Video games. They are perfect pixelated products that only the best imagineers could have invented. Words, thoughts, images and dreams of an interactive, game-playing future, all collated into a cluster of levels and missions, digitally processed onto shiny plastic discs that are barely thicker than your fingernails.
They never fail to entertain, enthral and conjure up feelings that we didn’t even know we could feel.
Except, that is, for those times when they fall flat on their binary coded rumps. For each of those hidden gems and mega-rated blockbusters, there’s a small gaggle of games that has to sour the bunch and you must keep your wits about you if you want to be able to dodge the foul-tasting punches that these games are pulling, which is why I’ve put together a list of a few games that you will want to avoid.
1. (Sid Meier’s)Civilization Revolution
Sid Meier’s PC to console port of the very successful, very fun, turn-based strategy ‘Civilization’ game series. You get to fill the musty, ancient boots of such leaders as England’s Queen Victoria the First, Ancient Egypt’s Hatshepsut or the man responsible for the delicious cheesy salad and the infamous Vegas hotspot (his palace), Rome’s Julius Caesar, proceeding to carry their empires to victory by getting rich, developing tech or being the first person to send humans into space or nuke an opponent into obliteration.
Meier himself was quoted as saying that Civ Rev is “the game [he] always wanted to make”, which leads me to believe that the game he wanted to make was a sloppy iteration of such a brilliant franchise, ruined by his own thirst for the money that would come from selling a game for next-gen consoles.
If you’re intrigued by the little summary of gameplay that I provided for you above, invest in the PC version of Civ 4 because Civilization Revolution is a prime example why ports should be illegal.
2. Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3
To begin my explanation of exactly why the latest addition to the ‘biggest selling video game franchise of all time’ made the list, I would first like to share a back of the box quote from Modern Warfare 3.
The DEFINITIVE MULTIPLAYER experience returns bigger than ever.
So upon purchasing the game and flipping the packaging over to find out what marvellous explosive gameplay devices are in store for you, you’re automatically informed that what you’re getting is actually just an online mode, sandwiched between a single player experience that is as weak and limp as the lettuce you’d find in a petrol (gas) station sandwich.
I most certainly did not pay £40 notes for a game that is essentially team deathmatch with an offline mode tacked on as an afterthought.
The only emotionally fuelled sentence that this will illicit out of you is ‘oh, this is balls.’
3. Assassin’s Creed (1)
Aaah, the original Assassin’s Creed, the one that started it all and began the franchise that eventually introduced us to Ezio Auditore (AKA, one of JSX’s top 5 moustachioed video game characters). However, it wasn’t always the great series that we all know and love – it actually started off as an incredibly repetitive rather tedious depiction of life as a 12th Century assassin .
Missions followed the same pattern, as follows
Speak to Al Mualim –> receive task to kill some Templar or other –> eavesdrop on 6 conversations –> pickpocket six people –> beat up six small-time menaces until they reveal priceless, highly useful information.
Rinse, repeat until you complete the game and are (thankfully) able to move on to Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood and Revelations ; Assassin’s Creed 1’s better evolved brothers.
If you’ve read my previous post on how Bethesda bullshitted their way through an interview on Skyrim, you may have come to the conclusion that it’s not possible for them to have pulled the wool over our eyes on any other occasion, right?
I regret to inform you that you are incorrect, and that in the run-up to the release of Brink, readers of previews and little snippets of what the game would be like were grossly misinformed that the game would actually be a fun FPS that encourages team play and will allow you you to clamber around the world like a deranged monkey with an AK. Oh, how we were fooled into buying something that actually just played out (similarly to MW3) like team deathmatch stuck on repeat…
I digress, this may not have been Bethesda’s (the publisher of the game, who are in charge of the game’s marketing) fault of course, but what we can blame on them (and Splash Damage, Brink’s developer) is how shoddy this game is.
Again like Modern Warfare 3, its strongest component is its multiplayer. Both games suffer from some serious issues in the single player department, with the Brink devs trying to pie us off by repeating the same levels multiple times. For example, if you are a rebel, you may be tasked with stealing a passcode to a safe, the objective for their opposition would then be to stop them from stealing said passcode. The multiplayer follows the exact same template and the only thing that differs from the single player is that your AI team-mates are replaced by real-life ones.
5. Kane & Lynch 2
Much in the same way that Duke Nukem Forever (which didn’t get a mention in this list because I haven’t played it) is the butt of all the ‘longest wait in history’ jokes, IO Interactive’s (who are in charge of the stellar Hitman games) Kane & Lynch 2 is the punchline to those about terrible games.
Now, after the severe backlash that Kane & Lynch 1 received, the developer rightly went back to the drawing board to correct the mistakes that they made first time round, though unlike the massive success that Ubisoft were able to produce with their vast improvements of the Assassin’s Creed series, IO Interactive bowled a gutterball for the second time in this franchise.
Trying to take the game in a completely different direction, they opted for a peculiar ‘handycam’ viewpoint which resembled that of amateur videos of cats, replacing felines in favour of geriatric men who occasionally get their kit off for those playing through it. As if the nudity of the least likeable characters in video game history wasn’t bad enough, the gameplay as a whole (no pun intended) just couldn’t support the big promises of a better game that IO had told us.
Instead of making games that cut the cheese, they should stick to making the Hitman games where the only cutting in that game is necks. With cheesewire.
I understand that you may be ready to rip me to shreds because you probably don’t agree with some of the things I’ve said, so if I’ve offended you to the point of you wanting to set my house on fire and call my mother a lady of the night, read this first.
Disagree with me? – Leave a comment.