PC Gaming Hall of Shame: Games That Weren't Cancelled, But Should Have Been

By on June 24, 2013, 1:21 AM

Although some decent games do poorly for no good reason, many titles are so headscratchingly bad that you have to wonder why the developer even bothered.

In the group of terribly bad games, there are the truly bad ones and then there are the big flops: those that have built an irredeemable amount of hype. Without further ado, here's our PC gaming hall of shame: games that weren't cancelled but should have been...

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2 people like this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Eh, I still consider Duke Nukem as an over-hyped fail-bandwagon that many people hop on to. To be fair, no, it didn't live up to expectations. But were those expectations ridiculously high? Hell yes they were.

We need to realise that 15 years has progressed between titles and so too have our human lives. Word issues, personal issues, and personal mental growing-up has happened in those 15 years. Expecting a COD-quality shooter with DX11 spectacular graphics and Battlefield-style gameplay awesomeness? You're delusional. 15 years development, what do you think happened in all that time in the blender?

I myself haven't finished the title but I know I spent the first two hours laughing like a maniac non-stop - I even convinced some of my friends to purchase it from the game quotes alone. I do see the stupid aiming, but Im also not in denial.

This is a Duke Nukem game in 2011 (or whatever), not a 2011 game that just happened to have Duke Nukem themes. On that page, it has delivered.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Game industry now resembles Hollywood, with B-games spreading everywhere. And it will only become more so over time, till some day when the difference between movies and games disappears to become one interactive story.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

till some day when the difference between movies and games disappears to become one interactive story.

Call of Duty, Heavy Rain...

$lamscaper said:

You forgot RAGE from ID. I was so anxious for this one, but it was simply a terrible game in so many ways. I have no idea how the reviews ended up being above average, because he game was an absolute mess and the graphics are terrible.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is close, but each story is very much locked, not much deviation, I.e. your interactions do little if anything at all to form the plot. You are fixed to predefined missions with strict parameters. This all makes your personal interaction in the story pointless, it develops almost the same way for everyone.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

A few more for the grist mill:

* Ascendancy, a real-time 4x space title that should have been flushed out an airlock.

* Die By the Sword, a hilariously bad attempt at immersive melee combat.

* About a dozen others over the past decade that I suddenly can't recall. Perhaps because they've been shoved aside by the most recent offense to gamer sensibilities:

* Dishonored: its so obvious this game started out as Bethesda's answer to Assassin's Creed that the mystical steampunk makeover becomes downright insulting. The only ones dishonored were the developers who borrowed so heavily from everyone else's games that it was hard to remember which franchise you were playing. The characters had some of the worst faces ever seen in a modern game. Bugs were rampant and rarely addressed. World design was sloppy and uninspired. Dishonored also compensated for your ridiculous abilities by making the AI cheat so much that it destroyed any semblance of immersion. Oh, and you're an assassin who's punished for killing people...when your mission is to kill people. And even if you *don't* want to kill people, guess what? You have no choice - you can't get through the game without killing loads of AI foes. The game design borders on sadistic. And they threw in zombies because zombies are what's hot on the street.

Guest said:

Agreed, Duke Nukem wasn't great but it was entertaining (I finished it and the DLC) and I found it far more satisfying than Medal of Honor (which I ditched halway through) or Hydrophobia: The Prophecy which was so painfully awful I didn't even make it through the first level (if indeed there were levels)

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

* Dishonored: its so obvious this game started out as Bethesda's answer to Assassin's Creed that the mystical steampunk makeover becomes downright insulting. The only ones dishonored were the developers who borrowed so heavily from everyone else's games that it was hard to remember which franchise you were playing. The characters had some of the worst faces ever seen in a modern game. Bugs were rampant and rarely addressed. World design was sloppy and uninspired. Dishonored also compensated for your ridiculous abilities by making the AI cheat so much that it destroyed any semblance of immersion. Oh, and you're an assassin who's punished for killing people...when your mission is to kill people. And even if you *don't* want to kill people, guess what? You have no choice - you can't get through the game without killing loads of AI foes. The game design borders on sadistic. And they threw in zombies because zombies are what's hot on the street.

What? You can go through dishonored and kill very few people, just gotta, you know, sneak? not run through the center of all streets but use cover and buildings etc...

It really wasn't as bad as your making it out to be, the reviews suggest the same getting a very high average score, don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect but no where near as bad as you've made it out to be. The way you described it makes all assassin games sound the same, are you saying Hitman is similar to Assassin's creed?

Guest said:

Spot-on Burty117, though it could be argued that it was more a rip-off of Thief than the woefully poor and excessively over-hyped Assassins Creed (I have the first 3 of them and have never finished a single one)

Kayden Kayden said:

Messiah and Star Trek New Worlds should of been on that list.

1 person liked this | trgz said:

What? You can go through dishonored and kill very few people, just gotta, you know, sneak? not run through the center of all streets but use cover and buildings etc...

It really wasn't as bad as your making it out to be, the reviews suggest the same getting a very high average score, don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect but no where near as bad as you've made it out to be. The way you described it makes all assassin games sound the same, are you saying Hitman is similar to Assassin's creed?

A few more for the grist mill:

* Ascendancy, a real-time 4x space title that should have been flushed out an airlock.

