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Summer 2013 has seen some of the Worst Games Ever

Summer 2013 – Some of the Worst Games Ever?

While most people are still jumping up and down after playing The Last of Us, I’ve had the pleasure of spending much of the last few months playing some of the worst games ever made. I really wish I was stretching things, even a little bit, but if you’ve been paying attention, this summer really has been terrible for gamers.

It’s gone beyond substandard generic shooters or complete rip-offs. Nope, we’re straying into a land previously only populated by the likes of Big Rigs and ET. This is Worst Game Ever territory, a place where only the laziest, poorest titles end up. They’re ugly, they’re annoying, they’re often unplayable, and they definitely don’t represent value for money.

Fast and Furious: Showdown

fast and furious - Worst Games Ever

Imagine if you took a film about cars, loud music, pretty ladies and flash driving and then turned it into a game where not one of those things is done right. That’s Fast and Furious: Showdown. We reviewed it for the Wii U, but it’s also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 3DS. Why not buy it for each? Buy TWO copies in case one of them breaks.

Driving is a chore, the story can’t be followed, the graphics are terrible so everybody you meet looks like a PS1 character melded from polygons. Even the music is repetitive and cheesy. Children might enjoy it, as a tie-in to a film they shouldn’t be watching in the first place, but any parent that lets their under-tens play a game in which car theft and mass vandalism is made light of probably won’t be winning any awards. Unless you count regular visits from child services as an award.

There are some nice ideas in there, especially the co-op driving that you can do on your own, but the foundation isn’t strong enough and only die-hard fans of the franchise or those with a high pain threshold will manage to see it through to the end. It’s not the 1/10 you may have heard it is, but it’s not much better.

Ride to Hell: Retribution

ride to hell retribution - Worst Games Ever

For the most part, Fast and Furious: Showdown worked as the developers intended. It was bad, but there weren’t random moments where the game would just kill you for no reason, have you fall into the floor or straight up just stop anything happening so you’re left in a strange, matrix-esque time freeze. The same can’t be said for Ride to Hell: Retribution.

Originally announced as an open world gritty biker take on Grand Theft Auto, time was not kind on Ride to Hell: Retribution. It became a linear third person shooter, and it couldn’t even do that right. The story was mostly just “kill a bunch of people for revenge,” the shooting was dull and underdeveloped and the glitches… Well, there might have been a department working on putting glitches in the game just for a laugh.

Perhaps the most hilarious thing about Ride to Hell was its treatment of women. The only female characters you came across that you didn’t have sex with randomly were a small group of prostitutes. Everybody else pretty much threw themselves at you just for stopping a group of men raping them or protecting them from their drunken husbands.

Oh, and they leave their clothes on during the love making scenes as well. The developers just hoped you wouldn’t notice the full body jump suit on the lady making moaning noises.

Painkiller: Hell and Damnation

Painkiller: Hell and Damnation - Worst Games Ever

We’ve seen the very worst that this summer has had to offer, but there’s been a lot of very mediocre games as well. Painkiller: Hell and Damnation falls pretty firmly into that category. With a single player mode that defines “lacking story” and absolutely no connection between the things you do and the ultimate goal, the least you can say about this retro-inspired shooter is that it lacks direction. That the enemies are all the same regardless of looks and that you’ll be doing exactly the same thing for hours on end probably will make you have harsher things to say about it.

Louder, angrier, more vulgar things. Especially when you come across one of Painkillers many glitches. 

When you’re done with the single player, you may be tempted to jump online. You’ll be the only one. 

And since that’s not an option, I guess you might as well work towards that platinum trophy, right? Expect to have to work towards 6666 kills with a single, pretty crappy weapon that only unlocks half way through the game. There’s less than a thousand kills a playthrough… 

It might take a while, at least.


Dark - Worst Games Ever

The most impressive thing about Dark is that it’s a vampire game where you feel so little like a vampire that you might suspect it isn’t actually a vampire game at all. Sure, it has neck biting and special powers, but what sort of self-respecting vampire only has two moves in his roster? Suck and whack. 

It’s supposedly a stealth game, but it’s laid out in such a way that you’ll just not be able to sneak through every level. That wouldn’t be too bad if you weren’t a sitting duck every time you were caught. You’d thick a vampire would be able to take advantage of his ungodly powers to escape being killed at such a time, but in fact you’ll largely just be standing still, counting the bullets that enter your body. You may also swear at your mouse a little as you question just why it never works when you want it to.

Game & Wario

Game and Wario - Worst Games Ever

Everybody knows what they’re getting with a Wario game. It’ll be a series of mini-games, some of which will be the best thing ever, others which’ll bore you silly. Nintendo forgot to include any of the former in their latest entry in the franchise, Game and Wario, instead focussing on things that have already been done better elsewhere on the Wii U.

While it could have easily avoided its place on this list, it’s the context of its release that damns it to this Worst Game Ever spot. If it had been released at the console’s launch, it may have gotten away with being a taster disk, a set of examples of things to come. Over six months after the console hit stores, however, it just seems to underwhelm. Hell, if it had been half price, if it had been a digital-only release, there may have been some value here, but at £30, you may just ask exactly what the developers were doing with their time. It wasn’t creating mini-games, that’s for sure.  Buy Nintendo Land instead.

Summer – Worst Games Ever Conclusion

There have been some truly bad games released over the last few months, and I’ve not even mentioned some of the indie and mobile releases we’ve had the pleasure of looking into either. Whether you judge a bad game by the value it offers, or if it has to be crashing every five minutes to truly display the telltale signs of a bad title, there’s been something for you to complain about.

And while 2013 has offered some truly great games so far, and promises to offer a lot more before the year is out, I’m almost certain that we’ve got a lot more bumpy rides to go.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott