The release of Mighty No.9 after multiple delays and plenty of promise has reignited frustrated debate around crowd-funding. Irrespective of your views on the Kickstarter funding platform, it was clear from early on that the spiritual successor to Mega Man was never going to live up to expectations.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest disappointments in recent years, it’s among a number of major let-downs in gaming over the past decade. Join us as we go through our biggest disappointments of the past ten years.
The SimCity franchise is one of the most beloved in the strategy genre, and so the announcement of a rebooted entry had diehard fans of the series excited for a return to classic city-building fundamentals. Unfortunately, while the game isn’t terrible by any means, it was let down by smothering always-only restrictions, as well as a nonsensical shift towards city micromanagement. The traffic AI was a mess, Sims simply herded to whatever available slot there was as opposed to having individual routines, amenities seemed to have no significance on your city’s functionality, while population padding meant you were losing ten times as many people when destroying a building than what was actually listed to begin with. It did improve via updates, but after the brilliance that is SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4, SimCity was a major disappointment.
Duke Nukem Forever / Aliens Colonial Marines
2011 / 2013
Most of us probably saw this coming, but developer Gearbox did a fantastic job of making us think both games were going to be decent. While Forever‘s troubled development history (and the fact Duke Nukem games have never been that good to begin with) certainly set the scene for what would be one of the worst games of the past decade, it was the way Gearbox marketed Colonial Marines that frustrated gamers and Alien fans alike. I personally saw two demos of Colonial Marines about six months apart, and the game looked fantastic. Stunning visuals, exciting audio, exhilarating action. It seemed as though Gearbox really had brought the game back from the dead. Unfortunately, the final product was anything but good, with a game that look as though it had been plucked straight off the PlayStation 2. The multiplayer wasn’t terrible, but even where the game did okay, it was let down by terrible performance issues.
Sonic The Hedgehog
We’d seen a couple of really solid Sonic games leading up to this 2006 release, with Sonic Rush and Sonic Advance giving fans of the blue-haired critter some confidence that the franchise was back from the dead. Unfortunately, this 3D quasi-open world game was a major disappointment for fans. It went on to be a commercial success for SEGA, although that’s perhaps indicative of the hype around the title ahead of release. Many gamers and critics bemoaned its unfair difficult and at-times broken controls, with many listing it as one of the worst games of 2006, and, eventually, one of the worst of the generation.
Ubisoft’s FPS Red Steel was leaked shortly after the reveal of the Wii controller, and as you can imagine hype went through the roof for what looked like stunning graphics and great gameplay. You could tilt your gun! Such innovation! It was promoted as the premiere “mature” game to own at the Wii’s launch, but it turned out to be one of the worst games on the console. Its motion controls were clunky and often broken, while the graphics were shockingly below par for what we’d seen on the Wii, and Xbox 360 and PS3 up to that point.
Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 was a real mixed bag. It wasn’t terrible, and its story, graphics and AI were widely praised by gamers and critics. The problem was that it was as far removed from the series’ survival horror roots as you could get. The four campaigns that were offered were an inconsistent mess, although Leon’s campaign was undobutedly the best thanks to its focus on survival horror traits. Broadly, however, Resident Evil 6 felt more like a spin-off than a full entry in the series.
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