There hasn't been a year for gaming as good as 2023 for quite some time. When it comes to big name releases, the argument for Game of the Year is a truly competitive one. Is it the team-up of the twin Spideys in Spider-Man 2? Or does the long-awaited return from the dark place of Alan Wake II take your fancy?
Is it a brilliant remake of a classic in Resident Evil 4? Perhaps it's so obviously the flawless virtual D&D adventure that is Baldur's Gate 3?
Thankfully, the year had a tonne of awesome games to keep us occupied and happy, because there's been some really awful stuff too. The rise of AI in gaming has begun, live-service glut hasn't slowed down and it feels like we haven't gone a week without sizeable industry layoffs.
Additionally, the conversation about bad and outright broken games asking for your money despite clearly being half-baked at best and all-too-frequently unfinished needs to come to a head very soon.
2023 might've had a strong list of contenders for the best games of the year but it's also played host to a lot of truly terrible releases too.
Both Xbox and Bethesda both really needed a win this year... and thank goodness they had Starfield.
Redfall was one of many games continuing the greater conversation about games launching in unfinished states, and it was one of the most prominent for a few reasons.
For one, it was coming from the beloved studio Arkane and yet was plagued with all manner of performance issues on launch to the point where it became the laughing stock of the industry. Additionally, it was positioned as a tentpole title for GamePass this year and wasn't even worth that month's charge, let alone a standalone purchase price.
Even aside from enemies ignoring physics and collision-detection, frame-rate issues and crashes, the game was also just dull. It featured underwhelming mission structures, a lack of truly original features and a bad multiplayer set-up where progression was tied to a party's host - meaning you'd start all over again if playing by yourself or with a different group of friends.
Besthesda have said they are committed to "making it a good game" over time but for whom to enjoy? The looter-shooter genre is oversaturated and tired so it's not surprising that the PC version of the game had a steep drop-off in player count and has remained at less than one hundred ever since.