Some games just never stand a chance, do they? Hated on from the moment they’re announced for a variety of reasons, they’re critically stoned by gamers long before anyone lays finger on pad. The following titles all fall into this category of pre-release hatred. Whether they betrayed their series’ heritage, alienated PC gamers or their developer simply shouted his big fat mouth off too much; these games loved courting premature fanboy-baiting bile.
Why it got hated on: Denis Dyack.
Certain games flirt with hate by being a bit shit. Others by pitting polarised groups of fanboys against each other in a bloodless, sun-deprived war of attrition, poor spelling and grammar. And then you get a game that comes along and gets despised for one simple, unifying reason: its creator goes and upsets everyone. This neatly brings us on to Denis Dyack and Too Human. After 10 years stuck in development hell that saw the game switch from the PlayStation to Gamecube, before eventually finding its home on 360, you’d think Dyack would want to keep a relatively humble profile. Not so.
After a poor industry response to the game’s demo at E3 2006, old Denis decided to direct his anger at EGM’s negative coverage. A subsequent rant on their podcast painted him as a 'controversial' figure all over the nets. Couple this with him rather foolishly asking NeoGAF forumites to essentially get on board with Too Human or get lost, the game’s short length and stripped features – such as a promised 4 player co-op – and the Dyack-directed resentment was too much for his distinctly average game to stand.
Was the hate justified?
Yeah. Though the game’s probably been overly vilified, we’d have to say it's unsurprising Dyack’s eccentric behaviour wound up the gaming community so much. Granted, his comments about the culture in the games industry, which forces developers to rush out demos to appease journalists and money men, might carry some weight. But it was the manner he expressed his opinions that cast him as a bit of a moustache-twirling wrong ‘un. His title also failed to deliver on its grand promise of an epic adventure. And because the game hit so many rocks during its stormy production, many gamers became so cynical prior to its release that the final product never stood a chance with them.
Why it got hated on: Rare weren’t involved.
Back in the bad old days before EA was actively encouraging and investing in genuinely fresh new IPs like Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, it was pretty much seen as Evil Incorporate in the fury-fueled irises of many gamers. This reputation for spewing out any old licensed tat wasn’t exactly helped by the announcement of a sequel to beloved N64 gem Goldeneye, which would be made without original developer Rare’s involvement.
Its creation was seen as a cynical cash cow designed to prise money from impressionable, nostalgia-addled fans of arguably the best licensed game ever. By having the sheer brass balls to use the same name as Rare’s masterpiece, it was automatically torn a new asshole. And this was long before anyone got their hands on, what was admittedly, a massively rubbish game.
Was the hate justified?
Was Jaws a big scary dude with a mouth full of metal molars? That’ll be a yes on both counts, then. Unrefined, hugely fugly and with a ridiculous non canonical plot where you play a rogue MI6 agent working for Goldfinger; it was the definition of a shoddy, cynical photocopy of a brilliant game. The use of the Goldeneye name was obviously intended to boost sales. But the internal developer EA used simply wasn’t up to the task of recreating Rare’s thoughtful, stupidly moreish multi-player fest.
Above: A big ol' can of cynical sauce in crappy game form
Why it got hated on: The art style wasn’t like its predecessor.
Diablo II is a Goth’s paradise: dark, depressing and full of sunless spaces. So it’s no surprise that a change to a more colourful, cheery palette was met with white hot gamer rage. Many fans were so disappointed with the new look that over 30,000 of them signed a scorned statement at Petition Online.
The chief complaints focused on the art style not being faithful to the series’ history, with the survey asking for: ‘A darker, gothic, cryptic and creepier environment.’ Fans also moaned that the art direction was too similar to World of Warcraft: ‘We want less colourful, vivid outside scenarios. These are too heavily influenced by the WOW.’
Was the hate justified?
Probably not. We don’t want to label groups of internet gamers en masse ungrateful, reactionary cretins, but… we can’t think of a way to end that sentence. Lets be honest, Diablo II wasn’t exactly the Sistine Chapel. Drab and grimy, we’re a bit perplexed at why the third game’s more vibrant, distinct look has left thousands so outraged, you’d think developer Blizzard Entertainment had just taken a dump in their disk drives. It’s also worth remembering it’s got at least another year’s development time. So it’s probably a bit early to be nailing it to the cross, don’t you think?
Above: How the Diablo III haters see the game