Eight of the Most Irredeemably Awful Games Ever Made
Everyone's played that one game. You know the one I'm talking about. The one you repressed all memories of. That game that made you believe in the existence of the devil, the one that made you want to tear out your own spine and use it to demolish a whole city block while bellowing at the top of your lungs.
Yeah. That game. We've all played bad games before, but there'll always be that one that sticks in our memory, that stays with us for the rest of our lives, like some cancerous growth at the back of our mind. Today, I offer a tribute to some of the worst-designed, most disappointing games in the history of the industry.
Before we begin, I've one thing to say, one warning to offer: turn back. Only madness awaits you here.
Boring, generic plot with paper-thin characters and a card-carrying villain? Check. Terrible voice-acting? It's got that. A drab, bland world fraught with bugs and glitches? Oh yeah. The only reason Two Worlds isn't higher on this list is because the developers actually had at least a few interesting ideas, and (on PC, anyway), a number of patches were released in order to bring the game to the state in which it should've launched in the first place.
Of course, you can't be surprised to see Daikatana on the list. This one's proof that even a legendary developer like John Romero is capable of pumping out garbage. The development of Daikatana was fraught with difficulty and controversy, and after several years in development hell, shipped to market with sub-par level design, god-awful graphics, and horrific A.I. When people saw the ad saying John Romero was about to make them his bitch, I don't think Daikatana was what they had in mind.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
When it came to light that Gearbox Software – the studio behind the infinitely popular Borderlands franchise – was developing an Aliens game, everybody was rather excited. And why wouldn't they be, really? It was like finding out Santa Claus is giving you a ride to prom in a brand new Ferrari (which is also your Christmas gift. Don't question it).
Unfortunately, something went wrong somewhere along the development line. What we got wasn't Santa in a Ferrari, but that homeless guy from the 7/11 in a shopping cart.
The entire game just screams "crude" and "unfinished;" it's filled from top to bottom with unbalanced game-play, awful graphics, and A.I. that couldn't find its way out of a paper bag with a knife.
Lower and lower we go. Superman 64 is widely held to be one of the worst games ever made, with good reason. The tragedy here is that it could have been so much more. Many of the biggest problems with the game stemmed directly from DC Comics and Warner Brothers (who clearly have a long history of making good decisions with their franchises, right?). The two organizations mandated that Superman should not be fighting "real" people, and basically had the developers design a title which couldn't possibly be created with the Nintendo 64's hardware. As a result, the game was buggy, controlled like a treadles tank, and, as with other titles on the list, had A.I. whose only programming instructions must have been to "stand in place and get punched repeatedly."
In the end, the game that was supposed to make players feel like the Man of Steel made them feel more like a drunken, man-shaped pigeon.
The War Z (Infected: Survivor Stories)
The most frightening thing about The War Z is the fact that lead developer Sergey Titov is actually improving. The War Z is a steaming pile of excrement, true. And it's also true that Hammerpoint Interactive is a collection of con artists who wouldn't know a good game if it hit their office with a wrecking ball. At the same time, though? Even this poorly-designed cash grabbing piece of crap is better than the previous game Titov was involved with (that's a bit higher up on the list).
Of course, you still shouldn't buy this game.
Instead of giving Titov your money, why not just toss it in an incinerator? You'll get about the same degree of entertainment. Plus, after how those goons conducted themselves, do they really deserve any support?
Zelda: The Wand of Gamlon (or really, anything on the CD-I)
To be honest, I kind of like the CD-I games, if only because they're so horrifyingly bad that one can't help but laugh. They're on that curious threshold between awful and unplayable, a sort of uncanny valley of comedy where a game's so objectively horrendous it's worth playing just to experience how awful it is. Plus, it's not like any of the games were glitch or broken. They just… weren't good. By any stretch of the imagination.
Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing
Remember how I said The War Z is an improvement over Titov's previous efforts in game development? I wasn't kidding. Big Rig: Over The Road Racing is and always will be one of the worst games ever made, and still stands as a perfect example of the Titov School of Game Development: What's a video game? I like money. It's abundantly clear that somewhere in the development process, everybody at GameMill and Stellar Stone simultaneously stopped working, got roaring drunk, and then shipped the title while still hammered out of their minds. The vehicles of your opponents have no AI, there's no collision detection, and none of the game's objectives can be completed (due to the game having never been finished).
It's bad…but it's not as bad as E.T.
Sorry, folks. I had to include this one. I want you, for a moment, to imagine the worst game you possibly can. Picture it in your mind's eye. Think about what a studio might develop if they actively set out to make a game that was the opposite of entertaining. Once you've started to imagine what such a title might look like, play E.T. I guarantee it's worse than your worst nightmares.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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