Throughout 2011, we've been blessed with some extraordinary games and some memorable events. But life is not all ups. For every up there must be a down, or in this case, a downer.
These are, according to us at least, 2011's biggest video gaming disappointments. Now, before we go any further, know that few of the things we're listing below were terrible. These aren't the worst things in video gaming for 2011. They're just the games, parts of games or things that we hoped or expected would attain a certain level of quality or success, but for whatever reason, did not. In other words, a disappointment!
Note also that these nominations were open to all Kotaku editors, so if you see something contradicting the opinions put forth in a preview, impressions or review, that's why. Different horses may enjoy different courses!
Dragon Age II
In Dragon Age, BioWare delivered one of the great role-playing games of this generation. Dragon Age II was...OK, but boy, if they'd cut any more corners on it there'd have been nothing left but a pile of cut corners on the floor.
It took how long to make this? And cost how much? The facial-capture stuff was a revolution, and the soundtrack wonderful, but it often felt like a crude game show with only Rockstar's patented window dressing (open world, great voice acting) passing it off as a AAA game.
Has there been a more disappointing hardware launch in recent times than the 3DS? A botched reveal, a ridiculous price-tag, a cumbersome UI, no second thumbstick and no decent games. It's hitting its straps in time for 2012, as you'd hope at a cheaper price and with quality software, but for most of 2011 the 3DS seemed more like a DS 2.5.
There were such high hopes for this game. Homefront was THQ swinging for the fences, trying to join the same league as the Modern Warfares and the Battlefields of the world. A lot of money was spent, a lot of hype generated. Then people played it, found out the setting was stupid, the story overwrought, the singleplayer terrifyingly short (both on length and ideas) and the multiplayer a novelty that was never going to lure people from whatever shooter they were already playing.
We hoped the bullshit notion of publishers and retailers splitting downloadable content between them was a craze that would end. We were, sadly, wrong.
It's a useful way to navigate the 360's dashboard. That's about all the Kinect has been good for shortly after people buy it. Why? Because it's been out for over a year now and there still aren't any proper games for it beyond cheap kids titles and party games. Come on developers. You ended up making a handful of well-designed games for the Wii's motion controls, time to do the same for Kinect.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
As the final game starring Ezio, and with a subtitle called Revelations, you'd expect Assassin's Creed: Revelations to have, well, revealed something. It didn't. It should have been called Assassin's Creed: Phoning in the Filler.
Red Faction: Armageddon
Red Faction Guerilla was one of this generation's most pleasant surprises, its Martian setting complemented beautifully with a devious physics engine. So hopes were high for its sequel! Which...took away everything that was good about the last game, switching out blue skies for caves and awesome explosions for bugs.
While Uncharted 3 was still a great game, it's disappointing how it fell short in almost every regard compared to its predecessor. It lacked the pacing, the context, the level design and, most of all, the chemistry of the first two games in the series, making it feel tired by comparison.
The Last Guardian
There once was a time we expected to be playing this game in 2011. Instead, with its creator leaving Sony and another key man walking away from the game altogether, there are now alarms ringing where once was only the sound of pre-orders being racked up.
The first new game from Doom's creators in years and what do we get? A solid shooter wrapped in a pointless open world that had its fair share of performance problems. The game's PC graphics settings were particularly woeful.
Like Homefront, this was an original title that many had high hopes for. Its bold art design couldn't hide a launch marred by technical issues and people not quite "getting" the game, though, and while it seems to have stabilised in recent months, Brink will never be the top=-shelf multiplayer shooter it wanted to be.