The GamesRadar Anti-Awards 2011


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...


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.


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.


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.


  • UberNoob - January 6, 2012 8:27 p.m.

    Duke Nukem Forever is just taking over this list...
  • Redeater - January 6, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    DNF load times were among one of the worst things this generation. Unacceptable.
  • spencertucksen - January 6, 2012 8:49 p.m.

    DNF was the worst game I played this year. of course, I try not to play horrid games, but I needed to play that just to see how much it sucked. And it did, gloriously and in abundance.
  • shawksta - January 6, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    Heh, VERY Interesting choices this time, Poor Duke Nuken Forever, but screw it, it deserves the bashing for being unacceptable, otherwise its worth a play to see how bad they screwed up. Hah, yeah apparently Nobody likes 7 anymore, but i guess its from past tragics, as for example one of my friends Mom would get angry at him if he got 70 or anything below a 80 on tests quizes at school. Skyward Sword and uncharted 3 are fanF*UCKINGtastic games, 9 pretty much means, " They're Awesome ,Period" but they dont have that Extra "BRILLIANCE" to make them 10's like Galaxy 2 Shoving new ideas every freakin level. Mario Kart 7 and Saints Row the 3rd, i have no idea, but im sure they had their reasons. Bottom line, 9 is pretty much the best a game can get without the sprinkles, otherwise its a solid game.
  • Net_Bastard - January 7, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    SR3 got a 10 because the missions are batshit insane and amazing. Mario Kart 7 got a 10 because Justin thought it was the best in the series.
  • Errrrbo - January 6, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    I think the "How Did Anyone Think This Was OK" award should target the Hive level specifically, not so much the misogyny as a whole. In DNF, every character is a blatant stereotype and not meant to be taken seriously. Duke, for instance, has an Ego meter, indicating he's meant to be cocky douche. So having the slutty sisters strut around didn't really offend me... BUT, the Hive level is just ridiculous. It's not funny in any way, it's just gross and out of place. I have no idea what the purpose was of a level involving women basically being raped and then exploding.
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 6, 2012 9:13 p.m.

    Anti-game of the year, eh? I guess I would have to say L.A. Noire. I was really looking forward to it, and was just recently able to get it. After a few hours, I just can't bring myself to touch it. Love the concept, love the facial animation, but holy boring Batman... Aside from that, MW3 is an easy call.
  • FauxFurry - January 6, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    I can't agree with the PSN hacking entry. Not only did we all get two free games for what ever Sony game system that we owned, we also got some great entertainment out of Penny Arcade who was in rare form during that whole debacle as well as the various online gaming fora and even a little from the different hacking non-groups, especially when they started running for their fallout shelters until the blow-back blows over and the whole tragicomic nature of that farce of an event itself. Best of all, it was a learning experience for the games industry as a whole, one of the best kinds of experience that one can have, isn't it? Unlike the other entries on the list, it wasn't to be missed for the world.
  • kingsmikefan - January 7, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    That is the worst defense of Sony I have ever seen.
  • FOZ - January 6, 2012 9:42 p.m.

    I still don't see how anyone could have fallen for that Dead Island trailer. Absolutely no way the game was ever going to be anything like it. I don't even watch cg trailers because I know how little they'll represent the actual game. The only exception was Human Revolution, because the trailer was incredibly well-done, and actually maintained some of that atmosphere in parts of the game.
  • jasoncarter - January 6, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    Don't care how much in the minority I am with this one, still love duke nukem forever. There I said it, let the rage come.
  • UberNoob - January 6, 2012 11:56 p.m.

  • GhostNappa2k10 - January 7, 2012 5:31 a.m.

    Certainly not the best game I've played, but enjoyable......UNTIL the Hive level. Then it just became tasteless and wrong.
  • egregious - January 6, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    Sony gave people free games for not being able to provide an online service. Microsoft has kept their heads in the dirt about their little Xbox Live FIFA account phishing thing going on. Anti-game should be Homefront, where THQ with a straight faced asked people to play a four-hour generic FPS that does nothing different and pay $60 for it. Nice try. I paid $0. No I did not pirate it. That'd be a wasted effort. lol
  • UberNoob - January 6, 2012 11:55 p.m.

    Both are still corporations after your money, just like every other one. Though Microsoft is the bigger one out of the two (damn monopolies).
  • GhostNappa2k10 - January 7, 2012 5:31 a.m.

    Technically, the whole FIFA phishing situation is not Microsoft's fault, and more the fault of the fools who hand out their personal data in the first place, and end up being involved in the scam.
  • shawksta - January 6, 2012 10:48 p.m.

    Guys, Regardless if Sony did give free games, or if the 3DS got better and gave early Adopters 20 free games, the fact is, those 2 were the Worst Moments this year.
  • ShowMeYourKitties - January 6, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    It's kinda sad that this is going to get a lot of Sony fanboy rage. It doesn't matter how you slant it, a MONTH without online while your main competitor is running strong is not a good thing... Granted, Sony did a great job of making up for the issue and I think they deserve a lot of respect for it, but still, it was a pretty crappy point during the year
  • mattwang - January 6, 2012 11:54 p.m.

    You know, I have to agree about the score. Uncharted 3 really was not as good as Uncharted 2. God I hate the cruise ship level.
  • SouthTippBass - January 7, 2012 12:08 a.m.

    Seriously, I'm getting pretty sick and tired of this sites Battlefield 3 SP campaign bashing. Get over it already, I have 107 hours clocked with this amazing game and I HAVNT EVEN OPENED THE SP! And I have no interest in doing so either, because like everybody else who bought this game, we bought it for multiplayer! Any chance ye get ye seem to just bleat on about the crappy single player, who fecking cares! The multiplayer is a 10, thats all we asked for and we got it, x10!

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