It's for you...
Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ah the noise of the insistent phone. Impossible to ignore, often inconvenient to answer: especially in video games. Yes, when youre knee-deep in killer Nazi robot badgers, youre sneaking up behind your target after hours of careful infiltration, or youre just busy doing something more interesting your virtual phone will inevitably call and totally ruin your day.
Thats why Ive put together this list of the most annoying phone calls in games. Admittedly, several entries arent strictly dealing with 'traditional phones'. Some are radios, some are futuristic implants, some are walkie-talkies: all are utterly infuriating. So, get reading, before someone interrupts your blissful internet-browsing with their inane jibber-jabber
7. Zekes nuisance calls - InFamous
Zeke is a jerk. While Im sure he was originally designed to be a sparky companion figure for the personality-vacuum Cole MacGrath (star of inFamous), hes actually just a nuisance. So, its no surprise that he calls Cole during some of the most inconvenient moments in the game, to chat about morality and commercial opportunities. Seriously, stop your whining, Zeke.
Perhaps the most irritating call comes when Cole is attempting to defend a civilian supply-drop against some gun-toting jerks. Zeke thinks its time to chat about how they can make some money from Coles super-powers, while the gun-toting jerks think its time to pull out a mini-gun and blast our hero into a bloody mess. Not now, Zeke. Say, why dont you take a long walk off a short cliff.
6. Aidens endless chatter - Watch Dogs
While Aidens smartphone is a wonderful thing, allowing him to hack the city of Chicago to bend all technology to his will he still gets plenty of annoying calls on it. Every time you restart the game, Aiden repeats the last phone call he had with whatever asshole hes currently chasing down. Sure, its meant to be a story catch-up device, but its pretty annoying.
Worse still, Aiden is one of several people on this list who are inexplicably slowed by radio chatter. Despite being able to hack Chicagos complex traffic system while driving at 100mph, pursued by five police cars, he cant even manage a jog when on the phone to his sister. Come on Aiden, there are dogs to watch! Oh, actually, there aren't...
5. Youre ruining my life! - Hotline Miami
Hello. Whats that? You want me to butcher another building full of assholes and systematically drive me towards insanity for reasons I cant fully understand? Sure, why not--anything to stop this damn 80s-era phone from making that racket!
Hotline Miamis phone calls are the inevitably destructive kind. The ones that you need to answer, despite the fact that you know--in advance--that its always going to be bad news. It's a neat twist how you kill the geeks from the phone company (the ones actually making the calls) at the end. See also Heavy Rain, where the Origami Killer takes great delight in using phone calls to torture Ethan Mars, as he drip-feeds the sullen protagonist information about his missing son, Shaun.
4. Stop and talk - Gears of War
Sometimes, story-chatter can be used to fill pauses in the action, conveniently hiding loading gaps with information few people tend to care about. Happens a lot in Gears of War. All of a sudden, the Locust hordes will stop attacking long enough for Marcus Fenix and his buddies to stroll very slowly down a corridor, chatting to some no-mark back at base about some stuff that you instantly forget once youre allowed to chainsaw dudes in half again.
Thing is, the chats in Gears occasionally go on a little too long, leaving you deep within the next set-piece before Fenix takes his hand away from his ear. No, you hang up. No you No oh hang on, gotta go: someone just shot me in the thigh and Im bleeding quite heavily.
3. Hey Cousin! - GTA 4
Yeah, youve been waiting for this one, havent you. While GTA 4s mobile phone adds all kinds of cool options, like the ability to ring up Nikos latest girlfriend for a booty-call, it also realistically simulates the needy relative. You know the one. A brother, or mother, or cousin who calls you endlessly to tell you nothing in particular, or--in GTA 4--invite you to the local strip-club, bowling alley, or bar.
Towards the later stages of the game, you learn to fear the sound of Roman ringing you up and talking about teeeeteees, because although you found that stuff funny at the start, its beginning to get annoying now. The worst part is that--if you inevitably grow to hate Roman, thanks to his constant need for attention--you probably choose not to help him out at the end. And that leads to one hell of a guilt-trip.
2. Endless exposition - Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gears CODEC is cool. Changing frequencies to chat to different people at various points throughout the game? Great. The feeling that youre never alone in the world? Nice. The fact that Kojima uses it to explain every aspect of the Metal Gear universe to the captive player when all they really want to do is get on with stealth-murdering a bunch of soldiers? Not-so-good.
In the original Metal Gear Solid, it reaches the point where youre chatting on the CODEC for several minutes at a time, as Snake gets routinely lectured on almost everything he sees and does during his mission. Hey Snake, notice youre looking at a tree. Did you know thats a redwood tree? Theyre commonly found in northern California and China, and the tallest tree in the world is a Sequoia--part of the Redwood family--and also Snake? Are you listening? Or are you dead? Snake? SNAAAAAAKE!
1. Stop calling me! - Dead Rising
Otis, from the original Dead Rising, is by far the most irritating caller in games. Hes the King of Poor Timing, regularly pestering protagonist Frank West with demands at the worst possible moments. Not only does he impose near-impossible missions on the player--by contacting Frank on the walkie-talkie and telling him to save stranded survivors on the other side of the freakin' map--but hell often call back seconds later for no good reason.
Whats more, he gets hacked off if you dont answer your phone immediately. While hes tucked away in his nice little safe-house, dishing out nuggets of wisdom, and youre roaming the games shopping mall fending off tens of thousands of zombies, he actually has the temerity to criticise you for not bending to his every whim via the walkie-talkie. Hey, Otis, if youre so fucking bothered about telling me what to do, why dont you come down here and tell me yourself. Oh, thats right, youre not man enough to do that. Yeah? Well, stay in your little room then! Im hanging up.
Oh, they hung up
There you have them, folks. The most annoying phone calls in games. Not quite as irritating as PPI cold-calling, but pretty frustrating all the same. Have you experienced anything more annoying than these calls in your favourite games? Well keep that shit to yourself! No, Im just kidding. Leave a comment below
Soooo, what are you going to do now? Pretend to do some work? Maybe youre going to look up pictures of naked ladies? Hey, its your life. Might I suggest you check out some of our other Top 7s? Heres the Top 7 Games Where The Bad Guys Win, and the Top 7 Amazing Ideas Hidden In Mediocre Games. Have fun. Be safe.