You know what I dislike in a game? The sort of quest that sends you on an errand that you know even before you start is going to take a long time, and in that time, the story isn't going to be advanced at all. Many games have them, and I'm sure most people know what I'm talking about. It's like the Oblivion gates in, well, Oblivion. It's not absolutely necessary to close them all, but you'll have to go into some of them. It's tedious, and nothing is going to happen to advance the main story, nothing new will be revealed, nothing lost and nothing gained, while you go to them, one after the other.
Well, in my sheer desperation I've been playing some Kingdoms of Amalur, and this game is the mother of all that. At one point, the story basically branches into two, which is never a good sign. You have two main objectives, and they're basically on opposite sides of the world, so it's bad enough. Knowing that it's not going to be as simple as just going to that place makes it worse. What tops it all, though, is when you get there and they send you on a basically identical quest to look for things in distant parts of the world. It's like Inception meets boring quests that take up your time and add nothing to the story, or overall enjoyment of the game for that matter. No, jerks, we don't like those quests, and we certainly don't like them so much that you should put dull fetch quests inside dull fetch quests, so we can pointlessly travel across the map while we pointlessly travel across the map.
What really bothers me about this atrocity of a game - aside from the ridiculously undeservedly good reviews it's gotten ( I think it's telling that its metascore is 84, while the user score is 5.9 ) - is that the story would actually be interesting, if these people had any idea whatsoever of what the word "pacing" even means. Or maybe they do, but only in the sense of "walking back and forth", so when someone told them, "guys, pacing is important", they thought a lot of walking back and forth would be a good thing.
I promised myself I would stop bashing this game, but holy cow, just as I thought it couldn't get any worse, it opens up a whole new chasm of suck. I complained about the extremely positive reviews Red Dead Redemption, a thoroughly mediocre game, got when it was released. But compared to this, RDR was a masterpiece. RDR at least only sent you on one enormous wild goose chase which the game would quite simply have been better without, but Kingdoms of Amalur is a wild goose chase. My only guess is that this is just a way of lowering our expectations so they can get away with making really bad games.