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What truly constitutes a bad game?

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I ask this question because I believe that most gamers use the term "bad game" far too liberally. Today, I will be doing a sort of deep dive on the aspects we use to determine what truly constitutes a bad game. Here we go:

One aspect based on what might make a game bad is one person's opinion on said game. But, as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

I'll use me as an example – I am of the belief that Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a bad game. I am fully aware that a large portion of you will disagree with me. You say that the combat is dynamic and challenging, I say that it's poorly thought out and infuriating. You say that the UI fits the aesthetic, I say that it's severely outdated and convoluted. You say that the core mechanics are realistic, I say that they're overly tedious. You say that it's a unique RPG, I say that it's merely a nicer looking Mount and Blade

But this is just my opinion, my opinion doesn't devalue the game whatsoever and doesn't mean that the game is bad, I just think it's bad based on my own personal experience. And again, I'm fully aware that a lot of people enjoy this game, it's just not for me.

Now that we've talked about what constitutes a bad based on personal opinions, now we will look at another aspect – a game being considered bad from a technical standpoint.

All games have bugs and technical issues, some have more than others. A very recent example is Cyberpunk 2077, specifically the PS4 version. Which based on what I've heard is the version that's receiving most of the criticism.

Now, I will not share my opinion of the game, as I'm sure people will get upset. But I acknowledge that the game is very buggy, poorly optimized and unfinished (at least on the older consoles). But as far as I know, the PC, PS5 and Series X versions, while a little buggy, are actually pretty good. But as I said, the game is bad from a technical standpoint. And going back to what I said about opinions, whether you enjoyed the game regardless of the technical issues, is up to you to decide.

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Another aspect I will talk about is whether a game is bad from a graphical standpoint. Now, graphics are a very minor detail and don't necessarily mean that a game is bad. But based on my experience, there are people who value graphics a little too much.

It all comes down to this – we've been spoiled. There are now thousands of beautiful looking games, from The Witcher 3, God of War 2018, Death Stranding, The Last of Us and even Indie darlings such as Firewatch, Life Is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It has gotten to a point where if a the lighting of a 2020 game is a slightly worse than a game from 2013, we immediately denounce the game's graphics, calling them bad.

A great example of this is Ghost of Tsushima. Not a bad game by any stretch but when it comes to the graphical style, you either love it or you despise it. And that is something I think people take a little too seriously.

And the last aspect I will talk about (But not the only one, as I'm hoping you discuss the other aspects I missed in the comments) is whether a game is bad from a gameplay standpoint.

A game can look gorgeous and have few bugs, but if the gameplay is lacking then most people will turn a blind eye. Which is a problem most Indie games face (apart from a few exceptions such as That Dragon Cancer and to a certain degree Hellblade). A large amount of gamers want high impact gameplay and set pieces, which a lot of Indie games tend to lack. This is partially the reason why Death Stranding was criticized within the American gaming market. Too much walking, not enough shooting.

That is all I will talk about today. What are some other aspects you believe makes a game bad? Or good, if you wish to discuss that as well.

Now this is based on my experience and I'm sure people will disagree but that's fine. Hope you have a good day!

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