The release of Deadly Premonition 2 prompted Sam to suggest this week's topic. Let's celebrate the flawed gems, the less-than-perfects, the games that are objectively bad but have captured our hearts regardless.
Check it out if you've a thing for unbridled chaos and nothing else.
Liam | Fallout 76
Fallout 76 had a notoriously bad launch, but when a Black Friday deal saw its price significantly reduced not long after the initial release, I couldn’t resist picking it up, despite its dodgy reputation.
Knowing it got a terrible reception from both fans and media alike probably helped me to enjoy the game more than I should have, as I went in with very low expectations. But I found I kept coming back for more even after my initial “let’s just see how bad it is” phase was up.
Yes, there were loads of bugs (it is a Bethesda game, after all) including a very frustrating encounter with invisible enemies. Yes, the visuals are a bit dated and the fast travel system is severely hampered by the need to spend caps in order to use it, but, despite these and other flaws - including a lack of human NPCs - I had fun with it.
The shooting was the kind of wonky, post-apocalyptic rustiness I expected from a Fallout game, and the addition of online players were not the army of ever present griefers everyone feared they would be, but rather an occasional source of assistance for new players.
There should be new players aplenty, now that Fallout 76 has hit Xbox Game Pass.
Sam | Deadly Premonition
It’s no secret that Deadly Premonition is objectively awful in many, many ways. Despite all of its flaws, the game manages to capture a special something that cements it in “so-bad-it’s-good” territory.
While being comparable to cult classic films like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, what Deadly Premonition achieves is even more impressive; as a videogame, it has a lot more to overcome. Combat and driving are indefensibly bad and only serve to drag the experience down, but the sheer weirdness of Deadly Premonition’s story and characters won me (and many others) over.
You eat breakfast with doddering old Polly Oxford while sitting at opposite ends of her enormous dining table, yelling at one another in an effort to be heard. The “Sinner’s Sandwich” is intended as punishment to atone for past sins, though protagonist Francis York Morgan happily wolfs them down as treats. If enjoying turkey, jam and cereal sandwiches isn’t enough indication that York is insane, he often talks to an invisible companion about real-world mundanities at the most inopportune times.
A decade later, the sequel is due out this Friday exclusively on Nintendo Switch. Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise actually has a lower Metacritic average than the original, which, in fittingly bizarro fashion, has me all kinds of excited to discover the hot mess that’s currently making its way to me via Royal Mail.
Enjoy your awful sequel, Sam!
James | Red Faction: Armageddon
The excitement of a new Red Faction game after the outstanding Red Faction: Guerilla had my hopes high.
What crazy, fun and unique multiplayer modes would we get? How much better would distribution be this time? Will we discover another tinge of red as we explore the surface?
As it turned out, Armageddon wasn't quite what I expected it to be. The sequel swapped free-roaming for linear, underground shooting and the multiplayer? All but gone.
Nonetheless, the focused up single player campaign was strangely charming, as we learned how the nano rifle came to be and saw it transition into a borderline game-breakingly good weapon.
There's less destruction on show and it changes a lot about what made the first one good, and yet I still managed to enjoy it. Perhaps I'm secretly part Martian?
James being a Martian is the only possible explanation.
Which terrible games do you have a soft spot for?