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The GamesRadar Anti-Awards 2011

SHAMELESS GRAB FOR CASH:

MX vs ATV Alive’s chiseling DLC

If you’re not familiar with the brand, MX vs ATV was a successful, well-made series of off-road racing games that filled an under-served niche. MX vs ATV Alive attempted to buck the standard business model, offering a stripped-down, reduced-price game that the player could augment with paid DLC tracks and vehicles.

The problem was that players were required to unlock new tracks and bikes via experience in the game, and unlocking the on-disc content required extremely high levels of experience. This meant that without buying any of the paid DLC, players were forced to repeat the same few initial tracks on the same few vehicles over and over again. It’s the same sort of business model we’ve seen in free-to-play games, but Alive was $39.99, and that’s too much to ask for a game that quickly strongarms you, through boredom, into buying its DLC. The poorly integrated business model hamstrung an otherwise fine game, and both the franchise and THQ Digital Studios Phoenix were shuttered shortly after.


Runner-up: The $100 Need For Speed World car

Hello, valued gamer. Welcome to EA's Need For Speed World. Please enjoy our free-to-play automobile-based MMORPG. Now that you're here, perhaps we could interest you in purchasing one of our more exclusive cars? Allow us to recommend the Koenigsegg CCX Elite Edition. Yes. It is rather special. We think you'll find its performance most satisfactory. Price? Of course. 25,000 SpeedBoost points. In real money? That's $100. No, you don't get an actual car for that price. Yes, it's just a virtual car. That’s right. To drive in our free-to-play automobile-based MMORPG. Pardon sir? You'd like us to stick what where? Oh...

MOST SHAMEFUL BONER:

L.A. Noire’s corpses

Hang on, second. I’m still, uh…looking for clues. Yeah. That’s it.

Talk about “blunt force trauma.” There’s a moment in L.A. Noire that – disgraceful as it is to admit – smacked many of us like a lead pipe to the kisser. For some, it happened with that first victim in the Red Lipstick Murder case. For others, it was a later vic in a string of beaten, bloodied, and bruised bodies. But there we found ourselves, lingering a bit overmuch. There we were, slowly moving Det. Cole Phelps’ virtual hand from head to shoulder to arm to leg. And back again. And again. Struggling to turn the camera ever so slightly, and… freeze. Is that…? Is that really…?

Yes, gents, that is indeed a fully realized pair of mammary glands. And yes, dears, that’s also a realistically rendered mons pubis which our own in-game avatar – the ever-charming Det. Phelps – is straddling while sensibly muttering, “Hrm. Interesting.” And yes, YOU PERV, that is your own involuntary tumescence tugging at your inseam. Because you are an awful, shameful, no good, very bad person.

And, alas, we were right there with you. For shame.


Runner-up: Duke Nukem Forever

The section of the game set in Duke’s strip club, Titty City, is pioneeringly greasy thanks a beyond-awkward interactive glory hole in the toilets (seriously) and the prize of a lapdance at the level’s crescendo. Much worse though, is the aforementioned Hive level, in which the game delivers its heaviest concentration of fully exposed boobs. Rather grimly, they’re either disembodied muto-breasts attached to walls (surely the nth degree of objectification) or part of real women captured for alien breeding purposes and bonded to the environment in true H.R. Giger style. Who endlessly moan until you kill them.

If you got a boner over any of this, you are a serial killer in the making. Turn yourself in now.

TRAILER THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE GAME IT PROMOTED: 

Dead Island

Having watched the Dead Island trailer again before writing this, we can safely say it's still the most heart-wrenchingly sad thing we've seen since that bit in Pixar's Up when the sweet old lady that can't have children dies. And that's really sad. Like grown-men-crying sad.

When the Dead Island trailer – which was created by Glasgow-based company Axis Animation – was released back in February, anyone with a heart and emotions and a soul that watched it was left with a big lump of sadness in their throat. Not to mention a sudden rampaging interest in a game about zombies on holiday that nobody previously had paid much attention to or really given much of a shit about. Powerful stuff indeed.

We dared to dream that developer Techland, whose earlier work included the very decent but not exactly GOTY material titles Nail'd and Call of Juarez, could deliver on the promise of the trailer. Sadly, and rather predictably, it couldn't. But regardless of the game's various shortcomings, this Dead Island promotional remains a stunningly moving cinematic short in its own right.

