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2012 has seen some very good games, but also a lot of pretty disappointing ones. Whether a game has been a full-on disaster or not quite as impressive as we expected it to be, you'll find it on our list of the biggest disappointments of 2012.

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6 screenshot

After the underwhelming Revelations and abysmal Operation Raccoon City earlier in the year, we were hoping to end 2012 on a high with a return to Resi's core series. But instead, we were left wondering whether there really was No Hope Left.

An awkward focus on action failed to gel with Resident Evil 6's clunky controls, resulting in a confused four-part campaign that aimed for spectacle, but ended up spectacularly bad. Resident Evil 6 was certainly horrifying, but not in the way Capcom may have intended.

PS Vita

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The Vita has only been on the market in the UK for nine months yet it is already seen by many as a failure of epic proportions. Sadly Sony's powerful handheld has suffered due to a number of reasons, most of which aren't a lack of quality games. With WipeEout, Uncharted, Lumines, Rayman, MotorStorm RC, Gravity Rush, Need for Speed, and LittleBigPlanet you've got a system with good games, but the Vita is lacking that must-own title. CoD, FIFA, and Assassin's Creed were meant to be the killer apps, but they all missed the mark to varying degrees. The price is also a big issue, which when combined with the frankly ridiculous cost of memory cards, makes the handheld a hard sell. If users were able to plug in a 64GB Micro SD card for £40 the usability and price of the system would be transformed. However we look at it, it's hard to see 2013 being too great for the most powerful handheld on the market.

3DS

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Nintendo's 3D handheld shined in 2011. It was home to some of the best games of that year in Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, as well as excellent remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64. For a handheld that had got off to a rocky start, its line-up was starting to look pretty great. 2012 has been a year of few quality releases from Nintendo and some disappointments from third parties. Kid Icarus is decent fun, but not in the same league as 3D Land and co, while New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Paper Mario: Sticker Star were uncharacteristically mediocre. Resident Evil Revelations promised much but delivered little, and we're left looking to 2013's Luigi's Mansion and Animal Crossing to bring some much needed quality to the system.

Silent Hill HD Collection

Silent Hill Collection HD screenshot

An example of how not to do an HD compilation, Silent Hill HD Collection ravaged, rather than celebrated, players' memories of the PS2's two horror classics. Konami got everything wrong with its HD re-release of Silent Hill 2 and 3, poorly reworking key scenes, altering the iconic soundtrack and releasing a title riddled with technical issues. It was so bad, in fact, that the publisher attempted to stem anger and disappointment by compensating North American players with a selection of free games.

Failing to treat Silent Hill with the respect it deserved was one problem, then, but failing to release a pair of ten-year old games in a playable state proved to be an outright embarrassment.

Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution screenshot
IO Interactive murdered Hitman with Absolution. It abandoned its core fans for the sake of a bigger slice of the pie, integrated a handful of controversial mechanics while removing a few of the series' basics, and created a Hitman game that was more about reaching the next doorway than garrotting anyone specific. And then there was this. Need we say more?

Ridge Racer Unbounded

Ridge Racer Unbounded screenshot

Hidden somewhere within Ridge Racer Unbounded, we've been told, is a secret fun button. But we couldn't find it. Unbounded was a wreck, snagging the best bits of racing stallions Split/Second, Need For Speed and Burnout, but failing to juggle them into anything truly exotic.

Despite the odd glimmer of hope, its unsatisfying handling model and awkward car combat meant that Unbounded was the one of the worst big-budget racers of the year, and a Ridge Racer write-off.

Deadlight

Deadlight screenshot

The trailers for Deadlight had us hoping for this year's Limbo, but when we actually got to play the game what we got was a clunky Prince of Persia. We wanted a game full of atmosphere, but instead we got an awful script and terrible voice acting.

SSX

SSX screenshot

SSX might think itself a little unlucky to be on this list, but we just don't think the new SSX feels like an SSX game. Many of you will no doubt disagree, but EA's reboot just doesn't have the magic of its forbears. It's also a bit rough looking, which is a shame as SSX is fondly remembered as one of the finest looking games of its era.

