Festive Features #2 - Top Five Train Wrecks of 2013

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.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 5807
Comment #1 by LickableLemons7
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 01:49:06 AM
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4 out of 5, didn't think about The Devil's Cartel before viewing the article but the others I predicted right. Good show, me.

Some part of me is eager to see how that Alien Isolation game will turn out. I know it isn't Gearbox or TimeGate...but I'd like to see what Creative Assembly can do with one alien.

Forum Posts: 99
Comment #2 by scott.m
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 02:57:14 AM
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Although I do like army of two DC, I will agree that out of the trilogy, it is definately the weakest.

Overall the rest of the list is pretty spot on.

Forum Posts: 39
Comment #3 by Red620Ti
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 08:04:52 AM
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I've only played one of the five (TWD, I didn't think they could mess up such a rich world as badly as they did) so obviously reading reviews works!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #4 by Deviss516
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 02:31:41 PM
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Three words 'Ride to Hell'

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #5 by kaiyo penguin
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 05:10:07 PM
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cost me a fiver for aliens the other week. cant be that bad can it? lol :P

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #6 by agent808
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 06:27:50 PM
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how could they miss ride to hell? xbox magazine had a 3page layout preview of the game talking about how great it will be. not sure what the beef with army of two was. the story is much better than cod: ghosts.

aliens was not great, but not as bad as everyone claims. I think they are all sore 'cause they had such expectations. look at the past aliens games...none of them are very good. the only good movie license I have EVER played is rockstar's the warriors. when will we learn that movie tie ins always stink!

Forum Posts: 474
Comment #7 by Darkrenegade25
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 08:45:14 PM
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Not being a fanboy or anything but I thought the walking dead was a good game nothing groundbreaking though!

Forum Posts: 303
Comment #8 by ronnie42
Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 09:20:36 PM
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Star Trek wasn't a bad game either, sure it had it's bug but it was still a 'fun' game. I would have thought there be worse games out there and I mean the one's that aren't fun.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #9 by WadeMcG
Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 03:11:51 AM
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The article was about potentially great games that went wrong. Nothing was really expected from Ride to Hell. Sure, it saves 007 Racing on PS1 from being the worst game that Eutechnyx has ever developed, but it doesn't quite fit the theme of the list.

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #10 by Jaws as Crowns
Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 07:27:41 PM
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Thought this list was a countdown for actual train wrecks in video games. Lol

Forum Posts: 606
Comment #11 by Yin
Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 05:16:47 AM
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Crimson Dragon doesn't have a single OP weapon... the Nemesis Photon actually harms you in the process, and does not affect enemies that are resistant to that type. I still think that the review was kind of wonky, and disagree with it. Crimson Dragon achieved everything that I expected to, and it was well worth the $20 for it (despite that it was reviewed at the $60 content level).

Forum Posts: 192
Comment #12 by GalrenCreptus
Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 06:27:25 PM
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@11 I agree. There is no 1 single OP weapon in that game. Every weapon is situational. The currency system isn't "wonky" - You earn money doing missions, you go back and spend it - how is that "wonky"?. I'm not sure if they mean "unnecessary microtransactions" as in you don't ever need to use them or just "it's a microtransaction - KILL IT!".

I really think when they reviewed Crimson Dragon that they expected it to be a 100% copy of Panzer Dragoon which is just a very dumb thing to expect.

Forum Posts: 1972
Comment #13 by ajennice
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 @ 05:22:38 AM
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How in the name of all that is Holy, did Deadfall Adventures not make this list???? Toss Adventure time on that list too!
At least Army of Two was co-op. I gave it 5 bonus point just for that!!!

Forum Posts: 134
Comment #14 by Earth Djinn
Thursday, December 26, 2013 @ 01:48:23 AM
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Army of Two was certainly not perfect, but it was still a lot of fun in co-op, which is really the only thing you should be looking for out of an Army of Two game.

Forum Posts: 1340
Comment #15 by Creasy47
Thursday, December 26, 2013 @ 03:03:58 AM
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I never played 'Colonial Marines,' so going off of what I have played, 'Survival Instant' is by far the worst game I played this year. Absolute trash.

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #16 by Poppa Krunch
Friday, December 27, 2013 @ 10:14:05 AM
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They should just remake the mega drive version of aliens the side scroller where you had to find all the prisoners in the level in a time limit. That was an amazing game, hard as nails but still amazing.Also surprised battlefield 4 didn't make the list.

Forum Posts: 39
Comment #17 by Red620Ti
Friday, December 27, 2013 @ 01:09:15 PM
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@16 I think a game has to actually work to make the list...........

Forum Posts: 4665
Comment #18 by bLaKgRaVy
Saturday, December 28, 2013 @ 03:52:26 AM
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Actually Ao2: The Devil's Cartel (TDC) wasn't really *that* bad. I played the first two a few years ago and then played this when it was released, then went back and played The 40th Day (TFD) again. Gameplay wise, I think TDC had better controls than TFD, which in turn, I think, made it an easier game. The aim assist in TDC was a blessing (non-existent in TFD). I liked the Overkill system. Yeah, the story was kinda weak and there wasn't really any co-op, but there were some elements to the game that really were better than the two previous games.

Knowing what I now know about the game, I would still play it if I hadn't already, as I would still play Aliens.

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