Top 10 Worst Video Games Of 2016
It’s only expected that amongst one of the best years for gaming this decade, any stinkers were going to float to the top more than ever. After all, the shinier the surface, the more obvious the blemish.
10. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
The sheer rush of wind and blurred colour that zips past you as Faith soars through the City of Glass is truly iconic, but the repetitive side-missions, basic story and terrible final boss only serve to cripple it every time it’s about to break into a sprint.
For some reason, EA barely promoted Catalyst at time of launch, and I’d be surprised if anyone outside of its established cult fanbase even knew it was out. It felt more like they were ticking the box marked “Give one of our fanbases what they want”, but with the bare minimum of effort, resulting in some admittedly slick graphics, but nothing under the hood.
9. Star Fox Zero
It doesn’t matter how incredible or medium-defining your game is – if it controls like hell, we won’t stick with it.
Such was the life lesson (hopefully) learned by Nintendo, as they attempted to give fans the first home console version of Star Fox in over a decade, yet insisted on building its controls around the Wii U hardware.
‘Would could that possibly mean?’, you ask?
Aiming using the GamePad, that’s what.
But doesn’t a shooter need to put focus on pixel-perfect aiming, and not holding the pad awkwardly in front of yourself for the duration?
Naaa, this is Nintendo we’re talking about. You’re lucky they didn’t insist we suspend ourselves from the ceiling to imitate barrel rolls.
Needless to say, forcing players to aim ‘through’ the GamePad was just annoying, unnecessary and – after a few hours – tiring. Couple that with unremarkable graphics and extremely repetitive gameplay, and it’s going to be an even longer wait before another truly great Star Fox game hits our shelves again.
8. Homefront: The Revolution
Homefront: The Revolution really wanted to get some of Far Cry’s open-ended structure dollars, resulting in a game that had a carefree, explorative nature, right alongside a great alternate history setup where America is invaded by North Korean forces.
This resulted in a cool, “Take back our country, one place at a time!”-style setup, but – like Mirror’s Edge – its forever upended by naff design at every turn. And not just unsatisfying controls, but a confused tone that has oppressive themes that parallel and delve into real-world war torn countries… sitting next to a gun that shoots fireworks in the colours of the American flag.
One for the B-tier or 6/10 pile, there’s nothing offensively bad in how Homefront presents itself, but because of that – and when it had such potential to analyse global politics and American culture simultaneously – it’s simply one hell of a disappointing misfire.
Sometimes, a game comes along that you really, really want to like. Aragami was such a game; an old-school stealth-based sneak-a-thon with a killer aesthetic. One where you’d play as a summoned entity wrenched from the abyss to deliver swift, steely justice to all manner of “Huh? What was that noise?”-spewing enemies.
Then you played it, and sadly, being this was developers Lince Works’ first ever full game, there was a lack of polish when it came to standard third-person camera controls and animation that got in the way at every turn.
Whilst the titular Aragami is painted as a shadow-clinging bringer of death, in reality you spend more time fleeing from guards who spot you from around corners or across the level than taking them out with any degree of proficiency or satisfaction.
I have every faith that some day these guys will make a truly phenomenal game, but Aragami is sadly not it.
6. Street Fighter V
Pushed out the door so Capcom would have a marquee fighter for their new Pro Tour event, Street Fighter V barely made a dent in the cultural conscious, simply because aside from its online versus mode, the rest of the game was completely unfinished.
No arcade ladder, tutorials, no versus AI option (literally, Pong has such a thing), no story, challenge modes – the list went on.
Capcom would eventually add some of these modes in (the game released back in February), but by then it was all too late. Sadly, despite Street Fighter being bonafide gaming royalty as this point, Capcom rushed everything and prioritised specific features to meet their own money-grubbing needs, rather than those who’ve stuck by the franchise since day one.
5. The Technomancer
An exercise in how to balls up one of the coolest sci-fi narratives we’ve seen in quite some time, The Technomancer’s ‘Mad Max in space’ setup tasked you with policing a turbulent Mars as a titular Technomancer, semi-religious authority figures that doubles as a magic-wielding, bow-staff flinging badasses.
