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The Top 7... Disappointing games of the decade

5) DAIKATANA

Year: 2000
Platform: PC
Developer: Ion Storm

What we expected: The biggest, baddest, most hardcore, in-your-effing face first-person shooter of all time, that’s all. Daikatana was coming from John Romero, one of the creators of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake – it’s said he even invented the word “deathmatch”. And this was his magnum opus, full of wild weapons, huge levels and smart wingmen. We wanted it bad. Yes, some folks were offended when a print ad infamously promised “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch. Suck it down.” But everyone else just did breathing exercises in eager anticipation of the embitchening suckery to come.

What we got: A very long wait that ended with a complete implosion. Daikatana and its ad were revealed in 1997, with the game expected on shelves that very Christmas. Didn’t happen. No, gamers had to wait until April 2000 to experience a broken, buggy, uninspired mess that would have been dull and dumb even if it had shipped on time 30 months earlier.

The story was some ridiculousness about jumping through time and using a magic sword to stop a virus. Graphics and sound were average at best. Your AI partners were so vapid we searched for a button that gave them their medication. There were jumping puzzles. And despite thousands of years’ worth of available enemies, Romero apparently decided people should spend an entire fourth of the game shooting at mosquitoes and cyborg frogs. Gamers hated it, critics hated it even more and Romero’s career never recovered.


4) TOO HUMAN

Year: 2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Silicon Knights

What we expected: What the game’s famous designer, Denis Dyack, had been promising us – loudly and often, in magazines and on website forums – for a full decade. Too Human was originally planned for the PlayStation… then for the GameCube… but in the end, apparently only the Xbox 360 was powerful enough to contain all its glory.

A sci-fi retelling of Norse mythology, the player would get to explore a futuristic Valhalla as Baldur the Brave, dealing with a multi-layered existential crisis the depths of which had never been attempted in this medium before. Dyack spoke of Nietzsche, of technology vs humanity and of finally crafting the experience he’d wanted to since founding developer Silicon Knights in 1992.

What we got: An eight-hour dungeon crawler with insultingly average gameplay. The much-hyped story was told through cheesy cutscenes, in a claustrophobic area outside the generic fighting levels that was too small to give the experience any real sense of scale or importance. The anticipated Norse violence seemed poorly and obviously edited to ensure a Teen rating.

But perhaps the biggest letdown was the controls, which bizarrely mapped all attacks to the right analogue stick and immediately removed any real connection between the player and the combat. You'd simply direct Baldur at the closest enemy, of which there were very few different types, and watch as he floated over. So much for suspension of disbelief. Don’t worry, though… if you died, you’d respawn in the exact same place, with the enemies damaged to the exact same degree. As long as you were willing to watch the 30-second death animation every time, you couldn’t not beat Too Human.


Above: Denis and the culmination of his vision

But by then, of course, no one really wanted to. Too Human felt like only a third of a real game (it was part one in a planned trilogy), finishing with a cliffhanger that, given the poor sales, will never be wrapped up. If this is what took ten years to make, we’d rather have waited twenty.

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52 comments

  • chewsonthemove - August 12, 2012 4:43 a.m.

    How did Two Worlds NOT make this list?
  • RonnyLive19881 - January 3, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    Where the hell is Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts?
  • INFINITYGAUNTLET - July 28, 2010 7:50 p.m.

    Daikatana is just misunderstood. Leave 'im alone! For me, HAZE was a big disappointment. Talk about hype and would've could've should've...
  • FanofSaiyan - January 31, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    Rest in pieces Sonic...
  • soren7550 - January 14, 2010 2:41 a.m.

    A bit surprised that they didn't throw in Perfect Dark Zero. (I personally love the game, but GamesRadar along with a lot of other people seem to hate it w/ a passion.)
  • TheTrooper424 - January 6, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    Prototype should have been on here somewhere : P
  • JosefMotley - January 2, 2010 9:19 a.m.

    this is probably really going to annoy someone, but for the simple fact that both Ico & Beyond Good and Evil were so overhyped as classics not ebnough people bought really made them disappointing when I actually played them. Ico = one irritating badly programmed zelda puzzle inexplicably stretched into a whole game. Beyond Good & Evil = dull stealth game that promises loads and delivers nothing. I hope you guys aren't wrong about Okami as well, that looks amazing, it better be good!
  • GRadarman316 - January 1, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    why you called the sonic reboot a "disappointment", i don't get it i just dont get it, stop dissing sonic and sonic team, just try to play the game okay.
  • IGiveUFunkButt - January 1, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    I still don't know why I completed ENTER THE MATRIX. I'll never get those hours back.
  • PatHan-bHai - February 23, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    i kinda liked it........finished it 5 times :S
  • njdudek34 - December 31, 2009 11:26 p.m.

    I actually love Too Human. Although it's usually rated a 6/10 i think it deserves an 8/10. I don't get why i'm the only one who thinks so...
  • demonslayer76 - December 31, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    sonic was terrible, and i am ashamed to say that i played it and the franchise will never have a good game
  • crossed23 - December 30, 2009 10:10 p.m.

    DRIVER 3...... That should be #1.
  • Tomsta666 - December 30, 2009 4:17 a.m.

    Fuck you gamesradar. Enter the Matrix was a fun game.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - December 29, 2009 10:20 p.m.

    There I was expecting 7 sonic the hedgehogs...
  • rxb - December 29, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    Its good to get all this hate of your chest before a new decade. Sonic was truly terrible. Also playing the Army of two demo and resident evil 5 demo changed my mind from day 1 buys to Id rather die.
  • Conman93 - December 29, 2009 7:01 p.m.

    Hopefully next years teased sonic game will be better than this one
  • Logan2911 - December 29, 2009 5:52 p.m.

    I like Sonic I thought it was a good game maybe not to buy but to rent. Too-Human was ok I had fun playing it, but i wouldn't play it again.
  • GwaR - December 29, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    No, I don't think you can do it GR. Not have more fun at Sonic's and Daikatana's expenses in the future? It's too much to ask. If only Duke Nukem Forever had been delayed another year too... Here's to many more years of fun at stupid games expenses!
  • aequitas13 - December 29, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    Have to agree with Galaxies. I was so excited for it to come out, it was my first foray into MMORPGs... After about 3 months, I was still on Tatooine and hadn't accomplished much at all. Finally got to travel to Endor and got raped by a mob of critters that were never in any star wars lore known to me. My account was cancelled after about 6 months when the coolest thing I'd done/seen up to that point was stumble across Mara Jade on some crashed crusier... The game had so much promise, but failed miserably when it forgot to be fun.

Showing 1-20 of 52 comments

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