The GamesRadar Anti-Awards 2011

ANTI-GAME OF THE YEAR: Duke Nukem Forever

In the end, it could only be this.

Assuming you’ve read this article from the beginning and didn’t skip straight to the end, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. To be fair, Duke Nukem Forever is far from the worst game released in 2011 (or the worst to star Duke Nukem, for that matter), but that’s not really what this “award” is about. The AGOTY is traditionally awarded to whatever game embodies the worst aspects of the industry at the time, and this year, that’s Duke Nukem Forever.

After spending a decade and a half in development and being brought back from the dead by normally brilliant developer Gearbox, Duke Nukem Forever is a disappointing mess. It looks dated and lacks key features (like nonlinear levels and destructible environments) that made Duke Nukem 3D great, and yet it’s buggy and takes forever to load (on consoles, at least). It adds modern-shooter elements that don’t make sense for a hero who’s supposed to embody balls-out destruction, like a two-weapon limit and a flimsy, regenerating health bar, and then forces players through the kinds of insanely boring physics puzzles that most shooters abandoned years ago. It wears its sense of humor on its sleeve, and yet for all its out-of-context movie quotes, crass sexism and rehashes of things that were considered topical in 2009, the only thing in it that comes close to being funny is a sidekick who swears all the time.

Above: This isn't him

Through it all, Duke Nukem Forever exhibits a completely unearned sense of its own greatness, repeatedly telling us how much ass it kicks and how awesome it is that Duke is back after his long hiatus. And while we were excited to see him back in action, spending more than a few hours with him makes it clear that he’s a creaky relic of a bygone era – and so, unfortunately, is his game.

Runner-up: Blackwater

The mere existence of this game is offensive: it’s official propaganda for a mercenary company accused of war crimes, including the massacre of 17 unarmed civilians. Of course, we can’t hate a game simply for its subject matter, so Blackwater obliges us by also looking like something from 1995 and having horrible gameplay utilizing broken Kinect shooting controls within an on-rails, godawful shooting gallery that’s over in a couple of hours. And it costs forty bucks.

That's it for another year's bashing. Did we leave out something that pissed you off in 2011? You may find it among our personal Anti-Awards, or you can tell us about it in the comments below.


  • 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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