Worst Game: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
The worst part? Not the shambolic two-dimensional story, not the insufferably shallow nature of two characters. It wasn’t the clichéd cover-based third person shooter mechanics, the hilariously poor enemy AI, the incessant bugs, its diminutive length, the nauseating camera, the repugnant graphics, the unashamed tastelessness of it all (the blurred faces of the dead, and a dog), those awful TV spots, the repetitivity of it all, the washed out corridor environments or the tacky multiplayer. It wasn’t even the fact that someone, somewhere thought it would be a good idea to name the two protagonists Kane and Lynch. Worse than all of those features was the stark truth that the very same studio created such classics as the Hitman franchise and Freedom Fighters. Jesus wept. And so did I.
Most Explosions: Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 contained more explosions than a Peter North DVD compilation. There really was nothing much else to do in the game, making it an exceptional ambassador for the therapeutic nature of making things go kaboom because we played it for weeks.
The ‘FUCK-YEAH’ Award: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
There are so many games that could be here but Need for Speed Hot Pursuit claims top spot for its outrageous use of “turbo”. A racers-only ability, the blistering speed boost may be the main event but it’s the two seconds of quiet before all hell breaks use that had us weak at the knees. You can almost feel the wind pummeling your face as you catapult onto the horizon and leave your foes spluttering in your wake. Bonus points for brandishing the middle finger in the rear-view mirror. Points retracted if you smash a controller when the AI rubber-bands into first place after turbo wears off.
Failed Assassin Award: Naughty Bear
Naughty Bear is stealthy like Ke$ha is talented. While Sam Fisher opted to simply forget his deep well of splinter cell education, even his erroneous notions of stealth (hand grenades, shotguns) were no match for Naughty Bear who paraded around Paradise Island with nothing but a giant leaf for cover. The worst part? It worked.
Worst Sex Scene: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Mass Effect 2 and Heavy Rain battled this one out early in the year but it was Ezio of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood fame that snuck in late to steal the crown from between them. Ahem.
Ezio’s utterly pointless, totally awkward lovemaking scene starring Caterina Sforza held dear everything that’s so wrong with videogame sex scenes: the goldfish-kissing effect, the part where no one gets undressed, the uncomfortable voice acting. Heavy Rain deserves an honorable mention for actually including the player. Although it didn’t go as far as to utilise the Playstation Move controller to its full potential, you were required to slide the bra strap off of Madison Paige. Saucy.
Best Sex Scene: Fallout New Vegas
Fisto is, of course, the obvious choice here, and lets be honest an anal fisting from a robot is a far less painful prospect than viewing any of the above scenes, but it’s the sexual encounter with Joanna that wins our highly prestigious award for Best Sex Scene. Sure, the entire 4.2 second ordeal took place somewhere off camera but it was the aftermath that won our hearts. What better topic to indulge in after a session of paid-for-pounding than the horrors of being a prostitute? We laughed and then we felt bad. Then we laughed some more.
Best Weapon: Dead Rising 2
An honorable mention has to go out to Singularity, its Seeker gun providing hours of fantastic head-splitting murdering but Dead Rising 2 had this one sewn up from the start. But which weapon? The Propeller Hat, an amalgamation of a gigantic Lego head and a lawnmower blade? How about the Paddlesaw: a bastard combination of chainsaws and a paddle. Maybe the Freedom Bear? All great comedy weapons but all eclipsed by the Wheelchair of Death aka The Blitzkrieg: a combination of weapons so funny we fired milk out of our noses. And we weren’t even drinking milk.
Best Use of Taxpayer Money: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed fringed just about every other category it could have won but not this one. Seacrest County’s finest have earned this special award for their fantastic disregard of taxpayer money.
What better way to stop naughty speedsters than by piling a half dozen Porsche Cayennes into a line to form a roadblock? The £85,000 car certainly brings criminals to a standstill, but I can’t help thinking there has to be a better way.
Intolerable Protagonist: Alan Wake
“I’m going to have to find a way across the water”, Wake remarks, as he’s half way across a log leaning over the water.
Alan Wake wasn’t just more intolerable than Kane or Lynch, he was, at times, worse than the two combined. His incessant narrating of the scenes actually happening in front of your face ensured any moment of fear was shattered like eardrums at a Jedward concert. Luckily there weren’t many, because flying barrels just aren’t terrifying but Alan was a dick all the same.