So far, so good – then you got to the voice acting and animation, only to find it was drastically, cripplingly outdated.
See, Technomancer’s devs are French, and sadly, the game suffered the same faux-American accents and off-kilter line deliveries as the likes of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain. Main man Zacharia Mancer (said in the game as “Zacharia M’ayn‘cer) flits between devoting himself to the blind faith of the Technomancers and heading up a rebellion, yet the necessary strands to convince the player of his allegiance swap are incredibly rushed and badly acted.
In the end, the game is determined to charge ahead with its fetch quests and “unite the factions” storyline, those foundations that were so shaky in the first place end up seeing the whole thing cave in on itself.
4. Alekhine’s Gun
When developers Maximum Games pitched a ‘Cold War espionage thriller’, they probably had the best intentions (something we’ll hopefully see done better if Rockstar ever release their still-in-development, Agent), yet the full game looked like a carbon copy of Hitman: Blood Money – albeit without the spit, polish and charm.
Now that the full 2016 version of Hitman is out – and is easily one of the best games of the year – reverting back to this bygone mess is like being unwillingly dragged through a time machine.
Once you got past the great-sounding premise (one backed up by hopping between multiple timelines) the reality is that Alekhine just doesn’t play well. Movement is stilted, shooting especially feels like the days before Gears of War when games would struggle to make over-shoulder blasting feel satisfying, and although an open-world design spaces everything out, doing so with nothing in between only reinforces that there’s nothing to keep you other than the premise itself.
A title that ‘succeeds’ in an on-paper concept alone, sadly not a thing about Alekhine’s Gun could fulfil its substantial potential.
3. Monthly PS Plus Game
At this stage, the amount of times you check the monthly offerings for PS Plus, sneer and close the Store again drastically outnumber those where you’re given something genuinely amazing.
The issue is, no top tier publisher wants to give their games away for free, especially on PlayStation where the console is still raking in the dough. It’s why we keep getting mostly forgettable platformers or kid-centric indie titles – hell, it’s why we got Letter Quest in November; a game that plays exactly the same on your PS4 Pro as it does on a two year-old smartphone.
The issue isn’t that these games aren’t very good (Letter Quest itself is fantastically addictive), it’s that none of them are remotely satisfying showcases of what a PlayStation Plus membership should bring. It’s very clear that Sony are still way too far out in front to care as far as the console race goes, happy to pepper the masses with arbitrary freebies for the sake of upholding that part of the PS Plus membership deal.
Look to Microsoft’s output and you’ll find triple-A games like Sunset Overdrive and WWE 2K16 right next to a continually-impressive catalogue of backwards compatible 360 titles released alongside, every single month. By comparison, Sony expect fans to fork out additional subscription fees to play their favourite games on the forever-stuttering PlayStation Now service.
Born from the apparent need to ‘flesh out’ the world of Duke Nukem, Bombshell started life with leading lady Shelly Harrison playing a supporting role to the Duke himself, only to spin-off into her own game.
Sadly, as a result of separating the franchise into its own thing now Duke belonged to Gearbox, Bombshell changed genres, emerging as a top-down twin-stick shooter with terrible one-liners, overlong ‘execution’ animations, repetitive combat and bland levels. There are even a few “find three of X to open Y” missions – a particularly naff trope we all thought had died off across the 2000s.
3D Realms went for the “so bad it’s good” ideology, but in gaming, such things don’t work when the feel of a game is that of a controllable tire fire.
1. Mighty No. 9
The biggest stinker of 2016, Mighty No. 9 was supposed to be auteur Keiji Inafune’s return to the beloved Mega Man formula – albeit without the official license.
As such, the project was Kickstarted into being by fans to the tune of almost four million dollars, despite developers Comcept only asking for $900k. As such, development went from being an easily-achievable side-scroller, to a multi-platform, multiplayer scoreboard-supported mess.
Berating its core demographic as the drastically outdated ‘mom’s basement’-style of nerd, it only served to add insult to injury, being the game had been delayed repeatedly, eventually releasing to overwhelmingly negative reviews, with graphics that looked like they belonged on the PS1.
Source – Whatculture
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