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6 PS3 Games That Disappointed You

6 PS3 Games That Disappointed You

No, it’s not a list of worst games. Calm down. That would clearly be populated by the likes of Way of the Samurai 3, The Golden Compass, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and so on.

This is a list of disappointing games. Games that failed to live up to your expectations. Games that let you down. Games that, well, disappointed you.

Of course you’ll disagree with some. You might agree with others. You may have your own. That’s why there’s a comment button so use it. Let’s talk. Let’s argue.

6. Prince of Persia

With the Prince of Persia games slowly sliding into irrelevance since Sands of Time asked the question ‘what would Prince of Persia be like if it was released today’, Ubisoft made the smart move of revamping the series. Out went the earth tones and serious vibe, in came cracking jokes and cel-shading.

A lot of the criticism of Prince of Persia since release has focused on the fact that it was made too easy by the ‘no deaths’ gimmick, as your partner Elika would save you whenever you made a mistake. That was part of the problem, as the safety net shaved huge chunks of drama off every move the Prince made, but that criticism also masks that Prince of Persia safely ticked along at its own dreary pace and had no real standout moments.

The combat was also terrible, a lot of players foregoing the system Ubisoft had in place to go for the knock-the-boss-off-the-ledge trick instead. Yet most polarising of all was its ending, which effectively undid your hard work throughout the game. Some loved it, some hated it. Yet few came away from the game overall feeling it was a step forward in the series and instead, it just renewed the longing after the magic of Sands of Time.

5. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Yet even more disappointing than that was The Forgotten Sands, which was Ubisoft acknowledging the failure of Prince of Persia to recapture the hearts of series fans and going back to the original formula – earth tones, gritty vibe, platforming around spike-infested castles and dungeons.

Somehow, Ubisoft’s attempt at damage control ended up hurting the series more, as The Forgotten Sands was – excuse the easy joke – an entirely forgettable game that had none of the character seen in the previous games as it wheeled out a limp retread of the puzzles and platforms we had seen before in the series. Everything felt recycled and stale. The drama and intrigue was gone.

Ultimately, it felt like a carbon-copy of Sands of Time, as though the team had played it but had no idea how to make their own.

4. Homefront

This will sound weird but that Homefront even forced itself into a position where its subsequent failure can be considered a disappoint is a huge success for THQ’s marketing department.

Initially, it could only dream of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Battlefield and Call of Duty, but slowly, slowly, slowly the message was getting out of there. THQ is taking this seriously. This is a big budget shooter. Its multiplayer will correct everything you hate about FPS multiplayer. Somewhere along the line, we started to believe.

This only amplified the sound of the crash when Homefront was inevitably brought back down to earth. Its single player campaign clocked in at five hours and while fun, it wasn’t the rollercoaster ride promised by the marketing department. But that’s okay, you think, because Battlefield and Call of Duty get by with their multiplayer modes rather than single player.

Unfortunately, Homefront dropped the ball here too, with launch day plagued with server issues and broken matchmaking. These were eventually ironed out but by the time that happened, most players had already stormed single player, grown impatient with the multiplayer problems and traded their copy in.

Full points to THQ’s marketing department for managing to muscle in on the Battlefield and Call of Duty conversation. Huge disappointment for everyone else that Kaos Studios couldn’t keep them there.

3. L.A. Noire

This is the one most likely to cause a fuss by its inclusion and I’m not doing so lightly. It scored 90% in Play and Chris said that it was an important videogame for how it advances the medium. There’s no denying that L.A. Noire belongs with the elite games when it comes to its production, its script and its voice-acting (maybe not so much the over-acting for the lying).

But the problem is that when you have a game as unique as L.A. Noire (go to murder scenes, find clues, talk to suspects) framed within typical Rockstar touches (open world, gunplay, driving, hidden collectibles), people expect a Rockstar game. You can see how games like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto and Bully have crossover with each other.

L.A. Noire came with its own set of unique quirks and idiosyncracies that meant it didn’t really fit into that Rockstar mould. It provided the open world but no incentive to explore it, with all buildings closed and no reason to take to the rooftops outside of missions that drew you there (fun fact: all of the hidden 50 golden film reels are on the ground). It had gunplay but only when L.A. Noire allowed it, with even chase scenes inconsistent on whether you can open fire or not. You can drive but there are no stunt jumps to find, as that wouldn’t fit the vibe of the game.

Yet most divisive of all was the way that L.A. Noire is essentially a hugely linear game at its core. You don’t have the impact on narrative that you feel like you should, given your crucial role as a detective at the heart of each mystery who can make right or wrong assumptions. L.A. Noire is a game that surrounds you with safety nets and guiding hands, cleverly hidden behind last-minute confessions or notepad mechanics but still very much there.

