Critical Misfires: 40 High-Profile Games with Disappointing Reviews

  • Publish Date: October 4, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 27 user comments

Good intentions, poor execution

Capcom's latest installment in its Resident Evil series is making headlines this week as one of the rare AAA releases to receive middling reviews from professional critics. Which other major games have similarly failed to earn generally positive reviews upon their release? We have picked out 40 examples, including the new RE6.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; rather, we looked for notable releases (roughly defined as games from major existing franchises or new titles that had some degree of anticipation from the industry prior to their launch) with at least 50 critic reviews on at least one platform and a Metascore below 75 (i.e., scores in the yellow and red ranges, indicating mixed/mediocre reviews and negative reviews, respectively). We only looked at console and PC titles, so there are no handheld games listed below.

Alice: Madness Returns PC 75 PS3 70 360 70
Electronic Arts, 2011

game imageThis belated sequel to the hit 2000 horror computer game American McGee's Alice 85 failed to match the original's commercial or critical success. While Madness Returns generally earned praise for its visual design, critics found the game boring, dated, and even confusing.

"Through questionable level design, graphical inconsistency, and repetitive gameplay, I was pulled out of the experience more than I would have liked."

-- IGN

Aliens vs. Predator PC 68 PS3 65 360 64
Sega, 2010

game imageOne of several videogames based on the movie franchise(s) (including a far superior 1999 game with the same title), AvP was punished by some critics for seeming rushed out the door, with unpolished and dated FPS gameplay that offered little to recommend it above other similar games. Fortunately, a different developer is handling the next game, Aliens: Colonial Marines, which should finally arrive in February after a lengthy delay.

"As it stands now, you'd probably have more fun being on To Catch a Predator than playing Aliens Vs. Predator."

-- Game Revolution

Alone in the Dark PC 55 PS3 69 360 58
Atari, 2008

game imageThis 2008 reboot of the classic survival horror series—the fifth installment overall—was plagued by frustrating controls, technical flaws, and poor design. The PS3 version (subtitled Inferno) fixed some of those mistakes but still failed to make a positive impression on reviewers. A Wii version, which shared a title and some plot elements but nothing else, was simply terrible (think 39).

"Alone in the Dark seems to hold open contempt for its players... You've seen survival horror done scarier and better elsewhere. Don't get burned by this one."

-- GameSpy

Alpha Protocol PC 72 PS3 64 360 63
Sega, 2010

game imageObsidian Entertainment's first attempt at an original title was a third-person stealth action/RPG game that had few fans in the critic community, thanks to bugs, lackluster shooting mechanics, and a complete inability to execute what could have been an interesting concept.

"To release a game that's just plain not finished and to expect people -- to expect your fans -- to pay the full $60 for it? That's where you lose me."

-- Joystiq

Army of Two PS3 74 360 72
Electronic Arts, 2008

game imageThis third-person shooter spawned a sequel (with another to follow next year) despite lackluster reviews that disliked the basic two-man army concept, cited numerous flaws, and panned the single-player campaign.

"It's got some fun moments of cooperativity, some clever mechanics, and an unusually badass multiplayer mode, but its horrible controls and vanilla campaign mode prevent Army of Two from being even an above-average game."

-- Destructoid

Brink PC 70 PS3 72 360 68
Bethesda Softworks, 2011

game imageA first-person shooter with parkour-style action, Brink moved a lot of units but left many reviewers thinking that the game was rushed out the door before it was ready, resulting in a missed opportunity at a classic.

"The structure of the game is decent, but it's brought down by issues both large and small. The largest one is a simple lack of content. With eight maps, a lackluster arsenal, and a campaign mode that is, by default, populated with terrible AI-controlled bots, Brink just doesn't have enough going for it to justify a full-price purchase."

-- Giant Bomb

Call of Juarez: The Cartel PC 47 PS3 45 360 47
Ubisoft, 2011

game imageThe third title in the Call of Juarez series was easily the worst of the bunch, marred by poor design and technical flaws and even, according to some writers, racism.

"The Cartel is a calamity; an unfinished, unpleasant piece of dreck that even developer Techland got bored of before hoisting it out of the door. The Cartel's list of misdemeanours is lengthy and depressing, but the worst is how either Techland or Ubisoft can have the nerve to put this on the shelves and ask people to pay money --real money-- to play it."

