Three down and only one to go. We at Progress Bar have a treat for you with our deliberations for the best (or worst) games for 2013. In addition to the standard “Top of the Pops” lists, we have decided to create our own awards to showcase the various elements of each individual game’s quality, based on their own merits. There are 12 awards in total so take a load off and strap yourself in for this exciting GOTY experience.
The Breakfast Club 2 Award
There were a bunch of games that didn’t deserve to be made this year but not all of them were sequels and not all of them were as bad as these. Awarded to a game that left us wondering why it was made in the first place.
Dead Island: Riptide
Though the original Dead Island may have been more famous for its remarkable trailer than its gameplay, it’s difficult to deny that there were glimmers of promise that could have been dragged out with a smart, well-made sequel. Unfortunately, the developers decided to avoid this entirely and instead add a myriad of new faults to the series. With a dull location and completely uninspired story, it was perplexing to understand how Techland could have so completely missed the mark with the sequel to their biggest hit to date. All was explained a couple months later at E3, where it was revealed that the original team went on to start work on Dying Light, whilst the handful of developers left over flopped Riptide out the door as a quick grab for cash. Adding nothing useful to the franchise, Riptide so completely represents the core tenets of this award we may well rename it next year in its honour.
Honourable mentions: Assassin’s Creed IV, Gran Turismo 6, Batman: Arkham Origins
The I Gon Dun Made That Award
Awarded to a developer that has shone above and beyond the rest of the huge list of amazing game studios this year.
It was quite surprising when Naughty Dog announced the next step in their PS3 adventure wasn’t going to be related to Uncharted. Still in saying that, we were all surprised when they released arguably the best game of 2013 with The Last of Us.
With The Last of Us, Naughty Dog created an amazing experience that focused on Joel and Ellie, two survivors that evolved through the game while roaming across a countryside filled with infected. It was the most mature game we have played both in terms of its graphic nature and also the characters interaction with each other and the outside world.
Honourable mentions: Blizzard Entertainment, Irrational Games, Firaxis, Valve
The Error 37 Award
This year of gaming has been hurt by a number of online specific launches and this award is given to the biggest and best (or worst) of them all.
SimCity’s launch was met with negative reception as a result of widespread network issues related to the mandatory use of network connection to play and save the game. These issues included server outages, problems with saving progress and difficulty connecting to the game’s servers. As a result, some reviewers were unable to review the game, labeling the launch as a “disaster” and the game as “unplayably broken”, urging players to avoid purchasing the game until the issues were resolved.
The developers advised that these were features of the game were necessary for the game to played on a PC properly, but within weeks of the games launch, the community was able to rectify this and build outside the games restrictions, making highways beyond city outskirts and even playing offline indefinitely. While we are sure there was a major push to get this game out, there is no mistake that this was the biggest online catastrophe.
Honourable mentions: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Grand Theft Auto Online
There are still 3 more awards to give out and our GOTY lists to discuss so stay tuned and have a Happy New Year!