Brut Awards 2013: Just the Worst

I’ve put my heart and soul into my ‘Best of the Year’, and now I put all my ‘Why Am I Talking About This?’ Feelings toward the ‘Worst of the Year’. Let me be the first to say that if you expect games like Dark and Ride to Hell: Retribution to be on this list, well, get out. This isn’t about you, this is about convenience, and also I needed some games to fill in the gaps between major releases. That’s how I roll.

Actually I’m gonna do you a favor, if you want what I consider to be one of the most detailed and intricate articles depicting some of the best games this year, then here you go. Both part’s 1 & 2 are here for your curious eyes, hell there may be a few surprises you may not expect. So check that out, then come back to this article.

Okay, now that’s done, do you still want to go on with the ‘Wost of the Year’? Have you even read the ‘Best of the Year’ – ah, screw it. Here you goddamn go.

Dishonorable Mentions –

Ascension Contender

God of War: Ascension:

There’s a reason why Gears of War Judgement is not on the list, and the reason why is that I don’t need an online pass to play the multiplayer. Well, okay I actually liked Judgement, whereas with this is so much of a step backward that it became even lesser than the original God of War. I don’t know how you can take one of the most thrilling hack & slash series, and make it boring. Santa Monica Studios, you have some explaining to do!

In case you don’t know, God of War: Ascension is a prequel. So do we get to see how Kratos becomes the monstrosity that he is, the servant of Ares, how he gradually becomes the ‘God of War’ himself? Surprisingly no, instead in this game you’ll be fighting against the Furies who are servants of Aries that are sent to annihilate Kratos for breaking the blood-oath. If you’re right now saying to yourself, “Hey, didn’t they make a prequel to God of War on the PSP already?” The answer is a definite, “Yes,” and, “Why was this needed?”

What makes Ascension even more of a disappointment is that after the first half hour, which consists of one of the coolest boss fights ever, the game reaches its peaking point right there. Afterward the game just reverts to God of War 1, except without the cool shit you attained in that game. I mean it makes sense considering it’s a prequel, but for the most part the abilities you gain in here are the same abilities I believe you use in the multiplayer, which is lame. Plus the upgrades are fairly minimal for each ability, and the puzzles are more of a nuisance this time.
While God of War isn’t known for its complicated stories, Ascension feels more like leftover DLC content that was tossed into the Sony recycle bin. The way the story is told here is through splicing certain parts from the ending, the middle, and just forcing them into the beginning act. It’s unnecessarily experimental, and worse is that you get barely any character moments from Kratos, who just feels like an automaton with one expression. In fact the way this game is marketed it seems like we were going to see more of the back-story behind Kratos’s wife and kid before the incident, instead all we got was goddamn ‘furies’!

It’s not up to the quality of God of War 3 or 2, hell it’s not even as robust as the first God of War. This is at its core a cash grab, and the thing is you can make decent cash-grab, but this is just bland. That’s what the game should be called, “God of War: Blandness.” Kratos’ blades might as well have been cheese knives stringed together by yarn, it was that bland.

Ghosts Contender

Call of Duty: Ghosts:

Ghosts was the straw that broke the camels back for me, and man did it break the shit out of that back. I’m not going to take too long here since this is mostly centered around the campaign, Activision, but everything else I was just dandy with.

So Call of Duty: Ghosts is about this secret force called the Ghosts who prevent terrorist attacks from happening. In this alternate universe, because we couldn’t possibly fit this within the Modern Warfare universe, there’s a new enemy brewing called The Federation. A group of South American oil-mongers who quickly have become a superpower and have started attacking the United States. In the game you’ll be playing as one of two sons of this veteran named Elias. Also there’s a dog named Riley in the game, and he’s the best part about it.
Everything that could have made the campaign for Ghosts interesting is immediately skewered by the same old bullshit we’ve seen before in the Modern Warfare series. It’s even made worse by the fact that Black Ops 2 was trying to make inclusions that benefited the campaign, while this completely avoids those inclusions. It’s age has finally caught up on this series, and man it does not look pretty. The health regenerating system, the linear levels, the same over-the-top cliches are reminiscent to that of a series that influenced a generation in the worst way possible. Everything that is wrong with certain games today in terms of level design, health systems, and other repetitive gameplay mechanics is all because of this series annual existence.

