I’ve recently discovered controls can be so annoying that they could actually put off a game.
The game in question was Too Human. My reason to stop playing were not only the controls, of course, but they were part of the problem. In Too Human melee attacks are made with the R stick, which in most games is used for camera control. Using the R stick for attack was so uncomfortable that even though I played for several hours I did not manage to get used to it and usually it takes me very little time to adjust to the controls of a new game. The problem is that in the last few years all games I’ve played had camera control on the R stick. I cannot imagine why someone at Silicon Knights would decide to put melee attacks where the camera control should be.
Anyway, I was annoyed enough to not forget it for a couple of days and the more I though about it, the more I wondered why should controls defer from game to game. I do understand that sometimes it is necessary to change them due to the different genres, but why should you have different controls in two games from the same franchise?! Example: God of War and God of War II, why was it necessary to change the key you open chests with from R1 to R2?! Makes no sense to me. And with GoW it is just a little thing that you get used to, but with games such as Too Human, where gameplay is very similar to a whole series of action games, the radical shift in controls just annoys and seems unnecessary. I my opinion game controls should be as similar as possible, because the point is to get into the game quickly and enjoy. I admit there could be some pleasure in getting familiar with a different set of controls, but I think the real challenges should be focused on game strategy and combat tactics and on uncomfortable controls.