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The Top 7... Disappointing games of the decade

1) ENTER THE MATRIX

Year: 2003
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC
Developer: Shiny Entertainment

What we expected: The original theatrical run of The Matrix was as mind-blowing and horizon-expanding as the 1977 premier of Star Wars. Everyone who saw it left in slack-jawed awe of the seemingly impossible special effects or was stunned by the film’s intriguing, potentially franchise-igniting premise. Word quickly spread of a sequel, then two sequels to make a complete trilogy. Expectations were astronomical, obviously, both for the films and the videogame adaptation that would finally let us take control of the excruciatingly awesome Neo, Morpheus and Trinity, or in our wildest dreams, leap from rooftop to rooftop as the undying Agent Smith.


Above: What the fu… who the hell is this?

What we got: Two brand new characters (Ghost and Niobe) who would play minor roles in the tie-in sequel film (The Matrix Reloaded). So, right off the bat we’re not playing as the superhuman heroes of the first film, which was an instant “WTF?” for most of the gaming populace. This was kind of balanced out by the fact the game was treated as a serious part of the Matrix story, with plot points that crossover with the film and directly influence future events in the series. Sounded like a decent compromise… until it actually came out, revealing a sloppy, buggy, indefensibly unfinished mess. Even if it were a smooth experience, the gameplay devolved into using the same bullet-time kicks over and over again, while never once letting us perform the dazzling acrobatics that made the 1999 movie a permanent part of pop culture.


Above: Hope you like doing this… and only this

The main run, gun and a kick game was dull, but anytime the game tried to diversify, the results were even worse. Driving levels (meant to lead directly into Reloaded’s hectic highway scene) looked, sounded and handled like ass, and the final area played exactly like Sewer Shark, a Sega CD title that’s mostly remembered for being, well, shitty. Oh right, then there was the whole “lesbian kiss” fiasco…


Above: GARLZ KISSIN IS HOOOOOOTTTT

Persephone (Monica Bellucci) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) are supposed to lock lips for a (VERY IMPORTANT) plot point. Naturally this captured everyone’s attention, prompting we’d guess thousands of people to play through to just that point and witness two very attractive, very popular actresses make out in a videogame. As the video shows, Smith couldn’t be less interested in the scene, which sucks for people who paid to see this, and even more for those of who were actually attempting to suspend our disbelief for the sake of an action movie. When you’re this stoic, this unwaveringly disinterested in the performance you agreed to, how can you expect anyone else to care?

Despite all of these crippling issues and venomous word of mouth, the game still sold five million copies in 2003. However, this botched game and its two film counterparts did enough damage to the Matrix brand that it’s never fully recovered. From 1999 to 2003, this was poised to become a major cross-media juggernaut on par with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Instead, it fizzled in the span of six months (May to November 2003) and to this day remains stuck in the “oh the first one was cool but the rest sucked” camp. Subsequent games have been better (Path of Neo, Matrix Online) but thanks to the jumbled nonsense that was Enter the Matrix, far fewer people are willing to bite.

Dec 28, 2009


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Top 7

50 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.
  • 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.
  • TedDidlio - December 29, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    I must disagree. I know I'm in the HUGE minority, and to be fair, it HAS been a long time since I played it, and I was a much younger chap when I played it, but.. I genuinely enjoyed Enter The Matrix. It wasn't perfect, but I thought it was tight, looked good for it's time, and was really satisfying once you go the hang of it.
  • jackthemenace - December 29, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    ha, girrlllzzz kissin is hoooot made me laugh like hell XD i'm such a child.

Showing 1-20 of 50 comments

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