The MEDIOCRE Awards 2016

The best of the best have been celebrated, the worst of the worst received their punishment, and all that’s left is the gulf of creativity in the middle. The pedestrian. The everyday. The completely unimportant.

Such cardboard pointlessness deserves attention too!

Yes, it’s time for the second annual MEDIOCRE Awards, as we pay homage not to the spectacular, but to the truly unremarkable. These were the games of 2016 that were exemplary only in their lack of excellence. Once again we “celebrate” those games that failed to wow and succeeded in being disappointments and wastes of time.

MEDIOCRE!

No Man’s Sky
(Check out the review!)

One of 2016’s most hyped games also turned out to be one of the least interesting. Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky was undoubtedly controversial – controversial enough that many were upset to see it missing from my rundown of the year’s worst games – but the product itself is the embodiment of lackluster.

Little more than a threadbare survival game with stereotypical crafting elements, No Man’s Sky is a tedious waste of time, relying on repetitive tasks, recycled content, and a building-block approach to procedural generation that saw little variance in “story” encounters and regular repeats of animal parts and environmental details.

No Man’s Sky is so dull that it’s actually at its most fun when you’re doing nothing – there’s at least a calming, laid back experience to be had in simply cruising the skies of yet another Bruiser Bar-colored planet. The grinding drudgery of resource collection and survival meter management is just thoroughly miserable.

If we ignore all of Hello Games’ promises (and they did promise a load of bullshit, regardless of what apologists claim), we’re still left with a game that has little going for it. So many procedurally generated planets, such a vast universe, and so little to do in it. There’s no point offering a massive game world when the best it has to offer is the occasional squirrel dinosaur that you can’t even ride.

It’s a prime example of how overvalued “content” is in the game industry – nebulous, monotonous content that has no value when it comes without context, variety, or meaning. So many “open world” games are little more than gigantic unassuming maps with recycled objectives scattered around them, just so the publishers can tell you how “big” their game is.

No Man’s Sky is the logical extreme of this prevailing industry attitude. It’s so very big… and so very bloody empty.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
(Check out the review!)

It’s hard not to believe Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – an answer to intense fan demand – was developed under duress. So much about it seems to be wearily checking boxes rather than striving to provide a memorable experience. As it dawdles sluggishly from one tired plot point to the next, this sequel to a beloved cult classic was just another open world snore-fest.

Combat is the same old shit over and over again, especially once you access the “switch place” move that lets Faith get behind the identical, unvaried enemies and hit them in the back. It’s such an effective trick that it’s the only one that matters. Despite the game itself wanting players to perform all sorts of aggressive parkour attacks, the environments are poorly designed for any walljumping action so fighting boils down to a few dull stock moves.

Despite the more open world, Catalyst‘s map is restrictive and choking, forcing players back and forth down the same old pathways and desperately trying to up its running time with the usual assortment of collectibles and repetitive side missions. It’s “Open World 101” in terms of game design, and the best that can be said of any of it is that DICE made an acceptable game.

Acceptable, and far from interesting.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is so creatively bankrupt that its final battle is against two stock enemies that have been encountered loads of times before them. The big twist is that there’s two of them.

Fuck this game.

Layers of Fear
(Check out the review!)

I’m perpetually puzzled as to how Layers of Fear got both the publisher backing and illusion of credibility it received this year. An unassuming walking simulator with horror dressing, Bloober Team’s tale of a mad artist falls down the Horror Trope Tree and smacks its head against every branch on the descent.

Remember that time you walked forever through some corridors but it was a trick because the moment you turned around the exit was behind you? Remember that scary ghost lady with the twitchy head? Remember doors slamming shut and then jostling violently because OH MY GOD SOMETHING’S TRYING TO GET IN!? Remember creepy dolls? Remember wheelchairs? Remember how scary wheeeeeelchaaaaairs are in games?

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELCHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIRS!?!?!?

This is basically Layers of Fear‘s primary trick – reminding you just how trite horror games have become due to them all repeating the same obnoxious cliches.