It’s a game where you can die but one that’s almost impossible to fail.

Some will argue that L.A. Noire is not actually a typical Rockstar project – Team Bondi behind development rather than a named Rockstar studio – therefore there are no problems in the game not playing out in the typical Rockstar way, nor should there be anyway.

That’s an entirely fair argument to make, and one we considered when giving the game 90%. Yet for others, it was a disappointment in terms of why they had a world with no reason to explore it, why they had guns without being allowed to use them and how such an open game could feel so constricted and linear. The Rockstar hallmarks gave them certain expectations going in, which weren’t met by virtue of it playing out like something different and unique.

L.A. Noire was a hugely polarising game and that’s why as many were disappointed as there were those who were thrilled by it. Even so, it makes for fascinating discussion, so it would be great to hear what those who have played L.A. Noire thought of it.

2. Final Fantasy XIII

Whether it’s 12 hours, 15 hours or 20 hours, it’s well known by now that Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t really hit its stride until the final part of the game where it opens up. It’s those first hours that are the reason for Final Fantasy XIII’s place on this list.

Some have argued that the writing is adolescent and the characters are annoying, but those criticisms often come from those who are new to the Final Fantasy series. Its hard to imagine them being too disappointed as they won’t have had previous experience with the series to compare it to.

Instead, it’s the series long fans who found themselves having to deal with linear corridors upon linear corridors, auto-battle completing the majority of early fights for them, not being able to create your own party until much later in the game and so on.

It was a huge shift in gameplay for Final Fantasy fans and not all of them adapted. It’s arguably the disappointment of Final Fantasy XIII that has sparked Square-Enix into making Final Fantasy XIII-2, a game where the marketing message has been how it’s fixing the problems with its predecessor.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Arguments for and against its single player campaign are more interesting than those against its multiplayer, which I’ll get to shortly, mostly because it’s not quite as cut and dry as people would like to believe.

There are arguments that the story doesn’t make any sense. Can’t argue there. There are plenty of plot holes ranging from why the undercover agent doesn’t kill Makarov in the airport rather than slaughtering civilians right the way through to why Russia would choose to invade the US from the East coast.

As f0r the gameplay… this is where it’s harder to pinpoint faults, especially given how well Call of Duty 4’s campaign was received. They’re almost identical. Besides Modern Warfare 2’s campaign being far more over the top and having a nonsense story attached to it, in terms of cold, hard gameplay? Almost identical. There has been a lot of ‘Modern Warfare 2 sucks’ guffawing on the internet but very few people can come up with a reason why the Modern Warfare 2 campaign is considered such an abomination next to Call of Duty 4.

The multiplayer, however, is the reason Modern Warfare 2 stands as the biggest disappointment on PlayStation3 and the game which has had the most backlash this gen.

There’s a huge list of complaints but the three most pertinent are camping, Commando and hacking.

Modern Warfare 2 quickly gained a reputation as a game full of players who camp and it’s become a big enough problem that it’ll be interesting to see what Modern Warfare 3 does to combat it. The problem in Modern Warfare 2 is that the killstreaks rewarded camping, as players were more concerned about avoiding dying that actively killing. All they needed were enough killstreaks to get their first one activated, which lent itself to more kills for the next killstreak, which lent itself to yet more kills for the final killstreak.

Commando was also the most ill-thought out perk seen in a FPS. The idea is that Commando doubles your melee range. That in itself doesn’t sound harmless but when combined with Marathon (unlimited sprint), Lightweight (run faster) and Tac-Knife (extends melee range), players soon abandoned shooting in favour of running around the map and stabbing. It was a first person shooter that encouraged you not to shoot. Bizarre and utterly infuriating to fight against, plus the ‘homing’ attack of the melee didn’t help matters.

Finally, hacking killed the game, as players figured out how to call in endless supply crates. Matches would soon fill up with UAVs, Predator missiles, AC-130s, Pave Lows, Sentry Guns, Counter-UAVs… it was a mess. It was patched by Infinity Ward but the damage had already been done to Modern Warfare 2’s reputation and, by extension, the Call of Duty series.

So that places more pressure on Modern Warfare 3 to right the wrongs of its predecessor but how will it eliminate camping? Is it a problem tied into the killstreak rewards or the map design? We’ll have to wait and see.

  • Mark

    The complaints you’ve had with Modern Warfare 2 aren’t exclusive to PS3. You could have done an article about it on it’s own without leveling it at PS3. As much as agree with the hacking comments, it’s rare now on PS3. 360 players still have to deal with it every day.

  • Glenn1873

    good list, l.a noire started out a revelation for me but I soon became bored with it and ended up dislikin it, final fantasy was a major dissappointment, all u did was run in a straight line and hammer x in the battles, the next one will need to be a big step up

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