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Top 5 Flops of 2013

The year is nearing its end, and so everyone is pulling out their best of and worst of lists for 2013, whether it’s movies, TV shows or video games.

For video games in particular, 2013 was a spectacle, after all we saw the release of BioShock: Infinite, Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, Tomb Raider and of course the tyrant itself, Grand Theft Auto V .

Unfortunately, this list isn't about the good, it's about the bad and Telkom Do Gaming's Jon Parsons scrapes the bottom of the barrel to bring you his top five games of 2013 that you're better off without.

5. Call of Duty: Ghosts

Release Date: 5 November 2013
Platform: PC; PS3; PS4; Xbox One; Xbox 360; Wii U
Do Gaming Review Score: 65/100

When inevitably comparing Ghosts to past iterations, it looks like someone took Call of Duty into a work shop, stripped it down and put it back together with its head on back to front and a few extra arms.

'Surprisingly', Ghosts takes a rather large step back from Black Ops 2 in almost every way. The new engine already looks dated in the face of the competition while the PC version lacks dedicated support, a FOV slider (field of view) or FPS cap settings, all present in Black Ops 2.

Game play is generally solid, but the campaign lacks a compelling story and fails to connect emotionally while the title does very little to reinvent the franchise. It does provide enough content to justify a new instalment, just never enough to go beyond that.

One can only imagine the amount of stress that the team over at Infinity Ward was under to develop Ghosts for not two but six platforms, virtually simultaneously, with the result being a stagnant product, lacking creativity and innovation.

Joystiq best describes it by saying Infinity Ward 'layers a fresh coat of paint over a tired design document that brings players down a rote campaign path before landing them in a multiplayer mode that abandons many of the creative advancements seen in Black Ops 2'.

Check out Do Gaming's Call of Duty: Ghosts Single Player review here.

4. Star Trek: The Game

Release Date: 23 April 2013
Platform: PC; PS3; Xbox 360
Review Score: 43/100

Just as we all predicted, Star Trek: The Game would turn out to be yet another film-game adaptation that was designed to cash in on the popularity of its big screen counterpart.

The game design is old, incomplete and riddled with bugs. The actors make a decent attempt at meaningful dialogue, and the co-op mode is alright but it's all marred by the placid and sloppy controls, tedious game play and horrid visuals.

Its numerous bugs and linear missions make it frustrating to play, and the story never grabs you like a good sci-fi adventure should. Even the most devoted of Star Trek fans will be hard pressed to find something to like in Star Trek The Video Game: there are simply too many glaring problems.

Even director J.J. Abrams revealed he was "emotionally hurt" by the quality of Star Trek: The Video Game, believing his own film Star Trek: Into Darkness suffered because of it.

"To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefited the series and was an exciting, fun game with great game play and instead it was no," said Abrams.

"For me emotionally it hurt, 'cos we were working our asses off making the movie and then this game came out and it got, this isn't even my opinion, it got universally panned and I think that it was something without question that didn't help the movie and arguably hurt it," he finished.

3. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Release Date: 20 August 2013
Platform: PC; PS3; Xbox 360
Do Gaming Review Score: 55/100

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified desperately wants to be liked, but by failing to satisfy in any direction, all it succeeds in being, is a disappointment.

While its alien-bashing prowess works well enough to prevent the title from being down right revolting, everything else simply doesn't' work and certainly doesn't exuberate 'XCOM'.

The game feels recycled, and that goes for pretty much everything that goes with it from storyline to environments, enemies, NPC's and of course the shoddy FPS game play.

From the start, the game is uninspired. Combat is cluncky and unrealistic which doesn't help the atrocious deployment system. The side-quest system, while clever, is more of a pain and the tactical side of things is well, a joke.

Why they even bothered to shift away from the turn-based tactical role-playing when all signs clearly pointed the other way, we'll never know. The Bureau wants to be a bit of everything but simply can't hold it together.

IGN says it best: "It wants to be XCOM without being XCOM. As such, it is nothing."

Check out Do Gaming's The Bureau: XCOM Declassified review here.

2. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Release Date: 19 March 2013
Platform: PC; PS3; Xbox 360; Wii U.
Do Gaming Review Score: 40/100

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a shoddy, rushed and uninspired mess.

Never have I seen a more hated game circle the Internet (oh wait, I have, it’s up next) especially considering that it stems from such a prolific and enthralling series that even Telltale Games managed to produce something spectacular in their own episodic adventure of the franchise.

Survival Instinct could have been so much more than it was, surprising considering the tools at the developer’s disposal including the support of both Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Michael Rooker (Merle).

The game serves as a prequel to the TV show which sees’s players take on the role of Daryl. Your mission is to stealth-and-shoot through levels that are basically large corridors while you constantly run into invisible walls and knee-high obstacles.

Survival Instinct also marks the first time in a long time that I've been exposed to fade-to-black cut off points whereby players are automatically teleported back into the linear level design when swaying to far off the chosen (straight) path.

There is no point in even trying to further my distaste for this poor attempt at a video game simply because the developers didn't care enough about their own project, so why should I?

If you're a fan of AMC's The Walking Dead and don't want that opinion forever tarnished then "avoid The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct like the plague," –Telkom Do Gaming editor, Rob Clegg.

Polygon were equally disappointed suggesting that "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the exact sort of lazy, cheap cash-grab that gave licensed games a bad name in the first place and every once in a while one kicks you in the groin. Also, you have a sunburn."

Check out Do Gaming's The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct review here.

1. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Release Date: 12 February 2013
Platform: PC; PS3; Xbox 360.
Do Gaming Review Score: 40/100

Oh boy.

To put it nicely, this game showcased so much promise with its pre-release trailers and PC demos, but the final product may just go down as one of the most poorly executed titles of its generation.

A:CM promised to tell a new story, a sequel of sorts to James Cameron's Aliens, but its technical presentation managed to derail that plan, beyond repair.

Everything from dated visuals to robotic dialogue hampered this game which publisher SEGA has openly admitted to NOT BEING the same title shown to consumers prior to its launch.

The biggest scam in the history gaming aside, never before had I ever imagined a Xenomorph could be portrayed in a way that didn't elicit anxiety and fear, but somehow developer Gearbox [Borderlands] managed just that.

Rather than redefine a genre, Randy Pitchford and company produced a generic stereotype space marine shooter with a mindless and boring single player campaign tied together with shoddy AI and lacklustre game play.

I won't go on, here's the Telkom Do Gaming review.

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