The Worst PC Games of 2011

A few weeks ago, the entire TPG staff offered individual picks for the best PC games of 2011.  We now take a final look back by presenting the worst PC gaming had to offer throughout the course of last year.  Some were highly anticipated titles that broke our collective hearts, a few turned out to be quick cash grabs with no redeeming qualities, while others revealed themselves to be simply awful.

Adam Ames:

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters
EA outdid itself with the scumbaggery that was Tiger Woods 12.  PC golf fans who waited over 4 years to finally play a standalone title were treated to a 3-year old online game burned onto a DVD and sold for 40 bucks.

George Weidman:

Saints Row: The Third
The “riches to rags to riches” storyline of Saints Row 3 is creepily analytical of what happened to the actual series. It’s a misguided metagame that takes itself way too seriously about not taking itself seriously, creating a game that doesn’t look that different from its competition.

Duke Nukem Forever
When Duke Nukem 3D released in 1996, superficiality wasn’t its main goal. It was intended to be a bigger, better and ballsier interpretation of Doom, with a character who embraced all these qualities. The Austin Powers-esque twist of Duke Nukem Forever saw him waking up after a long cryogenic freeze in an unfamiliar time and place, having been reduced to a smaller, less ambitious, and obnoxiously more immature version of his former self.

Postal 3
Postal III is a game so bad that even the game knows its bad. Without the things that made previous entries at least interesting, all Postal III has going for it is chic offensiveness. But in reality all that’s left for the game to do is just acknowledge that it’s a bad game. Unfortunately, it does, and it tries to play it off as a joke.

Armaan Khan:

Dead Horde
Dead Horde game was the most boring, uninspired, and creatively bankrupt experience I’ve had this year. Even the two year old Zombie Shooter 2 was better than this.  Go spend your zombie-killing budget on that instead or, you know, on one of the millions of other zombie-killing games that are also available.

The Binding of Isaac
Playing through The Binding of Isaac is like reading the diary of a fifteen year old emo kid. It’s ugly and whiny and while it does have the occasional moment of brilliance, it’s too bogged down in clichéd mommy issues for you to take seriously. Even if you can ignore the pathetic aesthetic, the game itself is pretty lacking, since success relies more on luck (everything is randomized) than actual skill.

Sphera
I dislike Sphera for a lot of reasons, but the biggest is the lack of a coherent plot. You can sort of piece together an interesting story on your own—a poignant tale about a young girl dealing with abandonment and other familial issues—but it all gets pulled out from under you when she absorbs her brother and becomes an evil god. Oops, did I just spoil the ending? Don’t hate me; I’ve saved you from wasting your money on this game.

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
Imagine being a struggling indie developer. Now imagine being asked to build a spin-off game based on a hot IP known for frantic, unapologetic action. Finally, imagine squandering that opportunity by producing a slow-paced, ludicrously short, lightweight action-RPG. That’s the story of Serious Sam: The Random Encounter.

Gemini Rue
I’ve read nothing but praise for Gemini Rue since it was released, but it doesn’t deserve any of it. The interface is awkward, the action sequences are kludgy, the plot is convoluted, and the art is muddy and unattractive. It saddens me to see this being considered among the best of what the adventure genre has to offer. Spend your money on the much better Blackwell games instead.

Nicolas Krawchuck:

Bunch of Heroes
A bird’s eye view arcade shooter with terrible controls and many terrible design decisions that artificially increase the difficulty.

Dead Island
My biggest disappointment of the year. Waited for launch night and was greeted by many bugs, including noclip having a hotkey by default. Bugs aside, there was no way for the game to live up to the hype generated by its emotional first trailer.

Vampires vs. Zombies
Terrible game with no redeeming qualities and an adware launcher. Not fun, looks bad and I wish I could get back the little time I spent with it.

Nathaniel Velliquette:

Dragon Age 2
Following up a decently written game, Dragon Age 2 is very diluted and mild in comparison.

Magicka
Yes, I know it’s great to play with friends but with all the forced nerd service and confusing controls, Magicka is a temporarily lived disappointment.

From Dust
What was worked up to be an epic God-game ended up being a short-lived mediocre title for a pretty hefty price tag. And we can’t forget Ubisoft DRM.

Carlin Au:

Brink
The one unique feature of this game was the parkour action combined with gunplay. For a game that features parkour, the overall movement of the player feels too slow for it to compete with other games.

Operation Flashpoint: Red River
This is an odd mix of realism and arcade gameplay. There are real-time ballistics, but your player can recover himself from five headshots, sixteen leg wounds and four chest shots. Giving the player infinite med kits lets on this feeling of invincibility and, ultimately, kills the realistic feeling.

Mike Bezek:

E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy
I have never voluntarily uninstalled a game from my Steam library out of spite until now. Atrocious interface, steep learning curve which is stymied by unintelligible tutorials, and game mechanics that confuse the player left me grasping for where the developers decided this is how logical design works. While I do hear that there have been several improvements, the initial finished product was a disproportionate mess.

Red Orchestra 2
Fans can crucify me for sounding “casual”, but there is a fine line between realistic and boring. Sloppy AI made unit command a deluge into madness, my troops would refuse orders and proceed to stand in the open to be summarily mowed down by a hail of gunfire. While I appreciate the time and effort that went into making a realistic recreation of battlefield sounds, Ghost Recon accomplished this years ago with much more finesse.

