The year of 2012 is coming to a close. While we have had some really interesting games come out this year, there have also been plenty of disappointing games as well. While there are so many games I could put on this list, I’m restricting it down to the games that affected me the most this year. These aren’t necessarily terrible games because let’s face it. There are plenty of terrible games out on the market. If I listed every single terrible game of 2012 (or any year) I would be here all week. As such, these are the games that, to me, had so much potential to be great but were dragged down by company politics, bad development or any other number of reasons. There is no number to this list because I wish this list didn’t have to exist in the first place and I don’t want a Top 10 Bad games. I don’t want bad games period in the future. With the exception of two games on the list, I have not played any of these personally. This is the pits of being a person who has a set of morals. So here goes…
My Top Disappointing and Dishonorable Games of 2012…
While not necessarily a game published in 2012, the news about SimCity 5 warranted its inclusion to the list. The SimCity series is one of my favorite games I’ve played and unfortunately, being owned by EA seems to have corrupted the game into being a MMO that really isn’t a MMO. Its a game with all the negatives and none of the positives of being a MMO style game. An always online DRM service, smaller maps and fewer options to build your city concern me greatly about this game and while it may seem like I’m jumping the gun on the game, it justified a place in the list. Trust me, I do not want this game on my dishonorable list. But its disappointing to see where the series is going and its nowhere good for PC gamers. I haven’t done a post about it because the game hasn’t officially launched but I did talk about it in a couple Personal Musings.
I had mused about this game before its launch, warning that buying this game in hopes of its port getting more post-release support or a sequel to come to PC might be entirely in vain. Fortunately, I was proven wrong since the company announced that the sequel is coming to PC from the get-go. So my hope is that the PC port of that game will actually be a quality game. Still, Dark Souls is a rough experience on PC and I don’t like supporting bad quality games even if the game might be unique. It also didn’t help that keyboard + mouse controls were horribly broken and that you were required to use a controller for the game. It was disappointing in that they didn’t do a better job porting the game to PC but my hope is that the development studio can turn it around this time with releasing a high quality PC game. My only fear is that the publisher might not see the need (since we all went and supported this game so heavily in its…iffy…state) to do a high quality port and we might be screwed with another low-quality RPG title that should have been better. Here’s hoping that fear is misplaced.
A game that started on mobile, this strategy game from the developers of Orcs Must Die looked to be an interesting game. Unfortunately, when it made its transition to Steam/PC, the game costed 2X+ as much as the original mobile game. It also started to have service problems. Between that and the severe dislike of the business model of the game coupled with a fairly “meh” game experience, this game was deleted pretty quickly. There is absolutely no reason for a PC game to suddenly cost twice as much or more than its original mobile game when your not adding anything for the PC experience. This is something that has been happening with regular frequency on Steam here as of late and I want it to stop. Fortunately, I have seen a few mobile games make the transition to desktops without suddenly costing double or triple the original price of the game so not all hope is lost. I wonder if Mobile developers realize they are competing against higher quality games with that price anyway? They really should be pricing lower to attract more attention to themselves.
Skydrift was a game with a lot of potential. I really enjoy arcade racers but the amount of good ones on PC are few and far between. Its why I have such high hopes for Distance when it comes out next year. Skydrift’s singleplayer was well done and fun to play. But like anyone who has played Mario Kart, I knew the real strength of the game would be in its multiplayer. Unfortunately, the multiplayer part of the game was horribly broken. Often I would get desynced from the server and getting friends into the same game was nearly impossible. As such, the Multiplayer community never got going. I still reviewed the game and had hopes that the multiplayer aspect of the game would be fixed in time. But It never did and the company abandoned the game. It was definitely one of the most disappointing games in that respect and while the SP campaign is certainly playable, the potential SkyDrift had was never realized.
I made quite a few posts about Diablo 3 over a couple months this year about this game via my Personal Musings. I never did get a chance to sum up my thoughts into one big old blog post but my complaints were something like this: it had really terrible DRM, a real money auction house which ruined most of the entire point of the game, Blizzard said that players wanted the multiplayer experience…until they found out they didn’t and other things. For Blizzard, it was one of the biggest black eyes they suffered this year and the game has a questionable shelf life. Which compared to its very popular predecessors which are still being played to this day is not a good sign of things to come. I mostly stood against this game’s overreaching DRM system and the fact that you could lag in a single player game was the biggest joke to me at the time. And the fact that the gameplay was considered by many to be subpar, this was definitely the game to avoid this year. Especially in light of other games that came out later with higher quality.
I think three rather angry posts that I created earlier this year should be proof enough that I am severely disappointed with Mass Effect 3 and its companies, EA & Bioware. (Post #1, Post #2, and Post #3) Mass Effect 1 & 2 had been my top favorite games in years past and Mass Effect 3 should have claimed the top of the best of list this year. Instead, EA’s power-play against Valve (which made the game Origin-exclusive), their day one pay-for DLC with important story information and other practices surrounding ME3 left me with little choice but to boycott the game and company entirely. I will not have some company force my hand to download software to play a game when it is completely unnecessary. Especially if it has questionable EULA terms that lets them scan your system without warning. And even then, EA did not have to leave the Steam store just to have their games powered by Origin. As shown by Ubisoft this year with their Uplay service, companies can have games on both Steam and still have their service’s software installed in the game. But EA chose to fight Valve instead and whether that’s a winning idea only the future can say. To top it all off, Mass Effect 3 had one of the worst endings a game of its caliber could have had, in my opinion. I have seen the story of ME3 via YouTube and other articles about the game. While Bioware did its best to patch the ending up in light of the outrage that erupted around ME3’s ending, it was still lacking. It lacks a lot of information about what your choices caused and how bringing all your resources together in the entirety of the ME3 game affected the final outcome. It seems to show that EA made them cut corners in order to end the development of ME3 quickly. And I don’t think I’ll ever be as disappointed with a game like I was with Mass Effect 3. What should have been one my favorite game series of all time, ended badly. Between the company politics and the publisher’s questionable moves, the game series turned into a big disappointment for myself. Its doubtful that I’ll ever forget what EA did with Mass Effect. As such, Mass Effect 3 deserves its place as the most Dishonorable and Disappointing game of 2012.
So I hope you enjoyed this post. I’m curious to hear if you agree or disagree with this list or if you would have added anything to it. If your looking for the Top 10 Games of 2012, it will be published tomorrow so stay tuned! Please leave a like if you enjoyed the post and until next time…