How many times have we been told that [put Generic Action Game title here] will change the way we play? How many times have we been told that [Mediocre Sports Game 2011 title here] will revolutionise gameplay?
Hype is a part of gaming whether we like it or not, but some games are more guilty of it than others. So we've decided to take a look at this generation's worst offenders.
First announced as a PS3 exclusive and then released on the Xbox 360 and PC as well, Assassin's Creed promised huge environments, an unprecedented crowd system, parkour and beautiful graphics.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft forgot to add varied, engaging gameplay to the mix. Gamers were given repetitive missions and a goofy way to escape from pursuers by sitting on a bench instead. That's not to say that Assassin's Creed didn't do anything right ? I loved the parkour and combat. It's just that this game was merely a tech demo for what would later follow in the critically-acclaimed Assassin's Creed 2.
Was there any doubt that Halo 3 was going to break sales records? Well, judging from Microsoft's aggressive advertising push, yes. Microsoft hyped up the game to such an extent that a perfect score would be the only acceptable rating for the title.
While the game won numerous awards and garnered critical praise, Halo 3 wasn't a revolution ? using the same engine as Halo 2 and looking visually underwhelming. The gameplay also reflected this, with "bigger, better, faster" being the mantra instead of "this is what the Xbox 360 is all about". Let's hope that Halo: Reach shows us what the Xbox 360 is capable of...
Grand Theft Auto IV
After Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, gamers around the world were keen to see what the "next-generation" sequel would be like. Would it incorporate the huge worlds, big explosions and humungous variety of vehicles of its predecessor? Well ? funnily enough ? no, it wouldn't.
After all the hype, gamers were simply given a more-grounded, "story-driven" title ? with less vehicles, a much smaller world and less freedom. Sure, we got more mini-games, an awesome multiplayer mode and a more layered city; but that's not what people expected from the series. Many gamers turned to Saints Row 2 for their fix of nonsensical fun instead.
Army of Two
My goodness, a game devoted to cooperative play! How cool is that?! (hint: it's not cool if the game is average). EA thought it would be a good idea to capitalise on the co-op craze with this shooter ? with the title making it to many a gamer's wishlist.
And capitalise they did, despite the fact that the game was for all intents and purposes a hastily-assembled series of interactive cut-scenes and a waste of battery life in your second controller. You're better off checking out the sequel, Army of Two: The 40th Day (Review coming soon! Ed.).
More on page 2!