With 2013 now drawing to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back on the year gone by. This year we were treated to a great number of memorable video game experiences, though some more memorable than others, and some I’m sure many of you would rather forget.
With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of what I feel were the best, worst and most disappointing games of 2013.
So, without further adieu.
The best exclusive game of 2013
Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony, The Last Of Us blends story and gameplay together masterfully, creating a compelling and engaging experience that pays careful attention not to take the player out of the experience, just to show them some fancy cutscenes or special effects.
We’ve seen many a Zombie apocalypse game before, but none of them have blended such an inspired plot together with sympathetic but questionable characters, and superb and fluid gameplay mechanics, into one outstanding package.
The game offers players a heartfelt and engaging story about a middle-aged man, (Joel) and young girl, (Ellie) striving to survive an apocalyptic event brought on by an infectious fungus that turns people into flesh-eating, mushroom covered, zombie like mutants.
One of The Last Of Us greatest strengths, is in how it handles such a premise with such plausibility, the “what if?” scenario the game presents to players could have been done by anybody, but Naughty Dog executes it masterfully, resulting in a game that is as close to being a masterpiece as we have seen for quite some time.
And yes, while it is true that The Last Of Us has a few glaring bugs here and there, the story and gameplay mechanics more than make up for these short comings.
The Last Of Us in my opinion is the best exclusive game of 2013
The best multi-platform game of 2013
Developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Australia, Bioshock Infinite puts players in the shoes of “Booker Dewitt“, as he is told to “bring us the girl and wipe away the debt” Booker enters a rocket silo which transports him to Columbia where he begins his search for a young women named “Elizabeth”.
On the surface the nation of Columbia looks cheery and pleasant enough, but all is not as it seems. Columbia is ruled by a pseudo-Christian theocratic government that worships the Founding Fathers of the United States, it is an apparent utopia to all those who are white but it is soon revealed to be a hidden dystopia to those who are colored or Irish.
Bioshock Infinite deals heavily with racism, religion, morality and uses alternate dimensions to create some interesting and thought-provoking scenarios.
While it is true that the core gameplay itself was a little lacking in originality, the FPS gameplay mechanics and rail riding blended together seamlessly, and Elizabeth’s ability to tear open the fabric of space and time to allow Booker to replenish his ammunition or access a vantage point, blended in well with the gameplay and over arching plot.
Bioshock Infinite for me is the best multi-platform game of 2013
The most disappointing game of 2013
Developed by Gearbox and published by Sega. During Alien: Colonial Marines lengthy 6 year development cycle, Gearbox released screen shots, developer diaries, trailers and also the now infamous “vertical slice” gameplay trailer, claiming to be offering fans a peak at what the game would look like upon release. However, once the game finally hit store shelves Aliens fans were outraged to find the finished product was not at all representative of what they had been shown.
Clunky controls, outdated visuals, poor lighting, laughable and glitchy AI, and poorly implemented FPS mechanics to name just a few of A:CMs many flaws. The game felt rushed considering its 6 year-long development cycle and felt very much like a slap in the face to those fans who had followed its development process for all those years.
To top it all off, the actual Aliens only made up a small fraction of the in game threat, most of the game was spent awkwardly leaning out of cover and trying to take pot shots at human enemies, while using one of the most inaccurate and outdated first person aiming mechanics.
Aliens: Colonial Marines earns the spot for my most disappointing game of 2013
The worst game of 2013
Developed by Eutechnyx and published by Deep Silver. Ride to Hell: Retribution takes place in 1969 and tells the story of “Jake Conway”, a Vietnam veteran and member of a family of bikers. After a gang-related incident results in the murder of his brother by a rival biker gang, Jake sets out for vengeance.
Ride to Hell: Retribution stands as a prime example of how not to make a game, suffering from poor controls, bad voice acting, broken gameplay mechanics and a lackluster story.
Early on It becomes immediately evident that the game was intended to be open world, however due to issues during development, many large areas were blocked off, making the games world feel empty and void of life.
The enemy AI is also far below acceptable standards, yet the enemies still pose a threat due only to the sheer amount of bullets they take to put down, meaning that the only viable option is to take down each and ever enemy with a head shot. Also, for a game that has you riding a vehicle so often, it’s a real shame that the biker sections are so poorly done, and the vehicle physics are pretty much non-existent.
And as if the game wasn’t already bad enough from a technical stand point, it takes huge strides backwards with its poor representation of women. Almost every female character you save throughout the game will immediately reward Jake with sexual relations, even those who he’s just saved from rape.
For all this and more, Ride to Hell: Retribution more than earns its spot for my worst game of 2013
And there you have it, my list of what I feel were the best, worst and most disappointing games of 2013.
Thank you for reading and have a happy year of gaming.