Worst Games of the Year 2012: Staff Picks
Most people might be busy talking about the best games of the year, but what about the ones that totally sucked? The ones that crushed your innocent soul into a million pieces and are responsible for that convenient controller-shaped hole in your television? We certainly played some bad eggs this year, so here are a few of our key picks.
1Jackson: Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III Review – 6.5 / 10
You know those parents that want their child to do really well at school and then, unfortunately, the child comes home with an end of year report card OF straight “C”s? This child, the parents so desperately wanted to be a prodigy, is just an average kid, getting by in school without causing too much trouble, but at the same time never really reaching his full potential. That kid is Assassin’s Creed III and I am those parents, shaking my head in full view of little Timmy so he can see the disappointment in my eyes.
See, I am not angry at the game for trying to take a different approach to what made it successful in the first place and I am definitely not angry about the fact that it was filled with glitches, had terrible pacing and some of the worst quests in the history of the franchise. I couldn’t be angry about any of that. I am something far worse. I am disappointed. I didn’t want my child to come home with straight “C”s. I wanted to see more “A”s on that report card than in the sentence “Aaron Aardvark’s Taramasalata.”
Assassin’s Creed III is the Worst Game of this year because it could have been the ‘Best Game’ and yet like its nimble, Native American protagonist, every time it tries to reach the viewpoint atop a giant old oak tree, it finds itself hanging from branches until its arms give out before crashing into the snowy American countryside below. The game is long and the world is huge, but the experience – the horrendously long tutorial period, the protagonist that makes you reach for your pillow, the unreliable free-running mechanics and the changes to the UI – make this entry into the franchise one you’ll want to skip.
2Mark: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Between F1 Race Stars and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (maybe ‘Stars’ is a doom word for games), I had a hugely difficult time deciding which one deserved that special place on DC as one of the very worst games of the year. Having carefully re-evaluated the games according to my four emotions (hunger, anger, rage, bear), I am going to have to bring the hammer down solidly on Playstation All-Stars.
Mostly because it made me look like an idiot.
Over many podcasts, conversations and articles, I defended All-Stars, saying that the premise worked and the beta builds and hands-on I experienced were fun. While I never said that it was going to be the next Super Smash Bros., I expected it to be a fun brawler in between the only series of Nintendo’s that I actually care about.
But I was so god damn wrong. If you haven’t read my review, I suggest you do so. There’s a great part where I say something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to keep comparing how uneven things are in the game’ before doing approximately that for the next 800 words. It was unavoidable, as the game is tragically, atrociously unbalanced, to the point where I would suspect that anyone that does find it fun has no real understanding of the concept.
So for getting my hopes up, for my wasted advocacy, and the ultimate humiliation that comes with being … wrong … I’m awarding All-Stars my worst game of the year.
Special mention to F1 Race Stars. You suck too.
3Martin: Doom 3 BFG Edition
Doom 3 BFG Edition Review – 6.5 / 10
Having to finish Doom 3 for a review was like wiping your ass with a single piece of toilet paper over and over. While it started out clean, it quickly covered itself in shit. And before you knew it, you were washing your hand under soapy water to eradicate any evidence of what you’d been doing. Okay, so it’s not that bad, but it’s still is pretty crap.
Doom 3 is one of those games that hasn’t aged well. Its mechanics have long been outdated and its once impressive graphics now no longer able to wow its audience. The constant random spawning of enemies in every single room and outrageously repetitive mission structures lead to a campaign that gets boring very fast. Unless you’re curious to see the leaps that have been made to the genre over the last decade, there’s very little reason to dive in.
Even at less than $40 coupled with Doom and Doom 2 I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. There’s many better designed campaigns with better shooting elements at half the price. And considering we’ve been treated to an avalanche of quality shooters over the year its faults are all the more evident. You might think it’s unfair to criticise an HD remake but I only do it for you, dear reader, in the hope you don’t waste your time and money. HD remakes should be reserved for truly exceptional video games – Doom 3 was never one of them.
4Daniel: Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 Review – 6.5 / 10
I was practically forced into reviewing that barely serviceable piece of electronic ‘entertainment’ by the DC overlords and let me tell you, it’s a favour they better not soon forget. But I don’t want to lay hate on the game arbitrarily, so I’ll break it down as concisely as possible.
Padding is the issue here. Someone needs to tell Capcom that when you stuff a game with more padding than your average gym mat, gameplay suffers. Greatly. Simply because a game is 40 hours long doesn’t make it any better than some of its shorter counterparts. In an industry rife with elongated, recycled explode fests, short, sharp chunks of memorable gameplay stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
Resident Evil 6 is where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There’s a reason why this game is the worst hell burned onto a CD – Hope. Every man who has played it over the last few months has looked to the upcoming boss battle and imagined fighting with vigour and intensity. And like educated gamers turning to Call of Duty from uncontrollable boredom, many have lost their sanity trying. I learned playing Resident Evil 6 that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as you play the game, it feeds you hope to poison your soul. It lets you believe that you may truly enjoy the next segment and laughs as you clamber over hallway after hallway filled with zombies to “stay in the sun.” You can watch it torture an entire generation of gamers on YouTube and when you have truly understood the depth of Capcom’s failure, when you’re fuming in anger. You will take the disk, snap it in half and then burn it.
When it is done and Resident Evil 6 is ashes – then you have my permission to write a response.
5Alex: Diablo III
Now we’re talkin’. Shit, this gets my pick for worst game of all time. By all means it’s no Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, but wow, Blizzard, how the mighty have fallen.
Diablo III very clearly represents everything wrong with the industry today. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to run an established franchise into the ground, but Jay Wilson found a way. In fact, the game is so dysfunctional seven months after release it might as well still be in beta, something the dwindling player-base still joke about.
This bastard son of the timeless Diablo I and II has all the charm of the originals sucked out in favour of a garish, cartoony pay-to-win spam-fest, featuring an utter lack of consistency, charisma and quality and a plot that would make Saturday morning cartoon villains balk. It was designed from the bottom up to sap dollars from players with the allure of the ‘Real Money Auction House’ – Blizzard’s glorified in-house revenue stream.
Where the hell do I begin with this train-wreck? Let’s start with the obvious: online only. Those words alone should turn you off. Anyone should remember launch day and the now infamous Error 37 that stopped people from playing the game they purchased. Why does a single player game need to be online? To keep you connected to the economy of course. No economy, no $$$ for Blizzard. The game is full of bots, features shallow gameplay, is oversimplified and unbalanced, has atrociousstorytelling, poorly implemented mechanics and inherent lag. That’s coupled the fact that Blizzard likes changing item stat weighting on a whim, meaning all that cash you spent on a brand new set of armour could be worthless tomorrow.
I want to write tomes about how repulsive this game is to me. For now, here’s to Jay Wilson: the only person to ever kill Diablo in real life.
At least Big Rigs didn’t have a Real Money Auction House.
So what’s your worst game of the year? Let us know in the comments below!