There’s a baseline quality to the overall production – it looks decent, has some nice sound effects, and generally controls well enough – but it never rises above that baseline. Most of the game is spent wandering around a glorified amusement park haunted house, looking at the stereotypically “spooky” things.

Sometimes there’ll be a rudimentary puzzle, but that’s about it. The fact you can’t get hurt by any of the game’s “threats” becomes apparent all too soon, and with that obvious note comes the vacuuming of all possible tension. Had there been some genuine risk to the player – or at least a convincing pretense of such – then some of this game’s tricks could have been effective. Instead, it’s toothless.

Layers of Fear could only be recommended to somebody who’s never played a horror game before and could therefore be convinced by its predictable tricks. Why would you do that, however, when you could simply recommend a better game?

No, this game is only truly worth playing in a world where no other horror experience exists at all.

Super Mario Run
(Check out the review!)

A half-baked runner game bolted onto a half-baked city builder, Super Mario Run could have been good if it focused on one thing. Instead, in typical Nintendo fashion, Mario’s big mobile showcase desperately attempted to be quirky and ended up lacking in every department.

It shouldn’t really be that hard to make a Mario runner, but that’s exactly Nintendo’s problem. The company can never do what’s expected and just has to add as many little twists and variances as it can. While that attitude can be noble, there’s such a thing as trying too hard, and a game that really should’ve just been “Super Mario Bros. with tapping” became an online-only game about playing recycled tracts of level over and over.

I hate writing about Super Mario Run. I hate writing about it because it’s an insipid product and the apathy it inspires in me is paradoxically aggressive.

What burns me up is how much I was actually looking forward to this one. I try not to get hyped for games because hype is a terrible thing, but I cannot overstate how much I think a Mario runner is a great idea. It really is!

It just couldn’t be allowed to stay a great idea. It had to be fucking quirky.

And that made it fucking dire.

The Tomorrow Children
(Check out the review!)

The Tomorrow Children has a lot of potential, but this satirical free-to-play game was too sterile, too robotic, too pointless to achieve much beyond making the player feel like they wasted time – and potentially money.

You’re a girl in a visually unappealing plain white world, building a “town” alongside other random players. The “town” is just a messy collection of buildings placed in the empty void by users with no mind for city planning. Gameplay mostly revolves around taking a slow-as-shit bus to various randomly generated islands and mining for resources using tools with stereotypical durability meters.

Take the bus to the island, gather stuff, take the bus back, drop stuff off, repeat. That’s most of the game. There’s some dreary combat and weird little dolls that turn into NPCs when you bring them home, but that’s about it. Most of the game is working to earn currency to buy better work gear. One of those games that exist only to perpetuate an uninspired economy.

When you “beat” the game – or rather, meet your current town’s goals – your reward is starting again in another town. The time until you meet your goals is dependent on how well the town’s doing when you get there, but the goal always leads to the same dire letdown.

A shameless waster of time, The Tomorrow Children loves making players wait around doing nothing. Wait for the bus! Wait in line to interact with an object! Wait for something fun to happen! Unless you adore gathering pointless shit for the sheer sake of gathering pointless shit, you’re going to find the F2P-by-numbers drudgery quite painful indeed.

About the only thing the game can be proud of is its player character design, but the beautifully creepy puppets primarily serve to highlight how lacking in artististry the rest of the world is.

The Tomorrow Children might not be the most boring free-to-play game I’ve suffered, but it’s up there.

The Technomancer
(Check out the review!)

More like The MEHchnomancer! Haha, I’m so funny.

The Technomancer is yet another attempted RPG from Spiders, the developer that always seems to be trying its best despite making mostly forgettable rubbish. I loved Of Orcs and Men, but the studio’s really struggled to put something together since, and The Technomancer is yet another piece of wet tissue paper.

Like the majority of Spiders’ library, The Technomancer hovers in the “explicitly not terrible” realm of videogames, resting on the fact it’s not the worst game ever made despite its relative lack of redeeming qualities. The Technomancer is explicitly not terrible. That’s really the best you can say about it.

