I think it's safe to say that I played a lot of great games in 2016. From Hitman to Tadpole Treble to The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human, the last twelve months have produced a whole bunch of games that will stick with me for years to come. Unfortunately, it also gave us a bunch of really horrible games. Today we're going to take a look at the five most mind-numbingly terrible games of 2016. These are games that were more than just disappointing, they were broken, buggy and impossible to enjoy. You'll see what I mean.
We're going to start the list with Coffin Dodgers, a PlayStation 4 kart racing game that tries its hardest to ignore any advances made to the genre in twenty years. While Nintendo has gone out of its way to add new elements and evolve the Mario Kart games from one sequel to the next, Coffin Dodgers has zero interest in pretending to be anything other than a woefully out-of-date racing game with terrible graphics and even worse level designs.
It almost feels like the creators of Coffin Dodgers were so in love with the goofy premise that they figured they didn't need to create a competent game. Seeing a lot of old farts racing around a retirement community is a good start, but Milky Tea Studios never does anything compelling with the idea. It also gets the basics wrong, creating a frustrating experience that is never once fun to play. Coffin Dodgers is the worst kart racing game since Homie Rollerz.
First-person platforming is tough, just ask the people that played through this year's Mirror's Edge sequel. But while it's easy to pick on Electronic Arts for not quite getting the formula right, the worst offender this year was Platformica. This is an example of a young developer taking on a notoriously difficult genre and making the worst decisions every step of the way. It's a miserable experience that almost has to be seen to be believed.
For what it's worth, the premise isn't bad. You run around on floating platforms trying to solve puzzles and make your way to the exit. The problem is that all of this is ruined the moment you attempt to actually play the game. The loose controls and laggy input makes it nearly impossible to play with any kind of precision, and I often felt like my nameless character was drunk and running on a broken foot. It's a game that punishes you for things that are outside of your control, and that's never fun. You're better off just booting up those old Jumping Flash games.
Energy Hook was pitched as a cross between Spider-Man and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, an incredible combination that sounds hard to top. But this is yet another reminder that execution is often more important than clever ideas. Energy Hook sees you trying to perform stunts and fly through the air using a fancy grappling hook. The problem is that the game is almost unplayable in its current state. And it's not just one or two things, either, but rather the whole experience. Every part of the game is working against its best interest, creating one of the worst extreme sports games ever made.
Every part of this game is made worse by the overly sensitive camera controls and inconsistent frame rate. The game wants you to zip around the stages with reckless abandon, but the performance makes that virtually impossible. I felt like I was going to get motion sickness in the first few minutes, and even after adjusting the settings, I still felt a little queasy when the camera started flailing about uncontrollably. I think there's a pretty good idea hiding in Energy Hook, but the execution makes it an easy choice for this worst-of list.
Massive Cleavage vs. Zombies
With a name like Massive Cleavage vs. Zombies, I expected Awesome Enterprises' newest game to be an ode to those B-rate movies from Troma. Sadly, this horrendous brawler can't hold a candle to Chopper Chicks from Zombietown, Surf Nazis Must Die and A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell. There's no charm or style to it, just another cynical attempt to get exposure with a sexually-suggestive title. It's almost as if the developers stopped working on the game the moment they finalized the name.
At its best, Massive Cleavage vs. Zombies is a variation on games like Kung Fu and Vigilante. But at least those thirty year old arcade games had depth. You could walk around and perform different moves. Here you're stuck in a single screen with only high and low attacks. The problem is that the zombies don't actually need to bite you to register damage. There are times when the zombies can be far away from you and still taking damage, leaving you with no recourse. And did I mention that the game randomly turns into the worst dual-stick shooter of the year? Massive Cleavage vs. Zombies is an excruciating experience that should be avoided at all costs.
Honor and Duty
As far as I'm concerned, everybody should play Honor and Duty. I'm not saying you have to run out and buy it, but it's the kind of game everybody should experience at least once in their life. Think of it as a way to rebalance your expectations, because this really is the worst first-person shooter released in 2016. When people complain that the newest Call of Duty is the worst game of the year, I want to sit them down A Clockwork Orange-style and make them play Honor and Duty. I'm dead serious; it truly is an eye-opening experience.
This is a PlayStation 4 game that looks worse than most PlayStation 2 games. It's a wave-based shooter where it's practically impossible to hit your target, but the enemies seem to have homing bullets that hit you no matter what. It's a game so broken and buggy that I wasn't even able to finish the second mission. It's a game where you're told to protect a base from enemy fire, only to see it start with 1% health and explode the moment a strong gust of wind hits it. It's a game where you'll often respawn into an area without enemies, forcing you to completely turn the game off in order to advance.
The biggest problem with Honor and Duty is that my list of complaints doesn't even scratch the surface of what's wrong. Even if the developers fixed the horrendous technical issues, the laggy gameplay and laughably bad graphics, we would still be left with a World War II first-person shooter that blatantly rips off better games. But let's not pretend those other game-breaking problems don't exist, because they are there in full-force. I've heard of things being so bad they're good, but Honor and Duty is so bad that it actually be educational.