-- Telegraph

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight PC 64
Electronic Arts, 2010

game imageThe 17-year-old Command & Conquer franchise has produced many well-reviewed games, but this concluding chapter in the Tiberian series was not one of them. Many critics (and gamers) felt that it was a C&C game in name only, and that single-player gameplay was a disaster.

"It's a terrible system and it's sure to alienate all but the hardcore C&C nerds. But those of you who stick around, those of you who are willing to put up with the ugly graphics, the pointless online-only requirement, and the mandatory grinding are liable to end up as the small dedicated player base for yet another one of Electronic Arts' disastrous attempts at online gaming."

-- 1UP

The Conduit Wii 69
Sega, 2009

game imageWhile The Conduit had early buzz as a potentially groundbreaking FPS for the Wii—a console with few solid titles in the genre—but the finished product was dragged down by a poor story and dull visuals, despite the innovative controls. A 2011 sequel failed to correct the original's flaws, and earned even worse reviews.

"The excellent control scheme is able to save this otherwise average adventure for a little while, but the many missteps of the campaign become suffocating before too long. The multiplayer, too, is entertaining for a few hours, but the seven maps are too simple and predictable to provide a consistently thrilling experience."

-- GameSpot

Crackdown 2 360 70
Microsoft, 2010

game imageThe original Crackdown earned an 83 in 2007, with critics pleasantly surprised by how fun the open-world shooter turned out to be. This sequel, however, turned out to be far too similar to the original to justify its existence, and the few changes that were made didn't go over well with some reviewers.

"An interesting experiment? Sure. But the changes to the game design have all but removed the most-fun parts while emphasizing the game's weaknesses. Whoops."

-- Wired

Darkspore PC 65
Electronic Arts, 2011

game imageMany gamers consider Will Wright's 2008 title Spore to be a major disappointment, though critics actually reviewed the game quite positively at the time (to the tune of an 84 Metascore). However, this subsequent attempt to take Spore's creature-editor technology and marry it to more conventional action-RPG gameplay was treated much less kindly by reviewers.

"While never terrible, Darkspore feels like it's had its heart surgically removed. All the components for a giddily stupid, aesthetically imaginative action RPG are here. Somehow, however, they combine into a shambling golem that knows its basic purpose, but not a whole lot else."

-- Eurogamer

Dead Island PC 80 PS3 71 360 71
Deep Silver, 2011

game imageWhat's not to like about battling your way through a zombie-infested island? Well, it turns out that such a scenario is much less fun than it sounds, at least when it is presented in such a straightforward and unsophisticated manner as it is in Dead Island. However, some critics found enough to like in the multiplayer to recommend the game despite its flaws.

"Narratively, Dead Island is unambitious. There's no attempt at satire, commentary, or quirk. The plot, mostly communicated through quest-givers, is straight-faced as a straight-to-cable horror flick, but like the rest of the game, it's serviceable."

-- A.V. Club

Devil May Cry 2 PS2 68
Capcom, 2003

game imageWhile the original Devil May Cry 94 was a critical hit, this sequel undid a lot of that goodwill by significantly dumbing down the gameplay and failing to match the depth and style of the first game.

"Kept from greatness by the terrible camera, pacing issues, short quests, and general lack of continuity, making it a sequel that actually tacks more criticisms on to the series, instead of fixing them."

-- Yahoo! Games

Disney Epic Mickey Wii 73
Disney, 2010

game imageExpectations were high for this darker, kid-unfriendly adventure for Mickey Mouse and other characters from the Disney universe, and while there were plenty of positive reviews—especially for the underlying concept—there were also numerous criticisms of its gameplay and execution. Perhaps those flaws will be fixed in the multi-platform sequel (Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two), which arrives on November 18.

"For all its big ideas, Disney Epic Mickey never quite weaves its disparate strands into a convincing whole. Its conceptual ambition is let down by merely adequate mechanics, and Mickey himself remains a rather abstract figure at the centre of it all."

-- Eurogamer

DRIV3R PS2 57 Xbox 56
Atari, 2004

game imageThe first installment in the Driver series to land on the PlayStation 2, DRIV3R was heavily criticized for buggy and frustrating gameplay, with some reviewers also dismissing the game as a pale imitation of the Grand Theft Auto series.