Despite desperately wanting to be Mass Effect, this sad little RPG is such a small and constrained playpen. It pads itself out with mission after mission taking place in a handful of locations that demand excessive backtracking. Hours can be spent in the first city, but not because there’s much to explore – it’s just the poorly written quests keep taking place in said city’s pitiful assortment of alleys and caves.

There’s a surprising amount of detail in Technomancer‘s lore and backstory, leading one to believe this may once have been a much bigger project. Spiders was ambitious with this one, which serves to make the piddling end result all the more tragic.

Combat is an erratic mess, the camera is an active hindrance, and you can’t squeeze more than thirty frames-per-second out of the thing on PC.

Whether things got cut or it was simply deemed too much work to make Mass EffectThe Technomancer is a game that both tried really hard and doesn’t try at all. There are so many clues that effort and thought was present during development, yet somehow the release version treads water and plays for time to an extreme level.

And it’s just so… so very…

MEDIOCRE!

Super APM
Guest
Super APM

I feel like you should bump these “Mediocre GotY” lists up to ten games, you know considering how many of those we get these days

Knight_On_Fire
Guest
Knight_On_Fire

I guess he’s not allowed to change his mind on Fallout 4. It’s brave to disagree with yourself. No love lost.

Rob Daykin
Member

Or not, as it’s, y’know, good. Sorry they finally decided to trash the awful levelling system, or whatever other nonsense complaint you have.

Super APM
Guest
Super APM

What ignorance. Tho it does make sense, CoDtards to tend to not be able to grasp anything above shooting something in the face for hours on end.

Here’s everything else wrong with Fo4:
*Buggy as fuck and barely works
*Repetitive as fuck side quests
*Barren world
*Garbage plot with a ton of plot holes
*Paper thin characters
*Limited dialogue options
*Boring as fuck

Rob Daykin
Member
Ouch! The most recent one I own is Modern Warfare 2 I believe and I’ve not played that in something like 5 years, but still the truth of it burns me deeply. Anyways, I’ll try to drag myself away from pwning stupid 5th prestigers with my n00b tube long enough to address what I’ll generously call your ‘points’. 1. I never had an issue on the Xbox One, ran pretty smoothly, sounds like a you problem to me. Was considering picking it up next time it’s cheap on PC so might have to eat my words if it turns out… Read more »
Mark Smith
Guest
Mark Smith

I fucking love Fallout 4 and I’m far from a *sigh* ‘CoDtard’. Fucking hell mate, I know this is the internet and we all have to get into our own subreddit box or whatever but learn the difference between whats been hyped and what just fails to tickle your poor atrophied spuds.

And fuck ain’t boring unless you’re doing it wrong.

Super APM
Guest
Super APM

Good for you that you enjoy incredibly mediocre sandbox shooters where 90% of the game is walk to a place -> shoot thing in the face -> pick shit up -> rinse repeat. Really, you truly have the highest of standards.
Nice of you to make a rebuttal to any of my points, by the way.

Rob Daykin
Member

Still waiting on you defending your bullet pointed bitch fest (or points, as you generously described them)

Super APM
Guest
Super APM
To be honest I didn’t even see you responded, but even if I did I wouldn’t have the energy to respond to begin with. But since you asked so nicely, I’ll indulge you, just this once. A trend I noticed running through your -drivel- rebuttal is that you assume I’m a fan of of both 3 an NV. Do you assume I’m so stupid that I would make all these arguments against F4 only to ignore them in the two aforementioned games despite them being ridden with a lot of those same issues? The reality is that I either don’t… Read more »
Grimmhelm
Guest

dishonored 2, it was mediocre at very best.

Dustin Barlow
Guest
Dustin Barlow

As much as I hate myself for agreeing with you…. I have to agree with you. It is Dishonored 1.5. Everything is happening exactly like it all happened in the first game. Game keeps teasing these Behemoth Whales, and this massive mysterious continent…… Never get to see the Whales…. Never get to see the Pandyssian Continent…. SIGH!

