While a lot of us may be jaded in this era of gaming, especially on PC, we still find a game or two that gives us a glimmer of hope that gets us hyped up and excited. Unfortunately, that excitement doesn’t always create good games, and sometimes those games don’t even reach PC shelves (or Steam, who am I kidding!) We’ve seen a handful of glorious titles, but for every wonderful title, there was a cancelled and a, well, should have been cancelled game. We’ve got our poll up for best games of 2011, now it’s time for Ten Ton Hammer’s worst games of 2011!
Hail to the Fallen King - Duke Nukem Forever
While the game was universally panned and only the most diehard fans that have had preorders for ten or more years will come to its defense, we wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. The Duke was back! But with gameplay that couldn’t even pass as fun back in the 90’s, it was up to the charm of the king to spur you on and make it worthwhile. His one liners suck. We would have given the game 10 more points on the review if the Duke was making hilarious comments every 5 minutes, but apparently that’s too much to ask of a 15 year development cycle…
Duke, thankful his in-game fans aren't handing him an autograph page titled "Why My Most Recent Game Sucks"
Peer Pressure – Rise of Immortals
The monetization of the MOBA, DOTA, Action RTS or whatever the hell you want to call it of the last few years rivals Facebook games for the speed and surprising profits that have come of them. Veteran RTS developer Petroglyph decided to throw their hat into the ring with Rise of Immortals, and frankly, no one knows why they bothered. What they’ve released is one of the most uninspired clones in the genre yet. With all of its weight put on the persistent characters and the respective leveling of them, it completely kills the idea of making a team in reaction to the opposition. Want to play as another hero? You better get to leveling that one from scratch too. Rise of Immortals is just one of those games that you can’t really name a noteworthy, standout feature of. Everything it does was already done better by others games, so it reserved a place on this list fairly quickly.
One Run and Done – Darkspore
When we reviewed EA’s foray into the Diabloverse of hack and slash, we were very excited to see a game try and do something different, with a completely different art style and three character mechanic. Unfortunately, the content on multiple playthroughs of the game is horribly lacking due to extreme difficulty, and the grind for respectable parts to survive that difficulty is painful. This adds up to a concoction of poison to the player base, and Darkspore has fallen off the map there. When you have trouble finding allies in a co-op themed game, you know the game is trouble.
A Fantasy RTS That Should Have Stayed a Fantasy – Dawn of Fantasy
While the concept of MMO RTS action has never successfully been done, Dawn of Fantasy set themselves up to do it right with a plethora of persistent design and army decisions. However, the game’s release has been more or less a fantasy, with a massive development cycle that has set the game back painfully time and time again. If we saw this title in 2006, we might have been more accepting of it, but the bar has been raised and even the browser and phone based games are attempting to get in on this, with some success. But in 2011, Dawn of Fantasy’s horrible bugs, crashes, and general ugliness just make it seem like the game was put In a box and sold to try and recover some of the losses over the last decade—and then to let it die.
At least Duke Nukem Forever knew that it needed to upgrade its graphical engine in order to compete in the modern market. Dawn of Fantasy didn't really get that memo.
Lost to the Winter – Game of Thrones: Genesis
As an RTS aficionado, I play every one under the sun and expect big things, especially from a developer that got their mitts on the undoubtedly expensive Game of Thrones license. What was actually released was a game that I can’t really call an RTS. The gameplay formula of an RTS barely applies here, with troop combat taking a back seat to the diplomacy and sabotage you are capable of. Unfortunately it doesn’t really fit, and the rest of the game has enough problems that you won’t even want to put forth the time to finish learning the system and get into the multiplayer. If you want an RTS with multiple houses that play similarly but have specializations, you might be better off jumping in a time machine and playing some Dune II.
2011 has come and gone, and brought us a few new MMO contenders both at the beginning and end of the year (yes, we didn’t forget you DC Universe!) but with these games, it’s too hard to tell if they’re going to bomb or succeed immediately. But you guys can certainly vote with your subscriber wallets. Let us know what you think deserves the almighty title of the worst MMO of the year!