Some exceptionally bad games in an otherwise legendary library.
The PlayStation 4 is nothing if not one of the best consoles of all time, and with that it has one of the most critically-acclaimed libraries of all time. The amount of quality control that the PlayStation 4 library has seen is largely unmatched by systems that came before it so the library both physical and digital, both AAA and independent, are all bursting at the seams with high-quality experience that might not be for everyone but are ultimately still well-made experiences that represent their ideas in an above-average way. That’s not to say there aren’t still some clunkers in the PlayStation 4’s library that have slipped through the cracks, though. Here, we’ll be going over some of the worst games you might have the unfortunate experience of running into on the PlayStation 4.
No, I’m not talking about Ghostbusters: The Video Game that was released on 7th gen consoles and re-released on the PS4 in a remastered version. That game had writers who knew what they were doing and voice actors reprising their roles from the actual original films. It also had pretty good gameplay that never sank too low. However, we were not so lucky with Ghostbusters. Don’t be fooled by the eye-catching art style and that somewhat charismatic looking cast of characters. The intrigue and creativity immediately stops dead in its tracks after that initial and superficial impression. The music is minimal at best, the gameplay is derivative and boring, and despite that first impression it really doesn’t feel like the people who made this game were really interested in it at all… so why should you be?
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5
Despite Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater still having a relatively good reputation overall, and even making a bit of a comeback with a remade version of the first two games, the highest number that the franchise has ever gotten to is probably the worst in the series and easily one of the worst games on the PlayStation 4. The physics are off, the art style is weird, and it just doesn’t come together as a skateboarding game worth your time. Especially considering that 1 and 2 are now remade and available on the same system.
While I often sympathize with independent developers, as their resources are by definition limited, some things are just beyond excusable. Past Cure is an action game that has inspirations from Konami classics Silent Hill and Metal Gear, yet fails to even briefly remind the player of them, at least in terms of general quality. Some occasionally interesting graphics and a few serviceable stealth sections are not nearly enough to compensate for Past Cure’s completely muddled story, deadpan voice acting, ho-hum gameplay, and its inability to do any one of its ideas particularly well. It’s mediocrity for mediocrity’s sake, and with so many other options out there, Past Cure is a pretty tough sell.
While many bad games are still functional, and DayZ certainly is, that doesn’t mean it has earned your attention relative to its competition. DayZ is a perfect example of that. Whether it’s a case of bad developers or just not having spent enough time in the oven, DayZ’s open world is less full of fun things to do as it is glitches and bugs. Considering how many other open world zombie games are out there, there just isn’t a compelling case to be made for DayZ.
Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One
While the first Afro Samurai game showed some promise with its decent combat and fun art style, Afro Samurai 2 completely cuts out what charm the original had while making the low-res, muddy environments look even worse at times. The cel-shaded art style can be wielded in two ways, as a purposeful badge of honor, like in, say, Okami, or as a not-so-sneaky way of hiding a game’s lack of detail. Unfortunately, Afro Samurai 2 appears to be solidly in the corner of the latter despite it having every reason to not be. Many of the attack animations have some flair to them, but that doesn’t help much when the game makes such little effort to keep things interesting and the environments are so bland at best. If you’re in the mood for some Afro Samurai, just play the first one.
You couldn’t be blamed for thinking that Basement Crawl had something interesting up its sleeve based on its marketing. If you go by the initial reveal teaser, you would think this is a follow-up to Among the Sleep or something else of equal intrigue, but alas, what you would get is a poor man’s Bomberman clone. If it would have advertised itself as that and ended up doing that in a fun way that wasn’t full of glitches and obtuse objectives, then they could at least avoid being on this list. But as it stands, it’s a crappy game with very few reasons to exist at all.
As bullfighting becomes less and less popular around the world, the PS4 game Toro seeks to, at the very least, keep it that way, if not accelerate its downfall. Toro is a very bad game about bullfighting that takes all of the risk of being associated with a controversial “sport” while somehow earning zero of the excitement people watch real bullfighting for. It’s a game that plays and looks about as good as its subject matter is admirable. With graphics that would be criticized on the PS2, and gameplay that’s not even worth describing, it’s just a bad game through and through.
Horse Racing 2016
Remember what I said about Sony doing a really good job with quality control on the PS4? Well, this, and the rest of the list, are why the word “exception” was invented. While I am a proponent of supporting art in all of its forms, even things I don’t personally agree with or like, I have to say this game and the following two, are creations that probably should never have been made, much less sold to people for actual money. Horse Racing 2016 is a horrible game that came out in 2017, which is just the beginning of its problems. Mushy gameplay, offensively bad graphics, and a complete disregard for reality with its $15 price tag are all excellent reasons to avoid this pile of nonsense at any cost.
Life of Black Tiger
While this game is often mentioned as one of the worst games of the last generation, it’s almost hard to not admire its ability to so consistently be named so. The truth is this is a mobile game that didn’t have any business being on mobile platforms, let alone on dedicated gaming home consoles. While some fixes have come to make its boring gameplay somewhat more playable, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a ridiculous ugly mess that joins the likes of ET on the Atari 2600 for owing all of its fame to how bad it is.
What do you get when you make a game about walking around, make walking around stupidly boring to do, and punish the player for doing it? You get a mind-numbingly tedious and stupefyingly mundane experience like Wander. It basically has all of the problems that Life of Black Tiger has, except it somehow manages to be even less interesting. At least Black Tiger is about a black tiger who does black tiger stuff. Wander is just about some low-polygon idiot who spends most of his time stuck in level geometry. Some of its visuals might pass as serviceable 10 years ago if you’re standing still, but the second you try to actually play it you may suddenly find yourself compelled to jump off of a bridge. This game might be recommendable to your mortal enemies as an act of revenge, but even still, you should probably find something more humane like what the bulls in Toro go through.