RABIDGAMES’ Shame Index 2012

Remember Rabidgames’ list of shame last year?It sounds pretty petty after 2012, doesn’t it.

In 2011, there was an outcry because of the copy&paste galore in Dragon Age 2, and Duke Nukem Forever was a pile of decaying shit indeed – and yet, compared to this year’s top level shitstorms, the cries were mere whispers. In 2012, high hopes were crushed in rows! Actually, the Shame Index needs to consist of 10 buckets full of vile rancour:

10. The Witcher 2
Now don’t get Rabidgames wrong. It is a good game, and the fan service from Projekt RED will be honoured here, promised. But the game had two central weaknesses: Without having played the first Witcher game and without having read the book, Rabidgames was thrown into a world full of unknown people, unknown lore and unknown relations. And during the first hours, The Witcher 2 did an awful job of rectifying that. It is hard to care about unfamiliar people or about uncharted kingdoms. Second, the fighting system is interesting, yes, but it could not hold Rabidgames’ attention since it all felt the same after two battles. Maybe, hell, probably that’s just a minor flaw, and it might not be the reason Rabidgames abandoned the game – but if fighting is all that is left apart from a complex world without any easy access, what’s there left to do but sigh and put the disc back in its box?

9. Spec-Ops The Line
So we allegedly have a mature story. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But if the gameplay itself is a disappointing copycat of all military shooters in recent years, enhanced with a weak team system, it seems dubious if the story is worth the journey through linear corridors and the same more shoot-outs we’ve seen before too many times.

8. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Basically, it all boils down to one weakness: The new defensive controls. Rabidgames does not like them in FIFA, and he does not like them in PES as well. It’s just not natural to football games, and apart from the two series, there are no alternatives. Damn!

7. Lollipop Chainsaw
QTE galore at its fucking worst. After Suda’s prepubescent Resident Evil 1 clone Shadows of the Damned, he presents us the teenage cliché fest of a dumb teenage cheerleader who happens to be a member of a zombie hunter family. Sounds good in theory, but it bombs in practice. And yes, Lollipop Chainsaw is filled to the brim with infantile humour, mediocre and repetitive gameplay chainsaw hack’n’slay action and mindless QTE clusterfucks all over the place. Suda would like to be like Tarantino, but he ends up as gaming’s Uwe Boll. No, unless you’re 12, it’s not enough we are allowed to peek under a cheerleader’s skirt inbetween!

6. Wii U
True story: Nintendo still hasn’t convinced all members of the public the Wii U is indeed a new console, not just a controller for the Wii. And that’s a low priority on Nintendo’s list of miscommunications and failures: Let’s talk about some shameful restrictive online experience when it comes down to adult games, let’s talk about the fact all your downloads are gone for good when your console breaks, let’s talk about a tablet controller which is nothing but a lame gimmick, and let’s mention a lukewarm set of launch titles, the least of them Zombi U, another zombie slasher survival piece with outdated gameplay mechanics. Oh, and remember the talk “about embracing the core gamers”? When is that about to start?

5. Saints Row The Third DLC
Sometimes, people argue DLC is not always a bad thing. Surely, no one in his or her sane mind will do so when talking about the bazillions of DLCs for Saints Row The Third. Mind you, Rabidgames is not even pissing on those micro transaction vermin crap THQ tried to feed us with their 40 weeks of DLC, the “story DLCs” were utter shit as well; short, uninspired and boring. Worst of all, we weren’t allowed to keep superpowers or cool laser weapons, and those fucking vehicles were nothing but rehashes. Volition, if we talk DLC, we talk Rockstar and Bethesda. You suck at it.

4. Assassin’s Creed 3
You might think the weak story and the awful ending is the reason why the end of the Assassin’s Creed trilogy is here. No, it’s not. It’s all the technical failures which are omnipresent in the game. We’re talking about a game with so many severe issues it is a miracle it ever passed Microsoft’s and Sony’s submission tests. Shame on you, Ubisoft!

3. Mass Effect 3
Sorry, this ain’t no ending rage. Mass Effect 3’s botched original ending is just one of the reasons the game has made it to this year’s podium. In fact, the game has many, many flaws: Linear missions in narrow corridors, the same three enemy groups over and over and over again, only a handful of sidemissions – and most of them consist of rehashed multiplayer action, terrible writing in some parts of the game (Priority Thessia and Priority Earth come to mind), piss poor character design (Vega, Kai Leng), everything we’ve done in years and hundreds of hours comes down to numbers which never matter during the battle on earth, the mutiplayer heavily inflicting the campaign, an alive Prothean as chargeable DLC, Harbinger simply disappearing, a deus ex machina (okay, some ending rage must be in here, sorry) … the list goes on. Just imagine: How the fuck could something like the indoctrination theory be deemd valid by fans? How many plot holes are there? Yes, Mass Effect 3 did some things extraordinarily right, but that makes the pain even worse. If you’re capable of doing great stuff, there is simply no excuse for delivering this.

2. Max Payne 3
After a long, long wait, our favourite game noir (anti)hero is back. Or so we thought. Max Payne 3 turned out to be a contemporary shooter with explosions, cutscenes and even some nice fucking QTE. Sadly, the noir feeling has vanished, with only faint trails in some missions. Without it, the game is just one more linear corridor shooter with no soul, and Rockstar’s omnipresent social criticism seems at odds with the story itself when Max changes his ways because of some dead rich bitch and some murdered corrupt businessman. Epiphany my ass! Rockstar, there’s an ugly stain on your reputation.

1. Diablo 3
One fact alone is the reason Diablo 3 takes the top spot. You are forced to play a single player game online. It’s ludicrous! But to be fair, the game goes further in proving it’s all gone down the drain: You’re forced to be online but the servers are constantly down in the weeks following the launch. Yeah, what a surprise people actually intend to play a game they’ve just bought, Blizzard. And surely, you have no experience in dealing with online games, such as MMOs, do you? Even worse, the item drop rate has been reduced in Diablo 3 for one damn reason only: Real money transactions in Blizzard auctions supervised. Of course, Blizzard now gets a “fair” share. Let’s face it, working with Chinese farmers and their slave masters to make people pay for the best stuff is surely better than fighting them, isn’t it? Well done, Blizzard. Applause! You’ve finally taken off your mask, revealing Activision’s ugly face. Congratulations.

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