The most disappointing games of 2010 - GamesRadar's editor choices

Get ready to get angry - there are some good games in here

Hydrophobia

David Houghton: It wasn’t just that Hydrophobia was a piss-poor game. The whole debacle was bloody insulting to boot. Dark Energy Digital, Hydrophobia’s developer, had made one hell of a song and dance out of gaining publicity with the thing over the years. It had gained countless hyperbolous preview pages by pressing all the right buttons. It was an indie developer, and a British one at that. It was turning the idea of an XBLA game on its head by using the format to put out a full-scale, third-person action game. Not only that, but it had developed a groundbreaking new water rendering technology that was going to blow us all away. It was the little developer that could, and good lord did we love it for that.


Above: Groundbreaking, uh, something-or-other

But then its game turned out to be a load of half-arsed misery, borked controls and obnoxious voice-acting. And Dark Energy essentially told those of us in the games journalism fraternity who reviewed it negatively that we were unprofessional for not liking it. And when it lost that fight, it used the very criticism it refuted as publicity for its relaunched, “fixed” version of the game. My mouth. It still tastes bad.


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Matt Cundy: Despite the disappointing lack of any opportunity to murderise wimpy Jedi younglings, the first Force Unleashed laid some promising foundations. A bit like the first Death Star, it had its faults, but with a few tweaks and twiddles the next one could be bigger and stronger and better. I had high hopes for the sequel. But, ew... what happened LucasArts? I found that trudging through boring environments fighting the same enemies with the same attacks over and over and over in Force Unleashed II proved only slightly more enjoyable than being vigorously tongue-loved by Jabba the Hutt. And I don't imagine that having a perverted pipe-smoking slug abuse you with his slobbery mouth muscle is enjoyable.


Above: Well hello there, fanboy-pandering, utterly pointless Yoda cameo

Like a true Star Wars idiot I dutifully played to the end, hoping for something good to happen. But all I got was a boss fight with Darth Vader so tediously drawn out it made journeying through the Sarlacc's digestive tract seem like completing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsnips. Apparently space vegetables are fast.

Force Unleashed II - not an awful game, but definitely my most disappointing, sad-face let-down experience of 2010. The Force is urine-weak with this one.


The Fight: Lights Out

Nathan Irvine: Wow, what a limp-wristed bout of fisticuffs this turned out to be. The promise of matching PS3’s superb 1:1 controller, Move, with a sort of updated and more violent Super Punch-Out game had my blood pumping for knocking the stuffing out of digital men of varying sizes and ethnic backgrounds. But rather than giving you the rewards for how hard you can throw a punch it binds you to an archaic system of having to level up your character’s skill set and strengths before you can start knocking folk out with haymakers.


Above: The Flail: Spaz Out

In short, your physical exertions have almost zero bearing to what actually happens on screen, bar a ridiculing bout of windmilling your arms. This leaves you knackered and wheezing out swears as you’re pummelled senseless by granite-like foes. Rubbish. I honestly feel more immediate interaction with Wii Sport’s boxing, and that’s saying something. The Fight could’ve been a contender but instead it ended up as a washed-up chump.


Gran Turismo 5

Justin Towell: I hate Gran Turismo 5. I hate the way hundreds of cars look like PSP assets. I hate the menus, the awful shadows, the focus on slow, boring races. I hate the way the cars bounce off each other. I hate being first on the last straight only be pushed off by an AI driver. The way corner cutting isn't penalised in races. I hate the way vehicles you earned in the PSP version can't be used in career mode despite the import function.


Above: The pinnacle of PS3 rendering capabilities. Also: five years of polishing

I hate the way it reduced me to grinding Daytona Raceway for 45 minutes in order to get enough XP to open the final A-spec tier. I hate the damage modelling. I hate the track creator. I hate the unbalanced difficulty. I hate the pretentious presentation. I hate the lack of detail in the scenery. I hate wasting 250,000 credits on a car that can't even keep up with the stragglers. I hate the Top Gear van race. I hate the way it's sold so many copies Polyphony is unlikely to address any of these problems for the next game. Get it away from me, I never want to see it again. I hate it.

Jan 7, 2011

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