Top 10 Most Overrated Video Games Of This Decade So Far


Gamers are a passionate bunch, they always have been, and it leads to some of the most intense, well thought-out and informative debates across any medium. Most of the time if you consider yourself anything of a gamer, you’re well versed in the pixellated works of things like Fez or Shovel Knight, just as much as bigger multi-million behemoths like Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty can provide the occasional thrill.

However, once all’s set and done and the effect of all this stuff have worn off, you’re left with a bevy of popular-sounding titles that under the hood, just don’t hold up in the long run.

10. Uncharted 3: Drake€™s Deception

Naughty Dog are by far one of the greatest game developers known to man. They’re responsible for some of the most lovable characters in the history of the medium, and unlike almost any triple A developer this side of Rockstar, aren’t afraid to gleefully experiment to see what insane scenarios they can conjure up.

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However, with Uncharted 3 there was an overwhelming feeling that the core tale of Drake’s adventures just didn’t need to be told. Was there really much impetus to flesh out how a young Drake met Sully, as well as gameplay-wise having set-piece after set-piece just for the sake of it?

There was nothing inherently wrong with the gameplay or art direction therein – it is Naughty Dog after all, everything looked spectacular – but when it came to actually playing Uncharted 3, there weren’t any core innovations to Drake’s movement or level design, and the approaches therein were exactly the same, save for a level set aboard a capsized ship. When all was said and done there was nay one sequence you’d want to see again or show off to anyone else, and for such a spectacle-filled Uncharted 2, that was a shame.

9. Infamous: Second Son

At launch (well, still now, really) the PS4 desperately needed something to show off to the masses. “Here it is, here’s what you’ve been waiting for, it’s shiny and everything!” they appeared to shout, as the third Infamous ambled into view, doffed its beanie to all in attendance and muttered a barely audible “Whatever, man.”

Still fans gave it their best, they tried to get on board with the divisive angst-filled Delsin Rowe (he wasn’t that bad) and they actively wanted to care about his plight as a nobody-turned-superhero, saving his city from a villainous concrete-infection.

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Yes, one of the main villains can form concrete out of thin air… as you do. Tom Hardy’s Locke would’ve been thrilled.

It’s after swallowing this strange concept that all the previous trappings of the franchise start seeping in, cementing once again exactly why Sucker Punch just can’t seem to break through into gaming’s elite. The floaty combat remained, the lack of being able to take any damage for more than a second ruined any sense of being empowered, and the general feel of combat hit with the impact of a flailing kipper.

Infamous sure did look pretty, but like other first-party nosedive Knack; there was nothing outside a few minutes of enjoyment buried within.

8. L.A. Noire

A regular feature on any “So close, but so far”-type lists, Team Bondi and Rockstar’s co-developed L.A. Noire could’ve been the turning point in interactive narratives – so solid and believable were its facial animations, it actually ended up bringing the entire project down around them.

See, in making sure cheek muscles and eye-twitches animate in an eerily lifelike manner, it drew attention to the otherwise ‘gamey’-looking way characters’ bodies would move, which is all to get away from diving straight into describing how godawful the interrogations were.

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Basically, you were attempting to ‘break’ suspects you’d taken in by presenting them with conflicting evidence or statements at just the right time, but in practice these boiled down to either 1. Having multiple items that would do the trick, yet the game insisted on one, and 2. Having ‘hero’ Cole Phelps go from shouting the house down one minute to completely mild-mannered “Please… do go on” sentiments the next.

Naturally that didn’t stop the games press lauding it as the second coming, as although yes the facial tech was revolutionary, when not put to best effect it’ll be forever reconciled to the ‘wasted opportunity’ bin.

7. The Walking Dead: Season 2

Telltale Games are a studio with one good idea; why not tell a ‘choose your own adventure’-style tale, with all the trimmings of modern game design?

A solid concept, and one that worked wonders with the first season of The Walking Dead – although since then the team have stretched themselves so thin amongst a ridiculous amount of projects (from a Game of Thrones tie-in to Minecraft, of all things) that their flagship frontrunner felt completely malnourished.

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Save for a very intense seen in the opening episode that’ll strike a chord with animal lovers, the rest of season two was completely throwaway. Gone was any overarching drive to discover something (like what happened to Clem’s family in the first) and in was a series of grey moral choices, simply because that’s what’s expected.

In the end you didn’t care if anyone survived, as many of their actions and death scenes were either predictable or laughably bad. And when the only great character is a villain you only love watching because he’s such a vile monster in the first place, it speaks wonders as to how far Telltale had fallen since the first one.

6. Hitman: Absolution

There was a time when Agent 47’s cueball-head was as synonymous with gaming as Solid Snake’s bandanna or Sam Fisher’s goggles – but alas, one swift kick in the lacklustre sequels will put you down for the count.

IO Interactive have since said 47 is returning at some point, but for now the last entry in the series was 2012’s extremely underwhelming Absolution; a game that looked positively gorgeous but only had mere remnants of the franchise that came beforehand.

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Somehow it was enough to avoid it getting a much-needed critical drubbing, as fans discovered things like not gaining access to the twin silverballer pistols until way later in the game, a focus on action-heavy mechanics, linear level design and worst of all; a disguise system that was completely broken.

