There’s no real way to define what makes a game good. For me, it’s a mixture of memorable gameplay, generation defining graphics, an in depth story and well structured characters. How to define a bad game? Well that’s a little easier.
We have come up with our list of the biggest disasters of 2015. It’s been an exceptional year for gamers, unlike 2014, video games such as Fallout 4, The Witcher 3 and Halo 5 have been satisfying our needs, but like everything else, where there’s good, there’s bad. Let’s take a look.
Battlefield Hardline isn’t necessarily bad, if you paid full price for an expansion pack. Visceral had a shot at the legendary Battlefield franchise, switching the focus from the usual military style to a cops and robbers theme. It sounds good in theory, but what was delivered to us was pretty much a Battlefield 4 re-skin.
The gameplay is the same, swapping armored Jeeps for police interceptors, assault rifles for pistols and the only new feature was a clunky stealth system. The campaign mode puts you in the shoes of a John Doe cop who you really don’t care about, with a Jane Doe partner who you also don’t care about and like all 80’s cop films, you get betrayed by your captain (you guessed it, you don’t care about him either). It’s an overall wooden campaign at best, it feels like its been thrown together at last minute with a few cliches in the mix. Intentional or not it did not go down well.
Did the multiplayer pay off? If you like Battlefield, then yeah it was okay. I won’t lie I put a few hours into this and at first it felt new, a welcome twist on the usual Battlefield settings, but eventually I came to the realization that it’s just BF4 with a coat of fancy paint.
The Order: 1886
Pre-release, The Order boasted stunning visuals and an atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife. So what went wrong? Well, wrong might be the wrong word to use, a lot of things were done right, besides Ready At Dawns concept of a video game.
It’s terribly scripted, for the most part of the game it doesn’t feel like you’re in control, you’re either knee deep in a cutscene or limited to where you can go and what you can do.
It’s a shame that The Order turned out the way it has, there’s so much potential, the well constructed locations, believable characters and the sheer polished looks of the game are the games high points. The barriers, linear gameplay and the on-rails feel, coupled with all the hype and promise put it on this list.
Here in the UK there are two types of people, Football fans and Rugby fans, it’s quite uncommon to find someone who likes both equally. With the dominance of FIFA and their annual releases, HB studios tried to reclaim some of the love gained from Rugby 08, the last notable Rugby game, but came up short, so so short.
The lowest rated game on the list, Rugby 15 has one strong factor, HB Studios managed to simplify the rules of rugby union into a game that even newcomers could wrap their heads around, everything else however, was shambles.
The AI is poor, both teammates and opponents not moving until you move, which rules out a lot of tactical advantages. The rules are also a little off, for example you don’t get penalized for tacking a player who does not have possession of the ball, which can be hilarious at the start.
The game requires no skill and the only practice needed is how you can cheat your way though the game using glitches and which rules you can break. Rugby union fans stay away.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5
Remember the glory days of THPS? When it was actually fun to play and a little wacky in its own respect? Well it seems after the release of Skate, THPS felt the need to up the realism and they’ve fallen flat on their faces.
Obviously not learning from their past mistakes, THPS5 returns to its linear style, where chaining tricks and grinds to earn the highest score and the odd collectible hunt is the whole content of the game. If you haven’t experienced the classic THPS games, you’ll think that sentence is stupid. “It’s a skateboarding game what else can you do?”.
Well, a lot more. The maps were creative, each one set in a real location littered with NPCs who always had something witty to say and a soundtrack so good you could listen to it all day.
Gone are the days of customizing your own signature moves, playing as Iron Man or Gene Simmons from KISS or simply hopping off your board and exploring the world freely. Now you get bland levels, glitches that ruin your combo and collision errors. Where’d the fun go Tony?
If you want a good pirate game, try Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. I know some people love it and some people hate it, but everyone, and I mean everyone, will detest this game.