REALLY NOT WORTH THE WAIT:

Duke Nukem Forever

Above: Remember when it used to look like this? Of course you don’t. It was 12 years ago

Sometimes, we like to speculate as to what went on at 3D Realms’ office during the time between Duke Nukem Forever’s announcement in 1997 and its release in 2011. Ping-pong tournaments? Hot dog-eating contests? Naps? Whatever it was, we don’t think it was spent making a videogame, because Duke Nukem Forever sure didn’t feel like it had 15 years’ worth of work put into it.

After a while, Duke Nukem Forever sort of became our Bigfoot. We all kinda knew it wasn’t really out there, but every few years, we’d get a blurry image of a brown monster and we’d all be like, “Whoa! What if it exists? After 15 years it must be awesome!” And it did! It did exist! But it wasn’t awesome, and it certainly wasn’t worth a 15-year wait – it wouldn’t even have been worth a two-year wait.


Runner-up: Duke Nukem Forever’s load times

Honestly, it was hard to decide which was worse: 15 years spent waiting for an ugly, pedestrian shooter to finish crawling up its own ass and release, or 45-plus seconds spent sitting through a loading screen every time we reached a new level or died. In the end, we went with the former, but the latter still deserves recognition for every minute we wasted waiting to play. PC players got off easy, with loads that lasted 10-15 seconds at most, but on consoles, the loads made DNF feel more like the DMV.

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79 comments

  • Kuro - January 12, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    Is it bad that I liked the Battlefield 3 campaign? I never really noticed the AI ignoring my existence. I was enjoying myself, honestly. xD As for Duke Nukem.. Man.. I only got to the third or fourth level. I glitched through objects so many times that the low-brow humor which I usually enjoy couldn't even keep me playing. Thank god for Gamefly though. Saved me about $60 at the time of playing it. I'm a 360 fan, and I think it's really cool how the Sony guys bowed. You mentioned it already, but it should be stressed that in their position, that's a really honorable way for them to apologize. The deeper and longer the bow, the more it's supposed to mean. And I agree.. DA2 should have had something about how you replay the same areas over and over.. It's a little depressing to play for a second time.. Last but not least.. someone mentioned MW3 getting a mention? I agree as well that it should. It's the same gameplay from Modern Warfare 2. Which was TWO games ago. I really love apple pie, but after eating apple pie so much I will eventually get sick of it. And when there's suddenly a ton of hype about this NEW type of pie that turns out to be apple pie in a new box.. well.. that's just time to switch to a different type of desert. In otherwords, I've jumped from one side of the field to the other. Loved CoD until the latest entry. Until they start mixing things up, you won't see me playing it. It should get an entry somewhere.
  • slimjim441 - January 9, 2012 11:56 p.m.

    Quit your bitchin about DNF. Dated graphics aside, it was an awesome game and exactly what I wanted, just a little later than expected. If you ask me [shifts into maximum overtroll], Modern Warfare 3 should've won anti GOTY. The CoD series is a load of garbage after CoD2. I'm sick of people hyping up the series as the best gaming franchise when it's just a bunch of half-assed games that every Johnny No-Balls jacks himself off to his superior abilities to camp over his equally dickless opponents. So f*ck you CoD. Duke Nukem kicks ass.
  • AlphaDogZero - January 11, 2012 1 a.m.

