There are very few better feelings than finally receiving a game you’ve been anticipating for several years; a game that you have been following the development process of and reading every tidbit of information that you could get your hands on. However, there are rare times when you finally get to play the game, just to be let-down by bad AI, game-breaking bugs and terrible mechanics. The previous feelings of happiness and anticipation are then slowly replaced with feelings of anger and frustration, even more so if you had so much trust in the developer that you actually pre-ordered their travesty of a game.
The truth is, there will always be games that just don’t live up to their expectations and all we can do is simply accept this fact. It’s now, in my own opinion, that I share my very own games that just didn’t live up to my expectations.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
“Wait, what? A Call Of Duty game being on a list of the biggest gaming letdowns? No way!” This is what I assume most fanboys who have not witnessed the abomination that is Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified for the PlayStation Vita are currently thinking. Black Ops Declassified suffered from terrible AI, so bad in-fact that whilst playing I noticed enemies crouching behind cars to then proceed to try and shoot me, just to have the vehicles explode in their faces thus killing them immediately.
Black Ops Declassified also suffered from a ridiculously short campaign, so short that you can actually finish the game within an hour, and in all honesty, that’s probably for the best. Fear not though, a Call Of Duty game is all about the multiplayer of course! Unfortunately, the multiplayer doesn’t live up to it’s predecessors stellar gameplay. The maps in Black Ops Declassified’s multiplayer are very small, especially in comparison to what we are used to with online shooters in this day and age. It also doesn’t help at all that the servers are quite laggy and unstable, which is upsetting because when the games servers do work, the multiplayer performs competently.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is a letdown for many reasons, but namely because this was the game many people (including me) were expecting to bring the Call Of Duty series to the handheld with a bang. Sadly though, it did so with merely a sigh.
Duke Nukem Forever
A game which was announced way back in the year 1997 and had since been considered vaporware, Duke Nukem Forever was finally released in 2011 after 15 years of development. As a kid, Duke Nukem was one of my favorite game franchises. I loved the one-liners Duke would say as he blasted his way through enemies and the addictive gameplay that would have me playing into the early hours of the morning.
Duke Nukem was a franchise widely known for it’s controversial humor, including letting the player tip pixelated dancers in strip clubs and yell foul-mouthed obscenities throughout the game. I ate this up, heck, you can’t blame me I was a child of course. However, in what feels like a century later, I finally played Duke Nukem Forever and I found the jokes over done and extremely unfunny. It also doesn’t help that some of the gags in Duke Nukem Forever are really outdated; I actually heard a 300 and Team America reference in there. I guess the time has passed for Duke Nukem and it seems that not even children would find this game funny, which is quite hard to accept, but any love I had for the franchise faded a long time ago.
I guess with how much low brow and obscene humor is around in our culture today, we are used to it being abused and the Duke just didn’t live up to his name. I don’t think the Duke will be making a future appearance anytime soon, which is probably for the best.
Resident Evil 6
I’ve always been a huge fan of the survival horror genre and I have loved the Resident Evil series ever since I was a young prepubescent boy. The horror that I felt seeing my first ever zombie in a videogame slowly rising to attack me from the floor just after I saw the monster feast on a human corpse in the original Resident Evil is one I will always remember.
The series has gone through several changes, which is expected since video games need to evolve in order to succeed over the course of their franchises. This is where Resident Evil 6 however, stumbles and completely forgets what made the previous games so great. Back in the glory days of the PlayStation 2, Capcom released Resident Evil 4, a game which completely redefined the survival horror genre. Resident Evil 4 abandoned the slow tank controls that consumers were used to with the Resident Evil series, and replaced them with a smooth and more action orientated control scheme.
The change in gameplay wasn’t a bad thing however, as it hadn’t turned into a full-blown action game and there were certainly more than a few times that I truly felt dread and horror. Resident Evil 5 however, lost what made the previous games great, and I then watched in disbelief as my beloved game series slowly turned away from the survival horror aspect altogether and became a common action game.
I’m sure many of my readers will disagree with me and that is totally okay, we all have different opinions and that is something that I will always respect, but I personally found Resident Evil 6 nothing more than a lackluster debacle of quick time events and silly writing. In 2012, Capcom came out and publicly said that the market for horror games just wasn’t there anymore, so they made four campaigns to please a bigger audience. This, in turn, made the story even more convoluted than it already was, and the focus on many characters did nothing more than leave me disheveled.
Very recently in 2013, Capcom have again spoke to the public stating that Resident Evil 7 will be a return to it’s survival horror roots, and for me personally, I will welcome the game with open arms.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Aliens: Colonial Marines was highly anticipated and that looked like a true sequel to the 1986 James Cameron film “Aliens”. We saw a sizzle reel of the game a few years back which made the game look fantastic; it had captured the exact same atmosphere that the movies had created. However, when the game released in 2013, the atmosphere that was so prominent in the sizzle reel had been totally removed and several scenes from the trailer were actually worse in the final game.
Colonial Marines was then regarded as a huge disappointment and was met with severe criticism by both critics and the gaming community alike. Personally, I have many problems with Colonial Marines, mainly that it looks like a game that should have been released 5 years ago. The graphics are extremely dated in comparison to games that are currently being released today and the AI is unbelievably incompetent. Throughout my playthrough I actually had enemy aliens run towards me to stop dead in their tracks and run the other way, which not only made me laugh at how bad the AI was but also took me out of the experience completely.
This game could have been great, it really could have, and I’m honestly upset that it now remains as one of my biggest letdowns of this generation.
The Xbox Kinect
Way back in E3 of 2009 we were introduced to Project Natal, a device that would let us control a game without ever needing to use a controller. At the time, this sounded nothing short of amazing but Peter Molyneux, a developer widely known for making promises that rarely ever see the light of day when it comes to anything gaming, showed Project Milo, a demo where the player could interact with a boy named Milo. It had the ability to let the player scan images in that Milo could interact with and we could even spend hours socializing and playing various mini-games with him.
Project Milo ended up being canceled and Project Natal was shortly changed to what is now known as The Xbox Kinect. This little piece of savvy gadgetry had many problems, and you would need a good amount of open space to use the device as intended. It appears Microsoft assumed that we all played video games in our huge living rooms but the fact is many of us play games in our small and cramped bedrooms which commonly lacks the amount of space that is needed to dance and jump around like a maniac.
If you do get The Kinect up and running in a big room, you may be surprised at how janky it works. I tried to play Kinect Adventures just to have my avatar swinging his arms wildly while I stood perfectly still. It does work to a certain degree, which is notable, but for the price of the machine, it’s a huge letdown.
The Xbox One will come with The Kinect 2.0, which does seem to be much more promising and boasts many new features such as facial recognition, no light adaptability and a heart rate monitor as well as many others features. It may redeem The Xbox Kinect, but with future tech like The Oculus Rift just around the corner, I wouldn’t keep my hopes up.