No longer could you throw on the clothes of anyone from police officers to janitors and feel comfortable behind enemy lines, now everything was metered; meaning if you ran out of juice for the super stealthy move of lowering your head a little it was alert-stations, no matter how far away the person eyeballing you was.

5. Super Smash Bros.

What is it about Super Smash Bros. that seems to stand the test of time? Whenever you speak to anyone about what franchises they love, what games they’d recommend and what they’ve been playing recently, nobody ever mentions Smash Bros.

Yet, despite this ‘hidden gem’ reputation, it’s one of the best-selling titles on every subsequent Wii platform, with console owners losing their damn minds on forums over whether someone like Diddy Kong is “too overpowered” – despite them all controlling exactly the same.

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From the most basic play to anything so-called ‘high level’, SSB in-motion looks like one gigantic fuzz-filled fireworks display; cute and enrapturing for a few seconds, but ultimately completely hollow and forgettable in the long run.

At least that’s what it feels like – who out there is keeping this barely iterative series going with such little in the way of forward momentum?

4. Alan Wake

Developer Remedy leaving the Max Payne franchise to pursue something new was only going to go one of two ways; either it would be totally worthwhile, the team developing new and unique ways to experience third-person combat all over again – or we’d get something like Alan Wake; a game dripping with surrealist Twin Peaks-vibes, yet has nothing worthwhile gameplay-wise to stick around for.

The plot started innocently enough with Wake trying to finish a project by taking a vacation up into the mountains, but from there on out it descended into complete madness, topped off by an ending that felt ambiguous to a fault – but then again, that’s probably what Twin Peaks fans would want.

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Gameplay was based on a cool light/dark mechanic that meant you first had to shine a light on foes to open them up for actual firepower – a sweet idea that got very old within the first few minutes. And once you’d been playing for hours with nothing in the way of upgrades as the plot continued to do somersaults, it didn’t make for anywhere near as tight an experience as the previous two Max Payne games.

3. Bloodborne

Let’s be clear – as it was mentioned in the intro – Bloodborne is still a phenomenal game. Its combat engine is reliably robust with meaty connections on every weapon hit, and the world around you looks absolutely impeccable.

However, and it’s a big on; the general furore around why its being so critically praised – a ‘unique and innovative’ combat system, multiple ways to play and comments around how incredibly it is to replay over and over, are – quite simply – *ahem* poppycock.

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There’s nothing here on the level of Dark Souls II’s Queen Mytha fight where you can drain her area of poison beforehand if you know what you’re doing, and in addition precisely because of the weapon balancing, boring colour palette and stringent reliance on melee combat, you won’t be replaying this for any length of time after first completion.

It’s baffling how high a pedestal this is being put on, and thus it’s worth remembering that for everything it does well – 2011’s Dark Souls still outshines it across the board.

2. Destiny

You wouldn’t think a game so culturally lambasted and downright despised by almost everyone you mention it to would be ‘overrated’, but try telling that to the people who’ve literally put upwards of five hundred hours in – alongside the saps who keep hoovering up DLC as they try in vein to justify the time invested so far.

Destiny is a filing cabinet of a game; the structure of combat and overall graphical fidelity is phenomenal – but everything else from the story to the complete lack of content across the board makes for a “Pay to play” framework Bungie are positively milking right now.

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Seriously, have you ever talked to a Destiny fan? They’re like lapsed addicts, forever craving more yet knowing they shouldn’t. They justify the game through the most asinine things like “Well the skyboxes are gorgeous” or “You can see the detail on your enemy’s gun” as if such maddening statements are supposed to help the rest of us sleep at night.

The fact Bungie and Activision got away with this completely business-motivated practice is insane, and you can expect to see Destiny listed everywhere from every ‘Most Disappointing’ to ‘WTF Happened During Development’ list possible because of it.

1. Bioshock: Infinite

Also a contender for the Most Disappointing Game Of The Decade thanks to a string of trailers purporting to include features and graphics that were nowhere to be seen in the final game, it’s with Bioshock: Infinite’s core portrayal of Booker and Elizabeth’s relationship, some truly terrible gunplay, a practically nonexistent upgrade system and a nonsensical world that ruin any potential impact.

First up, that ‘will they, won’t they’ link between Booker and Elizabeth – it felt like you got far more preamble and believability out of the trailers than you did in-game, the two of them flitting between high-octane set-pieces as an excuse to expedite the “I really need you” plotline.

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Throw in the fact that the combat was no fun whatsoever, relying entirely on walled-off ‘arenas’ where you had little choice but to hold down the fire button and wait it out – the Handyman heavies being a particular annoyance – and the already scattershot plot felt far too rushed for its weighty emotional payoff to have the requisite effect.

All of that was compounded by the most basic things like the existence of Tonics in the world feeling out of place in a functioning society – a far cry from the older Bioshocks where the citizens had gone mad inventing the identical Plasmids – hence you discovering what was left after the chaos broke out.

In the end you could tell Ken Levine couldn’t pull the whole project together as he’d first envisioned, and the corners that were cut ended up also severing enjoyment at every turn.

#Top 10 Most Overrated Video Games Of This Decade So Far

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