Top 10 Worst Games of 2019 So Far



Top 10 Worst Games of 2019 So Far

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Kurt Hvorup
These games were bad, like really bad. For this list we're examining what we feel are the most widely panned games released up to the midpoint of 2019. Some go back to the earliest days of this year, some edged ever closer to summer, but all managed – in their own unique way – to drop the proverbial ball somehow. Some of these games include: Crackdown 3, Anthem and Generation Zero.

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Partway through 2019, and already we’ve bore witness to a fair number of outright astounding flops. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our list of the top 10 Worst Games of 2019 So Far.

For this list we’re examining what we feel are the most widely panned games released up to the midpoint of 2019. Some go back to the earliest days of this year, some edged ever closer to summer, but all managed – in their own unique way – to drop the proverbial ball somehow.

#10: “Bannermen” (2019)

In itself there’s nothing wrong with relying upon a time-honoured design template as the framework for your own unique work, but there comes a point where inspiration becomes shameless and sloppy copying. “Bannermen” sadly falls into the latter category, a real-time strategy title unable to break free from unflattering comparisons to other, better genre works. Its medieval setting is at once overly dreary and not especially memorable, its campaign suffers from repetitive mission objectives, and AI pathing proved a most troublesome hurdle for players. Coupled with some explicitly bug-laden mission design, it’s unsurprising that “Bannermen” didn’t precisely go over well with folks.

#9: “Spike Volleyball” (2019)

When it comes to sports sims, a degree of technical competence and an emphasis on accessible design are important for success. So it’s a bit disappointing that both appear to have been neglected in the creation of “Spike Volleyball”, described by critics as a frustrating and unpolished work. Central to the game’s failings is an overwhelming sense of cheapness baked into every facet, like shoddy player animations, simplistic textures, and ugly environments. Of course, actually playing the game isn’t much better; many have spoken of inconsistent control inputs and useless teammate AI bogging down matches.

#8: “Dollhouse” (2019)

It’s entirely possible that most of the wider gaming community weren’t even aware of the release of this indie horror title, never mind taking the time to play it. Nevertheless, “Dollhouse” warrants mention by virtue of how deeply flawed and troublesome it proved to be. For starters, moment-to-moment play in “Dollhouse” is split between dull puzzle segments and obnoxious death traps to evade, made worse by severe glitches impeding progress. The game’s presentation doesn’t help matters – a lack of basic effects like fog undercut the efforts to build tension, while the monochromatic colour scheme obfuscates important details more often than not.

#7: “Fimbul” (2019)

Developer Zaxis evidently had a clear vision for what they wanted their latest work “Fimbul” to be, given its deliberate blend of Norse legends and comic-inspired cutscene design. That makes it unfortunate that the game as a whole didn’t precisely take with players, who were underwhelmed at best and mildly infuriated at worst. The game’s hack-and-slash combat proved to be the most problematic aspect, at once lax in its difficulty and limited in its options for experimentation. “Fimbul” also struggles with balancing the needs of gameplay and narrative, awkwardly breaking up combat segments with its plot-heavy scenes.

#6: “Crackdown 3” (2019)

Nine years after the release of the previous instalment, “Crackdown 3” showed up with the promise of an energetic open-world cityscape bolstered by personalities like Terry Crews. Yet anyone who spent time with the game soon discovered exactly how far from the truth that promise ended up being. “Crackdown 3” opts to recycle the free-form besting of distinctly-themed gangs from games prior and ties the player’s improvement of skills to repetitive busywork. Worse still, the marketing significantly overstated Crews’ involvement in the plot and overall experience – he’s at best a playable extra with hardly any meaningful screen presence. Rarely has a sandbox game of this scale turned out so lifeless and unremarkable.

#5: “Dangerous Driving” (2019)

There’s an inherent risk in the act of evoking and chasing after the legacy of beloved works: success means recapturing the spirit of that long-ago project, but failure could do considerable damage to its reputation. In the case of “Dangerous Driving”, its creators Three Fields Entertainment wanted to revive and revitalize the specific rhythms of play that made their earlier “Burnout” games so delightful. What a shame, then, that the final game strips away the charm and recognizable elements of “Burnout” and replaces them with an uninspired selection of race types along largely interchangeable courses. And that’s before getting into the pervasive slowdown, game crashes and severe inconsistency in race difficulty.

#4: “Anthem” (2019)

Once upon a time, the name BioWare implied a guarantee of quality and creative passion – nowadays, not so much. “Anthem” represents a coming home to roost not only for decisions and policies enacted by publisher Electronic Arts, but also certain in-house issues plaguing BioWare. Borne of a lengthy crunch cycle and alleged mismanagement, this co-operative sci-fi shooter turned out bafflingly dull, shallow and devoid of technical polish. Many an aspect of the production came under fire - the barebones storyline, the mundane rhythm of firefights, the lack of endgame content. As if that weren’t bad enough, PS4 players also ran the risk of having their consoles bricked while attempting to play “Anthem”. We’re not surprised that a whole lot of folks wanted their money back, that’s for sure.

#3: “Generation Zero” (2019)

What a rock-solid premise to immediately waste on a second-rate survival game. Set in an alternate version of Sweden during the 1980s, “Generation Zero” asks the player to venture across a robot-conquered string of darkened fields and abandoned villages in order to prevail. Despite that impressive opening pitch, the majority of one’s time with “Generation Zero” is an exercise in enduring bug-riddled landscapes and monotonous missions. There are also issues of unfair item distribution, boring combat, and the possibility of the game just straight up crashing on launch. Saying that this game is far from a safe recommendation would be an understatement.

#2: “Eternity: The Last Unicorn” (2019)

If you’re going to borrow and sample from the design cues of yesteryear, you had best have the development chops – or even just the budget – to back up such a backwards-looking approach. “Eternity: The Last Unicorn” seemingly sought to combine influences from the likes of mid-1990s 3D role-playing games and earlier action-platformers into a cohesive whole. Admirable as the effort may have been on paper, the execution on such a plan is what matters most... and boy did things not pan out here. Stiff and unbalanced fights, tedious backtracking, formulaic fantasy-adventure story beats, aggravating camera placement – virtually no aspect of “The Last Unicorn” holds up under scrutiny.

#1: “Left Alive” (2019)

A spin-off of the “Front Mission” franchise, “Left Alive” had one hell of an intriguing hook in its focus on lone soldiers conducting on-foot operations amid the devastation wrecked by the Wanzer mechs. But alas, this strong setup and creative input from game industry veterans, such as “Kingdom Hearts” co-creator Shinji Hashimoto, was not enough to prevent the final product from being a crushing disappointment. Its stealth-focused gameplay lacks certain useful features and is hampered by AI enemies who oscillate between incredible ignorance and annoying hypercompetence. Its controls impede play in their awkwardness, its overriding aesthetic a washed-out blur of muted colours. “Left Alive” failed to stimulate on multiple levels, instead finding itself resigned to oblivion.