This year has seen some really revolutionary games release, like Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Half-Life: Alyx, and Hades, as well as thought-provoking indies that arrived out of the blue, like If Found..., The Last Campfire, and Paradise Killer. Yet, after the rainbow comes the rain, or something like that. Here are the worst-reviewed games of 2020.
Metacritic's criteria was that the title needed to be released between January 1st and December 31st, 2020, and that there were more than seven reviews from professional critics attributed to the title. In tenth place, The Elder Scrolls: Blades from Bethesda Softworks rolls onto the scene, in spite of a number of delays to polish the game to its highest possible quality. A free-to-play entry on the Switch, reviewers found that it didn't live up to the esteemed series of RPGs. "It's a downright joke when compared to the actual full Elder Scrolls game already available on the platform," said NintendoWorldReport. "Unlike other Bethesda mobile offerings like Fallout Shelter, Blades is a simplification of a complex game rather than a game built with mobile limitations in mind."
Ouch. Number nine is Gleamlight, an action-adventure in a world composed of stained glass, and it even does away with the UI so that the environments shine in the spotlight. "This Switch sidescroller may look decent on the surface," said Metacritic. "But it only really gets the 'hollow' part of the Hollow Knight formula down: There's very little content, and what's there isn't exactly fun or coherent." Gleamlight, Street Power Football, and Tamarin are hot on each others' tails, where the sports sim was deemed to be a stylish yet shallow interpretation of a FIFA Street title.
"I went into Street Power Football hoping for an enjoyable take on the sport and was genuinely astonished by how bad the whole package is. This would be unforgivable were it a budget title, but to then have the temerity to stick a full retail price on this just takes the biscuit," explained TheSixthAxis. Note to self: buy more biscuits for people who played Street Power Football. Moving on, Tamarin scores only 40 points on Metacritic, which was scorned for its strange clash of visuals and mechanics. The violence of the third-person shooter elements and the peaceful 3D-platforming and exploration was "tonally dissonant," and reviewers suggested that you opt for one of the more polished adventures like Spyro or Mario.
Remothered: Broken Porcelain claims sixth place, owing to a buggy launch and a puzzling narrative design, and so now comes the reckoning. The top five worst games of 2020. Arc of Alchemist scored 36 points, Fast & Furious Crossroads gained 34 points, and Dawn of Fear followed it with 33 points. Going home with the silver medal is the XIII Remake, which might not be a surprise to some of the readers. A drastically different visual direction turned players off the remake, and developer Microids even admitted it "[did] not meet our quality standards and we fully understand players' frustrations."
Lastly, the gold medal is awarded to IceTorch Interactive's Tiny Racer, which is Metacritic's official worst game of the year. It didn't conjure the magic or chaos of Micro Machines, and lots of reviewers mentioned the incomprehensible physics system even though it looks pretty promising. "This is a terrible game. I'm getting out the car: I'll walk from here," said Switch Player.
Well, that was wonderful, wasn't it? It's been a tough year, and developers and publishers have contended with unforeseen consequences of the pandemic. Here's hoping they've got a restful holiday break ahead of them, and may 2021 be merry and bright.
Featured Image Credit: Slightly Mad Studios
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