"The cities are huge and beautiful, with country-appropriate cars, and while the gameplay is muddy, it's easy to see how it could have been better. But as it is, DRIV3R is all flash and little substance."

-- GamesRadar

Duke Nukem Forever PC 54 PS3 51 360 49
2K Games, 2011

game imagePerhaps it should have remained vaporware. When it finally emerged after a legendary 15-year development hell, this sequel to 1996's Duke Nukem 3D earned reviews that ranged from average to scathing and appeared on several worst-of-2011 lists. The most negative reviews found the game not just dated in its design but also technically flawed and moronic to boot.

"While much of Duke Nukem Forever is embarrassingly bad--the kind of game you point and laugh at--its biggest problem is that it's so tedious...This game takes an icon and turns him into a laughingstock. Except, no one's laughing."

-- GameSpot

Dungeon Siege III PC 72 PS3 71 360 72
Square Enix, 2011

game imageThe first two installments in the Dungeon Siege saga earned an 86 and an 80 from critics. But this third game—the first to appear on consoles in addition to PCs, and the first to be developed by Obsidian Entertainment—saw a further decline in quality, with many critics finding the game unambitious and merely average.

"Dungeon Siege III is a dungeon crawler with a boring loot table, poorly implemented multiplayer, and little lasting incentive to continue running around the world once the tedious story ends."

-- IGN

Haze PS3 55
Ubisoft, 2008

game imageThis futuristic FPS was once thought to be the PlayStation 3's answer to Microsoft's Halo series. Instead, it was a glitchy, underwhelming mess. Don't expect a Haze 2.

"The combat's weak, the storyline's excruciating, it's technically deficient - Haze really is this year's most significant gaming disappointment."

-- Eurogamer

Homefront PC 70 PS3 70 360 70
THQ, 2011

game imageHomefront had a lot going for it, most notably an interesting premise and script from screenwriter John Milius that found a future United States occupied by a nuclear-armed Korea. But it turned out to be a run-of-the-mill FPS in a market crowded with such games, and it wasn't especially fun to play as a single-player game.

"With its interesting premise, evocative opening sequence, and clever variation on multiplayer, Homefront has a strong foundation. It's a shame that technical limitations and a derivative single-player campaign keep the game from realizing its potential."

-- Game Informer

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men PC 67 PS3 64 360 65
Eidos, 2007

game imageThis heavily promoted third-person shooter turned out to be buggy and unpolished in its execution, earning mediocre-to-poor reviews despite an above-average story and premise. A 2010 sequel also failed to impress critics.

"Sure, the gritty atmosphere and balls out gunplay offers up some thrills, and yes the multiplayer options hold some potential but the hard-boiled noir tone and interesting amalgam of varied ideas never truly comes together to form the cohesive action thriller that the game aspires to be."

-- GamePro

Killzone PS2 70
Sony, 2004

game imageRepetitive and tedious gameplay and problematic controls plagued this otherwise great-looking PlayStation-exclusive FPS released to heavy anticipation in the fall of 2004 (yes, it was to be yet another Halo-killer). Fortunately, the developers learned from their mistakes, and the 2009 sequel was a home run, earning a 91 from critics. (Last year's Killzone 3 84 was also more than solid.)

"An ambitious, interesting game, but it's badly undercut by terrible AI and annoying and very distracting graphical glitches. They're bad enough to make the game feel like a chore."

-- GameSpy

Kinect Star Wars 360 55
Microsoft, 2012

game imageIt turns out that if you want to stand in front of a camera and pretend to engage in a light-saber duel, you'd probably have more fun (and save a lot of money) by imitating this guy rather than playing Kinect Star Wars. And the "Galactic Dance-off" (one of several mostly-mini-games in the collection) could be the most embarrassing Star Wars moment since the infamous holiday special.

"It says a lot that a dancing game is the best thing on offer in this muddled, cynical package. For the most part, Kinect Star Wars feels ill-conceived: kids will be bored, and adults will be embarrassed."

-- Edge Magazine

Lair PS3 53
Sony, 2007

game imageDespite Sony's unusual efforts to change reviewers' minds, critics had few nice things to say about this dragon-riding action title aside from highlighting its gorgeous visual design. The chief complaint was that Lair's unusual motion controls made the game "impossible" to play.

