There’s nothing worse than spending $60 on a brand new video game release and bringing it home only to find out that it is really a stinker. If it was the only game you were looking forward to all month, it can ruin your entire month. So, the year is coming to an end, and we’ve certainly seen some great games this year. Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light, and The Last of Us, to name a few, were well worth the price tag and lived up to, if not exceeded, their potential. But, like we’ve had a lot of great games so far, we’ve had a lot of bad ones as well. Here are the official facepalm games list of 2013; games that are so bad you just have to facepalm.
Fast & Furious: Showdown
There’s no denying that the Fast & Furious franchise had video game potential, but that potential wasn’t tapped for Fast & Furious: Showdown. Developers Firebrand Games is hopefully ashamed of themselves. The driving physics were way off, and the tracks were all unimaginative. Missions were either super easy or insanely difficult. And, most importantly, I found driving at almost 200mph not as thrilling as it should have been. Fast & Furious: Showdown also crashed and burned by having only 3 hours worth of content and selling it for $40, which in my book is just completely unacceptable. If you don’t consider this one of the worst games of the year, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. Seriously.
Star Trek: The Game
The most appalling aspect of this Star Trek game is how bad it looks for the time it was released in. The animations are clunky, and cutscenes were sloppy. Environments were lackluster in detail, and the guns all looked similar. The gameplay was flat, and was infested with bugs that I wish would just break the game, but never did. This is one Star Trek voyage to avoid, and is a perfect example of just how bad licensed games can be.
Dead Island: Riptide
When first picking up Dead Island: Riptide, I thought for sure that this would be THE zombie game. The original Dead Island was good, but its many issues held it back from greatness. I thought that Dead Island: Riptide would address all of its predecessor’s issues, but instead, none of the issues were fixed. Screen tearing is just as rampant in Riptide as it was in the first game, and the island just doesn’t look right. Riptide didn’t bring anything new to the table, and if you’ve played the first one, there’s really no reason to pick up this second one. It isn’t a terrible game like everything else on this list, but the fact that its problems weren’t corrected and it didn’t introduce any new elements made it one of this year’s most disappointing titles so far.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
We were all looking forward to a new game based on Ridley Scott’s beloved Alien franchise, but our excitement quickly turned to embarrassment for Gearbox, the team behind Aliens: Colonial Marines. With incredibly bad graphics filled with square polygons and dull textures, the game felt uninspired. A game that was in development for 7 years should have certainly had more polish. Gameplay was as basic as it gets, and brought nothing new to the FPS genre. The only thing the game did correctly was in the marketing department, as all of the trailers made the game look like a generally fantastic experience. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not sure how SEGA could let a game like this hit store shelves, but it will forever remain a thorn in their side.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
For a game that used the same game engine as Crysis 3, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is another game that had such potential but couldn’t come close to getting it right. The game should’ve been open world— it wasn’t. The game should’ve been challenging—it wasn’t. The game should’ve had variation in the sniper rifles offered—it didn’t. Multiplayer had only one game mode, and two maps, and it was basically a campfest between snipers. If that doesn’t sound like a good time to you, well then you’re right; it wasn’t. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 was ordinary on all fronts, and it really didn’t have any point to its existence.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does nothing to elevate itself from being mediocre. The gameplay is as dull and monotonous as any game I’ve played, with a control scheme that is as basic as basic gets. You’ll attack by tapping X, jump with A, throw opponents with Y, etc. That scheme may have worked in the NES/SNES days, but it is an embarrassment nowadays. It’s repetitive. It’s not challenging. And, it lacks creative mechanics. And, the most offensive thing about this TMNT game is that it is only going to take you a few hours to complete, which if it were an XBLA game for $9.99 that would be okay, but for a $40 MSRP it is simply unacceptable.
Deadfall Adventures could have been a good game, but it just wasn’t. The characters were over-the-top chees-a-rific and poorly acted, and the game brought nothing new to the table whatsoever. Graphics were terrible, at best, and it makes me wonder just how Nordic Games could even publish this game when it is so low in quality on all fronts. One thing is certain, though…I’ll never buy another game from developer Farm 51.
Marvel’s Deadpool made his solo game debut in June, and it was a major flop. Quirky writing aside, Deadpool failed to provide any uniqueness, and didn’t feel like a Deadpool game should. For a hero that regenerates and is immortal, the potential for over-the-top crazy sh*t to happen was never tapped into. Aside from being impaled with a big stick of metal (which isn’t original to begin with), nothing cool happens. Voice acting was good, but Nolan North was the only standout for this game. Environments were colorless and drab, and the gameplay was stale and felt uninspired, which is the complete opposite feeling you get when reading the latest Deadpool comic from Posehn and Duggan.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct not only makes this year’s facepalm list, but it also likely makes it onto the top ten worst video games of all time list. This game is a shameless cash-grab starring fan favorite Daryl Dixon and brother Merle, and it is unfortunate that Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker tied their names to this hunk of sh*t. The graphics look like they were taken from PlayStation 2, and if the terrible-looking environments aren’t enough to keep you away, then you should check out how lifeless the cars on the side of the road look. Zombies all look the same, and they never feel like the threat that they are in The Walking Dead television show. Even for a bargain-bin game, it isn’t worth your hard-earned cash. Hell, even as a free game it isn’t worth your time. I DARE you to find a game more disappointing than The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.