Don’t Believe the Hype
Marketing is a big part of the games industry but gamers are often burned by lacklustre titles which proclaim themselves as the next big thing and fail to deliver. There have been quite a few disappointing releases in 2009, games with real potential which turned out to be lacking any creativity or worse full of bugs. They range from big hyped releases which built expectations to licenses and sequels which failed to do justice to their source material. Join us as we count down the most disappointing PC games of 2009.
9 - Stalin vs Martians
Expectations may not have been high for this bizarre budget arcade style RTS but it sounded interesting enough to be worth a try. It wasn’t. No real story, ugly graphics, stupid music video interludes and some of the worst RTS gameplay ever released. To top it off the game is infested with bugs and after playing for around ten minutes you’ll never want to play it again.
8 - The Saboteur
This looked to be an excellent freeform adventure in the world of Nazi occupied Paris. You play as an Irish race car driver who is sucked into the conflict and goes on a revenge rampage against everyone’s favourite baddies. The sandbox nature and the backdrop for this game were very promising and it was heavily hyped and advertised. The end experience is lacklustre as you blast your way through a succession of easy missions with overly familiar and unimaginative game mechanics.
7 - Section 8
Having played the Beta version this FPS looked to have some potential. The multiplayer features a decent team based face off and the game has jetpacks and sci-fi styling. The problem is that the game is so generic: it lacks a hook and the gameplay is too familiar to provide it. It makes sense to pick good mechanics from the genre but you have to back it up with a little innovation and/or an art style that has some wow factor. Playing Section 8 you can’t escape the feeling you’ve seen it all before.
6 - Damnation
This was seriously over hyped and claimed to be an evolution for the shooter genre. It offers a blend of steampunk styling, vertical maps, combat and vehicle sections but the story is appalling, the characters are laughable and the gameplay is only intermittently fun. There are plenty of good ideas and, lame futuristic cowboy styling aside, this had some potential which makes it all the more annoying that it failed so spectacularly.
5 - Painkiller: Resurrection
The original Painkiller was hailed as an enjoyable back to basics first-person shooter. It was uncomplicated, fast-paced fun, but the sequels gradually degenerated. This release marks the low point and hopefully the end of the series. It is buggy, outdated and completely fails to entertain on any level. This game awaits FPS fans in hell.
4 - Rogue Warrior
Incredibly short, incredibly ugly and incredibly dumb. You play as Dick Marcinko and have to infiltrate North Korea and Russia to save the west. The main problem is the buggy gameplay, ropy hit detection, broken stealth mechanics and a general sluggishness which really does not benefit an FPS game. To top it all off it lasts for about 2 hours. This is easily one of the worst PC games of 2009.
3 – Watchmen: The End is Nigh
It was obvious that no game was going to do the greatest graphic novel of all time any justice but to reduce it down to a repetitive third-person beat ‘em up is just depressing. This episodic title seems unlikely to make it past part 2 because it just plain sucks. Run from point A to point B; beat up dozens of bad guys along the way: there is no innovation here. Once you get over the fairly attractive visuals and the nice voice acting there is nothing else here to keep you engaged.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh Review
2 - Raven Squad: Operation Hidden Dagger
What’s that? A blend of RTS and FPS you say? Well let’s have a look then. In actual fact Raven Squad is an FPS with some tacked on map views and basic control of other squad members. The gameplay is dull in the extreme, the level design is rubbish and the AI does not possess any intelligence at all. They’ve managed to tie together one of the worst FPS games ever with one of the worst RTS games ever and then there’s the voice acting. I know where I’d like to hide my dagger. This is worth crossing the street to avoid.
1 – Stormrise
A new RTS from Creative Assembly was bound to get some attention, but, it was not crafted by the same studio that brought us the Total War series. And it shows. This is the kind of game that causes you to break things in frustration. Did they play test this at all before they shovelled it out the door? The control system is mind bogglingly bad, almost as though they set out to annoy you as much as possible. This game is quite simply broken beyond all repair and that’s why it wins top spot as the most disappointing PC game of 2009.