If you did enjoy Black Flag like myself, then you’ll notice how similar the two games are. The gameplay is split between on foot and ship combat and neither are too cracking. The on foot controls are clunky, and the fighting.. well lets just say the input has a tendency to ignore you just as much as that girl you’ve been chasing over whatsapp.
Does the ship combat redeem itself? Cold hard no. I can’t tell if the controls are complex or just plain bad, the intel system uncovers next to nothing about an enemy ship so you find yourself wandering into battle with a battleship that makes yours look like a dinghy.
The dialogue is wooden and offensive, and not in a good way. If the developers were looking for a gritty, grimy feel to the game in terms of dialogue and characters, they got it because it’s disgusting and inappropriate at the best of times.
I wasn’t quite sure whether or not to put this on the list, the game itself is actually pretty good, there’s a wide character selection choice, each with their own perks and weapons, you can play as a hulking monster which turns humans into ash, the graphics are bearable and the atmosphere, especially when you’re hunting, can be thrilling.
Unfortunately, there’s no satisfaction to the game. All the good points stated above quickly lose credibility in your third and onwards play through, it feels no different from playing a game by the likes of CoD, you’re just doing the same thing on a loop in ten minute intervals with two possible outcomes, win or lose.
The thing that separates CoD and Evolve, CoD gives you reason to keep playing with what feels like endless rewards and unlockables, Evolve however lacks in that department, which is not good considering it’s a very multiplayer heavy game. The basic concept of Evolve is great, but the actual game lacks the punch to keep it up there with the rest.
It almost feels as if a 15 year old kid who’s trying to be edgy made this game. Main character? Let’s dress him all in black and give him long black hair and a long black trench coat with black combat boots. Yeah that looks cool and not cliche at all.
Hatred starts with a quote from the main character (the one who likes black) about his hatred for the world as he arms himself with guns and blades, and that’s probably the best you’re going to get from the game. The rest is a mediocre isometric arcade style shooter of mass murdering.
You move house to house killing everyone from civilians to cops for no apparent reason. It’s playable for around 10-15 minutes until you’ve discovered all there is to do. The ‘edgy’ feel to the game is cringe-worthy at best with the controversial mass murdering we were promised being no more than you see in games with toned down violence such as GTA.
Alone In The Dark: Illumination
Illumination, not Illuminati, don’t get excited. Alone In The Dark has a pretty terrible past, with the first game being highly praised to the sloping downfall of the franchise today, and Illumination has been no exception.
Illumination is a four player co-op horror/mystery game, which initially tells me that’s a mistake, four player + co-op + horror = L4D. Using the Alan Wake/Lovecraft method of weakening enemies with light, you and your team must make it though glitchy and slow movement in a ‘collect the objects’ game.
Each level is the same with a different skin, trading the horror that fans were hoping for with a repetitive, tedious gameplay. Another disaster from what seems to be a near extinct franchise. This might as well be the final nail in its already constructed coffin.
Batman: Arkham Knight (PC Version)
A bit of a weird one, Batman AK is an amazing game, Rocksteady perfected everything about the previous Batman games, and delivers it’s motto; Be the Batman. That is IF you were playing on a console and not a PC.
In possibly the biggest gaming disaster of the year, the master race were shocked to find that the game, simply put, didn’t work. Ranging from minor audio problems to frame rate issues, the game was broken. Of course some of this has been patched and the game is back out on Steam, but a lot of problems persist and Rocksteady have actually started handing out refunds to anyone who asks for it, admitting that some portions of the game are infact…unfixable.
Suspiciously the game got an average score of 91 on metacritic, but over 2,000 negative reviews on steam. This is due to the fact that professionals were given a PS4 version to play, with polished graphics and a system that actually worked. Were Rocksteady keeping this secret up to launch?
Whatever be the reasons, this is unacceptable especially from an developer who are known to create some of the best gaming experiences to date. The sore taste left by this disaster will be felt for years to come.
With the GOTY awards announced recently, it only seemed fitting to discuss the worst along with the best (Which we will be doing in another feature soon). If you have any comments to add or think we missed out on mentioning some other disasters, feel free to do so below.