Some video games are so much fun to play that we often ignore how nonsensical the plots can be. This is a list of games that are a blast to play, but don’t make any sense if you stop to think about it.
5. Max Payne 3
Rockstar’s, Max Payne, successfully brought back the fun of the previous two games. Bullet Time was a ton of fun. I never felt more like a badass than when I slow motion dived through a window, pulverizing enemies left and right. The graphics were stylistic and gorgeous, seamlessly switching between cutscenes and gameplay.
But the plot, heavily influenced by Tony Scott films, was an absolute mess. Max Payne begins the game as a bodyguard for a powerful Brazilian family, who comes under attack by a rebel group. Through the game, Max unravels a vast conspiracy covering the whole of Brazil. Everybody from the top of the government, to the secret paramilitary police, to the rebels are in on the plot to assassinate the head of the family Max is protecting. Max is the patsy or the “fall” guy for this organization.
But the game never explains why, these Brazilians would choose a perpetually drunk American for the conspiracy. There aren’t any Brazilians that would fit the bill as a failed bodyguard? And the conspiracy itself doesn’t even make much sense. I would pay you good money if you were capable of explaining what the villains were trying to accomplish with all this and why they were even doing it.
4. Arkham Knight
I know, I know, it’s a comic book game. But still, there has to be some semblance of reason behind the plot. Arkham Knight opens with Scarecrow announcing his evil plan to gas the people of Gotham with his trademark fear gas. But he announces his plan a week before the actual attack, allowing the good citizens of Gotham to evacuate. Why? Or the larger question, why would Batman care if criminals are being gassed? He’s here to protect the innocents, not the criminals.
There’s also the issue of Batman driving a tank. As much fun as it is to run over criminals in a gigantic tank, it doesn’t really feel like something that Batman would do. It’s especially jarring after two games that emphasized stealth and individual combat.
3. God of War Series
God of War was the first game truly epic game that I ever played. The gargantuan boss fights, the excessive gore, and the fantastic combat made it one of my favorite games. However, the actual story raises a few eyebrows. The first game makes some sense. Kratos is tricked into murdering his family by Ares, and Kratos goes on an epic quest for vengeance. The game culminates with Kratos slaying Ares and becoming the god of war.
After that though, the series becomes murky. The next two games focus on Kratos trying to murder Zeus, who betrayed him. But Zeus’ reasons are completely justified. He betrays Kratos to prevent him from destroying all the gods. Which is exactly what Kratos was going to do anyway, since the game begins with him furious at the gods. The two games prove Zeus was absolutely correct since Kratos literally destroys the entire earth. And even though the third game tried to humanize Kratos, it ultimately falls flat.
2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare Series
Unless you’re a rabid xenophobe, there’s no way you’re playing these games for their plot. The ludicrousness of the story contrasts heavily with the “realism” of the gameplay and weapons. There’s no way World War III would occur without a lot more nuclear weapons. Russia doesn’t have the manpower to simultaneously invade the U.S., pull out, and then invade all of Europe. And they certainly wouldn’t do that over one terrorist attack at a Russian airport.
Fortunately, the game is still fun to play. The combat is responsive and the variety of weapons provides a lot of different ways to play.
- Halo 3
Disclaimer: I really loved Halo 3. I spend many hours struggling through Legendary mode and hunting skulls with my college roommate. I still enjoy split screen multiplayer whenever my friends come over.
I thoroughly enjoyed the campaign, I simply had no idea what was happening or why. I played Halo 1 and Halo 2, and wasn’t too confused. But Halo 3, I wasn’t entirely sure what Master Chief was doing. Cortana is missing, but still connected to you and going insane. You were chasing the Prophet, then the zombie people arrived. You fought the zombie people, but then they’re your allies to take down the Prophet. But once the Prophet dies, they’re not your allies anymore and the Gravemind has had Cortana the whole time. So you blow up the Gravemind and catapult off into deep space.
Maybe if I knew more of the lore of Halo or had played Halo 2 a few more times, it would have made sense, but I was utterly lost for most of the campaign.