Grimmhelm
Guest

I wholly agree with you, I don’t like to admit it ether T_T

Alex Jones
Guest
Alex Jones

Gears of War 4 – loved the previous games but the addition of microtransactions and RNG card packs instead of regular unlocks makes it feel like a glorified free to play game

Thomas Pierson
Guest
Thomas Pierson

I really enjoy Spiders RPGs; They aren’t great games and I wouldn’t argue against Technomancer being on this list; but there is just something about them that appeals to me. They seem to share a wonky vibe with the likes of Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, and Divine/Beyond Divinity that resonates with me.

Leah
Guest
Leah

You forgot Just Cause 3 – the pure embodiment of ‘meh’

Wayne You Nerd
Guest
Wayne You Nerd

The map is huge but there’s not a lot of cities in Medici than it was in Panau, plus every small town I’ve liberated felt too samey and cut-n-paste. Vast areas in the middle of Medici are nothing but forests, mines & quarries and don’t have that variety of deserts & mountains than previous nations.

GrumpyMishka
Guest
GrumpyMishka

yeah, I’ve bought it in the bundle with Rise of Tomb Raider. Though it didn’t cost me much, I still wish I’ve saved this money for something better.

Ben
Guest
Ben

also came out last year

mattinacan
Guest
mattinacan

Fallout 4 is my most mediocre and disappointing game of the year

Christoph Brinkmann
Member

2015 is not 2016.

2016 is not 2015.

This list was about games that were mediocre in 2016. Not 2015.

Fallout 4 came out in 2015. Which, as previously discussed, is not 2016. Sure, it came out in November of 2015, but November of 2015 is still 2015, and not 2016.

Hope that helps.

Michael Prymula
Member

that came out in 2015, not 2016.

Brotown
Guest
Brotown

I hear ya. Speed 2 goes down as my most mediocre and disappointing movie of the year…

Rizzle
Guest
Rizzle

Didn’t that come out in 2015?

Gazza
Guest
Gazza

Not everybody buys games the moment they are out.

Brotown
Guest
Brotown

…Right? Not everybody watches movies when they first come out either!

Orestis Argianis
Member

…Adding Fallout 4 on a 2016 list still makes little to no…..Actually no, it makes absolutely no sense

Concubinary Code
Member

You could make the argument that the dlc was disappointing which came out this (last) year.
But he didn’t so I dunno!

Brotown
Guest
Brotown

/s

darkmage0707077
Member

I love this list, Jim! But may I make what I think/hope is a minor request?

Would it be possible for you to make an “All the Others” list of the games you played/reviewed that didn’t make any of these lists? Just the names and maybe their review scores and that’s it: we can do the research ourselves (on your site, to start) if we’re so intrigued.

AQA473
Guest
AQA473
This is a fair list, except for Mirror’s Edge. I’m not surprised, of course, after Jim’s review of it. I don’t comment on the site often but as someone who own two copies of the game, the graphic novel, the collector’s edition, and has read and written fanfiction for the series, I feel a burning desire to speak up. A lot of people are saying this was a great year for games, others are saying the opposite. I mean, Blizzard’s new IP came out this year so what are we gonna do? And then Naughty Dog took a shit again… Read more »
ATBro
Guest
ATBro

There are a ton of red flags in here that make this essay a little suspect. That being said, I enjoyed ME:C quite a lot too. It isn’t my GOTY mainly because structurally it was a little busted, and it’s upgrade path didn’t tie in cleanly with the overall experience. But the gameplay is as strong as ever and the aesthetic is still top notch, if a little noisey compared to the original.

AQA473
Guest
AQA473

What makes it a little suspect? And I agree with the upgrade path. I wish that “switch places” move wasn’t in the game.

Mueti
Guest
Mueti

Hey, you’re not alone!
I too have Catalyst nearly on top of my personal GOTY list (only second to Blood and Wine). While I can’t agree with you about the combat (it’s alright) that doesn’t really matter when you fight for a total of a couple of minutes over the course of many, many hours, as you can still avoid most encounters.
The core of it, the running, is absolutely perfect and overall I think Catalyst is an absolutely stellar game!

