Biggest Gaming Disappointments of 2012
The Stubborn Refusal of Shooters to Die (or Evolve)
In a lot of ways, the crop of games we saw during 2012 was highly disappointing. Some of the titles we expected to be awesome were a bit on the weak side, and to my mind, the shooter genre on the whole has underperformed pretty significantly. Ranging from Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to Borderlands 2 and even Far Cry 3, I found shooters in 2012 to be kind of…boring.
That’s not to indict any of these games, or any others, of being “bad” in a straight-up judgmental sense. I liked Mass Effect 3, I liked Borderlands 2 and (I think I kind of) like Far Cry 3. But the mechanics, the guns, the tropes, the ideas — shooting guns at people in general — is stagnant. As each new piece of DLC drops for Mass Effect 3, I find myself more and more bored of the chest-high walls and the shooting galleries that make up its “action.” Black Ops 2, for all its good ideas, is still a stop-and-pop shooter. And Far Cry 3, for all the positive reaction is open-worldiness has gained from others (although not our Ben Richardson), the shooting parts are the same thing we’ve seen for the last decade.
I think the shooter genre needs a serious shakeup, if not total, WWII-shooter-style retirement. At the very least, fewer games like Black Ops 2 in the genre, and more like Bulletstorm. I want something fresh, and there was almost nothing fresh to be seen in 2012.
No News Is Bad News
Half-Life 3 – Mark Burnham
Yet another year goes by with no real news. Instead we get plenty of rumors, conspiracy theories and generally sad, thrashing hope. As Jim Sterling put it earlier this year, Valve needs to sh$% or get off the pot.
PS3 Skyrim DLC – James Heaney
I have been incredibly disappointed that the Skyrim DLC never made its way to the PS3. I felt it was really misleading that the box said there will be downloadable content and and that promise was never fulfilled. I understand exclusives and timed exclusive — not that I like it — but when I am told there will be add on content that is something I wait for.
Doom 4 – Devin Connors
I was at Quakecon in 2008 when Todd Hollenshead revealed that id Software was working on Doom 4. He promised more details at Quakecon 2009, but didn’t deliver. The same was said of Quakecon 2010, but no details were divulged. Now it’s 2012, and we still know nothing of our next Cacodemon-packed adventure.
That’s four years with virtually no new information on Doom 4. And on top of that, it’s been over eight years since Doom 3. Let that sink in for a moment…id Software has developed and released only two triple-A titles in that eight year period. Furthermore, every other id Software title released since Doom 3 has been a modified re-release of an older game (Quake Live, Wolfenstein 3D Classic, Doom 3 BFG).
While I’m not expecting (nor am I wanting) a new id Software title every year, this heralded developer needs to strike a balance, starting with Doom 4. It can’t be another 3 or 4 years between Doom 4 and id’s next project.
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