Top 5 worst video games of the year

The top five worst video games of 2012 by reporter Spencer Fawcett.

And now we come to the other list. The one list to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Here are the five games that either irritated me or pissed me off. So without further ado…

1. Halo 4 – I can’t hold it in any longer. Halo 4 wasn’t just my least favorite game of 2012; it killed my interest in any other future Halo titles. A hardcore Halo fan since 2004, I was hesitant to purchase Halo 4 but went ahead and did anyway because I said to myself, “Give 343 Industries a chance to prove that they can make a decent Halo game.” Oh how wrong I was. The narrative of Halo 4 was muddled by the extended universe the game assumed you had already studied for. Who’re these characters? Why do they not trust the player’s character only for the sake of not trusting the player’s character? Why is a character that was hidden in Halo 3 given such a grand degree of importance? She and the antagonist were husband and wife? There was a war between humans and forerunners before the activation of the Halo rings? All of these questions go unanswered or even unacknowledged to create one of the most confusing Halo stories I have ever had the misfortune of participating in with an ending boss fight that had me groaning and rolling my eyes all the way to the end credits. The relationship between Master Chief and his A.I. partner was well handled but that’s the only positive I have to say about the story. And the multiplayer was ruined by the loadouts. Every single person and their mother is firing a medium to long range gun at each other from across the map creating one of the most infuriating online experiences I’ve ever been apart of. Spartan Ops, Halo 4’s episodic replacement for the Firefight mode, is also a complete waste of time because it doesn’t involve the player in the narrative (Oh look, another problem with Halo 4’s narrative!) it’s trying to build. It just sits the player down and says, “Go here, here and here. Kill everything once you get there and we’ll see you next week for the next episode.” Halo 4 is all flair and little to no substance.

2. SSX – I was so hyped for SSX. A reboot to my all-time favorite snowboarding franchise making a return in 2012. A match made in heaven? Or so it would seem. SSX had it all: The snow, the speed and the tricks. But what ruined SSX were the deadly descents and the lax online mode. Firstly, deadly descents are hazards that come in the form of: gravity, darkness, ice, trees, etc. But the error that the developers made was that having these deadly descents turned a fast-paced and enjoyable race into an exercise in survival and trial and error. My favorite courses from SSX were the ones where there were no deadly descents or if there was one, having it be something easily dealt with. There’s a rewind mechanic that you can initiate if you take a wrong turn or land a jump incorrectly but it basically amounts to replaying the same mistake over and over because there isn’t enough time to correct an error. The online mode removed the split-screen that the series was known for and replaced it with a global competitive time trial and trick scoring with invisible players. Fun.

3. Deadlight – I had a lot of hope for this Xbox Live Arcade game. A 2-D side scrolling zombie game in a time when you can throw a stone in a GameStop and be guaranteed to hit a zombie game seemed like a good idea. And a $15 price point certainly didn’t hurt matters. But what did hurt was the inconsistent design of the game. The game began with an ominous atmosphere and gameplay that discourages direct conflict which later switches to obnoxious jumping sections devised by a rat-king hobo character and ended with a shooting sequence. Deadlight felt like it was designed by three different developers and it ended up being a chore to play through. My final thoughts on Deadlight are that I wish Tequila Works releases a sequel to Deadlight because there are some genuinely interesting ideas at work.

4. Resident Evil 6 – I called this from a mile away. Seeing the previews and the trailers, I knew something was… “off” with the upcoming Resident Evil title. It felt like Capcom was executing a kitchen sink approach with Resident Evil 6. Adding both the protagonist from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 while also adding in the illegitimate son of the series antagonist seemed like the game was losing focus. But nothing could’ve prepared me for the poor execution of the controls. Almost every movement, regardless of the character you chose, felt stiff and rigid including the appalling cover system required to play the more action-oriented campaign sections. Resident Evil 6 also has more quick-time events (press X to not die) than any other previous Resident Evil title and more than any other game in existence. Capcom tried to appeal to the widest number of gamers with the horror/action/combo of both and ended up appeasing no one.

5. AMY – Here’s an Xbox Live Arcade game that pushed me back at every opportunity. The game starred a bland woman escorting this bland girl named Amy across a bland world while fighting bland enemies and meeting up with the most bland and stereotypical character this side of Joe Pesci. But AMY doesn’t stop there. The controls make you feel like your character is walking through a vat of gelatin and the way that you fight enemies is clunky and frustrating. The checkpoint system is abysmal. Every time I died, I was sent back to the same damn puzzle again and again and again and again. And then the maddening combat reared its ugly head but not before the Joe Pesci knock off spouted off some incoherent and poorly voice-acted rambling. AMY is low on this list because I couldn’t get past the trial version of the game.