Friday, 9 December 2011

Gaming Disappointments of 2011


A look back at some of the games and events that marred an otherwise awesome year for gaming.
Gaming Disappointments of 2011
2011 was a great year for gaming. You had some stellar titles that completely rocked our socks off, but at the same time you also had quite a few disappointments. This list looks back at some of the games and events that marred 2011.

Need for Speed: The Run
Run away Need for Speed
Run away Need for Speed


After last year’s Hot Pursuit, people actually thought the Need for Speed series was on its way up again, but Black Box made sure that never happened with this year’s, The Run. A shoddy control scheme, tons of unnecessary Quick Time Events, a painfully short campaign and an extremely stripped down multiplayer component made The Run one forgettable and disappointing ride

Assassin's Creed Revelations
Hanging by a moment
Hanging by a moment


While Ubisoft stumbled with Assassins Creed, they nailed the formula pat down with Assassin’s Creed II. Brotherhood felt more like a stand-alone expansion pack dishing out more of the same, which is fine to a certain extent, but with Revelations they’ve actually taken two steps back axing some of the more enjoyable distractions in favour of some really mundane ones. And WTF Ubisoft! Tower Defence? Really? 

F.E.A.R. 3
Is this supposed to be S.C.A.R.Y.
Is this supposed to be S.C.A.R.Y.


F.E.A.R. was one of the most stylish and cathartic shooters I had ever played and after the disappointment that was F.E.A.R. 2, I had little hope for its sequel. That still doesn’t mean I wasn’t disappointed with F.E.A.R. 3 that turned out to be nothing, but a generic shooter with a few scares and slow motion thrown into the mix. Mother would definitely not approve.

Duke Nukem Forever
Yes Duke, we get it, you like stomping on little things
Yes Duke, we get it, you like stomping on little things


After laying dormant for more than a decade, Gearbox Software unleashed Duke upon the world earlier on in the year and we really wish they hadn’t. The game was a complete disaster with archaic gameplay, jokes that fell flat on their faces, coma inducing boss fights and outdated visuals that looked like they had stepped out from the nineties. A colossal disappointment indeed.

Dragon Age II
Is this supposed to impress us?
Is this supposed to impress us?


Dragon Age was extremely well received by gamers and the press alike, so naturally expectations from the sequel were sky high. Unfortunately BioWare tried to push the sequel out a bit too soon and in doing so they compromised on quality big time. An oversimplified control scheme, a poor narrative that offered no closure, outdated visuals and repetitive dungeons made this a sequel, which the Maker would not be happy with.   

Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Could we be any more generic?
Could we be any more generic?


I never had sky high expectations from a Call of Juarez game, but the fact of the matter is that Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was a polished and an enjoyable first person shooter wrapped in solid visuals and an engaging plot. The Cartel threw all those characteristics out the window for literally no story, clich├ęd one dimensional characters and terribly generic gameplay.

Brink
Not as much fun as you would think
Not as much fun as you would think


Brink could have been a really intense multiplayer game with an insane level of customization never seen before in an online shooter, but somewhere down the line, developer Splash Damage dropped the ball hard. This is why we got a clunky shooter with no direction that tried to tread the line between single and multiplayer with rather lacklustre results.

Homefront
Yes, we will force you to play our game
Yes, we will force you to play our game


Homefront had tremendous potential with an interesting plot, but it failed to capitalize on its setting. Instead it was content with aping the Call of Duty series funnelling players through predictable scenarios; you’ve played a million times by now. Also not helping matters was the fact that the game's multiplayer, one of its much touted features ended up being a damp squib

id screwing up RAGE’s launch
RAGE inducing uhh rage?
RAGE inducing uhh rage?


id games have known to be a tad problematic at launch, but RAGE took the cake. The game was plagued by horrific stuttering and texture issues right from the start. A huge chunk of ATI and AMD users couldn’t even get the game to start and those who managed to, were getting crashes ever so often. After the first patch, the game became unplayable for many more making RAGE’s launch a huge disappointment for PC gamers.

Batman: Arkham City PC version
No I do not like PC gamers...apparently
No I do not like PC gamers...apparently


If you thought RAGE was bad, Arkham City would reduce you to tears with its horrid PC port, which, by the way PC gamers got nearly a month later. Terrible frame rate, broken DirectX 11 implementation, constant sound stuttering and game breaking bugs made this version of Arkham City completely unplayable.

RIP Red Faction
You shall be missed
You shall be missed


The Red Faction series may not have sold half as much as a Call of Duty, but there’s no denying the fact that Red Faction Guerilla was a highly cathartic game where you could level every single inch of the game world. Its sequel unfortunately went with a survival horror approach that didn’t work too well in its favour. Poor sales and a diminishing love for the franchise make THQ axe it for good this year. 

Bulletstorm’s commercial failure
Don't lose your head
Don't lose your head


Bulletstorm was a throwback to the old school variant of first person shooters, where you shot first and never really bothered asking any questions later. It was crude, vulgar and juvenile, but it was also a very enjoyable and a satisfying experience that unfortunately performed poorly at sales. It’s safe to assume we won’t be getting a sequel anytime soon. 

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