Watch Dogs gets delayed
Hopefully only disappointing in the short-term, Watch Dogs' delay is actually a triumph for clear thinking. From what we've played this is an exciting title: its invasion-based PvP mode alone is worth considering buying it for. But it was also a little lacking in ideas in the main game. Now launching in Q2 2014, well out of the way of the initial GTA 5 hype (if not, maybe, the next-gen versions), Ubisoft will have had plenty of time to correct any issues. If it's still disappointing then, well, you know who to blame.
Aliens Colonial Marines sucks worse than Alien: Resurrection
Massively hyped for years before release, Gearbox (or whoever bloody made it) had a great opportunity on their hands. Instead, it soon became less focused on what made the film great (tension, fear, the feeling that your guns wouldn't save you) and more on Call of Duty-aping shoot-the-man/xenomorph nonsense.
Then there were the bugs, which comfortably outnumber those on LV-426, and the fact that the game looked nothing like the 'demo' with which it had been sold. A disastrous project, especially given the early promise.
Call of Duty Ghosts: a glimpse of the future?
Steve enjoyed his time with the multiplayer aspect of Ghosts, but there was no denying that this was one of the franchise's weakest entries for years. A terrible single-player campaign, graphical disparity between console versions, and a phoned-in (yet still fun) MP marked Ghosts out as the stop-gap we always thought it was.
With either Treyarch or Sledgehammer taking the reins this year, Call of Duty has to evolve or die. The trouble is, we're not quite sure how it even can evolve.
Beyond: Two Souls turns out to be a bad mov(i)e
It's safe to say that David Cage's latest foray into the world of Attempting To Tell A Story wasn't really our cup of tea. To put it lightly (Steve gave it 4/10). Heavy Rain was flawed, yet full of promise (James has it as one of his games of the generation) but Beyond fails to capitalise: a nonsensical script, terrible clichés and stereotypes, and strange, forced action sections spoil a game that, in its choices and their outcomes, had a seed of something very good. Shame. Still, the Cage hype train won't be derailed: he'll soon be back with a game even more 'revolutionary', no doubt.
Microsoft backtracks so much it reverses time
'TV TV TV'. Ah, the good old days of, erm, earlier this year, when Microsoft knew what it was selling and wasn't afraid of telling people. This was a revolutionary device: a voice-controlled, front room-hijacking, game-library lock-downing beast of a machine that threatened to make owning discs something that only stupid old bastards did.
Then, of course, everyone went mad. Out went the family sharing, library-locking, always-online restrictions and all the other gubbins, and in came good old discs. Which isn't really a disappointment, given that Microsoft could have used the Steam-style download system to hold players hostage. What is disappointing is that now both consoles are effectively the same. MS' future might have been a dystopian one, but it could well shown others what to do – and what not to do – next time around when these features are inevitably included.
DMC doesn't sell as well as hoped
Met with mixed reactions when first revealed, DmC went on to become one of the best hack and slash games of the year. Reinventing Dante against the superbly directed backdrop of a surveillance state gone mad (or normal, given recent developments), we gave it 8/10 and generally thought it was ace.
Despite its obvious qualities, the game fell below its sales projections. 1.2 million is respectable, of course. But we'd have loved it to sell much, much more to confirm Team Ninja's ongoing development of the series.
Sim City gets everything wrong
Where to begin? Botched launches, terrible PR, insistent devs saying it had to be played online when really it didn't, terrible AI, a smaller and less complex playing area and mechanics than the game that preceded it… we could go on. But we won't.
Needless to say, everything that could go wrong for EA and Maxis did go wrong, in the most spectacular way possible. It's in far better shape now, of course, but that doesn't really do it many favours. Sim City could have been one of 2013's best games. It ended up being a how-to manual of f***-uppery.
Ashes Cricket 2013 is the worst thing ever
We've seen a lot of strange decisions in our time, but rarely anything as outright bizarre as publisher 505 Games' handling of Ashes Cricket 2013. Delayed multiple times due to issues related to quality (it had none), it finally saw release on Steam in late November.
Why, we'll never know. Maybe someone at 505 had a bet with a rival firm as to who could release a game in the most unfinished state. At any rate Ashes 2013 turned out to be far, far worse than many could have imagined. But don't just take our word for it: