Ryan’s personal 7 most disappointing games (in recent memory)
There is one word that I think of most that accompanies the current gaming media: hype. Whether it’s a gaming site posting a preview of the upcoming game or a game trailer that whips gamers in to a frenzy, hyping-building is everywhere.
Although I try not to buy-in the hype that game companies are pushing on us, every now and then I can’t help myself. But the problem with falling into the hype is that your expectations become so high that anything less than a superb title will not satisfy. Here are some of the games from the last 10 years that left me wanting. Sometimes it’s a sequel that I’ve been clamoring for and sometimes it’s a new I.P. that seems like a breath of fresh air, but all built me up only to tear me down. Some of them are good or even great games, but just couldn’t live up to the hype.
7. Prince of Persia: Two Thrones
It’s been so long since I’ve played this game that, honestly I forgot the exact details of why it disappointed me. While I remember enjoying the game, I felt like it was the worst title in the Sands of Time trilogy. It tried to blend the excellent story and setting of Sands of Time and the tight combat of Warrior Within and ended up mastering neither. They added weak stealth sections and chariot races that added nothing but fluff to the series, diverting the gameplay from platforming and combat that the series excels at. The addition of the dark prince from a story aspect was cool, but the gameplay with his side wasn’t the badassery that I was hoping for. Plus to be completely honest I remember this game coming with the ESRB description nudity (which it didn’t have) and being about 14 at the time I was like “yes this is an adult game, sweet.” Yeah, 14 year-olds can be stupid.
6. Goldeneye 007: Reloaded
Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 is the greatest game of that console. Yes I say this with my nostalgia goggles on, but I stand by that. I spent hundreds of hours playing the multiplayer and playing out my fantasy of being 007 in the singleplayer. So when they were remastering the classic game for the modern generations, I was at least interested with what they would do. After playing the demo I decided that I needed that Bond fix again and picked up the game. What I got was….well…. more Call Of Duty than classic 007. The stealth and emphasis on accuracy of the original game did not translate to this version. Add the numerous set-pieces that were inserted and we got something so different from the original that my nostalgia goggles disallowed me to enjoy it. Additionally, while I love Dainel Craig as Bond, Goldeneye was Pierce Brosnan’s best film and he needed to be the face of 007 in the game (along with the excellent Sean Bean as 006.)
5.Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
I honestly don’t know what I saw in this game in the trailers. For some unknown reason I was the only gamer who didn’t see Hunted for what it was, a terrible and bland attempt of hack-and-slash co-op. Comments of the trailers and dev diaries were filled with hatred and predictions of boredom for those who went against common sense and purchased this trash. I don’t know if it was the fantasy setting, or the appearance of a buddy-cop-like relationship between the two main characters, or a voodoo curse that convinced me to pick this one up; all I know is that something died inside when I played it. It is the very definition of dull and I immediately took the game back to salvage what money and dignity I could.
4.Splinter Cell: Convictions
Conviction, judging by the fans reactions, seems like a game that you either love or hate. I unfortunately fall in the latter category. I loved the original three games in the series for making me feel like a true ninja/spy sneaking in the night taking down targets and collecting information. I even liked the maligned Double Agent for introducing the loyalty system while still maintaining the stealth fun that the previous titles had. Convictions, while still a stealth game, took the emphasis from sneaking past enemies and rarely using weaponry to becoming a predator in the dark and killing everyone in your path. This more action orientated approach drew many fans but left me in the dark wanting to go back to the sneaky games of the past. Plus the story was getting a bit too convoluted involving some kind of plot against Sam Fisher and the president or something. I don’t know, never finished it. Unfortunately it seems that Blacklist is following in Convictions footsteps so I don’t expect a Splinter Cell game that I’ll enjoy anytime soon.
3.Assassin’s Creed III/Revelations
I added these two together because both led me astray. Loved AC2 and Brotherhood but when the Italian Renaissance setting was abandoned for Istanbul the series kind of lost me. Maybe it’s my ethnocentrism to European history but Revelation’s version of Istanbul, as well as the story and characters not named Ezio, seemed bland to me. In addition this installment continued the trend of less assassinating and more combat. While I did complete the game I felt kind of meh about it. When AC 3 was announced my enthusiasm for the franchise was renewed. I don’t want to go too far in depth because I want to write a review of the game once I beat it, but like so many other I’m not a fan of AC 3. It’s not terrible but the series still hasn’t captured the fun and atmosphere of the first two Ezio games.
2.Gears of War 3
The first two Gears of War games were a guilty pleasures of mine. I know that their stories are crap and the characters ironically are written thinner than a sheet a paper, but I enjoyed the combat and the variety of enemies that Epic threw at us. While I got that same combat and variety in GOW 3, one vital thing was missing: the difficulty. Anytime Marcus is downed in singleplayer, you kneel down and wait for an A.I. player to pick you up. Very rarely did I die in the game and because of this whatever strategy that the other games had turned into rush towards the enemy and hit with a shotgun. If I died in this tactic, I just waited until a buddy came and revive me. Also the “emotional” moments of the game were laughable with no gravitas at all in my opinion. I cannot fathom all the people who say that the loss of that one character (if you played you know who) was one of the most emotion moments in all games. To each his own I guess, but it did nothing for me. The multiplayer was still fun, but it’s so skills-based that me, and relatively new player, couldn’t compete and have fun. I know that this game has its fans but it left me annoyed at the series and rushing to trade it in.
1. Mass Effect 3
In the introduction I said that some of these games are great. I was mainly talking about Mass Effect 3 there as I think that ME 3 is one of the best games of 2012. Yet, I can deny the negative effect that the ending debacle had on not only my enjoyment of this game but the whole series in general. Before the releases of ME 3, I probably would have told you that the Mass Effect franchise was my favorite game series of all time. I loved the first two games, read a few of the books, and read everything I could on the ending of trilogy. I was expecting big things from ME 3, I was expecting it to be one of the greatest games of all time. And to be honest, going into the finale of the game I was still feeling that it was an exceptional game. Just that ending…. it just kind of ruined it. I won’t go into the details, because that horse is already food for daisies, but it did kind of dampen what was special about the series. It was supposed to be epic, it was supposed to be a showdown between Harbinger and Shepherd, but it was more like a choose-your-own-adventure book than anything. I still love the series, but I can’t say that it is one of the best of all time anymore.