The 2013 video game release season is slowly transitioning out of the dog days of summer into the fall months, which are always packed with triple-A titles, yearly blockbuster-sized sequels, and this year a whole new generation of video game hardware and software. For the most part the first eight months of 2013 have been packed with some amazing video game experiences, and some consider it to be one of the best years ever as far as top-notch gaming experiences go. With that being said there still have been some turds that have made it to market, so it’s a great time to reflect on three of the worst video game experiences of 2013.
Mind you that this list is solely based on video games that I have played and reviewed, because it could surely feature a few other lackluster titles that I haven’t had the time to waste on.
3. God of War: Ascension
Kratos’ fourth official game managed to make the God of War feel like a clumsy God of Nothing. For some reason the excellent combo system featured in the previous three GoW console titles is absent in Ascension. It is replaced by a much clunkier combat system that never truly makes Kratos feel like the war machine we know him to be. Gone were the skirmishes where Kratos could rack up obscene streaks and punishing combos, which made each battle, regardless of enemy type, feel like a grind. The story didn’t add anything to the overall lore of Kratos either, and its flashback/forward cutscenes made it hard to nail down exactly which timeframe each stage took place in.
Finally, there’s a section towards the end of the game that nearly ruins the entire experience due to its unforgiving checkpoint system and cheap non-boss enemy types. The Trial of Archimedes is hands down one of the worst sections of a video game that I’ve encountered this year, if not this generation. It truly is amazing that I still have two fully working PS3 controllers after experiencing that messy affair, which ends up being a thousand times more difficult than the final boss. For this section alone God of War: Ascension deserves to be on this list.
Review Score: 7 out of 10 Buddhas – Link
2. Star Trek: The Game
For a game based on one of the most popular science fiction franchises in the galaxy, Star Trek: The Game did a poor job showcasing the rebooted franchise. Technically the game is full of glitches and bugs, the worst of which is the AI programming. If this co-op focused game is played solo the companion AI of Kirk or Spock might as well not even render itself in the game. Your AI partner provides almost no useful help, and tend to spend more time staring at walls and getting killed than helping your cause. Having to restart long sections of the game due to the death of your AI partner is beyond frustrating, and this scenario rears its ugly head in Star Trek: The Game more often than not. The enemy AI isn’t much better, and will hardly challenge your tactical combat skills.
Star Trek: The Game also sports some very dated visuals, which look more like a game from 2005 than a 2013 title. What’s even more perplexing is the terrible voice sync with the characters during cutscenes. Even with most of J.J.’s cast lending their voices to this game it still couldn’t pull off an authentic experience due to its myriad of glitches and unpolished assets. If Star Trek fanboys need something to complain about when it comes to the Abrams Star Trek franchise, this game should be at the top of their lists.
Review Score: 6.5 out of 10 Buddhas – Link
1. Aliens: Colonial Marines
This game showcased so much promise with its pre-release trailers and PC demos, but the final product may go down as one of the most poorly executed titles of this generation. Aliens: Colonial Marines promised to tell a new story, a sequel of sorts to James Cameron’s Aliens, but its technical presentation managed to derail that plan. Everything from the dated visuals to the robotic dialogue hampered this video game, which oozed potential solely based on the medium it was meant to compliment. What is even more frustrating is the fact that this game looked to be a beautiful package in nearly all of the pre-release assets and demos shown off for it, so the final product felt like a scam to gamers who followed its development since its announcement.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think a Xenomorph could be portrayed in a way that didn’t elicit anxiety and fear, but that’s exactly what Gearbox managed to do in Aliens: Colonial Marines. It’s as if the Xenos felt that they could get stronger by standing in front of you and eating bullets, because rarely did they try to vary their attacks, or work as a team like they do in the movies. Watching one of the most terrifying monsters from the film world behave like a brain dead framework of AI code is a travesty, and the experience of playing Aliens: Colonial Marines has forever tainted Gearbox’s credibility, and the Aliens franchise itself.
Like me, I imagine most fans of the Aliens franchise will forever be reminded of one of its biggest failed experiences, which is without question Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Review Score: 4.9 out of 10 Buddhas – Link
Some readers may question why a game that received a 7 ended up on this list, but just because a game may review satisfactorily doesn’t mean it’s a great experience. There are many other titles that could be on this list, but there’s just not enough time in the day for one man to play them all. With that being said this “worst of” list accurately represents my gameplay experiences of 2013 so far. If you want to check out my “best of” list you can do so via this link.
Feel free to chime in with your opinions by leaving a comment down below.
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