2012 is coming to an end and that means it’s time to look back on the past year of games. I’ll be writing blogs on various GOTY-related topics, but I figured I would get all the negative stuff out of the way. Today, we start off with what I thought were biggest bummers this year.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was on my GOTY list back in 2010. Like a lot of folks, I took a break and passed on Revelations. After seeing how confident Ubisoft was in their new setting and protagonist, I was stoked to return to the series.
I had the same thoughts as most of you during the early hours of the game. Those thoughts can probably be boiled down to, “Seriously, what the Hell is this!?”. The six-hour tutorial felt like echoes of Final Fantasy XIII, but there were enough plot points for me to give a long exposition a pass in trade for returning to the game I loved in Brotherhood.
Then of course the technical issues really started to get to me. The framerate was a joke, the menus were clunky, and simply getting from Point A to Point B wasn’t as fluid as it should be. This sure as Hell didn’t feel like a product that has come from a massive team with a huge budget. But this goes into my other issue with the game. The entire experience feels disjointed. There’s so much side content and busy work that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme I’ve convinced myself it has to of hindered Ubisoft’s care to the main game. After finishing the game and looking back, I don’t feel like I even assassinated many people. All the assassinations were just tougher dudes in normal groups of Redcoats. Most of my time was spent traveling from cutscene to cutscene. Maybe it was a lack of good leadership, but perhaps Assassin's Creed III's problems root in having a nice-big team?
Assassin’s Creed III had too many elements that never clicked together. The protagonist’s motivations to assist the war effort was questionable and was just a backdrop for the story to play out and for you to conveniently run into every important American in that era. There was never any fluid movement between plot points. It has been interesting watching the Assassin’s Creed franchise grow, but the series has had more stumbles than triumphs. Despite how much I have enjoyed previous games in the series, I’m not confident in whatever Ubisoft may have in store next.
While not hitting as high of a note as the second game, Mass Effect 3 was a pretty outstanding game for the first 95% of the time I spent with it. Once again, I got to step into the shoes of my FemShep and explored the galaxy solving social problems and winning wars. Yes, a new and powerful foe was committing mass genocide on my home planet, but I still got to hit the dance floor on the Citadel! Maybe how time passes in games is an unsolvable problem in non-linear games. I mainly just had the suspension of disbelief to enjoy Shepard’s less-important missions that are taking place while humans are dying by the millions every hour.
What really got to me was the ending, of course. I played Mass Effect 3 in front of a handful of guys who aren’t even that into games, but in utter boredom they got into watching me close the book on Shepard’s adventure. You can imagine how my jaw hit the floor seeing how unsatisfying the ending was, but imagine a collective “What the fuck!!?” from a room of guys that aren’t even that invested in the Mass Effect universe.
I’ve given over 100 hours of my life to this franchise. I’m not even one to get super nerdy and learn about fictional races, political problems, and technology, but I did. To see a franchise go so far to create such a believable universe and craft an amazing sense of place for it to just throw it away with a weak 5 minute nonsense ending is insane. Bioware basically stuck a middle finger on the screen in service of an ending.
Resident Evil 6 is the worst game on this list. It doesn’t take home my “award” for Most Disappointing Game of 2012 mainly because it was terrible from the start. Assassin’s Creed III actually had promise going in and continually fooled me with some decent moments into going further and further into the game. Capcom’s latest Resident Evil 6 will probably go down as the worst big-budget game in a long time.
The game was technically incompetent. All the spirit that make Resident Evil 4 one my favorite games ever died here. Instead of finding a focus, Capcom decided to give out a half-assed campaign for all play types whether it be a more horror-approach or fast-paced. The early moments of Leon’s campaign just sang tunes of a Michael Bay movie and nothing else about the other campaigns were interesting enough for me to even think about giving it my time.
EDIT: Tried to get rid of the RE6 text being bold. That isn't happening for whatever reason.