"Great visuals and sound mean absolutely nothing in Lair. Factor 5 should have made a movie--not a game. This is the ultimate example of how gameplay suffers when all the work goes into making everything look pretty. There is nothing fun about it."

-- GameSpot

Lollipop Chainsaw PS3 66 360 70
Warner Bros., 2012

game imageWhat could have been over-the-top fun—a chainsaw-wielding high school cheerleader must hack up her former classmates, who have become zombies—turned out to lack depth, and came across as sophomoric, cheesy, and distasteful rather than edgy and funny, at least to some critics.

"What's heart-breaking about it all is that Grasshopper can do better. With a few tweaks to the combat – weaker zombies, and perhaps more of them – the experience could be much more entertaining. As is, Lollipop Chainsaw is a serviceable confection, though something of a bitter one."

-- Joystiq

The Lord of the Rings: Conquest PC 57 PS3 54 360 55
Electronic Arts, 2009

game imagePandemic's action title based on the LOTR film trilogy turned out to be little more than a reskinning of its Star Wars: Battlefront games. Actually, that's not entirely true; the Battlefront series produced some winners, while Conquest was heavily criticized for its mediocrity, especially its dated graphics and reliance on repetitive button-mashing rather than actual gaming skill.

"We were hoping for more from The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, and we're disappointed that the game didn't do more with such a powerful license. Star Wars: Battlefront hasn't aged very well, and to get essentially the same game with a different theme left us wanting more."

-- GameSpy

Need for Speed Undercover PC 65 PS3 59 360 64 Wii 54
Electronic Arts, 2008

game imageThere have been over 20 titles in the Need for Speed racing series—with many receiving positive reviews—but this 2008 installment represents perhaps the low point in the franchise to date. Pointless live-action cut scenes, shoddy graphics, and too-easy gameplay rendered Undercover inferior to competing street-racing games.

"Need for Speed Undercover is a poor game with a ton of problems, both technically and in terms of design."

-- IGN

Prototype 2 PC 77 PS3 79 360 74
Activision, 2012

game imageIt's not a bad game—in fact, the PC and PS3 versions, which had fewer reviews than the Xbox 360 version, received generally positive critiques—but any game that allows you to shapeshift and karate kick a helicopter out of the sky should be a bit less mundane and uninvolving than Prototype 2. Don't expect a third installment in the series; sales for this sequel were well below expectations.

"Its cooler moments are offset by a long list of missions that aren't engaging at all. You're a man with an ever-increasing list of insane powers, but the tasks you accomplish with those powers are usually pretty ho-hum. Add to all that a script that makes you want to turn the sound down and a dose of awkward control quirks and you've got a run-of-the-mill open-world game."

-- Giant Bomb

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One PS3 70
Sony, 2011

game imageWhat happens when one of the PlayStation's most enduring single-player series goes multiplayer? Atypically lackluster reviews. Critics found All 4 One too slight, with many suggesting it would have been better suited as a PSP or downloadable title rather than a full-price major installment in the series.

"At the most fundamental level there's nothing tragically wrong with the game, it just displays a lack of imagination that chafes against the legacy of a series that has never been short of ideas. For a game with that sort of pedigree, average simply isn't good enough."

-- Eurogamer

Red Dead Revolver PS2 73 Xbox 74
Rockstar Games, 2004

game imageOn paper, it sounds like a can't-miss idea: a Spaghetti Western-themed adventure/shooter from the publisher of the mega-hit Grand Theft Auto series and the developers behind the well received Midnight Club II. Indeed, it was a massive critical and commercial hit... when it was changed to an open-world setting and released in 2010 under the name Red Dead Redemption. This first attempt, however, failed to captivate, coming across as too linear and unoriginal, while also delivering slightly sub-par graphics.

"The game misses its mark: Instead of the gritty, scrub-brush humor of a Sergio Leone pic, Revolver feels like a rootin'-tootin' Disneyland ride."

-- Entertainment Weekly

Red Steel Wii 63
Ubisoft, 2006

game imageSeemingly one of the more promising launch titles available for the Wii, this first-person shooter (you have a sword too, when you want the killing to take longer) proved to be unready for prime time and had little to offer other than the then-novelty of the Wii's motion controls.

"Once you strip away the nifty new controls, you're left with a flawed shooter that does nothing I haven't seen a million times."

