Festive Features #2 - Top Five Train Wrecks of 2013
Written Saturday, December 21, 2013 By XBA Staff
It’s that time again. As Christmas nears and the year draws to an end, we’re taking a look at the last twelve months and picking out some of the aspects we’ve enjoyed most (and least) in 2013. Our Festive Features are back!
This time we’re picking our Top Five Biggest Train Wrecks. These games aren’t necessarily the worst we’ve played in 2013, although some of them would definitely appear in that list were we to make one. No, instead this award is dedicated to the most disappointing, frustrating, poorly handled and otherwise cringeworthy experiences video games have had to offer in the last 12 months. But who won? Find out below.
Sometimes when a sequel rolls around it builds on the success of its predecessors and makes a significant step forwards, however, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel threw its franchise off a cliff into a bottomless abyss of mediocrity.
Gone is the need for any form of real co-op and strategy and in its place are endless waves of idiotic A.I.. The story too seems to have been drafted on a napkin and features two dull ciphers, cleverly named Alpha and Bravo (in what we hope was an ironic fashion rather than the lazy ass approach it seems to be). Mercifully the game is so short that it can quickly be returned to the bowels of the bargain basement for whence it came.
If the series ever gets jump started again you can but hope that a bit more care and attention is paid to... well everything, as the initial co-op premise that the first game offered has been carefully neglected. Fingers crossed.
We were actually quite excited about Crimson Dragon. A launch title on Microsoft’s shiny new Xbox One, created by famed developer Yukio Futatsugi and heralded as the spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series, there was plenty to be optimistic about. Plus they dumped Kinect controls half-way through development, which is often a welcome move.
But no, Crimson Dragon is a big pile of wyvern dung. Awful controls, a wonky currency system, unnecessary microtransactions, terrible presentation, dodgy visuals, at least one game-breaking overpowered weapon… the list goes on. Crimson Dragon isn’t the worst game of the year by a long shot, some really interesting systems prevent that, but it’s nevertheless hugely disappointing. Flapping awful.
Movie ties-in are rarely any good, but 2013’s Star Trek game actually did a lot of things right from the off. Firstly, they got on board Digital Extremes, hot off the success of The Darkness II; and secondly, they got the film cast on board to reprise their roles as the newest takes on Star Trek’s beloved intrepid explorers. That’s about all they got right though. What we ended up with was a generic mess of a third-person shooter, full of horrific glitches, bugs and abhorrent gameplay. In our review we likened the experience to torture, citing article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a reason the game shouldn’t exist. Here we are 6 months later, and we actually think that analogy was a little generous for the game. Please, Namco and Digital Extremes, never again.
There’s lots we could say about the massive pile of dog crap that is The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, but our own Lee Abrahams has already said it. We re-present to you then, the most damning except from his 30/100 review:
“With so many quality games still to be released on current consoles, and a shiny new era around the corner, it’s actually pretty disheartening to see that such terrible, shamelessly shoddy games are still being made. This is a tragic insult to fans of The Walking Dead, and one that could, and should, have been so much more… Survival Instinct may have flashes of enthusiasm but it’s an unfinished, poorly presented mess.” Ouch.
Where do we start with this one? Maybe with the long, drawn out, oft-extended development that stretched out over five years. Or perhaps with the trailers that deliberately mislead potential buyers. Or maybe even with the accusation that Gearbox didn’t actually do much work on it, instead palming it off on the lesser-known TimeGate so they could get on with Borderlands 2.
No. While all that contributed to the train wreck that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, you don’t have to look much further than the game itself; a bug-ridden, brainless, noisy, occasionally hilarious mess of a game with a crappy multiplayer mode slapped on the end for no good reason. To be fair, several updates were released in an attempt to salvage the situation, but by then it was too late. Aliens: Colonial Marines had already secured its place in history as a complete stinker. Be very afraid.