Michael Prymula
Member

Catalyst isn’t quite my GOTY(That would be Doom) but it’s on my top games of the year list, some idiots on here where talking about me being “in the minority” just for saying I liked that game, not sure why that person cared so much about my own personal tastes in games, guess some people are just obsessed to a ludicrous degree with having every single person share the exact same opinions on everything as they do.

Nitrium
Member

I actually own Catalyst but never got round to playing it. Other what I thought would be better games and movies kept getting in the way. I also own Vendetta: Curse of Raven’s Cry, that was on Jim’s worst games of 2015 list, which given it has pirates in it, I’m sure can’t be THAT bad… (I bought it specifically for this reason).

Michael Prymula
Member

You bought Raven’s Cry? Wow I feel so sorry for you.

Nitrium
Member

I bought it on a whim, because I wanted to see if Jim was right about it being THAT bad. His review seemed very hyperbolic to me. The game looked about as janky as say the Risen games, which I enjoyed a lot.

Nezumichan
Guest
Nezumichan

Wow… I… disagree with nearly everything on this list, and the only ones I don’t are because I haven’t played them to judge.

Orestis Argianis
Member

Well…It IS his Opinion…

Scars Unseen
Guest
Scars Unseen

It’s an okay article. I’ve seen better.

Nitrium
Member

I see what you did there. MEDIOCRE!

HisDivineOrder
Member

You forgot Pokemon Go.

…that is all.

ATBro
Guest
ATBro

This is a list for mediocrity, not trash.

Taznak
Guest
Taznak

Pokemon Go could only charitably be described as mediocre

Justin Graham
Guest
Justin Graham

Tell that to the countless people still playing and enjoying the game.

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that it’s trash. And if Jim hasn’t played it (which I’m not sure he has?), then of course he’s not going to put the game on a list of his most mediocre titles.

Zack “Shadowkat” West
Member

He has. He reviewed it and did a whole Jimquisition calling it “the best worst Pokémon game ever”.

Perry Martin
Guest

Yeah, this all seems about right. I’d probably put Far Cry Primal on the list. A fantastic idea…but it doesn’t feel like it got enough out of it. I mean, does anyone remember FCP anymore?

Martina Veselá
Member

Far Cry Primal was awesome. I’ll admit it was the second Far Cry game I’ve ever played, the first being Crytek’s original, but it was a lot of fun and the prehistoric setting really made it stand out.

twigcollins
Guest
twigcollins

Best animal petting simulator. 10/10 would pet again.

Polishfury5000
Member

I honestly thought it came out last year. Did it not get a lot of advertising or something?

Only recently picked it up, but I am having a lot of fun with it. FC4 kind of bored me, so FCP has really resparked my interest in the series. Wouldn’t mind seeing the series sticking to historical or ancient themes.

Though I’d never say no to a Blood Dragon 2.

Michael Prymula
Member

To me FCP felt like an expansion stretched out to a full priced title at the last minute(the fact that it uses the same map as FC4 is a good indication of that)

Charlie Koszulinski
Guest
Charlie Koszulinski

Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought Primal was great and 4 was boring. As much of a stereotypical, white savior, douche Jason was, at least he had personality.

Michael Prymula
Member

I thought Primal sucked hardcore.

Polishfury5000
Member

4 wouldn’t have earned so much of my scorn if they would have actually written full arcs for their antagonists too.

The only characters I liked and thought interesting were Pagan Mihn and his lieutenants. Would have chosen to side with them had I the option, rather than the other two clichéd leaders.

Michael Prymula
Member

Yeah Ajay was not a great character, though the gameplay was still solid enough that I could past that, Primal was just boring as fuck though.

Charlie Koszulinski
Guest
Charlie Koszulinski

I never forgot about it, I just haven’t played it since it came out. I will always remember that Primal was sort of a “turn of the century” for Ubisoft as it kicked off their greatest year with a strong contender.

Michael Prymula
Member

I certainly forgot about it until other people brought it up, i’ve loved every FC game prior, but this one really felt like a lazy cash grab. FC needs to bring back Jack Carver if it wants to reinvigorate the series.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Doubtful they will as the series has well become the Final Fantasy of FPS games.