-- Electronic Gaming Monthly

Resident Evil 6 PS3 77* 360 66*
Capcom, 2012

game imageFewer than half of the reviews for the 360 edition are positive (the PS3 version, though scoring higher at the moment, was reviewed by fewer than half the number of critics), making this one of the lowest-scoring installments to date in the Resident Evil game series. (The films, of course, manage to score far, far lower.) The most negative reviews suggest that the action-oriented RE6 is trying too hard to be too many different games at once, and none of those games is Resident Evil.

* Scores as of October 4, 2012

"Resident Evil 6 is a Michael Bay movie. There's really no more polite a way to put it. Stuffed to the gills with bombastic action segments, car chases, and relentless chaos, Capcom has abandoned any pretense of the survival horror genre and embraced a world of skin-deep Hollywood audacity. Listlessly wallowing in the depthless waters of homogeneity, Resident Evil 6 is a coward of a game, afraid to make its own individual mark in the industry and cravenly subscribing itself to every overplayed trope in the book."

-- Destructoid

The Secret World PC 73
Electronic Arts, 2012

game imageAfter five years of development, Funcom's highly anticipated MMORPG went online in July of this year after a beta that attracted over a million gamers. While critics have admired the game's willingness to bring something new to the MMO format—with additional praise going to the game's modern-day fantasy setting—even the more recent reviews suggest that there are still bugs to be worked out, and several reviewers find the PvP gameplay poor and the game lacking compelling reasons to return.

"The Secret World has too many problems to function... After playing the game for over a month I haven't seen any serious signs of improvement. Quests remain buggy, graphics suffer and the core of the game is still as obnoxious as ever."

-- G4 TV

Shadowrun PC 67 360 66
Microsoft, 2007

game imageInspired by the classic role-playing game of the same name, this Shadowrun, unlike previous videogame adaptations, is more first-person shooter than RPG. Critics thought the game lacked enough content to justify its high price (especially since it didn't include a single-player campaign), and gamers seemed to agree; sales were poor, and developer FASA Studio folded shortly thereafter.

"Shadowrun's impressive array of skills and magic gives standard first-person shooters a run for their money, but its lack of game modes or rewards or even a rewarding feeling slows this game to a walk."

-- Game Revolution

SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs PS3 67
Sony, 2011

game imageWhile previous numbered SOCOM games (all for the PlayStation 2) scored in the 80's, this PS3 tactical shooter—designed in part to take advantage of the Move controller—was rejected by some critics as dated and unremarkable. The forgettable single-player mode was especially singled out for criticism.

"What could have been a return to form for the series ends up suffering an almost total loss of form. If this game didn't carry the SOCOM name it would be just another functional third-person military shooter that you might recognize when you saw it in the markdown bin after a few months."

-- Joystiq

Sonic Unleashed PS3 54 360 60 Wii 66
Sega, 2008

game imageThe world just wasn't ready for Sonic the Werehog. While the long-running Sonic series has produced the occasional dud (enough that Sega took the unusual step of culling Sonic games with lower Metascores from its catalog), and the previous installment was the franchise's worst yet, fans were expecting Unleashed to be a return to form, which made the reality all that much more disappointing. While half the game—the "day" stages—did hearken back to Sonic's platforming roots in a not-disagreeable way, the remaining half, which found Sonic turning into a "werehog," offered tedious button-mashing gameplay that left at least one reviewer wanting to hurl his controller at the television.

"Terrible level design, unresponsive controls, and a poor camera are just the beginning of the problems in this awful adventure."

-- GameSpot

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed PS3 71 360 73 Wii 71
LucasArts, 2008

game imageThis story-driven action game (set in between movies 3 and 4) was a big hit in spite of a divided critical reaction that left many critics massively disappointed by the gameplay. Those flaws became even more apparent in the 2010 sequel, which managed to be inferior in nearly every way (except, maybe, graphically). By the way, it seems a bad idea to "unleash" anything on gamers; just 11 of the 46 scored games in our database containing the word "Unleashed" have received positive reviews.

"It's all the more disappointing because you can see, mired in the boring levels and bad cameras, glimpses of fun ideas."

-- Wired

Test Drive Unlimited 2 PC 72 PS3 70 360 68
Atari, 2011

game imageThe Test Drive racing series hasn't generated a lot of positive critical press over the past decade, but 2006's open-world Test Drive Unlimited managed to earn plenty of praise. This sequel, however, was a disappointment, plagued by unspectacular graphics and unusually buggy gameplay.

