it's become one of my favorite RPGs.

Campaign aside, I've also heard it said that NWN is a lot more interesting when you play as a magic user. This actually makes a lot of sense since NWN is using D&D 3E rules. No, not even 3.5E. Just vanilla 3E. While this does actually give the game some advantages over other D&D systems of the past and future, it also means that the game engine, by nature, is heavily skewed towards favoring magic. Technically, all D&D systems have this issue to an extent, but 3/3.5E seemed to really have it particularly bad. And finally, there's the basic party control, heavily restricted party sizes, and no party inventory management... You know what? In argument, I'm just gonna link this thread I made a while ago and also say that some more maneuvering/positioning options would have been nice too I suppose.


I was seriously thinking of putting Guild Wars 2 onto this list as well, but I don't think I've ran into enough complaints with that game to justify such, so I'll just leave it for now. Let me know though if you'd still like me to write something about it.
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Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Cookmaster supreme
All of these games are good in their own right, and I wouldn't say they are misunderstood. A lot of the complaints are legitimate and some are just ranting for the sake of ranting because they would have liked a different game from what they got in the end. Ultimately a big part of the long lasting popularity of these games came from a dedicated fan base that mods them a lot specially in the case of Skyrim and NWN, Doom 3 and FC2 also had their dedicated mods though. That duct tape flashlight mod was such a welcome sight that for the BFG edition they straight up removed the mechanic of having to switch between flashlight and guns.


Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Ultimately a big part of the long lasting popularity of these games came from a dedicated fan base that mods them a lot specially in the case of Skyrim
Pretty much this. I've played skyrim on pc and ps3, and the ability to add mods definitely makes the game longer lasting. Even the psvr version gets pretty dull pretty quickly