YoDude
Guest
YoDude

You’re very strange.

Michael Prymula
Member

I’m not the only one who disliked Primal, TotalBiscuit did not like it nor did Yahtzee.

derek tomek
Member

Does Yahtzee like anything though?

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Quite a lot. You can generally tell a game that he likes even if it is the subject of a ZP video and one he clearly dislikes.

Michael Prymula
Member

Yes actually, watch his Top and Bottom Five year end lists and you’ll see.

Imperial soul
Guest
Imperial soul

I did not like it either I couldn’t get on with the far cry series.
but I could see how someone else would like it .

Michael Prymula
Member

Yeah I can see how someone who has a fascination with Cavemen times might enjoy it(since that’s not really been done in a game before).

MuddyScarecrow
Member

I am very shocked that Mafia 3 wasn’t on here. A game that not only repeated the same objectives over and over again over the course of ten or so hours, but a game that Jim himself said he remembered nothing about when he finished it. That sounds like mediocrity to me. But then again he probably forgot he even played it

ATBro
Guest
ATBro

Well, sure. That reads as mediocre… but is it THE MOST mediocre?

Charlie Koszulinski
Guest
Charlie Koszulinski

Mafia 3 was this year’s Mad Max for me. Such awful games. Such a shame too considering how great Mafia 2 was. Or how Mad Max more or less cashed in on Fury Road.

ATBro
Guest
ATBro

Your scale for quality is waaay out of whack. Mad Max was fine. Definitely not awful. Mafia 3 was also fine. Definitely not awful. I think you should spend some time with truly bad games to gain a little perspective.

Charlie Koszulinski
Guest
Charlie Koszulinski
Maybe my scale is out of whack, but I expect more than boring, repetitive, filler gameplay from AAA games. All Mad Max is, is going from base to base and clearing them out with derivative combat, poor vehicular handeling, and an upgrade system that borders on the pay to win design. The bosses were all the same and were very easy, for that matter, the environments were bland, the story is dumb and the ending is meaningless, and the whole gameplay aspect was collect scrap and clear out sections of the map like a check list of chores. It’s all… Read more »
Lucid Loon
Guest
Lucid Loon

Mad Max is firmly in the quite good category. Best looking desert in a game to date.

Thomas Pierson
Guest
Thomas Pierson

Loved Mad Max, but the desert in Journey wins for sheer beauty IMO.

Michael Prymula
Member

Yes, the best looking desert in a video game since RAGE.

Michael Prymula
Member

Mad Max was not “awful” at all, it’s one of my top games for last year, and no it was not a “cash in” on Fury Road, that’s a total lie, it’s not a tie-in to the movie.

Justin Kruk
Guest
Justin Kruk

The end boss is literally one of immortan joe’s sons. It is absolutely a tie in prequel.

Its a great fucking game with more character customization than FO4 brought to the table too

Kolbe Howard
Guest
Kolbe Howard

Mafia 3 had an awesome setting, layered and nuanced characters and some pretty brave writing for a video game. Hardly mediocre at all. If anything Mafia 3 showed that games media is nothing but a pack of hypocrites.

Where was all this complaining about repetitive mission structure for the past like 6 Assassin’s Creed games? What about Far Cry? Shadow of Mordor? Watch Dogs? Even Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid 5? Nope give all those games 10/10 they did nothing wrong. For some reason Mafia 3 is the one that particularly offended them.

Michael Prymula
Member

Agreed, I found it bitterly ironic that critics were willing to praise the AC series(Which i’ve always found very overrated and overhyped) and other bland and mediocre open-world games like Far Cry Primal in spite of them being extremely repetitive, yet somehow Mafia 3 is the one they choose to pick on, makes no damn sense.

I didn’t find Watch Dogs, Fallout 4 or MGS 5 too repetitive myself though.

