5 Franchises That Got Beaten Like a Dead Horse in 2011

2. Minecraft

Yes, I know you built an exact replica of Darth Vader’s Executor Super Star Destroyer as seen in Return of the Jedi. Yes, I know it took you thousands of grueling man-hours to complete. Yes, I know you’re so deeply entrenched (get it?) in Minecraft culture that it’s coming out your eyes and you see it in your sleep.

I still. Do not. Care about creepers. Or anything else Minecraft meme-related.

Sure, Minecraft is an indie darling with its own convention and a Cinderella story of the highest video game order. It has a huge community and lots of open-endedness and a randomly generated world that stretches on in all directions forever blah blahblah blahblah blahblah. Great. That’s really great. Go play it then. But do we really need thousands of hours of YouTube videos and blogs and cardboard hats and incessant memes about creepers. Wait, creepers — they’re gonna creep? ARE THEY REALLY NOW?

Please call me when there’s something new to report from Minecraft. I’ve had enough for one year.

1. Assassin’s Creed

Activision is bad about Call of Duty, but at least it did add new stuff, like Call of Duty: Elite, to support its community (and again, Call of Duty XP was pretty cool and proceeds went to actual soldiers). Meanwhile, Ubisoft is seriously just leading us around in the Assassin’s Creed series, content to offer absolutely zero in the way of newness with its yearly iterations to a series. Seriously — Assassin’s Creed: Revelations? Exactly the same game as last year. Putting an awesome gray beard on your protagonist does not count as creating a new game.

Ubisoft has given precious few details about the larger (completely crazy) story of the Assassin’s Creed universe, and it took three games to tell us just about nothing while putting together an arc for Ezio Auditore. Look, I like Ezio, too, but I’m starting to get a serious “Lost” vibe from this series — as in, the writers have no idea where they’re going with all this and they’re stalling for time by raising more questions with zero clue as to what the answers are. We need an Assassin’s Creed game with a serious bump in story and a serious improvement in gameplay, and we need it soon. Because even climbing old buildings and stabbing guys in the back is getting old, as evidenced by the addition of about 900 new ways to kill people by the end of the Ezio arc. How’sabout some fresh content, Ubisoft?

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Follow Hornshaw on Twitter: @philhornshaw.

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13 Comments on 5 Franchises That Got Beaten Like a Dead Horse in 2011

Mike Roch

On December 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm

you! Assassans creed is the best series since pacman!(also epic game) Ubisoft knows exactly where theyre going with the story! Vengence is the answer! And while i have not yet played revelations, i di know this: no matter how many times you add onto q story as complex as this, you have to k ow where youre going with it or the story stops making sence, and i fully understand it! So you! No one gives a about your personal opinion, because youre a dumb ass who doesnt know what the hes tslking about!

Phil Hornshaw

On December 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm


Um, in this conversation, it sounds like of the two of us, I’m the ONLY one who knows what he’s talking about, since I did play Revelations (as well as every other Assassin’s Creed game) and you didn’t. So by definition, you don’t know what Revelations is like or whether anything I say is valid or not.

Feel free to come back and berate me once you’ve actually played the game we’re discussing.


On December 16, 2011 at 2:18 am

Mr. Hornshaw, your articles make me laugh out loud.

Thank you and Sincerly,


On December 16, 2011 at 6:12 am


You might make a more coherent argument if you left out the swearing, ad hominem attacks, learned to spell and stopped ending every sentence with an exclamation mark.


On December 16, 2011 at 7:15 am


I can’t find the link now but it was just a few days ago that Ubisoft openly admitted that they are going NOWHERE with the story. They have NO end planned out.


On December 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

4. Should have also been EA and Battlefield 3 as well, for beating out 16 namesake tiles/expansions in the last 9 years. And besides its become practically a COD shooter now anyways.


On December 16, 2011 at 8:30 am

@Mark LOL assasin creed the best since pacman ? i think u forgot a billion games that are better then both pac man and assasin creed, Owned noob


On December 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

Man, truly, your post sucks ass. It is true that COD is just the same game, but why the hell include Skyrim? It is basically a new game altogether, and is much better than Oblivion.

Phil Hornshaw

On December 16, 2011 at 9:25 am


Aww, thanks, dude. Much appreciated.


Did you, uh, even read the part about Skyrim? It’s not about the game at all. It’s about the Internet memes — about fans overusing them to the point of making them annoying. Remember “The cake is a lie?” Now we have that with “Arrow to the knee,” taking a funny thing and rendering it totally annoying.

You know you can read a thing before you comment on it, right?

Phil Hornshaw

On December 16, 2011 at 9:26 am


Oh, and in regards to Skyrim being a “new game altogether,” in the words of the immortal Mitch Hedberg, “Uh…no it ain’t.”


On December 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Great article. I also find the angry responses even the more hilarious due to their obvious lack of reading skills (maybe they didn’t even read it at all). I think my biggest issue with the AC games is the fact they admitted they don’t have an ending. It’s one thing to start a story not knowing exactly how it ends, but once you get half way through, you should have some idea. I don’t even know if you can call something a story that has no intended ending.

Hell, The Never Ending Story, even had an ending.


On December 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Liked the article. Your comparison with AC and Lost was right on. (still a fan of AC though.)
@Mike Roch
You do know that Pacman hasn’t changed its game play either. this guy probably noobe tubes

Red Menace

On December 18, 2011 at 12:12 am

“I’m often asked if we’re doing a third game after ACII… I mean, we could do 35 of these,” he told Xbox World 360.

And they’re trying.