Mike Andre:

Duke Nukem Forever
I don’t think it’s the abortion a lot of people say it is, but it is indeed a huge disappointment. It plays like a average 1998 game and looks like something released in 2006. And, worst of all, it carries the Duke Nukem name.

Sword of the Stars II
I enjoyed the first game and I was looking forward to it’s much hyped sequel. What I got was an abomination, released a year too early. It’s so bad the options menu button doesn’t even work. I think you get the picture.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel
The first two games were enjoyable and dare I say, memorable games. When I heard the next game would be set in modern day Mexico I wasn’t exactly thrilled, since what made the series special was the old west setting. However the game managed to be a lot worse than I ever imagined. Bad story, bad gameplay, bad graphics, bad voice acting…the list goes on. And that’s how you kill a promising franchise.

Stronghold 3
Personally, I think 2011 was a disappointing year for strategy games. Stronghold 3 is a tough choice for me because it could have been so much better with only a extra month or two of development. The lack of a skirmish mode and balance ruined what could have been an otherwise great game.

Sniper Ghost Warrior
Had an interesting concept but the end product was flat out awful. Repetitive, frustrating, ugly etc… I can find plenty of adjectives to define Sniper Ghost Warrior. If you are a developer and want to learn what not to do in a FPS, I’m sure you can still find it for sale, most likely in the bargain bin.

Noah Baxter:

Garshasp: The Monster Slayer
When Garshasp was first announced, I took an interest in its premise but not its gameplay. It got some pretty poor reviews upon release, but I eventually picked it up on a Steam sale to decide for myself. All in all, the reviews are pretty accurate. It was short, glitchy, mundane, unimaginative and unpolished. For a small team on a limited budget it was a solid effort, but I can still think of much better things to spend $2.49 on. I’m hesitant to call it a waste of time, but I’ll definitely warn people to approach it cautiously. -End

Did we forget anything?  Let us know in the comments.

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17 thoughts on “The Worst PC Games of 2011

    • How well do you remember Saints Row 3? The whole production felt forced, and it rarely came off as genuinely fun or funny, and felt more and more like work the longer I played it. The most offensive thing: it’s deadly serious about its wackiness. THQ spent a whole bunch of money on something that’s only a GTA competitor superficially; peel back the layers, and it’s almost the same game. Plus, Saints Row 3 is much lighter on content than its predecessor. It’s the kind of “one steps backwards” mentality that doesn’t make for a consumer-friendly sequel.

      • Saints Row 3 could have been better but to call it one of the worst games this year… that’s just plain ridiculous. The initial setup to get to do all the activities seemed right on paper but isn’t brilliant in practice, I’ll grant you that. The story is more taped together than SR2 as well and some content of SR2 is gone (though there is new stuff as well) but overall you still get a very decent package for your money. It’s still a lot of fun in ways that GTA will never be, period. That’s pretty much the point of the whole series. If you can’t understand that difference (which has never been more obvious than in SR3 to be honest) then I seriously suspect you didn’t like the other SR-games either.

        It’s also a much better PC conversion than the previous game.

  1. Not a bad list – though I don’t agree with all of it, everyone’s entitled to their opinions…

    What I DO agree with is SOTS II – so much potential here but fell flat on it’s face. I think being released a year early is actually a bit conservative. Saints Row: The Third – definitely didn’t live up to expectations. Same with Stronghold 3.

    My problem with 2011 – though it was a great year to be a gamer – is that in some of these titles there was just so much potential to be great memorable games, but they the developers just didn’t do them justice.

    • I agree with your idea of developers not following through. I do believe part of the problem was us as gamers. Our expectations were very high and probably too high in some areas. Personally, I was very excited to learn about the Tiger Woods franchise coming back to the PC. When I found what EA did, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

      I am sure others have similar feelings about Dragon Age 2 and Duke Nukem.

  2. To be honest I felt that 2011 was quite a disappointing year. Maybe I’m getting older but some of the games that were released last year just didn’t seem to have the pull factor that games once had. Maybe it’s me and I agree that Rage was garbage… then again everyone is entitled their opinion and I believe it’s the same for this article too.

    • Thanks for your comment. I felt the same way. I did not play a lot of games this year, and with the exception of Human Revolution, I did not have that feeling to give any developer a Day 1 purchase.

      • i like human revolution, it had the only story in a game that ive been able too enthral myself in and actually enjoy the story. it just seems like developer are dropping bug testers(game testers) for beta testing publicly, in my opinion not working well. developers make these ideas and then create these games and start losing sight of the idea of creativity too the idea of making money and sequels. there is less and less newly created ips nowadays, and the ones that are new have been remakes mostly, most of them rushed
        and also, i believe developers or there owners are holding back from putting more content in a game too cut down in developing time and allow them too release more downloadable content there for making them more money.
        didnt games about 10 years back feel like they had alot more content on release?

      • It seems developers want to hold back content and sell it later in DLC form. Not all, of course, but some seem to have that tactic.

    • It’s possibly because I focus my attention on the indie scene, but I am pretty content with the games that came out last year. When Adam asked us for our personal best-of lists mine was a mile long, but I struggled to think of a single game I wasn’t happy with for this article.
      Then again, I do seem to be an odd one out this year. Maybe I’m just too forgiving, or easy to please 😛

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