Charlie Koszulinski
Guest
Charlie Koszulinski
I think the problem in Mafia 3 lies in its mission structure. I never beat the game, so I can’t say too much about the story, but doing a story mission or 2 and then taking a few hours to clear out rackets before moving on was such a chore. And I agree with you: that’s exactly how Assassins Creed structured their games and it’s terrible. Instead of finding a balance between story and gameplay, they separate them. They’re supposed to compliment each other, like the games you mentioned above, but instead, all it amounts to is busy work. It’s… Read more »
Michael Prymula
Member

Not for me it wasn’t, I loved clearing out all the rackets, I actually went to the trouble of doing all the objectives even after I had done enough damage to go after the next lieutenant, because I wanted the game to last as long as possible.

I didn’t find it annoying at all.

Kolbe Howard
Guest
Kolbe Howard

I did the same thing. My personal hallmark of a good game, is one that I hesitate to finish. Mafia 3 was one of those games. When I finished it I was pretty sad it was over.

Michael Prymula
Member

There is still the matter of the three story DLCs coming out for the game later, all of which sound pretty good.

Kolbe Howard
Guest
Kolbe Howard
Fair point. The pacing in Mafia 3 can be an issue at times. However I don’t think it affects Mafia 3 too adversely because the game is more a story of a time and a place than it is a character-focused revenge story. That stuff is there obviously, but it’s secondary to capturing the societal issues of the turbulent year of 1968. I was so into the game world that I rarely cared about the huge wait time between story missions. I just wanted to see more of the world. The game is excellent in it’s period piece details from… Read more »
Michael Prymula
Member

Same here, I was too impressed with the setting to really be bothered by the mission structure.

La Chica Incognita
Guest
La Chica Incognita

I didn’t think Layers of Fear was so bad. Frankly given how horror games have been going lately it was pretty good by comparison.

Alex Jones
Guest
Alex Jones

You could see that a lot of effort had gone in to it, but frankly I found it really dull

The Fantastic Paul
Member

The DLC definitely belongs on the list, tho.

Yusblind
Guest
Yusblind

That’s a sad way to look at it.
It feels like settling for bad because there is worse.

Blacklight
Guest
Blacklight

This list is pretty meh.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

I would have loved this even more if you called it the “MEH AWARDS”
I agree with most of them, Layers of Fear I picked up and enjoyed… but it was more for the stupid things they THOUGHT would scare us. Like the creepy doll who runs into a wall with a hilarious sound effect, which repeated every time you turned around,

Kyle Pierce
Guest
Kyle Pierce

Thought Pokemon Go would be on here.

ATBro
Guest
ATBro

Too shit to be on the mediocre list, too mediocre to be on the shit list.

Hynox
Guest
Hynox

Noticed that Dishonored 2 was not on the list despite your low rating. Made me feel real happy.

twigcollins
Guest
twigcollins

I thought the storytelling and dialogue took a massive hit in Dishonored 2, and I was pretty disappointed, but even I can’t say the Jindosh and Dust District levels were mediocre. The Jindosh level alone almost rates it a ‘must play’ for me.

Polishfury5000
Member
Ah, what a fun little list to wrap up a pretty good year for games. And I’m not going to argue against anything on that list either. NMS is a bit toss, but I still enjoy it in spurts as a nice pallet cleanser after a long night of shooter PvP. My usual routine is play a few Battlefield 1 operations with friends (2 months later and that game still has it’s hooks in, so fun) then go explore a new planet once people start logging off. Anyway, hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. Excited to see… Read more »
Michael Prymula
Member

Hearthstone is my go to pallet cleanser game. I like making weird decks like Total Biscuit does for his videos.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

By the way, are you a whale too?

Michael Prymula
Member

Nah, I’m not as well off as Total Biscuit, so I can’t afford to buy dozens of packs for every new expansion.

Will113
Member

Based on all the reviews I’ve seen Mirrors Edge Catalyst has two main problems.
1. The open world is bland and uninteresting.
2. Combat seems to have been designed for quick movement and using the environment to your advantage…and then they had most of the combat take place in small, cramped rooms.