    DNF wasn't just a mess because of the last gem graphics, it was also a mess because of the terrible gameplay, horrible dialog and absurd design choices -- GR are spot on in calling it the anti game of the year. Atleast CoD gets the (recycled) gameplay right.
  • slimjim441 - January 11, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    The gameplay wasn't horrible. There wasn't much to mess up in the first place. Running, jumping, shooting; it was all fine. And of course the dialogue is horrible, it's Duke Nukem. Full of cheesy kill lines, dumbass NPCs, and a half-assed plot made solely for the purpose of being able to have Duke kill aliens. My only major grief with the game is the lack of arsenal. Only being able to carry four weapons at a time was a little disappointing. But it was still one helluva game.
  • winner2 - January 9, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    DA2, definitely the biggest let down in gaming for me.
  • ET83phonehome - January 11, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    I can see where you're coming from, and I'm surprised that title never got a mention even in any of the GR editors' personal lists. I went into DA:Origins with no expectations and was still blown away. It was an original and compelling IP, which is traditionally hard to come by in RPGS. I eagerly awaited DA:II, and reserved my skepticism until actual playing it upon release, but found it just so lacking. Technically it did a number of things right and certainly did nothing that rendered it unplayable, but it was such an unfulfilled promise of what had been expected of a the sequel of DA:Origins.
  • Darkhawk - January 9, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    RE: The 9-10 scale. There was a time when 10/10 meant, quite literally, perfect, and it was reserved for titles like Super Mario 64 or Metal Gear Solid. Once you gave Bulletstorm a "perfect" score, you brought this upon yourself.
  • dekmaine - January 9, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    Exactly And whether or not a 10 means a "perfect" game is beside the point.It's still the highest possible score any game can get (inb4 11) and recently it's been given away too easily. e.g. Bulletstorm, seriously? At the time of the review everyone was so caught up in a joyful bliss of 10/10 that no one made a fuss about it. By the time we realise it the score system and fanboy expectations have been inflated.
  • TwinHallow - January 9, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    Best one is the Zelda one lol im a fan of the series and a 9 is pretty Awsome
  • quincytheodore - January 9, 2012 1:08 a.m.

    I was enjoying this article, then I... read the boner part. Geezuz, those two are the most turn off things in game. How could anyone...? While we're on subject, I got candidate, highly possibly winner of 2012 Anti-award, or Best of, your call. http://s1-01.twitpicproxy.com/photos/full/491949549.jpg You're gonna make an article for that, aren't you? Be honest...
  • Tikicobra - January 8, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    Did that opening paragraph make any sense to anyone?
  • matt-litzinger - January 8, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    Yes, the Xbox fanboy slamming of PSN going down was lame as all hell. I wasen't aware XBl went offline this year though but I did notice problems with its service I was having. One of the worst fanboy moments you forgot to point out was the Battlefield PC community constantly harassing the console players about anything and everything. Dues Ex comes in second for PC to console harassment.
  • talleyXIV - January 8, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    I have to be honest, I love Skyward Sword and with everything in me I believe that it straight up, no doubt deserves a 10. However I didn't post a comment about it. I realized that some people might not be up to the challenge of moving their arms for hours at a time. I also realized that a person not so physically up to the challenge might not enjoy the game as much as others. They may prefer to sit down to a game of Bulletstorm that got a 10, and just twiddle their thumbs and only use their index fingers, laughing along with the hilarious dick jokes and endless slaughtering of enemies. Instead of playing a game with a unique story, a control scheme that immerses you into the game, and some of the most brilliant puzzles and combat ever created, that got a 9. I understand. No really, I completely understand.
  • talleyXIV - January 8, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    I have to be honest. I think about 8 people were looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever, and they didn't even have good expectations.
  • doominatorx6 - January 8, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    You forgot me. So 9 people.
  • Stabby_Joe - January 8, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    Duke Nukem Forever didn't offend me as much as some other games (Blackwater as runner up is a good call). Although I am curious to the supposed better quality of the single-player DLC. Granted it's still probably going to not be very good but a step in the right direction maybe?
  • Ultimadrago - January 8, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Gamesradar, for not expecting rampant misogyny in DUKE NUKEM...slap everyone in your offices...and then yourself.
  • CitizenWolfie - January 8, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    Just had a totally crazy thought. Utterly insane of course. Batshit insane. But here goes: What if, the reason GamesRadar have been giving so many high scores lately is because... wait for it... brace yourself... ... there have been a lot of brilliant games released this year? Oh the horror! How silly of me. Obviously GR are doing it on purpose to annoy us all and/or subliminally alter the standard scoring system. Yeah, that must be it.
  • doominatorx6 - January 8, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    'sigh' And yet another 'worst of 2011' list that has Duke Nukem as the shittest game of the year. Come on. You just knew that it was NEVER going to reach expectations, and even with that in consideration, people still expected way too much from it. Always bet on Duke? Maybe not. Plus, i'm pretty sure there were FAR shittier games that came out. Call of Juarez: The Cartel comes to mind.

Showing 1-20 of 79 comments

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