15 Flawed Games Worth Checking Out

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Not every game can be perfect or even great. The vast majority of them aren’t. However, there a lot of good games that have fantastic concepts or moments in them, even if whole experience might be rough around the edges. The following is a collection of such titles, each flawed in various ways but with something special about them that makes them worth dealing with the issues.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday

A gripping piece of interactive nonfiction, 1979 stuck to the rails a bit too much for our liking, but its well-told story and memorable characters ultimately made the experience worthwhile. Definitely check this one our if you’re into narrative-driven experiences. You can read our review here. (Platforms: PC, iOS, Android)

Nier: Automata

A follow-up to 2010’s strange and ambitious Nier, Automata turns everything up to 11, melding frantic action gameplay with bleak philosophy in a sci-fi setting. Yes, you have to grind through some repetition to get the full effect but for those who love mind-bending adventures about hope and despair, Nier: Automata will probably be your jam. You can read our review here(Platforms: PS4, PC)

VA-11 HALL-A

This one is for all the Blade Runner, Akira, and Snatcher fans out there. Taking place in a cyberpunk bar, you play a bartender who, well, does their job, mixing drinks and talking to customers. It’s essentially cyberpunk Cheers and it’s fantastic. Those who want a bit more action (and less lewdness) to their sci-fi fantasy should probably avoid it. Here’s Joe’s review if you want more info. (Platform: PC)

Pathologic

A cult classic, Pathologic was essentially a broken game upon release way back in 2005. However, its ambitions were incredible, casting you as one of three characters trying to solve a plague crisis in a small medieval town. A rerelease has fixed most of the issues, though the sluggish creeping pacing is likely to turn many people away. However, if you’re willing to deal with that in order to play something truly special, Pathologic has chills and thrills to deliver. However, there’s also a remake on the way, supposedly due by the end of the year, so you might want to hold off on playing this until the touched-up version arrives. (Platform: PC)

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

A cute and touching game about…uh, war? Sure. Why not. Make no mistake: Valiant Hearts has plenty of somberness to offer during its playtime, putting our beloved characters through hell, but it also shows hope and beauty in the world. Now if only it didn’t have stupid, frustrating puzzles. You can read our review here(Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android)

Deadly Premonition

In many ways, you could argue Deadly Premonition is the ultimate cult classic video game. It’s hilariously overambitious, with an open-world and characters who keep to their own schedules, and often broken because of said ambition. However, the story of Francis York Morgan is a memorable one filled with Twin Peaks-inspired quirks and dangers, and is essential for anyone searching out the strangest titles games have to offer. You can read our review of the Director’s Cut edition here(Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Spec Ops: The Line

Essentially a modern video game adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Spec Ops is a third-person shooter that sets its sights on violence in video games, war, and the cruelty of humanity. The shooting mechanics leave a lot to be desired and the level design is generic, but the game’s risky narrative and fantastic character development make the sloggy bits worth the journey. You can read Matt Bertz’s review of the shooter here(Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The Last Guardian

An innovative puzzle-platformer from the creators Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus, The Last Guardian creates a fascinating relationship between its two protagonists in a beautiful world. The puzzles (and interacting with Trico) can be frustrating, but there’s still a lot of beauty to be found in this touching adventure. You can read our review here(Platform: PS4)

Get Even

The latest title to appear on this list, Get Even is a thriller probably unlike any you’ve ever played before: balancing crime investigation sections with first-person shooter combat and a psychological horror story filled with twists and turns. Yeah, the game’s hard to look at and there are some bugs here and there, but I really enjoyed my time with this one. You can read my full review here(Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Gravity Rush 1 and 2

The Gravity Rush series is a beautifully drawn series that puts emphasis on anime-esque hijinks and aerial traversal and combat. Movement can be wonky and both games have padded sections, but there’s nothing quite like them. You can find Suriel’s review of Gravity Rush 2 here(Platforms: PS4, Vita)

Oxenfree

Stranded on a mysterious island, five teenagers must band together to survive the night. Taking inspiration from John Hughes and Wes Craven, Oxenfree is a surreal narrative-driven adventure game with fantastic voice-acting and an interesting approach to player-choice that gets bogged down a little bit in certain sections. You can read Kim’s take on the game here(Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

Bloodlines is a first-person RPG in the vein of System Shock and Prey, but it’s set in modern day LA and has you navigating vampire society as a recently turned newcomer. A bold game in 2004 that’s only gotten better over the years thanks to fan patches and its seemingly endless replayability. Still, there are notable glitches and while most of the writing is strong, some of it can feel lazy. You can read my full write-up and appreciation of the game here(Platform: PC)

The Turing Test

While The Turing Test definitely wears its Portal inspirations proudly, the game also stands on its own accomplishments, as protagonist Ava Turing’s journey through these rooms of puzzles buildings towards a memorable conclusion. Some unnecessarily dull puzzles may interrupt the experience, but The Turing Test is a must for puzzle fans as well as those who love a good sci-fi yarn. You can read Andrew Reiner’s review here. (Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Let It Die

With a strong punk take on the post-apocalypse that recalls The Running Man, Suda 51’s latest sets itself apart from the rest of the pack immediately. The Dark Souls-esque multiplayer system, a tempting loot system, and crunchy combat are also nice hooks, though the free-to-play mechanics can be cruel and grating. You can read Dan Tack’s review of the game here(Platform: PS4)

Superhot

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. What Superhot lacks in length, it makes up for in pure thrills, creating a space where time only moves when you do and tasking you with taking out rooms of foes in stylish, violent puzzles. The gameplay is so fun, especially if you’re into shooters, that it’s easy to forgive the bad attempts at storytelling and lack of content. You can read Ben Reeves’ review here(Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC)