And now we come to the part of the Game of the Year discussions that I’m not as huge a fan of; the dishonourable mentions. The disappointing, the half-arsed, and the worst games that were released in 2015. While 2015 was a strong, solid year for gaming there are always games that fall into one (or more) of those three categories, and last year was no exception. We got some big let downs, some not so surprisingly poor games, some terrible games and some outright insults.
|Platforms||PC, PS4, XBO|
|Developer||Turtle Rock Studios|
|Release Date||February 10, 2015|
Evolve was probably the biggest let down of 2015 (unless you tried to play Arkham Knight on a PC). What I had played of the game at preview events was a lot of fun, and the core concept of four players co-operating to take down a Human-controlled, giant monster is a great concept. Unfortunately it’s not a concept that translated into a great game.
Don’t get me wrong, Evolve had its moments. When the five participants are evenly matched in terms of skill, Evolve has skirmishes that are awesome to partake in. The trouble is that these bouts of awesome are surrounded by long stretches of tedium.
If the player controlling the monster is too skilled, or your team is too skilled, or if even on member of the hunter team doesn’t quite know how to play their character, all chance at fun is out the window. Unfortunately that’s Evolve’s legacy, at least as far as I’m concerned. I played it for 10 hours and had maybe 40 minutes of actual fun. Those 40 minutes sting, because they show the potential of a title that spends far too much time miring its players in tedium.
Check out the Words About Games review for Evolve.
The Order 1886
|Developer||Ready At Dawn|
|Publisher||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release Date||February 20, 2015|
The Order 1886 is a close second in terms of biggest disappointment of 2015. I wanted to love it, but even pre-release, everything I was seeing, hearing, and playing of The Order 1886 filled me with grave doubts. The game was incredibly choppy during my hands on at EGX in 2014, with gameplay that felt lacking. Then news started to emerge that the game was incredibly short.
And while the game was short, and the gunplay was lacklustre, there were far more grievous sins committed by 2015’s first PS4 exclusive game. The entire game was a complete waste of an interesting premise. The lore, setting and backstory of The Order 1886 had so much potential, but the game locked you into a linear series of corridors, bouncing you between scenes of boring people saying boring things. And when the story finally started to go somewhere and get a bit interesting, the game ended.
The gameplay itself was completely underwhelming. Not just in its third-person shooting mechanics, which were painfully dull. There just wasn’t very much gameplay to speak of. Worse still, the enemy AI was terrible, especially that of the supposedly “scary” werewolf enemies. And the on-rails, QTE sections were an abomination, especially after they looked like so much fun at preview events such as E3 (the entire of this incredible looking sequence is a series QTEs). The Order 1886 is a great sequel waiting to happen, but the game that exists in the here and now is a thinly disguised, glorified tech demo that’s just not worth the effort.
Check out the Words About Games review for The Order 1886.
Mario Party 10
|Release Date||March 12, 2015|
Mario Party 10 is probably the epitome of a game developer completely missing the point of what made past entries good. While I have never held the Mario Party series up as a shining example of Nintendo at their best, they have been generally fun games to play with a group of friends. Built around fun mini-games, a devious and highly unfair board game with a lot of subtle intricacies in its design.
Mario Party 10 has none of that, really. The competitive nature of the board game aspect was rendered completely redundant once Nd Cube and/or Nintendo made the baffling decision to have players move together on a completely linear board. Yes, you’re still trying to be the player with the most points, but when you’re just taking turns rolling a dice, what’s the point?
You don’t even get to play the minigames, the main point of Mario Party to begin with, that often, because some genius decided that you should only get to play them if you land on the minigame space on the board. And don’t even get me started on Bowser mode. Limiting the player with the Gamepad to only be able to play as Bowser in Bowser mode is moronic, because the Wii U comes bundled with a Gamepad not a bloody Wii Remote. Unfortunately, everything about Mario Party 10 smacks of a developer that has no idea why people enjoyed older Mario Party games.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
|Platforms||PC, PS4, XBO, PSV, PS3, 360|
|Release Date||February 24, 2015|
Each time I play a new iteration of Resident Evil I die a little inside. I consider the original three games on Playstation to be among my favourites of all time, and everything since Resident Evil 5 just hurts. It hurts to see what Resident Evil has become, and what it continues to mutate into. And Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is unfortunately no exception.
Resident Evil HD Remaster, released in January, provides a timely reminder of what this franchise once was, and stands in stark contrast to this action oriented, co-op enforcing, unimaginative, piece of shambling garbage wearing the dismembered face of something that I once loved. It honestly feels like my childhood gets murdered before my very eyes every time a new one of these comes out.
Everything about Revelations 2 is wrong. It’s an action game with a clunky, awful control system. It’s a horror game with no (intentional) horrifying elements whatsoever. It’s a co-op game where one player is relegated to holding a torch while the other has fun, and a terribly implemented dual play for people with the audacity to want to play a Resident Evil game solo. It’s a game with no redeeming features, and a horrible use of the name “Resident Evil”.
Check out Words About Games playing Resident Evil: Revelations 2.
Might & Magic: Heroes VII
|Release Date||September 29, 2015|
Despite writing a lengthy review on the subject, words truly fail me when I consider what an abject failure of a game Might & Magic: Heroes VII actually is. When I sat down to play the game it was being Meta-bombed for being bug ridden, and ironically the only good part of the game was that it was a bug free experience (in single-player).
Might & Magic: Heroes VII failed at everything it tried to do. Its campaign was a joke, with an AI that was programmed with a single strategy – and one that was exceptionally easy to beat. Its difficulty was completely unbalanced as a result. Turning the difficulty to maximum had one effect: it gave enemy units more hit points. I managed to win just about every encounter with large numbers of my starting units.
The controls were abysmal, with the simple act of moving your characters proving to be a teeth-grinding chore. The map design was truly awful, with little to no effort put into creating “worlds” but rather fields filled with monsters and loot. Heroes III, a game released in 1999, had better map design, and more maps included in the package. Might & Magic: Heroes VII is a mess not because of technical malfunctions, but because every part of the games design was fundamentally broken.
Check out the Words About Games review for Might & Magic: Heroes VII.
And that’s part one of my Dishonourable Mentions for 2015. Check back in a little while for part two, where get into some of the games I really hated from 2015.