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We had no fewer than four girlfriends and wives complain about Call of Duty 4, so it easily soaks up the most hate in the GR offices. However, the MMO genre is right behind it with two specific grievances – the first was Motor City on the previous page, and now we have sci-fi FPS PlanetSide causing friction between an otherwise happy couple.
Her story: “I don't like, in general, when he plays MMO games. He has headphones on and talks to his buddies with special mics in full cavemen mentality, ‘hunting’ the enemies with a herd of other cavemen. When I would walk in and say, 'Hi babes,' he would look at me with this spacey look, like he was far far away, as if I was intruding.”
Lesson learned: Remember things you’ve said, like “I love you” and “I do?” Sometimes you have to back those words up with actions that don’t involve tanks, guilds or space marines.
Never heard of Cookie & Cream? We’re not surprised. What is surprising, however, is how much fun you can have with the game’s party-centric multiplayer. Well, unless you’re the wife of PC Gamer EIC Gary Steinman, who had to review this game and needed subjects to test just how fun the multiplayer really was. Gary, normally a wise and noble soul, forced the controller on his non-gaming wife, then angrily corrected her every move. Naturally this resulted in a hatred for not just Cookie & Cream, but gaming as a whole.
Above: You’re doing it wrong!
Mr. Steinman is out this week so he couldn’t provide a direct quote from his better half, but eyewitness reports claim his constant barrage of “you’re holding the controller wrong! Go this way, not that way! Why did you do that?!” effectively eroded any chance of the two sharing a family game night in the future.
Lesson learned: Yelling and criticizing every move is not the way to convince a non-gaming spouse to pick up the habit. Unless the problem was he didn’t yell loud enough.
Left 4 Dead might be a critically acclaimed shooter, a ridiculously intense thrill ride and one of the few genuinely scary horror games of the current generation, but when you're not in the room, it's nothing but a lot of screaming and gunshots. Add Xbox Live into the mix and it's screaming, gunshots and mumbling that may or may not be directed at you, which makes for a heady blend of irritation when Mikel's wife, Diana, is trying to sleep, read or do anything else that requires any measure of concentration.
Diana’s story: “I guess it was Left 4 Dead... there was something that had this high-pitched shrieking noise. Not fun to wake up to. I figure one of these days, I’m going to go into the game room, and instead of Mikel sitting around in his underwear there’s gonna be like a goat head and a lot of blood.
“So I don’t like the way videogames cry wolf about terrible things happening in the other room. There was one weekend where I’d keep waking up early in the morning and hearing ‘AAAA! AAAA!’ It also irritates me when he plays online, because all of a sudden I’ll hear him talking, and I don’t know who he’s talking to.
“My other thing that annoys me is… what’s that little pixie in the Zelda games? I’m gonna kill that bitch. Just listening to her go, “HEY!” over and over - that was the only sound I’d hear when my ex-boyfriend played Ocarina of Time, because he’d turn it down really low. All I’d hear was the “HEY!”
Above: SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP ALSO I'M LEAVING YOU
Lesson learned: Soundproofing is more important than zombie-proofing, Navi should be muzzled and Saturday’s planned goat-slaughter should be put off until a less conspicuous location can be found.
See, it’s not just the guys – Francesca Reyes, EIC of Official Xbox Magazine, has her own tale of relationship negligence from the 16-bit days. Apparently her boyfriend Dan couldn’t stand the slow paced, fuzzy stomached joy found in Crusader of Centy.
Fran’s take: “Don’t blame Dan for his hatin’ on Crusader! He’s been absolutely positively saintly for enduring countless years of my gaming, especially for the many years when we only had one TV (I still hog the main TV, even). He even remembers them better than I do at this point — he can hum tracks from Landstalker despite never having played it and my having played it eons ago.
But for some reason, Crusader of Centy really got his goat — he constantly complained whenever I popped it in (“Oh god... it’s not that game with the animals again, is it?!”) and it still annoys him to this day whenever I bring it up."
Dan’s lament: “I think it was just the boring-ness of the whole thing, like learning animal languages. I mean, why did you have to learn so many of these stupid animal languages? "
Lesson learned: Videogames aren’t gender-biased – they can annoy the piss out of anyone.
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