LoadScreen’s Editors Charlie and Tom have already given you their nice lists from 2017, now it’s time for the naughty lists. Picking the most garbage aspect of 2017 isn’t a small task, the year was objectively pretty trashy all round. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, we spent a lot of the year playing a tonne of games – so with no real joy (okay some joy) we’ve sat down and discussed the prime filth from the gaming year that was.
In no particular order we’re going to break down the games that we found unsavoury and why we thought so. Strap in, the claws are coming out.
This long awaited spin-off for the Mass Effect series was not the most polished game to hit the shelves. The facial animations were a waking fever dream and the pacing wasn’t as gripping as the originals. To boot, the gameplay was antiquated with third person run and gun mechanics that felt like it could have come from a title released ten years back.
With a long list of launch issues, the game felt bogged down and hard to push through. The weak narrative didn’t help things pick up, and it was easy to feel tired with the whole experience before it even took off. Updates did improve the game’s faults, but by then our review process was more or less done and we had to look at it based on what we were served, and it wasn’t pretty.
What should have been an amazing follow up to a lackluster first entry turned out to be a raging fire of shit. Battlefront II was bogged down heavily by loot box controversy that made its multiplayer mode an unrewarding shell of an experience. Not resigning itself to dishing out cosmetic items, the game spat out weapon upgrades and superior health boosts for those who opened the troublesome things. So for those who decided to spend some cash on the game, there was a clear advantage to be had. Things got so bad for EA that they removed certain in-game currencies, breaking their already convoluted economy even more. If there was ever evidence that loot boxes are a terrible idea, this is the gold standard example.
Aside from that, the game itself was just a bit boring. The campaign was a by the numbers Star Wars experience that only came into its own right at the end. By no means is it a terrible product all round, but the negatives that were present earned it a spot on this naughty list.
Observer sounded so amazing on paper. Bleak, Blade Runner-esque future setting; existential sci-fi premise exploring the human consciousness; starring Rutger Hauer and developed by the team behind 2016’s creepy Layers of Fear. Yes, yes and more yes.
Sadly what we got was an incoherent mess of a story, a phoned in performance from Hauer, and a bunch of tedious hide-n-seek horror sections dodging the second least intimidating monster seen this year (don’t worry, we’ll get to that one in a minute).
There were some great concepts underpinning Observer, its just a shame the game surrounding them was so monotonous.
As a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, this glorified collection of tech demos was a strange, tedious and sometimes hilariously disgusting package. The real trashy thing about 1-2 Switch is that it cost money, like actual money that you had to earn. It should have been a free little bonus in with the console, as basically all it does is show you how the Joy Cons controllers can vibrate good.
That being said, the milking game is still hilarious, just not “let’s go spend money on that fleeting 60 seconds of joy” hilarious.
You had one job, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3: give us a fun, involved sniping experience. And to the game’s credit, its sniping mechanics are a lot of fun. The rest of the game, not so much.
The enjoyable sniping came packaged in a forced, lifeless open world, requiring dull traveling in-between missions until you found enough fast-travel points to never need to trek across it ever again. Having arrived at your destination, players were treated to some clunky stealth mechanics involving a shitty scout drone and poor combat due to inaccurate sidearms. And that’s not to mention the frequent performance dips, glitches and crashes on launch. And don’t get us started on the writing.
So yeah, a one out of three on the whole Sniper, Ghost and Warrior thing.
Speaking of games which nail their main goal but are subsequently ruined by everything they do around it, here’s Perception. A bold horror game featuring a blind protagonist seeing via echolocation, Perception was certainly chasing some new ideas.
Unfortunately, its narrative was incredibly weak, with its player character visiting a haunted mansion she was dreaming about because “reasons”, and its antagonist “The Entity”, on the rare occasions it actually showed up, was a toothless inconvenience rather than a creature to be feared. For a horror game, that’s not good.
In his review Charlie said AFL Evolution is “somewhat fun, in the same way it’s sometimes fun to see how many chips you can fit in your mouth. You might laugh a bit, but you’re still packing garbage into your face to pass the time.”
This hard to control, hard to understand and rough to play game was a poor excuse of a sport game in general, but with what felt like a rushed development and a lack of any form of tutorial, it came across as a confusing mess. The commentary rarely reflected what was happening on screen, and the overall atmosphere was deflated at the best of times. That being said, AFL as a sport doesn’t necessarily lend itself to making an intuitive game, but surely there could have been a better solution that this?