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5 Worst Video Game Tutorials of All Time

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Unless you can count the eight car park pillars I repeatedly slammed into while trying to execute a Slalom in Driver, I can’t say I’ve ever really lost to a tutorial level. The simple reason for that is, well, I’m just far too stubborn to call it quits when the going gets tough. Not that tutorials are famous for being overly complex, or anything. And if something, they’re actually built to hold your hand and usher you through the motions before showing you the stage door. You know, nothing like what Driver built back in 1999.

With all of that said, there have been some pretty diabolical tutorials over the years, many of which have continued to haunt us even to this day. And so, besides Driver’s inexcusably disadvantageous parking lot opener, there are others that ring the death knell for otherwise good video games. So, if you want to talk about bad tutorials, then let’s open up the conversation with these five unruly creations.

 

5. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess served as further proof that Nintendo’s only wish was to explore Link’s backstory and give it more meat than crumbs. The problem, though, was that nobody really cared for farming, or fishing, or any form of agricultural work for that matter, especially when there were far more pressing matters unravelling from the closest quarters of Hyrule. But, you know, that was a creative decision Nintendo assumed would benefit the pacing of the narrative.

To cut a long story short, it didn’t help, creatively. It was, in fact, a bit of a slog, and not a great one at that. Because at the end of the day, what does catching a fish to help persuade a cat to go home do to advance the story? Nada. It does nothing, other than flesh out an unnecessarily long tutorial. But you and I both know that any good Zelda game begins with the awakening of a hero, and the looming cry of a Hyrulian collective, and not whatever Twilight Princess brought to the table back in 2006.

 

4. Kingdom Hearts 2

There isn’t a series in the world that’ll make you feel more isolated from the truth and without purpose than Kingdom Hearts. Thanks to its ludicrously hollow subplots and questionably bulky roster of redundant characters, the series basically asks that you wither in frustration as you learn the functions of your keyblade and, I don’t know, sea salt ice creams, or something.

Kingdom Hearts 2 was hit like a freight train full of negativity following its release, mainly because of its lengthy prologue that had no real connection to the main plot that was shoved down our throats beforehand. If, however, you watched a spin-off movie about it, which came out four years after the release of Kingdom Hearts 2, then you definitely would’ve caught on to a couple of referencesIn 2005, though, you were as lost as anyone else who picked it up, and there was nothing you could do about it but sit it out and wait for the actual game to begin. So, you know, thanks for that, Square.

 

3. Ride to Hell: Retribution

Oh, you wanted context? Well, you’d best swerve clear of Ride to Hell: Retribution’s laughably poor opening then. And while you’re at it, you might as well scratch the entire game off your to-do list, too, seeing as it was rated one of the worst video games of 2013, period. Its tutorial, though, was the nail in the coffin, which was hammered in roughly three seconds after the title screen dissolved.

Ride to Hell: Retribution doesn’t for a second take a moment to introduce you to the world it belongs in. Instead, it drops you into a cluster of bullets and haze, shoddy voice work and regurgitated plot lines. And that’s just the first few minutes. See for yourself, and you’ll understand why 99% of its players abandoned the ride before the tutorial even ended. It’s awful, and we actually feel bad for anyone who braved the entire road trip. For us, we couldn’t even back it out of the driveway. Heck, we didn’t even want to fill up the tank.

 

2. Metal Gear Solid V

Let us cover our backs by saying this: Metal Gear Solid V, all things considered, is not a bad game. Its dull and tediously unskippable prologue, on the other hand, is textbook anarchy—and not in a good way. For starters, it’s stupidly long, and lives only to flesh out an otherwise phenomenal experience. But even then, it still could’ve been skipped and nobody would’ve bat an eyelid.

As the one and only Big Boss, you find yourself crawling through broken glass and bandages for what feels like an eternity before finally reverting back to your old self. Before reaching that point, though, you have to endure a whole lot of grunting and writhing, stumbling and sliding. Sure, there are moments of stealth here and there, but boy, they don’t even put a dent in the content that waits on the horizon. It’s convincing players to make it through the first night that’s the hard part.

 

1. Monster Hunter

As much as we’d love to give a dishonorable mention to just one game under the Monster Hunter banner, this is a title perhaps best shared. By that, we mean each and every entry to roll out of the Capcom IP has in, at least in some way, wound up featuring a terrible tutorial of some sort. For the most part, though, they’re all pretty boring and painstakingly long. And honestly, they don’t do themselves any favors by recycling the same old spiel, either.

Of course, wait around long enough and you’ll start to see fireworks. But, think of the first five hours of every game as having to watch toddlers hit putty with firecrackers. That’s it. That’s all your expected to do for the first few hours before starting the actual adventure. And although the devs have probably acknowledged its fault, they do unfortunately continue to make their tutorials equally as monotonous. Do we still complain? Why yes, yes we do.

 

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five worst tutorials? Are there any we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.