Every week, we ask our panel of PC Gamer writers a question about PC gaming in the PCG Q&A. This week: what was your worst rage quit moment? We also welcome your answers in the comments.
Andy Kelly: Dark Souls
I don't get on with Dark Souls. I finished the third game, and I'm not quite sure how I managed it, but the first two? Not for me. And not because they're difficult; it's because I have no patience. Any game that involves repeating something over and over again to get good at it really turns me off. But I persevered with the original Dark Souls, getting as far as beating the Capra Demon. A minor achievement, sure, but a massive one for me. Side note: the music in that boss fight was stressing me out so much I had to put Kenny Loggins on in a mad attempt to make ol' Capra seem less threatening. And it worked.
Full of adrenaline, I immediately dashed to the next area of the game, the Depths. A dank, unpleasant sewer full of giant frog bastards called basilisks. And almost as soon as I stepped into the stinking Depths, one of them cursed me, reducing the size of my health bar. I know there's a fairly easy way to cure this, but I was overcome with blind fury and switched the game off in a sudden rage. And I haven't gone back to it since. My time with Dark Souls was over at that moment, even though I knew I was being an irrational baby. But irrationality is the very essence of a good rage quit.
James Davenport: All fighting games
I wasn't playing a PC game, but this applies to fighting games across all platforms. As a teen, we'd spend plenty of lazy summer afternoons playing Soulcalibur, and during my junior year, of all things I could have learned, I resolved to get good at it. I practiced combos, studied the pros on YouTube, read up on granular tactics per each character matchup—time wasted. Youth wasted. I wasted my youth only to get endlessly wrecked by button mashing bullies.
One evening in particular, I remember finally losing my temper. Having just bought a Snapple Iced Tea (sweetened, of course), my friend Sean kicked my ass yet again as that annoying character with the nunchucks, hammering on buttons like a toddler on a toy piano. I stood up, kicked my Snapple, spilling it over the hardwood floor, and walked home. I didn't talk to any of my friends for a week, and when I finally did, they made fun of my tantrum. I deserve this life.
Tim Clark: Hearthstone (obviously)
This is less of a rage quit and more of an existential despair quit. It was the last day of the Hearthstone season, and a lunchtime winstreak saw me within touching distance of legend rank for the first time. "Should I keep playing?" I asked Tyler, the only other editor in the office. "You have to," he replied, heroically ignoring our workload. "Plus it'll make a great story if you make it."
And so I queued up my trusty combo Druid, promptly lost to a Zoo deck, queued again, lost again, and on and on, with my head getting progressively hotter until you could fry a dragon egg on the bald spot. Having swiftly sunk to the depths of rank four, I quit whatever game I was currently losing by hard closing the client rather than conceding. There's no surer sign of tilt when it comes to a catastrophic Hearthstone loss than the hard client close, which sends a message that reads: Your opponent has left. "How's it going?" asked Tyler, as I marched past him to the vending machine for another coke, my hands shaking with fury. "Not great", I whispered. The machine was out of coke too.
Tyler Wilde: Absolver and Dark Souls
This isn't my worst, but it's my most recent and dumbest: while working on my Absolver review, I rage quit one night after something like five consecutive losses. Instead of waiting out the menu, I just Alt-Tabbed, close the window from the taskbar, and went to bed in a huff without shutting down. But Absolver didn't actually quit. It ran for 10 hours in secret. The environment deserves an apology for that one.
My worst, at least in terms of long term effect, has to be when I got frustrated by Dark Souls after maybe an hour, uninstalled it, and never went back to it or played any game in the series. Take that, one of the most popular game series in the world—I have gotten the better of you.
Jarred Walton: Fallout 4
The mantra in the 80s and 90s was "Save early, save often," coined by Sierra On-Line. You failed to do so at your own peril, which naturally everyone did at some point or another. Flash forward to the modern era and we have a different problem: people relying too much on either auto-saves or quick saves. You can get comfortable not worrying about saves, but occasionally you go a long time in a game without triggering an auto-save, and/or you rely too much on quick save.
I fell victim to this in Fallout 4, where I was in a battle inside a building and was nearly dead. I ran to the exit, and on appearing outside there was a group of raiders waiting for me. My sliver of health was gone in a second. I reloaded my last save, which was right as I exited the building, and promptly died again. The entire building had taken a while to clear out, and my previous save was from a couple hours earlier. I was angry—angry at the game, angry at myself, and angry at the world. I rage quit Fallout 4, and other than benchmarking, I stopped playing. Yeah, I could have looked up the console command for God Mode, but the sad thing is, I don't have a desire to go back. Steam tells me I've played the game for 142 hours, without beating it.
Samuel Roberts: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Where to start with my history of rage quitting? I uninstalled Rocket League at least four times in a tantrum last year, which is embarrassing for a man in his late 20s. And as a younger man, for a terrible non-PC example, I even broke a friend's PSone because I lost my Ifrit card in Final Fantasy VIII's Triple Triad mode. Stupid random rule! After that, I calmed down a bit, and have tried to limit the amount of hardware I throw or break.
This is more of an existential despair quit than a rage quit, then. The most recent example I can think of is ponderous first-person game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which I didn't enjoy any part of apart from how nice the world looks and sounds. In the game's mines, I wandered around for what felt like ten minutes, until a zombie man grabbed my character out of nowhere and he died. I don't know what it was about that moment, but with my interest in the game already waning, I just had to stop playing. I uninstalled it.
But then I didn't play another game for months. It took two months for me to move past that and enjoy games again, when the fun party banter and impressive dragon fights of Dragon Age: Inquisition finally brought me back to the hobby I love. Oh wait, there were two other bits of Ethan Carter I liked: the spaceman section and the fact that wandering back through the tunnel at the start of the game creepily takes you back to where you started. Maybe I should go back and finish it.
Chris Livingston: The Sims
Not sure it counts as a rage quit, but back when I was playing The Sims (the original) I had a strange moment. This was well before I was an incredibly wealthy games writer: I had two crummy jobs and no money and lived in a tiny studio apartment, and my Sim (which was me) had a good job and a decent place to live and nice stuff.
And one day I was taking great care of him, making sure he slept enough and ate well and washed his dishes and paid his bills. And it was like two in the morning and I was eating leftovers out of a box and I just sort of stopped and looked around my apartment at my unpaid bills and dirty dishes and thought, wait, what the fuck am I doing?
I blearily looked back at my crappy PC and my happy, healthy Sim was playing games on his really nice PC. And I was just like, nope. Nope, I'm done. I rage quit and rageuninstalled. I think I even threw the game in the garbage, and then made myself take the garbage out.