Activision really has turned what was once a series that grabbed a lot of attention for its impressive presentation, and never stopped reminding us about it. It’s gotten so bad that they’ve devoted a good chunk of their resources to exploiting this series, and turned Treyarch and Infinity Ward into their studio puppets. Here’s hoping this cash-train stops soon, otherwise I think I may have to choke a Kotick.

Remember Me Contender

Remember Me:

Looks like Nilin was too big for her jeans, but I don’t know how that’s possible since those were some very tight jeans. Like I’ve seen some videogame protagonists with tight clothing, but that right there was just ridiculous.

So Remember Me is a story about a weird girl who wakes up in a fortress and is about to have her memory wiped out. When all of  a sudden a mysterious voice named Edge helps break her out of memory prison and gets enlisted with the Erroists, an underground resistance.  Now she must find out who she is and must put a stop to Memorize. She must ‘Remember Me‘! Or her, whatever!
In case you couldn’t tell by the obviously made up names, this game is stupid. Our main character is a walking soap opera who we’re suppose to sympathize with, except the problem is she’s just not that well written. The villains are even worse, they’re over-the-top with their evil domination plans and have some of the cheesiest dialogue I’ve ever heard. The plot’s also a convoluted mess as we’re suppose to be fascinated with unraveling what happened to Nilin, but by the end you’re so captivated by the stupidity of what’s currently going on that you forget there’s a mystery here.

Not even the combat can make up for the poor plotting here. It’s basically a rhythm fighting game, except you can create your own combo’s to fight enemies. Sounds really cool, right? Well sadly as it turns out, the layout for dishing out these combos feels clunky and a hassle to figure out. Throughout most of the game I just found myself just button-mashing, and I’ve rarely had an incentive to really experiment with the Pressens I was given.
Also once again, it really would have benefited if they just stuck with simple names rather than these obviously made-up ones that sound really forced.

Its combat is repetitive, the story is stupid, the main character is forgettable, but at least it looks pretty. That’s about the only good thing I can say, it’s just unfortunate that everything else is just kind of crap. So yeah, definitely won’t be remembering this game again.

Beyond Contender

Beyond: Two Souls:

Oh David Cage, will we ever stop these conflicts between us? I was afraid you’d say, “Quick-time events! We need more quick-time events!” Well, guess we should get into this one last time, hopefully.

Beyond: Two Souls is a ‘game’ made by Quantic Dreams and famous movie producer, I mean, videogame producer David Cage. The story is about a troubled girl named Jodie who has a psychic link to a spirit named Aiden. We chronicle through their adventures as we see Jodie start out as a confused (and kind of schlubby) girl, and become a psi-ops commando. It’s a dramatic and intense story that features many of David Cage’s wonderful tropes,  almost-rape scenarios, wacky homeless people, ancient conspiracies, and a lot of QTE’s.
It’s hard to really take this into account as a game, because the sense of challenge in this game is halted by the inability to die. Jodie apparently can never die in this game, despite the fact that it’s a fucking videogame. Each part of the game that could possibly lead up to a gameplay segment is easily foiled once you figure out that there’s no way you can lose. And no, the choices in this game barely even matter and are so minimal I completely forgot about them.

A good majority of the game’s story is a convoluted wreck, mostly for the fact that it’s told out of sequence. Each chapter in Jodie’s life is randomly scattered, and because of that it’s hard to really feel a sense of sympathy or care for these characters. It’s interesting on the basis that’s it’s Ellen Page and William Dafoe in these roles, but aside from that there’s not much else positive I could say. I originally thought that this game was a step up from Heavy Rain, but in many ways it’s a step back because Cage isn’t juggling as many characters.

It’s just boring, and by the end you’re left with this feeling of, “Did I just watch a ten hour movie?” Here’s hoping that sequel doesn’t happen, Beyond-er: Three Souls!

The Main Trash –

Colonial Marines Contender

Aliens: Colonial Marines:

Here we come to the ‘coup de grace’ of the Alien series, Aliens: Colonial Marines. A game some would consider to be one of their most anticipated games of the year, which is hard to believe if you’ve never followed the promotional stuff for this game. On the other hand maybe the impact of this game’s release would have been less attentive if the E3 footage showed what the game actually looked like. The things that happened behind the scenes over at Gearbox and Sega is really fascinating, but for right now let’s just focus on the game.

Set after the events of Aliens, Colonial Marines is about a search and rescue team trying to discover what happened to the crew on the Sulaco. Along the way they encounter more Xenomorphs, and Weyland-Yutani troops who apparently want something from the wreckage.
In the review I’ve described it as a Universal theme park ride, and I think that rings definitely true here. Each set-piece you visit in the game is all taken from Aliens. So I hope you like revisiting the Sulaco  and planet LV-426 because that’s all you’ll be doing in the game.

The control layout feels awfully similar to Call of Duty, which would be fine if it weren’t for everything else that was wrong. The A.I. in this game is really goofy, Xenomorphs will clip into walls, Yutani Troops scatter like crazy across certain levels, and of course every enemy doesn’t mesh well with these open levels. Weapons feel inconsistent and some times it’s difficult to tell what you’re shooting at times. There’s also weapon upgrades, but even that is pretty buggy too.
Multiplayer can be fun though if it weren’t suffering from the same issues that single player was having. This mostly has to do with the Xenomorph classes and how they control, which is pretty badly. Sometimes you’ll get stuck on walls, but most of the time it’s trying to figure out where you’re suppose to go.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is just filled to the brim with disappointment. It was a shame considering the potential that was there, but I guess we’ll just have to do with Alien 3 & 4 now. Prometheus on the other hand didn’t happen, I’m sure of it.

Walking Dead Contender

Walking Dead: Survival Instincts:

I have no clue what happened in this game aside from that it was pretty shit and it had squirrel trophies in it. So I’m just gonna say check out my review instead since it’ll be way more descriptive than what I have to say now. Hey man, some things are hard to forget, and some things are Walking Dead: Survival Instincts.

Worst Game of the year-

Showdown Winner

Fast & Furious Showdown:

Remember when I said that some games are hard to forget? This is one of those, and not in a good way.

Fast & Furious Showdown is about, uh, Gina Carano trying to find more information about Vin Diesel and his crew? It’s hard to know what the plot is when all you’re seeing on screen is cars doing ballerina moves and other weird shit. In fact I’m not sure there was a plot at all, it was just levels that repeated the same moments from the movies. Like remember the bank vault chase scene in Fast Five? That’s in the game alright!

This game should never have existed, not on consoles, not on handhelds, not on tablets, not even on phones! This is a game in which a small studio began developing, but never finished.
It’s a generic racing game that never attempts to be more than what is is, and fails miserably because of its laziness. In most racing games you can easily say that the vehicles looks great because, well, how hard is it to develop a freaking motor vehicle? In here the vehicles looks like shit, and they drive like shit.
Despite the options you get as to who you want to play as, every vehicle drives like a busted tractor. And don’t worry about winning, because chances are you’ll easily get screwed over by the shitty road mapping and the lousy AI. Some of the stunts you have to perform in the game also feel frustrating, especially when it comes to climbing on top of vehicles.

This game was so terrible that I never was able to fully finish it, not because of random difficulty spikes, but because the controls were that terrible. I do think this deserves the top spot, and I hope people won’t even give this game a second glance at. This year I was going to try and focus more on some of the lesser titles, but this was so bad that I’m just going to stop doing that. I’ll just live in my little naive world where bad games don’t exist, and the only game I play is XCOM.

***

That’s it for my ‘Worst of the Year’ and in general all my lists for this year. No lie, I think I may be sick to my stomach with all these lists. On the plus side though, that means I get to focus on other articles that I’m sure will be much more fascinating. So keep an eye out on ‘The Brutlounge’ in 2014, because I may end up surprising you…or disappointing you pending on where you stand so far with my opinions.

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