Anyone can throw together a list of the year?s best games. All it takes is a sunny disposition and a thesaurus with one of those sticky bookmark tabs on the entry for ?good.? To tell you about the dregs of gaming, though, that takes a different class of human being. A Southern gentleman. A cyborg. A dinosaur aficionado. A racist. That man is Captain Tobias Abigail Bruckner.
Biggest Waste of Our Collective Time
We?d love to tell you more about why Destiny won this award, but first we need you to re-read this short, insubstantial article, oh, 500 times. Actually, make it a thousand. While the words won?t really change and it won?t get any more entertaining, if you?re dedicated enough, you might luck into seeing the super-rare jokes we?ve coded into the page. We?re talking really top-shelf, hysterical stuff, only available to the most dedicated EGM readers. Heck, if you bring along five of your friends and read the article together for a few hours, we might decide to let you at our primo stuff sooner, but they absolutely have to be your friends. We?ll know.
Most Sobering Reality Check
As professional game journalists, it can be easy to lose sight of our moral compass. Every day, we?re surrounded by the temptation to stray from our solemn duty to write about videogames in a completely unbiased manner. That?s why we?re so grateful to the Gamergate movement for keeping us in check and reminding us in a rational, apolitical, and goal-oriented way how we need to instill journalistic ethics into our line of work. Without those brave men and women, we?d probably never even think or care about doing our jobs properly. You might think this entire award is sarcastic. It?s not. Please don?t send us one of your death threats. You know, your ethically driven, apolitical, and completely rational death threats.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
On the face of it? No, wait, that?s childish. Let?s start over. Unity?s litany of technical problems seemed to pop into existence out of nowhere, but? OK, scratch that one, too. Everyone expected Ubisoft?s mega-franchise to keep chugging along? Man, we should really put some sort of ban or prohibition or…embargo on these cheap shots. Well, it?s too late at this point. Starting over again now would be double the work, and we really don?t have the resources to spend on that. I guess all we can do is apologize. We?re sorry, Ubisoft?.
?In accepting this apology, you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally agree not to sue EGM Media, LLC for any reason including but not limited to this article, negative review scores, and that time we tied Yves Guillemot?s shoelaces together.
Most Misguided Adaptation
Rambo: The Video Game
Fun fact: Throughout the entirety of First Blood, John Rambo only kills a single person, and he does so by accident in a moment of desperate self defense. In Rambo: The Video Game, he shoots 50 people within the first three minutes. Yes, the later movies did eventually end up in a much more murdery place than the original, but turning a character who represents the painful aftermath faced by Vietnam War veterans into the star of an on-rails shooter where you massacre wave after wave of VCs would?ve been ill-advised even if the game turned out good. Coincidentally, it really didn?t.
Character Threatening to Unseat Tobias Bruckner
Lyric, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
If you?ve been lucky enough to miss out on both of this year?s Sonic Boom games, allow us to introduce you to Lyric, a giant snake wearing a suit of robot armor that he built himself. That?s right, a creature that is literally defined by the absence of limbs somehow managed to engineer his own cyborg-hands, forge all the necessary parts out of metal, assemble them, and then interface the suit with his own body in a way that would allow him to control it, all by using…his mouth? His tail? Hope? We were starting to think we?d never see this kind of character-design crapsterpiece in a mainstream game ever again. Guess we should?ve known better than to doubt Sonic?s ability to keep on sucking.
McConaughey Prize for Failure to Launch
Halo: The Master Chief Collection and DriveClub
It?s not uncommon to see platform exclusives that fill the same basic niche. Microsoft whipped up Forza to compete with Gran Turismo as a hardcore racing sim. When Halo became a smash hit on Xbox, the PS2 shot back with Killzone. This year, the trend continued in full force. First, Sony put out Driveclub, a game whose hugely important online components were completely unusable for weeks after launch. Not to be outdone, Microsoft pulled the exact same stunt with their biggest franchise in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It was like a war over who could s*** the bed harder?and everyone lost.
By our count, Troy Baker appeared in 18 games this year, at least eight of those as the protagonist or main villain. Troublingly, the more work he gets, the less effort he seems to put into making each one sound distinct. Extrapolating from this trend, by the end of the decade he?ll be the only voice actor left working in videogames, every role completed with minimal effort in his normal speaking voice. In this hellish dystopia, countless virtual Troy Bakers?man, woman, child, and dog alike?will carry on conversations with each other in the same charming baritone we once adored but now resent. Gamers everywhere will begin to mimic his speech patterns, not by choice but by subconscious inundation. Eventually, the entire English-speaking world will sound like Booker DeWitt. Or is it Alex Taylor? Or is it Jack Mitchell? Or is it Delsin Rowe? Or is it Kanji Tatsumi?