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 screenshot

Mass Effect 3 is, and was always going to be, impossible to judge on its own considerable merits, but I couldn't have predicted the amount of disdain the ending - one of media's most controversial in years, surely? - would have received. To see BioWare's clumsy elaboration in the form of the Extended Cut was just proof of how extreme these reactions were. For many it seems like Mass Effect 3 has become the dictionary definition of disappointment, its slightly wonky ending tarnishing a mostly unblemished six-year saga of unashamedly epic proportions. And while Mass Effect 3 handles most of its scenes extremely well - the exhilarating danger of its opening and a particularly upsetting heroic sacrifice stand out in a game of stand-out moments, the slightly abrupt finale has disjointed the emotions of many and denied the closure its audience was clamouring for.

Assassin's Creed III

Assassin's Creed III screenshot

Assassin's Creed III is by no means a bad game, but its disappointments are caused by a development team who have lost focus. While Connor Kenway's jaunt through colonial America has moments of tight drama and rich, flowing adventure, this is a game that's forgotten its canny senses and replaced them with plodding, sticky exposition. It takes hours of lumpy tutorial before Connor's storyline even begins, and even then you're stuck within an open-world game full of tired missions squidged between thrilling naval battles and a gorgeous wilderness. Assassin's Creed needs to hop in an Animus of its own so it can recall the series' golden moments of exhilarating movement and historical escapades.

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dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Must just be me but I really enjoyed Ridge Racer. I found it fun but then again it was a new Flatout not Ridge Racer in my eyes.
Posted 09:13 on 22 December 2012
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

So they STILL haven't patched the Silent Hill HD collection then? Hmmm. Disappointing. I so wish I haven't lost my PSOne/PS2 collection a few years back :(

I was a bit disappointed with the Vita too - although its a great piece of kit with some decent games (and backlog of PSP/PSOne/PSMini titles), I was disappointed by the lack of support by the developers.

I was also disappointed by the 3DS XL too - they really should have included the circle pad pro controls on that thing IMO.

Anyways my biggest disappointment for 2012 was the leaving of Neon and Martin. Sorry mates, you've ruined x'mas for me, completely and utterly.
Posted 06:17 on 22 December 2012
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

Well said re. the Vita. As with Minty, I love my Vita and enjoy all the games I have (plus I'm excited to cross-play NFS:MW) but I can't disagree that it's a disappointment - especially the memory cards. Mine's full and I have to keep deleting things, then re-downloading if I fancy playing again, which takes forever on my rubbish internet. Why can't I shove a 128GB SD card in there?!
Posted 19:50 on 21 December 2012
SelfSuicide's Avatar

SelfSuicide

Glad to see Silent Hill on the list just for the sheer injustice; Silent Hill 2 is a masterpiece and deserved so much more from Konami. Game of thrones was probably my biggest disappointment but TV/Movie tie-ins are normally rubbish so I should of known better.
Posted 17:15 on 21 December 2012
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Surprised that Max Payne 3 didn't make the list. I really enjoyed it. Hitman was fantastic as usual, but then again, it did have huge amount of pressure to deliver because of the absence - since Blood Money.
Posted 16:59 on 21 December 2012
pblive's Avatar

pblive

AC Liberation was pretty good, I thought.
Posted 16:34 on 21 December 2012
VG_Dave's Avatar

VG_Dave@ munkee

It very nearly did, but we had to settle on 10 and it didn't quite make the cut. But yeah, that was a load of toot, too.
Posted 16:24 on 21 December 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee

Yup, completely fair list. I'm surprised that Ghost Recon Future Soldier wasn't on the list (That was this year, right?).
Posted 16:02 on 21 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Look out for backlash because the Vita was on the list!

Assassin's Creed for it was just terrible.
Posted 13:25 on 21 December 2012
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel

I agree the vita is over priced but the hardware is great and some of the games, like Persona 4 Golden, are brilliant!
Posted 13:08 on 21 December 2012

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