Why so Bad?
There are lots of reasons a game might fail. The games industry is a tough business and periods of crunch which sap the creative spirit of developers are well documented. Often publishers interfere with their own suggestions and most games rely on a decent marketing spend to find an audience. However sometimes titles are released which really don’t deserve to sell and for gamers parting with their hard earned cash an unsatisfying game can be a huge disappointment. In this article I’m going to take a look at some of the worst games to be released in 2008.
Naturally whether you enjoy a game often comes down to personal taste, so in an effort to be vaguely scientific about this I’m going to use average review scores and gamer feedback to highlight the worst of the bunch. These are the games that nobody liked and you should definitely avoid buying them.
This game challenges the player to take on the job of CEO at a beauty products factory. Management simulations are big business but this is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. You have to design beauty products and run your factory with all the excitement of making sure your stock levels are high enough to cater for demand and clicking a button to run a marketing campaign. The ridiculously easy career mode barely lasts an hour and no matter what product you are making the game-play remains the same dull prospect.
This is obviously aimed at young girls but that’s no excuse to make an uninspired, horribly ugly game with mind numbing sound and no actual game-play at all. Clicking your way through this mess offers no excitement or challenge whatsoever.
Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island
This is a terrible first-person shooter in which you play as a member of the Foreign Legion, exacting revenge on some nasty mercenary types. The visuals are awful with ugly texture work and hordes of identical bad guys with absolutely no skill. The bland single player campaign lasts around two hours and there is no audience for the generic multiplayer option so you won’t be able to find a server to play on.
The linear maps are badly designed with poor collision and each level is extremely short. The first-person shooter market is so competitive that you’ll easily find several hundred better games than this.
Movie tie-ins are always dangerous territory, often because they are rushed out of the door before they are ready in order to hit the release date of the film.
Iron Man is a third-person shooter with sub-par graphics and laughable cut scenes. You can easily complete the game in a day; partly because when you die you can restart your heart by simply tapping a button repeatedly. The blocky models and bland textures are completely unmemorable as you repetitively blast your way through linear levels. The controls are awkward and overall this title offers absolutely no excitement at all.
The Incredible Hulk
It should come as no surprise to find a second movie tie-in on the list, another rushed attempt to cash in on movie success this is repetitive and dull. The graphics are really poor, the destructible New York city is strangely empty and the missions are badly designed and rather boring. The cut scenes are rubbish and this is a buggy and unimaginative attempt to part Hulk fans from their cash.
Sniper: Art of Victory
This is a first-person shooter which focuses on sniping action and casts the player in the role of a Soviet sniper taking on the Nazis in WWII. Sadly the shooting mechanics are completely flawed which makes the entire game a massive waste of time. There is no obvious reason why sometimes you miss and sometimes you hit your target. The graphics are sub-standard with a really drab color scheme and the AI are generally moronic and then occasionally crack shots. The only saving grace for this title is the cheap price but it still isn’t worth wasting any money on.
Seven Kingdoms: Conquest
This is a completely generic strategy game with dated graphics and overly familiar game-play. Build up armies and destroy your enemy’s base, if you can get your forces to navigate their way across the map - which is surprisingly challenging due to a complete lack of path finding skills!
This contains elements of Rise of Nations but a lot less depth and it is extremely buggy and unbalanced with muddled ineffective design.
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
This is a badly done port of a console FPS which puts you in the middle of an alternative WWII scenario where Churchill died and the Nazis conquered Britain before invading the US. The graphics are dull, the AI are tactically stupid and the story is under developed and fails to excite. The design is generic with boring missions and a ridiculously limited multiplayer mode. This title required a lot more work to find any sort of success.
This is a hybrid game which tries to combine real-time strategy and role playing but fails miserably. The muddled design is confusing, the interface is frustrating, the path finding of the AI is lacking and the story and characters are thin and uninspiring. It is also demonically difficult in places and the graphics and sound are bland. This is still the best of a bad bunch on this list and can go down as a failed experiment rather than an offensively cheeky attempt to part you from your cash.