Lets call 2013 what it really was; A shitty terrible cesspool of crappy game releases. No title deserves game of the year for 2013. Even games that might typically get the nod of approval from me had issues on release this year. So let’s just call 2013 the year of suck and not dawdle too long on the titles that were released within it. So without further delay… I present my shitty presentation of the mediocre games of 2013….
On the FPS front (something I still consider myself a fan of), the game I was most impressed with, Battlefield 4, had a terrific bug-laden launch (for me at least). The whole crashing to desktop every 3 minutes really ruined the experience as a whole for me. I did, however, enjoy my run-through’s of both BioShock Infinite (terrible story though) and Metro Last Light (decent story). Both of these titles were worth the time and money invested in them (got them both on a Steam sale) but neither is worthy of a “Game of the Year” tag.
MMOs were horrifically absent in 2013. I disregard Final Fantasy because the title was a train-wreck on its original launch, and the notion that any game deserves a second re-launch is mind boggling to me. Top that off with a cautious and hilarious foresight of what was likely to happen with the game… and yea this title deserves only a cursory look.
The reason I spend anytime at all on FFXIIXIXXO is because the guild I usually run with was obsessed with the title on launch. Comically, the same group of players who swore by the title had burned through its content in a month and subsequently (and without acknowledging my “told you so”) quit. Their were no innovations in this title, and no formula that even hinted that the game solved the common “themepark” model. FFXIIIVIXXIBBO was basically a reskinned SWtOR… that has had one too many lives.
The only other noteworthy item of interest (to me) was the EVE Online expansion, Rubicon. Yet even this expansion was not enough to draw me back in as a subscriber (oh its so very fucking close…refer to my previous EVE post for details). Sure some of other MMOs have released expansions; EQ2, LOTRO, SWToR… you name it. None have been particularly noteworthy, genre-changing, or anything of note except to current fans of those MMOs.
The only truly exciting MMO news has been more about what’s coming out NEXT year (always a great sign) then what was being released this one.
2013 would have been the worst year for gaming ever; except when it comes to one thing, indie game developers. I’ve been stunned by the small indie studio releases; the quality and innovation we have seen has truly exploded the field of gaming innovation; Starbound, How to Survive, Terraria, and the list goes on and on and on. If one thing stands out to me in 2013 its Steam’s passionate embrace of the indie developers through their Greenlight program.
Also of considerable weight in the “indie developer” corner has been the passionate embrace of gamers for the Kickstarter platform. I count no less then 10 titles that I’ve personally backed this year, all games, and all of which I can’t wait to play. Without Kickstarter would these titles have seen the light of day? Doubtful. Studios are far too interested in guaranteed AAA launches with billion dollar sales goals to invest in the small hits that really saved this year from a gaming perspective.
It’s really amazing to have people who are passionate about games (and the creation of them) able to release their games directly to players. It reminds me of the old days when gaming studios weren’t multi-billion dollar companies with shareholders to answer to. Innovation and advancement in gaming came every year. We saw the birth of genres, only to have the entire industry stagnate recently with the same old formulas and sequel-syndrome. My biggest hope is that other gamers embrace the Greenlight’s and Humble Bundles of the internet and we continue on the path of this new gaming revolution. That would be something truly worth “Game of the Year”-ing.