It's that time again to hand out the other awards. The awards for which even if a game wins it just makes it a bigger loser. This is the awards where everyone loses even you reading this because you're likely some-one who loves gaming and these games are just stinking up the industry one way or another. I don't have to have even touched these games so get ready.
Some awards have been put into the deep freeze because there's no games that fit the category this year and others have been added.
Not featured this year.
The Zombie Zombies Everywhere lifetime achievement award - Awarded to the game that over its lifetime was a bad game that after being patched got worse.
The KHHHHHHAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN award - Awarded to the game or games company that most made me yell out their name in rage. Because this year it would literally be unfair to try and call it between EA and Activision and as most of the anger was brief for me and luckily related to games I don't play I don't think there is a clear winner deserving of me being actually angry at, disappointed yes, losing faith in, yes but angry? That means I think either of them are worth it and at present I don't think they are worth my true anger.
So on to the awards this year.
An award for a game that did something very silly, possibly not malicious but it may as well have been.
Overwatch - So they changed the Overwatch Lootboxes to remove duplicates so often. This should be good. Until you realise that it actually made it harder to get enough currency to actually just get the 1 items you likely want straight up and means you have to roll the dice more on lootboxes. I tried out the new loot System over the Summer games and well I didn't even get the 3,000 gold needed for a legendary skin. I in fact didn't even get 3,000 until near the end of the Halloween event.
Paladins - Cards unbound is a stupid idea. Who thought it was a good idea to let people get better stats by playing more and collecting cards? I was more than happy to actually throw some money at this game earlier this year because I wanted to support it. Then they pulled this and I just started to feel ill that I'd ever supported this game. Cards Unbound was so universally hated the Paladins subreddit was nothing but objecting to it and mocking it for around a month solid. Paladins I'd argue was growing as people get fed up Overwatch not giving them the skins they want and Paladins mostly having ways to just outright buy that stuff. This latest move if it doesn't kill the flow of players it'll be putting a very large damn in that flow.
Awarded to the game that was meant to be the chosen one, meant to show how to do things right but then didn't.
Coming from last year's winner list Bloodgate, You don fucked up or more specifically Outsmart games and developers Mitch Olson and Darren Green. Yeh I'm naming and shaming you here because turns out the game doesn't work without the online server and the developers decided to switch it off due to lack of sales making the entire game now useless and simply display this screen to all those who own it.
The game didn't even leave early access and worst of all I had to contact Humble Bundle to tell them the game was done because the developers didn't bother to say anything. With no offline patch and rumours the developers have done this before with a number of other games putting them into early access and shutting them down you're damn right if you think I'm going to call this bullshit out because you know what. You developers you motherfucking pieces of rotting Semgma made me complicit in your bullshit because I dared to give the game one of my game of the year awards so this is personal. You better hope I'm never in Auckland New Zealand because if I ever am I'll be dropping off a trophy to go with this award personally if I can figure out where to buy a Blowtorch and an Anakin Skywalker figure in New Zealand.
Awarded to the most rage inducing game of the year.
Zombie Night Terror - It should be easy really to do Lemmings but with Zombies pretty well but when you have timing based elements to contend with which can entirely screw you up. As an example the seemingly random chance as you sneak Zombie into a building that your gathering horde could be discovered because some-one decided to wonder through the section of building for no apparent reason even when it wasn't part of their normal NPC patrol route. It infuriated me and while luckily the challenges are extras and not mandatory I still felt compelled to do them which lead to more frustration, maybe the challenges should have been saved for replaying the levels not displayed first time through or something.
so whoever balanced Plague Inc Evoled might very well have balanced it while also suffering with an Adderall and Cocaine addiction. It's about my only theory on this that would explain why the 3rd level in the campaign is one of the hardest levels while one of the subsequent levels is described by most on the Steam forums as basically impossible to lose. Some of the campaign levels to unlock the various pathogens require very precise timing and build orders to pull off when you don't have access to all the DNA mutations to give you starting bonuses or different traits.
The game also does a pretty poor job of teaching you how to play and how different Pathogen types change play. you really do have to play differently with different Pathogens to actually get anywhere. A lot of it feels like guess work as you stumble to see how you should approach a newly unlocked Pathogen with some requiring time to infect the world before you go full out. Some being slow burns while others need you to evolve fast to keep the infection spreading before cure research can catch up and yet others require you to get a decent spread of infection with large pockets then ramp up the symptoms to be highly lethal and take out large clusters.
Given to the game which had some good ideas but seemingly lost the design document at some point and ruined it all.