"It is definitely not the worst racing game I have played, but it is marred with technical problems that really do affect the gameplay. I would be willing to overlook these issues if the storyline was either better or nonexistent, but as it stands the story is not even enjoyable in an ironic sort of corny way – it is just frustrating to not give a damn about the characters, especially your own."

-- Game Chronicles

Too Human 360 65
Microsoft, 2008

game imageAnother title that spent nearly a decade in development (it was first targeted for the original PlayStation console), this sci-fi take on Norse mythology wound up being too short, too repetitive, too uncompelling, and too flawed in its control scheme.

"A disappointingly substandard role-playing game buried under the debris of a thousand forgettable robots slain in a hundred vacant hallways by one man in a silly outfit. After an initial burst of curiosity, this repetitive, derivative and ultimately ridiculous game will be remembered primarily for how little resulted from so much work."

-- Variety

Two Worlds II PC 76 PS3 70 360 67
TopWare Interactive, 2011

game imageTwo Worlds II is actually an improvement over the original, though that still doesn't make it a good game. Far from it; many critics felt it was a bargain-basement knockoff of better titles like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Dragon Age (though the PC version was better than the console releases). But you have to admire TopWare's—we'll say "moxie," though feel free to suggest your own adjective—in subsequently releasing a "Game of the Year" edition despite the fact that the game appeared on approximately zero "Best of 2011" lists.

"The game's dull, repetitive missions drive home the harsh truth: it's an aggressively average action-RPG that's here far too late for anyone to care."

-- Official Xbox Magazine

Wolfenstein PC 74 PS3 71 360 72
Activision, 2009

game imageThis reboot of the Castle Wolfenstein franchise (the first console game in the series in eight years) proved to be a lackluster return, with little innovation and an especially poor multiplayer component. It was also a commercial disappointment.

"Wolfenstein is a game that swings wildly in quality on an almost minute-by-minute basis, and a rather vanilla multiplayer offering doesn't do much to quicken the pulse."

-- Telegraph

What do you think?

What games have you been most disappointed by in recent years? Did critics err in underrating any of the games listed above? And which disappointing games have critics scored too highly? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (27)

  • leaveit  

    I guess these games were high-profile, but there is not one on the list that I was surprised about when the reviews came out. And yes, as another commenter said, it was the games that were disappointing, not the reviews, which were correct and honest.

  • noob_saibot  

    The thing I was playing on was re6 but to say its a michael bay movie well I dunno what michael bay movies are like alot thinking it's a bad game Iam sure Capcom will make a better one next time

  • Auritone  

    I've always wondered why a bad review for a triple A title is considered "disappointing".
    Isn't it the game that turned out to be disappointing?
    I know this is semantics and what we are talking about is disappointing titles, but then why not have a headline which says "disappointing games" or "games which failed to live up to expectations" as that is clearly what we're talking about.

    What exactly is a "disappointing" review?
    In regard to whom?
    If I have been waiting for the release of a title and it turns out to get bad reviews across the board, I will probably be a little disappointed, but not because of the reviews. Because of the game. The end result will most likely be that I simply wont buy it.
    The publishers however is another matter.
    Bad reviews can seriously hamper sales, which is probably why we see quite a few companies not sending out review copies before release. In some cases we even see fraudulent behavior by the publishers and the developers prior to release. The fraudulent Aliens: Colonial Marines previews and the equally fraudulent fake reviews on MetaCritic and elsewhere of the latest Star Trek release. Seriously, there are people who only reviewed that one game, but on ALL MAJOR FORMATS. Yes, 10 PC, 10 PS3, 10 Xbox 360. Should any of us believe that someone bought the game for ALL three formats? Of course not! They tried to spike the MetaCritic score on the user front.
    Classy people, eh?
    Again, the official reviews of these two quite terrible titles are not disappointing. The actions of the publishers and developers and the fact that they willingly and knowingly released a pile of unfinished mess is the object of the disappointment. NOT the reviews!

