There’s nothing worse in gaming than when a high-profile, highly-anticipated game… sucks. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s never pretty when it does. Sadly, a large number of these disappointing disasters have released within in the last decade or so. Some fail to live up to lofty promises, others fail to capture the spirit of what came before, and some are just plain bad. In honor of these let-downs, here are the worst of the worst: the Top 10 AAA Disappointments!
10. Perfect Dark Zero
Let me start by saying, I played the hell out of Perfect Dark Zero. To this day, the original is still my favorite game on N64, so to say I was excited for this Xbox 360 launch title would be an egregious understatement. Perfect Dark Zero was toted as the game to pick up with your shiny new console; superior visuals, a robust multiplayer offering, and a thrilling campaign exploring Joanna Dark’s origins- this game was set to be the Halo: Combat Evolved of the new console generation. And, well, it wasn’t. The story is incoherent and stupid, the voicework is some of the worst ever, the controls felt dated and clunky, and why the hell is everything so goddamn shiny? There was fun to be had, sure, as the level design was done well and the DarkOps multiplayer mode had plenty of good moments, but all that can’t hold up what is a complete letdown of a prequel.
9. The Order: 1886
Graphics don’t make a game, friends. Doesn’t seem like The Order: 1886 got that memo, though. While the game itself was an absolute beauty, the gameplay was definitely left to be desired. Sure, third-person shooters aren’t really known for their RPG elements, but you can usually interact with the environment to some degree. The Order: 1886 is basically a museum of a video game. You get to take in all the intricate graphics, small details, and dialogue quips. The cutscenes are longer than the actual gameplay, and when you do have control of the main character, you can only go where the game allows you to go. Which is almost always in a straight line. Worst of all you can’t run/jog or skip cutscenes. My attention span is not long enough to sit through all of those cutscenes. The Order: 1886 isn’t terrible, but it certainly did not live up to the hype that had surrounded it before its release. But hey, at least it was pretty.
8. Resident Evil 6
Deviating from the formula can keep a long-running series from going stagnant, or it can undermine what it set out to do in the first place. In the case of Resident Evil 6, it’s definitely the latter. Resident Evil has a rich history and a committed fan base that fell in love with what it brought to the horror genre. So it came as a big disappointment when Resident Evil 6 felt more like an action game. A classic case of “this isn’t what I ordered” paired with lower-quality dialogue (which wasn’t the best to begin with) left many gamers frustrated. All the more reason players are rejoicing over the upcoming Resident Evil 7 which seems to be making a return to the gameplay fans know and love—at least in some ways.
7. Dead Island
Dead Island can basically be summed in the following statement: “Hey! You’re immune to zombie bites? That’s so neat! Can you go run around the island and get a bunch of shit for me?” This open-world first-person zombie-slayer, while great on paper, turned out to be as lifeless as the zombies you fight. The game was buggy, repetitive, and lacked any real substance. Thankfully, developer Techland managed to refine their formula with Dying Light, but that didn’t stop gamers from feeling incredibly disappointed with their first undead offering. If only Dead Island was as good as its trailer…
6. Fable: The Journey
This may be an easy target, but Fable: The Journey was the last, and worst, of the Fable franchise. It’s been argued that the Fable series had been going down hill since the second game, especially with the third being one of the more disappointing sequels, but Journey deserves a spot on this list simply for the decision to pair it with the Kinect. I can still remember watching my roommate fruitlessly flail her arms up and down in a vain attempt to move her damn horse and cart. While it was hilarious to watch, it was incredibly frustrating to play. The idea of the Kinect was exciting, and it worked well with games like Skyrim where you could literally shout dragonshouts at your tv and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting citizens of Whiterun. It didn’t work well with a game dealing heavily with magic and magical movements. In all honestly, no one expected Fable: The Journey to be all that good, but the Kinect aspect gave the game an interesting twist. Too bad it didn’t work out that way.