Zombie Night Terror - yes it's a runner up for two awards because I want to argue there's fundamental design flaws with making a game, which at points comes down to timing when short of having a stop watch by your side it makes the timing is near impossible to perfect. Eith few if any visual cues to help with said timing. Also who though it was a good idea to have to apply speed boosts individually to Zombies or make one that gives others speed but seemingly has to be refreshed every so often and doesn't keep passing on the speed boost?
Bedlam - Oh yes the idea of making a game travelling through a number of retro game inspired FPS worlds with a story about being stuck in Cyberspace sounds very cool and sold me on the game. Too bad most levels feel like they play mostly the same such that the Sci-fi Alien soldiers tend to behave almost like the World War 2 German soldiers and the weapon difference feels mostly cosmetic and it may improve later but after the Zombie level in the sewer where in a cyberspace intermission I fell through the floor and had to start again the level again. Yeh you're not winning any points. Also when punching an enemy in the face often seems to do more damage and kill them one shot while a Shotgun to the face can take multiple shots I think the weapon balancing is off. Not to mention a difficulty curve that one mission expects you to make it through multiple rooms of heavily armed enemies in close quarters only for the next mission to be giving your first aid kits so often they're after almost every 1-2 enemies.
It very much feels like some of the design decision from the past snuck their way into this game with enemies able to take multiple headshots and simplistic AI which is why Bedlam also wins
Given to the game which most seemed to be negatively impacted by the obsolete ideas of the past breaking into present design.
Given to the game which was most kicked in the balls by Karma
Destiny 2 - Destiny 1 ruffled a few feathers with locking content previously available content off from those without the Season pass and the slightly lower than expected sales for Destiny 2 were likely a result of this. However what likely harmed the playerbase more was the constant reports of stuff coming about what Bungie was doing to Destiny 3. Basically expect Destiny 3 to be in contention for this award whenever that ends up coming out.
Could there be any other game that deserved this more? With claims id didn't even make 1,000,000 sales in it's opening few weeks in the USA the game was a huge kick in the teeth for EA for trying to exploit people with lootboxes. It caused damage to their share price, such that as of writing this it's only now just about at the pre-Battlefront 2 share price again, and got some of the heads of EA a telling off from executives from Disney. Battlefront TM EA 2 was kicked in the balls for EAs greed and rightly so with an unconfirmed rumour that thanks to low sales numbers even with discounts and console bundles on the game it may not have actually broken even yet.
Yes in the best games there was a porn game of the year, now it's time for the Porn game of the rear for the worst pile of crap trying to pass itself off as a porn game that was so bad it failed to even be fappable by my low standards.
Space Explorers - Holy fuck this game is a turd, on the lowest settings the characters look practically like they've come from some horrifying Lovecratfian dimension and are trying to pretend to be human. While on the highest setting they look like deformed wax works made by some-one whose never taken an anatomy class. People moan about unrealistic bodies on video games characters the characters in this game would look ridiculous and unrealistically proportioned even next to a Barbie doll. Oh and that's before we get onto the game, which by the way isn't finished (Meaning it's already setting itself up for the Zombies Zombies everywhere award for next year), the story just stops after what would seem to be the introduction and that's about 6-7 minutes in. Even then what little story there is, itself is stupidly nonsensical revolving around possible parallel dimension and missing space craft. One of the characters I'm guessing who is supposed to be on screen while talking hasn't even been added to the game. Oh and one of the characters from the store page Screenshots isn't even in the game yet. Not to mention the fact the characters you do see are meant to be nurses, why are they naked? I don't fucking know and the game isn't going to try and bother explaining it, at least porn films pretend to give a reason for things, this poor man's visual novel doesn't even try.
The final nail in the coffin really being it's also an achievement spam game so from the moment you open it you have constant achievments pop ups. Now I'm not some-one who objects to achievement pop ups, I don't think they break my immersion too badly normally but the constant scrolling stream of them popping up is too much for even me and with 4,728 achievements in the game likely all triggered by starting the game up after two plays of the game I'd only got through 298 pop ups. It's the first and only time I've ever turned achievement pop ups off and I actually had to look up how to do that specifically for this game. Before people used to gift one another copies of Bad Rats as a joke on Steam, honestly this is the kind of gift that makes Bad Rats seem like you were getting a good deal. It's so bad the USA should ship free copies of it to North Korea because they'll laugh themselves to death at how awful this is.
And that is it developers you can breathe a sigh of relief but done linger under the mistaken belief there's nothing more to fear. For do not forget the Grumble awards will come again next year