The clangers. The stinkers. The embarrassments. Every industry’s got them, and the gaming world is no different. 2013 has undoubtedly seen some of the best titles ever released, but it would be remiss to gloss over the unpolished turds, the lumps of coal amidst a sea of glittering diamonds.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have the worst games of 2013. From the disappointments to the no-hopers, this band of ne’er-do-wells collectively had false starts, hit every hurdle or tumbled over the finishing line in a humiliating fashion….
Ashes Cricket 2013 - The gaming equivalent of a Uwe Boll movie. Originally scheduled for a Summer 2013 release, this got pushed back just before release to a Winter 2013 release, in time for year’s second coming of the Ashes. It cropped up for sale for a few days before being unceremoniously aborted. Permanently. This was an unprecedented move on 505 Games behalf, removing the already completed game from sale and throwing it down the drain.
The culmination of two years work, this made England’s performance at the latest Ashes look like a masterclass. Embarrassingly unplayable, Ashes Cricket 2013 has disappeared into the annals of history in a way few games ever have.
SimCity - No game has managed to shoot itself in the foot upon release with such staggering effectiveness. Launching to rave reviews it soon became readily apparent that SimCity had big problems. It seemed EA Maxis needed a new mayor. I guess the game would’ve been good hadn’t EA and Maxis made the intensely poor decision of enforcing always online in a series which has long been a solitary and calming experience. Well, launch day users had to prepare themselves to be decalmed, when the servers exploded under the strain. BOOM. EA were too late brewing the camomile tea, the baying audience were already looking for blood. It took over a week for reliability to rear its comforting, by which time several retailers had even removed it from sale.
That all seems moderately annoying but EA didn’t stop there. Before you knew it game saves were disappearing into the ether, never to be seen again, swallowed up by the omniscient ‘cloud’. Then news filtered out that SimCity didn’t even need to be an online, with the servers EA claimed were necessary not even handling any of the computations they said were necessary. Coupled with small cities and copious DLC, this game was certainly EA’s first big blot on 2013.
Aliens: Colonial Marines - Oh dear Aliens: Colonial Marines. Oh dear. How a game became the stuff of legend mere days after release is anybody’s guess, but Aliens: Colonial Marines became a laughing stock and a bargain bin resident in record time. Now available on consoles brand new for the princely sum of £2.85, it seems in space everyone can hear you scream.
How this team made Borderlands 2 and Half Life: Blue Shift while simultaneously birthing this monstrosity and Duke Nukem Forever is anybody’s guess. Pre-release footage suggested we were going to be in for a treat, the Alien franchise was back kicking and screaming, what we got was a hilarious, bug-ridden romp with laughable AI.
X Rebirth - ‘Trade, Fight, Build, Think, Tedium.’ Ok that’s not quite the real tagline but it may as well be. Taking the mundane to new levels previously thought impossible, the team at Egosoft took a beloved series, painfully extracted all of the negative elements and decided to make a game exclusively out of all those hideous scraps.
While Space games can rarely lay claim to being emotive, X Rebirth takes the biscuit, appearing to the player to be about as charismatic as a paving slab. The indentikit space stations and a hideously dull co-pilot combine with horrendous frame rates and an array of graphical and control problems to create a mess that would have left Elite shaking its head and tutting, wondering where it all went wrong.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - To call The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct a cash-in would be remiss. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series was by all means a cash-in on both the comics and the TV series’ success, it was just fortunate enough to be a good one. Terminal Reality’s zombie-fest has you wishing reality really would terminate within five minutes of booting it up. Not many games let you know quite as swiftly as The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct that what you’re playing is an utter pile of tosh. At least it’s up front and honest we guess. Terrible controls, terrible graphics, repetition and poor combat combine in a melting pot of awful to serve you up a big steaming slice of undead pie.
Which do you think is deserving of worst game of the year?
Fortunately we don't have time to play every game released, so if you feel we've missed out some absolutely atrocious games then don't hesitate to let us know below!