Every generation of systems has their extremely hyped games that fail to meet expectations. With the next generation of consoles right around the corner, it would be fitting to take a look back at disappointment row and what were the 10 biggest flops of this generation. Hopefully, developers will learn from these misguided games for the next generation.
10. Aliens: Colonial Marines
Aliens is a series favorite, but this version didn’t quite live up to gamers’ expectations of the series. The graphics and gameplay looked amazing in the advertisements, but when gamers got their hands on it, the game fell short of their expectations. In fact, one fan was so outraged that he sued Gearbox and Sega for false advertising. In short, no one can quite understand how Sega managed to sell 1.3 million copies worldwide with how terrible the gameplay was.
9. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
Although the TV show has been a big hit, The Walking Dead video game was anything but. Gamers complain about the poor graphics and awful game play, citing that there aren’t even enough zombies to fight in a game about zombies. Critics didn’t like the game either, giving it consistent rankings under 40 percent. Perhaps one of the reasons they only sold 200,000 copies so far is because fans of the series were already skeptical to begin with, but with the range of complaints and serious graphic issues, they likely won’t sell many more copies.
Out of the otherwise competent hands at Factor 5, known for solid flying games like the Rouge Squadron series came what looked like was going to be a true next gen (at the time) experience with Lair. There hadn’t been a good dragon game in years (again, at the time) and in the previews, Lair appeared graphically stunning. It was going to heavily use the much-ignored six-axis controlling scheme, that if done correctly could’ve given the motion-controlling option for PS3 games an actual pulse…But it did not. In fact, the debacle that is Lair pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for six-axis motion controlling on the PS3. The game PS3 owners looked forward to being another ace in their sleeve, innovative graphical powerhouse exclusive, outright tanked critically and commercially. Indeed a shame. The lesson here: it doesn’t matter how pretty your game is, if you can’t control it without wanting to punch a hole through a wall.
Haze, the much-anticipated supposed PlayStation’s answer to Halo (they’re even both 4 letter’s long and start with an H!) should have come packed with a black goatee attachment since it ended up being the equivalent of Halo’s evil twin. Graphically not up to par, bad level design, unappealing generic characters and all wrapped up in a horrible story. With an average rating of 55, it’s a huge black eye for the developer Free Radical (now Crytek UK), who in the past made actual fun, worthwhile games like the TimeSplitters series.
6. Ratchet and Clank Full Frontal Assault
As one of the few remaining action-platforming games still being developed, and for being a part of an otherwise strong and beloved series, it came as a surprise when the folks over at the highly esteemed Insomniac dropped the ball on their cornerstone franchise Ratchet and Clank. While Full Frontal Assault tries to do something new with R&C as it’s a tower defense game, where they have the player go out and collect bolts (currency) to upgrade the tower’s defenses, this becomes tedious and stressful since players have to constantly do it in order to defend from random waves of enemies. Add to that the shooting mechanics being simple, dull and unimaginative, you get the first let-down in a solid series.
5. Duke Nukem Forever
Provided as the sequel to the 1996 Duke Nukem 3D, this game once held great anticipation. Several advertisements came out for the game in the late 90’s, but by 2001, the developers announced that it would come out when it was ready. After the company underwent struggles, the game was finally released in 2011 after countless rebuilds and a few developer changes.
However, the anticipation had since worn down after 15 years, and the game wasn’t even that great, with poor controls and long loading times, making an iconic videogame figure into a generic one. Although the multiplayer is an afterthought, if you’re in a nostalgic mood and have some fast dsl service you may be able to have a decent time with it after finding it at the bottom of a Walmart bargain bin.
4. Resident Evil 6
With the success of Resident Evil 5, which became the best-selling game of the franchise, it made sense to most gamers that Resident Evil 6 would offer even more excitement, but most were sorely disappointed. Gamers are so disappointed, in fact, that initial sales didn’t even meet publishers’ expectations. Players complain that the game feels more like a Hollywood movie than a game, where you’re forced to sit through scenes and wait for your partner without any real game play. Capcom tried to do too much with RE6; they tried to please fans of different genres, and they wanted to put a shooting game, a survival horror game and a fighting game all into one game that should have only been a survival horror game to begin with. Capcom has recently acknowledged that the Last of Us is the future of survival horror, so we may finally get a proper RE game after all.
3. God of War: Ascension
Now you may be asking why this is #3 or even on this list at all? Don’t get it wrong, God of War: Ascension is a solid game… but for a God of War game, “solid” is a huge let down. The massive and epic scale of things isn’t here, or at least it’s not as big as prior games in the series, which makes it more forgettable and less compelling. God of War is an exclusive system seller franchise, so when a game in the series gets ratings in the 70’s and 80’s instead of in the 90’s like all of its predecessors did, something’s not right. When a game is a critical miss, it shows in its sales. Reportedly, the game shifted only 360,000 copies in the first month, whereas God of War 3 shifted 1.1 million copies. Now that hurts.
2. Beyond: Two Souls
From Quantum Dream, the developers of the critically acclaimed Heavy Rain came the hugely anticipated, much hyped and apparently overly ambitious Beyond: Two Souls. It had everything it needed to be a blockbuster game, it was awed upon for its graphical fidelity, had a star-studded cast with the talents of actress Ellen Page and actor Willem Dafoe, and it had an ambitiously creative developer with Quantum Dream. What could go wrong?
Beyond: Two Souls tried to do much, tried to control too much and it left players disappointed. Many players complained that for an interactive game, they felt far too confined by the game play, citing that no matter what choices they made for their characters, the result was inevitable, leaving it anything but interesting. Other players said that there were too many plot holes in the story, which made it confusing to play, while even more said that the game play wasn’t exciting nor challenging.
1. GTA IV
*Waits for gasps and guffaws to die down*
Are your panties un-bunched yet? GTA IV wasn’t a flop commercially or critically, hell, it’s the predecessor to the bestselling piece of media ever…it was a flop as an actual gaming experience, it was overrated and disappointing. Sure, it’s a big beautiful sand box of New York, where you can kill all the hookers and run over or shoot all the pedestrians you please. A great murder simulator it is. However, I found there was just too much to do, too much to distract me (sometimes annoyingly so, “friend system”, I’m looking at you). It didn’t make me want to stick to the main story and play the meat of the game, and I’m apparently not the only one who had this problem, Microsoft Game Studios found out that only 30% of gamers have actually completed the single player campaign! The absolutely tedious aspect of having to re-drive to your mission after you failed each time couldn’t have helped either. GTA IV felt like a game world missing its game. At least they’ve righted many of these wrongs for GTA V.
Well, in the next couple of weeks a new generation of gaming is finally landing, giving way to a fresh start. So get it all out now; which other highly-hyped current gen games left you disappointed? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.