Some say 2007 has been the greatest year ever in videogame history. We've had some top games spread generously throughout the year, a console launch and some pretty amazing headline-grabbing announcements. But not everything that made the news in 2007 has been blessed with brilliance. So in memory of this, we've compiled our picks for 2007's biggest disappointments in a special VideoGamer.com Top 10. Strap yourself in, take a deep breath, and ready yourself for some truly shocking stuff.
Assassin's Creed was good, but it wasn't 10 out of 10 good
The only reason Ubisoft's stealth assassination sci-fi historical action game is one of 2007's top 10 disappointments is because it was hyped so much we all thought it was going to be game of the year. The gorgeous screen shots, the adrenaline pumping teaser trailers and the promise of true open world gameplay made most of us shake with excitement. In the end, we got a fairly boring, repetitive, but lovely-looking action game that didn't live up to the expectations everyone had for it. We're not saying it's not a good game, indeed Tom gave it an eight out of 10 in his review, but it just wasn't everything we had hoped. Sigh.
GTA IV delayed from 2007 to sometime between February 1 and April 30 2008
Oh crap. That was the collective gasp from every gamer in the world when it emerged that super hyper advanced alpha hyped gangster sandbox kill-em-up Grand Theft Auto IV wouldn't be coming out until parent company Take-Two's second financial quarter of 2008. Queue girly Take That have broken up wailing from every GTA fan with a PC and an Internet connection. Aware of the storm the news would stir up, Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two said: "We all recognize that perfecting the game is vital and I can assure everyone it will be worth the wait. We owe it to the game's millions of fans, to our dedicated development team, and to our shareholders to make sure that Grand Theft Auto IV is a groundbreaking gaming experience that takes maximum advantage of next generation technology". All we can say is, if GTA IV isn't 10 out of 10 stuff, it'll be making an appearance in VideoGamer.com's Top 10 Gaming Disappointments of 2008.
The first six months of the PS3's life
Sony became the butt of one or two jokes in the months after the PS3 hit UK stores, despite it setting records and Sony giving away 46 inch Bravia TVs to everyone who queued inside Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street. One, it launched at such a high price only Bill Gates and his hangers on could actually afford one. Two, it had rubbish games for the first half-year of its life. Terrible exclusives (Lair) and sloppy multi-format releases (I'm looking at you PES 2008 and Sonic the Hedgehog) and three, it came out over here a shocking five months after everyone else. It all contributed to make for one of the most disappointing console launches in recent memory. Sure, now the PS3 is looking much nicer, with a price cut in tow and some decent games, but for a long time there was absolutely no reason to buy a PS3. There's only one word to describe that - and that word is criminal.
Mega-hyped triple-A PS3-selling dragon flying game Lair turned out to be utter balls
Has there been a game as far away from what you thought it would be quality wise? Sure, we didn't think it would be game of the year or anything, but it was a PS3 exclusive that was intended to be a system seller. We're still scratching our heads on how Lair's developer, Factor 5, made such a shockingly bad title given their track record with the glorious Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games on N64 and GameCube. The worst thing about Lair? The controls were completely broken - there was no option to play it other than use the Sixaxis' motion controlling tech - and it didn't work. Dear oh dear.
E3 turned out to be a damp squib
E3 used to be a nuclear explosion of gaming excitement, with more new game announcements and megaton news than us poor game hacks could cope with. But that was then, and now is now. 2007's scaled down E3 was about as interesting as an accountancy firm's Christmas party. Let's go through it - there was a distinct lack of announcements, there was hardly any excitement and there was too much focus on 2007 instead of what's coming later on. Come on guys, this is the video game industry. This is entertainment! Here's hoping 2008's E3 will feature a bit more, well... life.
A lack of gamers' games for the Nintendo Wii
Before you Wii fanboys self combust, we'll lay down a disclaimer: we love the Wii. We love Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime: Corruption and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. But what we don't love are the acres upon acres of rubbish third-party mini-game led titles that we hope are piling up in a warehouse somewhere gathering dust. We wouldn't care normally, but it looks like these rubbish casual games are drowning out the excellence that could be happening on Nintendo's motion sensing console. Apart from the aforementioned games, we can only think of maybe Super Paper Mario that will be of suitable quality to long-standing Nintendo fans. Here's hoping some third-party developers will start to see the light and make games to compare with Nintendo's stuff in 2008.
Windows Vista sucks balls for gaming
Vista was hailed as the next big thing in PC gaming and perhaps its saviour. How foolish we were for believing the hype. Other than the odd game featuring some nicer graphical effects when running under Vista and a top end graphics card, Vista has been a complete nightmare for gamers. We thought that we might see some improvements to game performance towards the end of 2007, but we've had no such luck. If you're a gamer you're better off sticking with XP, which no one could have predicted we'd be saying when that launched all those years ago.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men turned out to be just a little bit rubbish
All the previews talked up Kane & Lynch as an intelligent, cool, cinematic heist game with two central characters you'd end up loving to hate. In the end what we got was a solid enough video game, but an unspectacular one that didn't live up to the hype. Its controls are clunky, it looks quite dated and the action can't compare with other excellent shooters released in and around the same time. Ah well, I'll guess we'll have to wait a little while longer for the Reservoir Dogs style video game we all know someone somewhere has to get right eventually.
No game has managed to challenge World of Warcraft as the world's undisputed number one MMO
We love WoW here at VideoGamer.com HQ. We love it so much we even dedicate one evening a week to playing it as a group (I'm an Undead Priest btw). But sometimes we tire of bashing the crap out of orcs and elves with swords and spells. We want something a little... different. And unfortunately, while there are some solid MMO alternatives out there, nothing has really grabbed us by the balls and made us star jump in excitement. Not Lord of the Rings Online, which is too similar to WoW for us, and, while Guild Wars, Tabula Rasa, Final Fantasy XI and City of Heroes are solid, they haven't captured our imagination in the same way Warcraft has. Fingers crossed something steps up to the MMO plate in 2008.
XBL Arcade and PSN
You know what's missing from Xbox LIVE Arcade? Actual arcade games - and we don't mean arcade games so old that they were ported to our Mega Drives and Super Nintendos. We're talking about the golden age of arcade machines, when the likes of SEGA Rally, Daytona, Virtua Fighter, Ridge Racer, Virtua Cop and Time Crisis were the business. Surely this lot would go down a storm on Xbox LIVE Arcade or PSN. We can't be the only ones desperate to see Scud Race again or Crazy Taxi with online leaderboards. Make it happen SEGA and Namco. You ruled the arcades once and you can rule the virtual arcades with a little effort.