Video Games of 2016: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Part 2

Two articles in a week! I’m back! *runs around in a circle.*

Anyway. Onto the article.

Welcome to part 2 of my little journey through the games of 2016, and my overall opinion of them. This time around, we get to delve into the video games which I found atrocious, an insult to my video gaming pleasure, or just plain bad. Of course, this is all subjective, but my God there has been some crap this year. From disappointing AAA monsters, terrible DLC, horrendous performance to “I knew this was going to suck”, it certainly took it’s toll throughout 2016.

Usual rules follow. No easy targets, I tend to ignore all the “Early Access Survival Sandbox” tripe which saturates the Steam market. Some are incredibly good, but the vast majority are pigswill.

Rollercoaster Tycoon World

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Jesus Christ, this game. Where the hell do I start. Now, this game came out Early Access last November I think, so technically, this shouldn’t count for my countdown. However, it finally hit full release the day before the launch of Planet Coaster (A far superior game in every way, although it’s relative lack of management will turn some people off. Stay tuned for another article in this series, where I will discuss it…)

What a destructive end to the RCT series, the originals being some of the most incredible trio of simulation and management games ever made. Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 was IMO the best of the three, although Frontier (behind Planet Coaster) made the third, another exceptional game. I play the 2nd more than most of them, partly through the phenomenal OpenRCT2 software (A mod/remaster almost which makes the game almost infinitely stable, adding features and makes the game even more incredible.)

Now, World has been through development hell, but that doesn’t excuse this piece of refuse. They tried, they really did, but this game is an absolute joke. Where shall I start? Let’s go down the list:

  1. The game is in “full release” with more content incoming. No. This game is still in beta, for performance is glitchy and a janky mess.
  2. Awful Ui
  3. No NPC clipping, you see all the peeps running through each other….
  4. The animations overall are worse than Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, which came out in 2004!
  5. Overall terrible performance and optimization, awful loading times
  6. You are locked out of many items in-game until you complete challenges. That’s bad in itself. Even worse when the game crashes and bugs out preventing you completing the bloody thing!
  7. Horribly overpriced. Not as badly as No Man’s Sky, but still appalling. People will say NMS was worst game of the year. Most disappointing? Certainly. But there are far worse games than that, and this sorry excuse for a return to the theme park builder is one of them.

Fallout 4 DLC package

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Now, I probably shouldn’t put in DLC into these lists, but as there are a couple of terrible ones which came out this year (As well as an AMAZING one, but that is for another article in this series!) I think it needs to be said.

I’m a critic of DLC. I admit that. Because most companies do them horribly, or use them to hack off large chunks of content which should be in the base game already, then try and make more money. Many companies do this, and it is a joke. Very few actually do this in a fair and just way. *Squints at the CD Projekt Red shrine of justice in my bedroom.* Ahem. Moving on.  

Bethesda isn’t as bad on the DLC front as other companies like say…CA. *Horse Armour exception.* Overall, Oblivion’s DLC wasn’t great but others were certainly not terrible. But they really messed up Fallout 4, already a divisive game on its own. I still really like Fallout 4 of course, but there were some glaring issues with it.

Not only did they increase the price of the Season Pass, they did so by offering the fans some overall terrible content. What did we get? 3 Workshop additions to their settlement crafting system (A cool idea but badly implemented), a small quest which was virtually irrelevant, Far Harbour and Nuka World, an add-on which destroyed possible immersion and went against most of the game’s whole code. I think the biggest problem with all this was it just wasn’t worth the value. Far Harbour came the closest, and in honesty was pretty good, but the rest was a joke. I recognize that some really like the DLC which is obviously their right. I just didn’t think the DLC was worth the hefty price tag. Not the worst thing this year, but one of the most disappointing. Bethesda loves making these vast open worlds which are struggling giants, and tends to depend upon modded content to be truly amazing. People give them a lot of slack, and are willing to overlook severe faults. I still do, but my attitude is beginning to wane.

Mafia 3

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Well this game sucked. I’m sorry to say it, but what a mess! 30FPS lock at launch, a boring slew of open world gameplay which feels like an MMO grind to advance through the main quest, horrid performance issues and repetitive gameplay was a real shame.

Shame being the word about Mafia III. It was heavily anticipated, and came with some major benefits, to be honest. It had an excellent story, a strong character cast. However, in need to have a story in a video game, that needs to come with interesting game elements. This didn’t. It just got boring, and it became a chore to play. When that happens? The game fails.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

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I don’t have too much to say about this one. I really don’t. It certainly looked good when it came out. Open world parkour? Where the fuck do I sign?

Well….the game looked good. So did the overall control.That’s just about all that was positive about this game, I’m afraid. The open-world was just a bloated mess which made the game twice as long as it needed to be, the story and the entire cast was unforgettable and unredeemable, and the combat was a complete joke. How disappointing. I got bored with this game faster than almost any other game I’ve played this year.

Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon

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Fuck off.

Seriously. They call this a DLC? What a comedown. I talked about this earlier in the year, so I think I will instead use that as the basis for this review. Frankly finding new words to talk about this excuse of a DLC is a daunting prospect! So here it is:

Oh boy. This gave me a bad taste in my mouth. Now, I love Age of Mythology. It has so much charm, has a pretty decent multi-player and I’ve grabbed many hundreds of hours playing this game and all the custom mods/campaigns which come with it. It has incredible class, one of the best RTS’s I’ve played, and one of my favourite games of the 2000s. The AOE series in general are fantastic, although AOE2 was by far my favourite, and has the largest/most prestigious on-line base. I still play most of them, and while AOE3 was my least favourite of the bunch, it’s still a very good game with a lot of playability. Now, what wrong with this new expansion? Quite a lot.

Now, I applaud the devs chance to make a new expansion for this game, and the original was brilliant, although the Steam remastered version has a lot of issues with Desynch. (This was so bad I was forced to get a refund, I’ll stick with the disc version thank you. At least it’s not plagued by Desync and DRM crap.) But this was awful. Absolutely awful. Horribly buggy, terrible campaign design with bad voice acting, and crashes galore. Bad balancing too. I have respect for the devs for giving it a shot, but this needs serious work. It just looks amateur, and the voice acting/overall programming in the campaign feels unpolished and overall very poor quality. And from what I see, this STILL hasn’t been fixed after two-three months. Ugh.

Guess what? It’s December. And all those problems still haven’t been fixed. I have nothing more to say about this, it was just an awful experience.

Conclusion

That’s all I have time for Part 2. Skyrim Special Edition was going to be on this list, but because it’s literally the same game from 2011 (with a little remaster. Whoo. Bethesda even kept all the flipping bugs, glitches and the broken UI from the original. Come on now.) Part 3 of this series will go through my picks which just missed the Top 10.

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