GrumpyMishka
Guest
GrumpyMishka
The open world is fine, even if its not the greatest thing ever. Each district feels very distinct, each has its own artstyle and music theme. Sometimes the path narrows to an alamring degree, but it usually happens at transitions between these districts, mostly because these paths are locked till you get a neccessary thing to access next area. I agree, it’s uninspired, but it isn’t that great of an issue some reviewers made it look like. Combat works fine as well, I like what they were going for, but it could be easily cheesed by this round move and… Read more »
Michael Prymula
Member

I personally found the open world more interesting then say any open world in the Assassins’s Creed games.

Cinebeast
Guest
The only game here I might disagree about is Layers of Fear. The lack of an explicit Game Over screen does not, in my opinion, inherently suck the tension out of an experience. In my experience it is the exact opposite, in fact, that usually derails things. Nothing hurts horror more than repetition, and dying over and over again is nothing if not repetitive. With that said, it’s probably a bad idea to label the game a survival horror. It’s more of a tour horror than anything. Jim mentioned there are “better horror games out there,” but I’m not entirely… Read more »
Eon264
Guest
Eon264
When Jim said there were better horror games out there he didn’t mean specifically in 2016. PT, for instance, is a better horror game and that’s just a demo. While I agree with your assessment that repetition breeds indifference (see alien: isolation), never getting smacked down is much easier to get bored of in my opinion. At least the alien is legitimately intimidating even when you’re kind of done being afraid of it, once you dispel the illusion that something is a threat that’s basically the end of it. It’s kind of like if you were in a haunted house… Read more »
Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

One could argue that being mediocre is worse than being bad, at least when it comes to entertainment. Bad stuff can still be found entertaining for different reasons, create interesting discussions, or at least pose as lessons of what not to do.

So is it not worse to be an unremarkable, forgettable, waste of time?

Corac42
Guest
Corac42

The Phantom menace is boring, but if I’d only watched it once I’d be hard-pressed to specify any glaring flaws.

Attack of the Clones is something like 40-70% glaring flaws, and it’s quite entertaining.

Ronald Nand
Guest
Ronald Nand

I think its definitely the case for something like movies or tv shows, you can rip on how bad it is while watching it. But in terms of videogames, you still have to play the bad game, if the badness comes from poor game design or controls its going to be uncomfortable to play. So I don’t think making a videogame as bad as the ‘The Room’ could ever be enjoyable for the player.

Michael Prymula
Member

There are cases of that like Deadly Premonition(Which Jim gave a 10 for that reason) and Ride to Hell(which Yahtzee recommended people play to see how terrible it was).

Ronald Nand
Guest
Ronald Nand

I saw the combat for DP in a lets play, it looked like a real slog to go through. Same with Ride to Hell. I suppose some people might find enjoyment in bad mechanics, not me however. The same way a poorly shot movie or bad special effects can be visually painful for the movie goer. I guess it comes down to ‘different strokes for different fokes’ or however that saying goes.

Michael Prymula
Member

DP actually isn’t a slog, i’m playing the Director’s Cut on PS3 right now, the combat is actually really easy and you can run past most of the enemies if you want.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Considering how easy it is to get an infinite weapon really early the combat is actually not that bad. Still very clunky.

George
Member

I truly believe that being boring or unremarkable is THE cardinal sin of any art.

At least if a piece of art is offensively bad (for whatever reason) then it made some kind of a connection.

Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

I’m enjoying playing through The Technomancer at the moment. It’s slightly better than mediocre. No good reason why you can’t play as a girl, though (VA budget?).

tom
Guest
tom
No man sky is far worse than mediocre. It’s forced Insufferable survival, walking sim on planet, and inventory management systems are some of the worst I’ve experienced. Those are large parts of the game that are not mediocre, they’re horrendous. And Through which you have to gather countless resources all done at a astonishingly slow walking pace with forced abominable combat that is just rubbing salt into an open wound. This game is the worst contradiction I’ve ever played. Force-feeding modern popular systems like survival/inventorying management/slow walking, into an exploration game was a clueless and idiotic developer trying to fill… Read more »
Michael Prymula
Member

Total Biscuit agrees, he hated that game from the moment he started playing it and has said it’s one of the worst games he’s ever played.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

I’ve seen his stream and the framerate drops has been abysmal.

derek tomek
Member

Good for TotalBiscuit?

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