The Worst Game of 2019 - Dangerous Driving
What the game actually is however, is a soulless, clunky and overall empty game that accomplishes so little, I'd rather take my chances with a new EA published effort. Dangerous Driving feels cavernous from the moment you boot it up. Instead of trying to licence any music to put in the game, Three Fields Entertainment instead decided to let you integrate with Spotify to construct your own playlists. It's a great idea on paper, but it means the game ships without any sense of character whatsoever. Where previous Burnout games have used their soundtracks effectively to add a sense of urgency and adrenaline to their races, your first Dangerous Driving track will probably be like mine: A barely conscious slog round an uninteresting track with nothing but tinny engine noises to excite you. And that's not mentioning how deeply unsatisfying the cars are to control, handling more like full shopping trolleys on ice than an actual racing vehicle. The tracks too are limp, offering little in the way of character or memorability to make you enjoy racing around these locales. Three Fields even failed to make the crashing any fun, the one thing they've been making games about since leaving the EA conglomerate. It takes far too many hits to actually knock your opponents into submission, whilst the player is seemingly made of cardboard and kill switches and can be knocked out of action even by trading paint with an obstacle.
It's a wholly unsatisfying affair and probably the worst purchase I've made this year. This may have been the first game of the generation I sought a refund for, had I realised that the window for refunds on PS4 closes after 14 days and I had missed it like a wally. Instead, Three Fields runs off with twenty of my Queens English Pounds, in return for what feels like a personal insult.
Apex Legends and Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fuelled
Firstly, Apex Legends might be the best multiplayer game I've played since TitanFall 2, which is fitting since it's from Respawn Entertainment. It's battle royale done right, offering a nice degree of character to it's playable legends and addictive gameplay that makes playing with randoms just as fun as strategising with friends. I myself has actually won some games, which means it must be quite accessible as when it comes to competitive shooters, I'm what you'd call 'shit-tier'. Similarly, CTR: Nitro Fuelled is a wonderfully realised remake with excellent animation, tight controls and nostalgia-inducing remastered music. It's a true love letter to those who held the original CTR in such high regard and was fairly priced with a plan of additional content practically unrivalled by any game this year with it's monthly events which added tracks, skins and new characters.
Unfortunately, both Apex and CTR find themselves relegated from the top 5 this year because their respective publishers in EA and Activision got far too fucking greedy and ruined their otherwise brilliant games with excessive and predatory microtransactions. Apex Legends, a free to play game, of course offered microtransactions from the start and was initially not a main offender, but it's Iron Crown event was the straw that broke the camels back. A limited time event, developers chose to hide rare items and skins behind extortionate pay walls, including a unique item that would set a player back £200 before they even have the chance to get it in a random loot box drop. Some of the developers then jumped into a Reddit thread where rightfully angry fans were criticising the decision, only to cross the line and start referring to their player base as 'freeloaders', 'dicks' and 'toxic asshats'. All of this to protect the interest of a publisher so money hungry, it would willingly make public enemies of those who played their free game for free, like that wasn't the intention.
CTR was so far the other way, in that it's live service model was supported on a free economy of earning in-game points to unlock it's post-launch content, shockingly making people play the game to unlock more of the game, which is sadly a novel concept for 2019. It was a refreshing way to keep player numbers up, with extra content like a playable Spyro the Dragon character revealed days after the game shipped. However, all of this was torpedoed only one month after launch, as the second in game event started and implemented microtransactions into the retail priced game, allowing players to unlock the new content with an overprices premium currency. Whilst certainly not as aggressive as the Respawn devs, Activision reminded us why it and sister company Blizzard are so reviled in the gaming sphere with an action that effectively ruined the competitive nature of the games new online multiplayer and turned away players who wanted to experience the game they had already purchased without having to pay again.
So there we are: Two brilliant games ruined by the people who birthed them into the world. I spent a lot of time with both, and I do really enjoy them still, but I cannot in good conscious support and rank two of the worst examples of what is wrong with the industry at the moment.
Now onto the actual top 5.
The Best Games of 2019
5- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
4- Luigi's Mansion 3
3- Pokemon Sword & Shield
2- Untitled Goose Game
1- Borderlands 3
That's 2019 and indeed the 2010's over. Kicking off the next decade for gaming is Cyberpunk 2077, Square-Enix's The Avengers, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, No More Heroes 3 and the next generation of game consoles, starting with the Xbox Series X. It's looking like a bumper year for sure. Can't wait to be there.