    The only time a review can be disappointing is if it's incorrect.
    An example of this is IGN's review of Darksiders 2. Now, whether the reviewer had a faulty copy or played it on a faulty console is anyone's guess, but all the glitches described in that review I have never encountered even once and haven't seen them described anywhere else.
    Another example of a disappointing review were some of the first reviews of SimCity. I actually saw the following phrase used more than once: "Its a great game when it works." followed by a high rating. (To be fair it was also given low ratings some places for that exact reason.)
    Could you imagine a car reviewed in that way?
    "It's a brilliant car! It's the most comfortable drive I've ever had... when it actually starts and doesn't stall after 2 miles."
    No, it would be dismissed as probably the worst car ever produced!
    The same could be said about any other product.
    So how exactly can anyone rate a game when it only works on rare occasions before deadline?
    Was it because they just assumed this would be rectified in the near future?
    That I find absolutely disappointing and actually quite dishonest.
    Wouldn't the honest thing to do be to write that they couldn't score it until the servers became more stable and the game actually worked, thereby providing some consumer service in the form of a warning: Don't buy this game until you have confirmation that EA actually made it work.

    As stated, this is just semantics.
    But I still don't see how a review can be "disappointing" based on the examples described in the article.

  • m3xc  

    I thought Killzone was awesome. I find a lot of critics to be pretentious and, generally speaking, read the mid-range user reviews because I find that they tend to be less biased and more reasonable i.e. kudos to those gamers. Seriously though, I've come across so many titles that this site has completely missed off mark and don't even know why I use this site any more oh yeah, to write reviews. I say, however, if one has to rely on deciding whether or not to buy game based on the subjective opinion's of others or conceited and haughty critic reviews, then although that which is questionable concerning the gamer is little, these constituents prove to be significant.

    I am just very jaded, I suppose. Games seem to be rehashed or lacking in intelligence as in, they insult the intelligence of gamers by offering little that is novel or that which can be considered truly innovative rant, rant, rant, rabble rabble rabble... we need another Conker's Bad Fur Day, allegorically speaking.

  • joehezzi  

    I actually really liked NFS: Undercover. It wasn't as good as the previous NFS (Most Wanted) but it's a hell of a lot better than than The Run, Hot Pursuit, Shift and Most Wanted (by Criterion).

  • WingedAnomaly  

    This list does wind up being quite subjective, but I found myself agreeing the vast majority of the time. I really enjoyed Prototype 2, though. No matter how repetitive it gets, karate-kicking helicopters in half never gets old. I'm probably going to get a LOT of hate for this, but I was glad Dragon Age 2 didn't show up in here. I'm a massive fan of the original - still playing that game, fourth playthough - and while I was initially disappointed, the game is really very good if you don't expect a hardcore numbers RPG like Origins. It's an RPG in name only, yes, but extremely engaging characters and remarkably fun combat carried me through the game with very few breaks for food, only to come back for a second playthrough. Short, yes. Shallow, yes. Linear, yes. But if you can accept that this is what the game is like, you will have a lot of fun with it, if nothing more than for the character interaction and the combat.

  • neocomp92  

    Errrr, depends on how reliable the reviews are.

    I find those who wrote 4 lines and gave low or high scores are either praising or condeming the game/film without giving much thought about it. I know user's are not necessarily pro reviewers, but try not to let emotion guide the review. Your poison (or saintly game) is the opposite to others. Try to justify why you support or protest the media instead of just writing what comes from your emotion, that's almost ranting or propaganda.

    That being said entertainment is difficult to calculate scientifically. At best you can logically attack the technical values, but the entertainment is up to the personal opinion.

  • SnuffSaid  

    Users reviews aren't always useless. Dragon Age II didn't get a single negative review from critics, the user reviews on the other hand were far more honest and unforgiving. The game was disastrous, an abysmal letdown that definitely belongs on this list. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but games like Dragon Age II being received so well gives credence to the rumours floating around that most reviews these days are purchased.

  • huffnat890  

    A lot of these games weren't major releases and really weren't expected to do that well. Two Worlds II actually did a lot better than expected. I'm very interested as to why you included Too Human, Haze, Alpha Protocol, and Call of Jaurez. None of those were major releases. Maybe your definition of a major release is different than mine. But it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that these games were going to suck. Especially the last one.

  • oliwasp  

    Surprised that Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness didn't make this list. Admittedly the latter TR games for PS1 were slight cash-ins, but there must have been high hopes for Lara's first outing on PS2!

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