What's a game you watched on YouTube instead of finishing?

Jack's angry about Chaos
(Image credit: Square Enix)

I can't be the only person who, after finding out that unlocking the true ending of Arkham Knight required completing every single Riddler challenge, just watched the bloody thing on YouTube instead. More recently, after hours fighting through corridors in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, I relied on YouTube to tell me why Jack was so adamant Chaos was a person he could find and kill and not, like, an abstract concept. Turns out the answer's halfway interesting, though still daft as a brush. Maybe in a few years we'll find out what went on behind the scenes of that game to leave it in the weirdly gutted state it released in, with arbitrary leaps in quest level-requirements that other activities were presumably meant to fill, and townsfolk conversations accessed from a menu because the city hub was clearly cut late in development.

What's a game you watched on YouTube instead of finishing?

Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.

Sean Martin, Guides Writer: Red Dead Redemption 2. Though I love the first game and the level of detail that went into the second, I personally found the narrative was overblown, and the idea of questioning whether Arthur is a good man after brutally murdering hundreds of people is totally laughable. It's a real disconnect. 

It's also a story about decline, which grates against the usual rags to riches Rockstar narrative I like (as with GTA 4). In the end I just watched the ending on YouTube and pivoted to Red Dead Online for the wild west roleplay of trading, hunting, and fishing that I was craving. Just a shame Rockstar stopped adding stuff really.

Spelunky 2 cosmic ocean screenshot

(Image credit: Mossmouth)

Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: To beat-beat Spelunky 2 it took me about 250 hours. I wrote about the 15-step process to reach the game's grueling final area back in March, something that puts me among 4.8% of players on Steam. To make it to the Cosmic Ocean, you have to run a gauntlet of procedurally generated things that want to kill you and complete a few burdensome quests along the way, like safely escorting a magical bow and arrow all the way to the final boss. It's hard as hell.

Mostly I learned how to do it by dying 2,917 times (I am not a patient platformer), but I also learned a ton from watching the spectacular runs of folks like Twiggle, whose techniques and attempts to beat Spelunky in every conceivable way helped me establish personal goals rather than play Spelunky like a conventional game with a finish line. I lost out on discovering some of Spelunky's plentiful mystery organically, but I wouldn't say I gave up—it just sort of changed my experience into something more like training for a marathon. 

Bloodborne in excelsis.

(Image credit: Fromsoftware.)

Tyler Colp, Associate Editor: It's a hard one to admit, but for me, it was Bloodborne. The year 2015 was ages ago, so I don't really remember the exact reason why I couldn't quite finish the game, but at some point I decided it would be much easier to watch the last few hours of it on YouTube instead of finishing it myself. It's my one shameful Souls secret that I'd like to fix with a PC release or some sort of remaster. The strange thing is that I don't remember not liking the game; I think I was super into it. I got all the way to the Mergo's Wet Nurse boss and quit.

I have watched tons of YouTube playthroughs of other Souls games. I watched a Dark Souls 2 let's play alongside playing the game myself, so I'm going to assume I was doing that with Bloodborne too. At some point, I picked up a PlayStation 4 Pro and and now a PlayStation 5 and I'm pretty sure that original save is lost to time. Oh, well. One day I will return to Yharnam

Ark: Survival Evolved - attacking a dinosaur

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

Chris Livingston, Features Producer: I'm not sure if I've ever seen anyone describe Ark: Survival Evolved as a cozy and relaxing game, but that's how I played it. I had a little base near a tiny lake filled with giant beavers on a private server and all I did was log in for an hour every night, feed my pet dinos, use their poop for farming, and tinker around with the various workbenches and crafting stations. Occasionally some big angry dino would crash the party but it was usually a chill, peaceful experience.

As a result I never progressed to the highest tech trees or did any boss missions or figure out anything about the story or endings of the various expansions, so I watched all of that on YouTube. I was just too happy with my little lakeside cabin to do anything really dangerous so I watched braver and more dedicated players do it for me.

From our forum

Zloth: It's pretty rare for me (if I'm not interested enough to keep playing, I probably won't bother to look up the ending, either) but I just did that with NieR Replicant. I was bothered by all the repetition the first time I played the game to get ending A. No way was I going to go back to that Junk Yard section! So, I watched endings B through E on YouTube. Then watched a video covering everything that happened before NieR. Then everything that happened between NieR and Automata. Wow!

(Image credit: Team Salvato)

ZedClampet: The only time I've ever done this (sort of) was with Doki Doki Literature Club. I knew what was going to happen, and I didn't want to experience it, so I just read a plot summary of the game. 

Part of the reason I'll quit, but not look up the ending is because I'm always stupidly optimistic that I'm actually just taking a break and will come back to the game later.

SleepingDog: Never. The only time I use YouTube is when I am stuck and need some help. I reckon most games don't make decent "movies".

Pifanjr: I don't think I've ever looked up the story of a game I stopped playing, but I have used cheats to get the story without having to bother with the gameplay. Notably, I played all of the first Witcher game with god mode on and I used god mode for the final fight of Dragon Age: Origins.

A shinobi with a sword

(Image credit: From Software)

DXCHASE: Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. Was getting sick of the whole soulslike endeavor and I knew I was close to the end, then other games had come out that I'd rather play so I just watched the ending scenes with youtube. Haven't played it since.

WoodenSaucer: I remember getting to the end of a game and dying, and then having to restart far enough back that I just watched it on YouTube because I didn't want to go through all of that again. The problem is that I can't remember what game it was! 

Ryzengang: Sometimes I will, but the more likely scenario is that I will intend to watch it on YouTube and simply never get to it. For story-driven games with annoying gameplay (or if I get sick of it for one reason or another) it can be an ideal strategy, but I usually will never end up watching it. I did this for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and it has been on my "watch later" list for months.

mainer: I've never done that. If I loose interest in a game, I just don't care what happens in the end, whether it be from combat difficulty or just a lack of immersion. I've looked at videos on YouTube for strategies on how to complete a specific "boss" battle at times, but other than that, no.

(Image credit: Bennett Foddy)

JC.Denton: Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. Anyone who's watched this game will know that it's only 2 minutes long. Anyone who's tried to beat the game in 2 minutes will tell you that it takes hours of practice. A game I both hate to play but love to watch.

Frindis: Still feel bad for doing this, but after not being able to play The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on my old PC, I turned to the tube to watch the different boss fights. Thankfully this was some years back, so I just vaguely remember the last boss fight, which I can live with. This also reminds me that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition is -85% off on GOG, so now would be a great time to grab it.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.