I was invited to be on the "Games So Bad They're Good" panel at PAX East, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from taking part. Fortunately, my Editor in Chief, Ludwig Kietzmann, was ready and willing to take my place. His selection, Far Cry 2, took more than a few people by surprise - the reaction on Twitter went something like "Are you crazy? Far Cry 2 is awesommmmeeeeee!" His reasoning was ... unusual, to say the least, so we're reprinting his argument. These are the notes he used for his presentation, exactly as he used them, thus the atypical format.
For the record, my choice was going to be Phantasy Star Online. I think Luddy won this one.
I tried to be considerate about this, and cognizant of why bad qualities can lead to pleasure.
The thing about bad movies like Plan 9
is that you're looking at an event so awkward and terrible for the people involved that you want to instinctually stop them and protect them, but you can't because it's already committed to film.
It's too late to stop the tragedy, so now you are allowed to enjoy it.
In a game, if your actions don't align with your expectations or what the game is about, it's frustrating.
Most games are good despite their bad qualities, like story and controls, and not because of them.
At first I thought: Okay, what about games that give the player all the power and then back away?
Is that bad game design? Is God of War
so bad, because they let you rip out a monster's medulla oblongata and then bash their head in with it and then you're like, "This violence is a bit mindless isn't it?"
Or, what about games that overcomplicate and abstract simple, physical actions, like QWOP
, Surgeon Simulator
Then I had an epiphany, I yelled, "Eureka! "and someone said, "Shh, this is a library, keep your revelations to yourself."
I'm going with Far Cry 2
, and here's why.