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Frustration is an emotion that none of us want to feel, especially when we're playing video games. The problem is, of course, that frustration is always lurking just around the corner, unless you're like the gaming equivalent of the most meditative monk in the world – in which case, we salute your patience and understanding. For the rest of us, though, all it takes is one incredibly bad bit of game design to send us over the edge. We'd like to think that most of you can regain some sort of control before you put your DualShock through the television screen, but you'd be surprised at how serious our favourite hobby can be.

And so, we've compiled a list of what we reckon are the deadliest sins that developers can commit when designing a game. Whether these sins are the cause of cheap deaths, unforeseeable game over screens, or a dreadful act in the name of artificial difficulty, we'd love nothing more than to see each and every one of them disappear from gaming for good.

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Enemies with ridiculous auto-aim

First on the list is surely something that we've all had to deal with before: enemies who boast the uncanny ability to hit you with projectiles as soon as even a hair of your player character moves into their line of sight. Whether it's a sniper, a rifleman, or some sort of long range magic caster, frustration is bound to set in when you realise that you can hardly move without the artificial intelligence pumping you full of holes.

A sin that's most noticeable in cover-based shooters, we reckon that it's unreasonable for foes to have 100 per cent accuracy – especially if they manage to spin around 180 degrees and plant one right between your eyes.

Now, obviously, we know that we can't just have waves of enemies who aren't able to hit a barn door with a rocket launcher, but we'd like to think that there's some sort of balance to be found here - if we can't possibly hit an enemy who's across the other side of the map with a single pistol shot, then why the heck can they do it to us?

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Escort quests, of course

It's a cliché, we know, but it's a powerful truth nugget all the same. Here's the thing, though: there are actually some decent escort quests out there if you know where to look. Indeed, objectives which see you defend a non-playable character as they attempt to get to their destination can be fun with the right balance – that is to say, the character that you're protecting isn't grossly enfeebled or incomprehensibly stupid.

Alas, this is one that developers get horribly wrong on a regular basis, forcing players of all shapes and sizes to ask: "Did anyone even test this before release?" By this point, you'd think that every studio in existence would just have a massive sign stuck to the wall that reads: "Do not include escort quests" – but here we are.

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Long retry load times

This one's the breaking point for many. You've just been killed by a boss that you're really struggling to overcome, and you can feel the anger rising. Maybe the boss is cheap, maybe it's just incredibly difficult, or maybe you're just desperate to get to a save point so that you can set the controller down to get some dinner – it doesn't matter. What does matter is that the game seems insistent on rubbing you the wrong way, and so it decides that when you choose to retry the fight, you have to sit through a thirty second loading screen. Well, that game can go ahead and bugger off back to the shelf.

Fortunately, this is something that isn't quite as prevalent as it once was. Better hardware has allowed for faster loading times across the board, but this also means that titles which somehow continue to commit this foul sin should never be allowed to escape severe and righteous punishment.

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Badly done quick-time events

"Badly done quick time events?" we hear you say. "Is there even a good kind?" Well, we're glad you asked, because yes, we believe that there is. Quick-time events, or QTEs for short, can enhance cinematic moments – but only when they're used sparingly and thoughtfully. Sadly, very few games get them right.

For starters, far too many titles like to rely on them far too heavily. A button press here, a button hold there, and a quick little tap at the end – there's nothing wrong with a bit of player interaction, but let's not overdo it and fill every single second of the campaign with needless button prompts. Press X to quit game, press triangle to open menu, press X to delete forever.

There's definitely worse, though. What about when you can't even enjoy a simple cutscene because you're too worried by the thought that one wrong button press will result in an instant game over? Instant fail QTEs are harmful indeed, and when you consider that they're only ever really used in an attempt to enhance a scene, the fact that you're usually forced to re-watch the whole bloody thing if you fail sort of ruins the flow doesn't it?

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Super armour

Super what? A term that tends to be thrown around when talking about action or hack-and-slash titles, super armour refers to a state in which an enemy cannot be made to flinch by the player. This essentially means that no matter how much you punch, kick, shoot, or slice, your adversary will never stop advancing toward you, and will never be broken out of their own attacks and combos.

Now, it's worth pointing out that there's a difference between enemies who can't flinch, and enemies who should flinch. In a hardcore action role-playing game, for example, it may not make sense for your foe to stagger, because gameplay may involve dodging or parrying while chipping away bits of health. In a game where you're supposed to be overpowered, though, or you're even meant to look like a badass at all times, having an opponent who doesn't react in the slightest to anything that you do is the perfect way to utterly ruin the atmosphere.

Super armour is cheap, it's tedious, it makes players resort to their own abusive tactics, which effectively destroys gameplay, and we need it to stop.

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Hilariously broken boss characters in fighting games

There's always one, isn't there? Always one character on the roster who's just completely, totally, and utterly broken, and they're usually the story or arcade mode's final boss.

What's especially frustrating about this one is that fighting games are, by and large, supposed to be based on skill. They're about learning the ins-and-outs of a system, gradually adapting to it, and then feeling rewarded and satisfied when you realise how far your skills have developed.

They're certainly not about thinking how great you are, and then getting stomped flat by an overdesigned, gigantic, yet insanely fast demonic overlord, who does more damage with one lightning quick punch than you can do with a perfectly timed ten hit combo. Don't even bother calling for the nerf squad – just smash that disc squarely over your knee.

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Instant fail stealth sections

This is arguably the daddy of them all: instant fail stealth sections. Usually found in games that tend to throw a sneaky component in just to add some damned 'variety' to the campaign, there's nothing worse than an experience that's all but ruined by one single level or area which sees you perilously adhere to horrifically half-baked stealth mechanics.

As far as we're concerned, any true stealth game will give you alternatives. By this, we mean that when you're spotted by an enemy, you've got options. You can run away and hide, you can pull out a gun and blow their head off, you can stand there and decide to take on a whole army – just please don't instantly throw us over to a game over screen.

When they're at their very worst, instant fail stealth sections make no sense whatsoever. You could have just slaughtered hundreds of goons mere seconds ago during the last level, only to find that now, you can't even handle being sighted by an individual grunt, or, for some preposterous reason, you can no longer survive a single bullet to any part of the body.

Trust us: if we could sit down in a boardroom meeting where missions or levels like these are discussed and seriously considered, we wouldn't be here right now – we'd just be out on the streets, kicking small animals.

Well, we hope that we didn't get you too worked up, but if we did, feel free to let that hate flow through you, and share your most rage-inducing game design choices with us in the comments section below.

Which of these is your greatest gaming pet peeve? (76 votes)

  1. Eagle-eyed enemies5%
  2. Escort quests18%
  3. Long loading times26%
  4. Egregious QTEs4%
  5. Super armour  0%
  6. Overpowered bosses11%
  7. Insta-fail espionage33%
  8. Other3%

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