How the hell was this ever controversial?!

For a medium that lets us chainsaw faces off, punch presidents in their plums and slaughter endangered species, it's amazing how sensitive some of us get when developers do things we don't agree with.

Certainly there's been many decisions to get us overly worked up about, whether it's Killzone 2's 'target footage' or Shigsy shedding that last bit of lingering dignity by playing Wii Music like a diminutive Japanese John Williams. That’s why we’ve taken a retrospective look at some of the industry’s biggest controversies from the last decade and tell you why they weren’t such a big deal after all.

Why it caused such a stink

Coming off the back of two fairly dark 3D adventures in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker’s whimsical cartoon looks were a thematic and tonal sea change from what had come before. Nintendo also had fans clamouring for a realistic Zelda a year prior to Link's cel-shaded adventure being revealed, with the footage they showed at the 2000 Space World event depicting a Twilight Princess-esque Link squaring off against Ganondorf.

Above: Making fanboys mess their pants since Space World 2000

Journalists and gamers alike worried the new art direction was a sign that Nintendo were trying to dumb down Zelda by making it more accessible to all ages – talk about a dark omen of things to come. Miyamoto even had to defend the game before its release, saying people shouldn’t judge it on graphics until they’d played it at 2002’s E3.

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

Despite wags dubbing the game ‘Celda’, the disarming art style merely gave an already timeless series an image that was even more durable. Wind Waker was classic Zelda at its heart and fears the game had been dumbed-down were wide of the mark. Granted, the sailing was a bit boring. But the charming characters and setting, combined with Zelda’s trademark ingenious dungeon design, ensured the Gamecube’s first foray into the world of form-fitting elf tunics would be remembered as one of the best entries in the series.

Above: Begrudgingly gaining fanboys’ respect since 2003

Why it caused such a stink

Skewering Hitler’s finest with a bayonet. Fine. But killing some little alien bug things in the house of God? Now that really is crossing a line. Enter Resistance: Fall of Man’s brief fight through Manchester Cathedral and one spectacularly brassed off Church of England.

Not only did they take issue with all the alien blasting, but they weren’t too pleased Sony had recreated a near photo realistic depiction of the interior of the building without their permission. The Dean of the Cathedral branded it "virtual desecration" and called the Japanese giant irresponsible for basing a section of the game in a city that has struggled with gun violence over recent years.

Above: The Cathedral’s newest parishioners didn’t take too kindly to the holy water

The British press then jumped on the misinformed bandwagon, with the Times Online proclaiming: 'The new PlayStation 3 game, which has sold more than one million copies, sees a virtual shoot-out between rival gunmen with hundreds killed during a battle inside the cathedral.' Officials from the Cathedral consulted their holy lawyers and urged Sony to pledge some of the profits from the game to charities concerned with gun crime.

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

David Meikleham
Google AMP Stories Editor

David has worked for Future under many guises, including for GamesRadar+ and the Official Xbox Magazine. He is currently the Google Stories Editor for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, which sees him making daily video Stories content for both websites. David also regularly writes features, guides, and reviews for both brands too.