* Die By the Sword, a hilariously bad attempt at immersive melee combat.

* About a dozen others over the past decade that I suddenly can't recall. Perhaps because they've been shoved aside by the most recent offense to gamer sensibilities:

* Dishonored: its so obvious this game started out as Bethesda's answer to Assassin's Creed that the mystical steampunk makeover becomes downright insulting. The only ones dishonored were the developers who borrowed so heavily from everyone else's games that it was hard to remember which franchise you were playing. The characters had some of the worst faces ever seen in a modern game. Bugs were rampant and rarely addressed. World design was sloppy and uninspired. Dishonored also compensated for your ridiculous abilities by making the AI cheat so much that it destroyed any semblance of immersion. Oh, and you're an assassin who's punished for killing people...when your mission is to kill people. And even if you *don't* want to kill people, guess what? You have no choice - you can't get through the game without killing loads of AI foes. The game design borders on sadistic. And they threw in zombies because zombies are what's hot on the street.

I seem to recall zombies 'n' things in Thief 1. Personally I found the faces a damn sight more interesting to look at than those in Oblivion, Fallout 3 etc. And bugs? I never had an issue and never had a problem with cheating AI (though there are plenty of them in Assassins Creed) and my kill count, for a FPS, was quite low, on a par with Thief though not as low SplinterCell1

2 people like this | fimbles fimbles said:

Throw alien colonial marines on the heap too :P

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Throw alien colonial marines on the heap too :p

And some of the Tomb Raider series.

Guest said:

You also left out INFERNO by DiD (Digital Image Design).

It came out after EF2000, and many people bought it because of that earlier title success and the amazing intro movie for Infoerno.

Turned out to be 16 colours of AWFUL!

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Deus Ex 2 Invisible War?

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Hell Gate London is the most disappointing and broken game that I ever played. I purchased the collector's edition and was super excited. Since it was pushed as being developed by former Blizzard members, I became a believer. The game was so broken that I completely stopped playing it after a week. Bill Roper and Flagship Studios were a complete bust, I was later burned again by Champions Online which had Roper on the helm and could have been so great. I steer away from anything Roper is involved in these days.

Guest said:

I do not agree about Duke Nukem Forever, my father who is a huge Duke 3D fan, played through it and enjoyed it immensely, but it was sometimes difficult for him. I have played the first level, it was great fun. I still intend to finish it when I got time. It's just as if journalists are joint together to sink DNF by making it a synonym of a bad game, which it isn't. Also I dislike the "Leisure Suit Larry never was a great franchise" remark. Says who? Neither fans nor critics nor sales ratings nor recent kickstarter campaign results would agree to that.

If you want ruined expectations, take Assassin's Creed 3 - I played through the first three games with pleasure, but AC3 I just threw away, the stealth mechanics are buggy, dialogs are dull, face skin is shiny like polished boots, the story is full of clichés and forests where all animals from Noa's ship hop about in hordes just for your hunting pleasure are the last nail in the coffin. Got the bug where I can't click anything during some vital assassin operation - purchase of wood for trading or whatever galactic reason, and decided it's quite enough. That's your number one, when I read that it's based in USA during civil war, I thought it's April's fools day.

And what about Force Unleashed? I'm sure many fans will agree to me that the initial hype was tremendous with that starship stopped with one move of a hand and all the concept art shown, people were expecting magic. But then there were these videos where some ugly bloke yapped and yapped about how great things are and will be, and the more he talked, the less I believed in it - when I saw the gameplay, I thought it's a handheld console game. I didn't even buy it, not even downloaded a pirated version for free, it was such a disappointment after expecting a new Jedi Knight style game.

Also Doom 3 was a disappointment for me. It was over-hyped with all the press coverage and videos, but it turned out to be a pre-programmed roller-coaster ride with skeletons popping out from the walls at certain times. I got stuck somewhere on a train with a flash light, and got so bored, I quit. Not at all a sequel to Doom 2. Great engine, terrible game. Same with Rage, I suppose.

Guest said:

Any Need For Speed after the original Most Wanted should've been cancelled IMO.

Guest said:

Red Faction 2, Deus Ex: Invisible War, NeverWinter Nights 2, Duke Nukem Manhattan Project and Sonic 3D.

Guest said:

I actually played the **** out of Halo! Halo 2 was an absolute mess though, and definitely was an insult to gamers. Not to mention... Vista... what in the hell.

Nobina Nobina said:

* Dishonored: its so obvious this game started out as Bethesda's answer to Assassin's Creed that the mystical steampunk makeover becomes downright insulting. The only ones dishonored were the developers who borrowed so heavily from everyone else's games that it was hard to remember which franchise you were playing. The characters had some of the worst faces ever seen in a modern game. Bugs were rampant and rarely addressed. World design was sloppy and uninspired. Dishonored also compensated for your ridiculous abilities by making the AI cheat so much that it destroyed any semblance of immersion. Oh, and you're an assassin who's punished for killing people...when your mission is to kill people. And even if you *don't* want to kill people, guess what? You have no choice - you can't get through the game without killing loads of AI foes. The game design borders on sadistic. And they threw in zombies because zombies are what's hot on the street.

Did you even play this game? You are not punished for killing random people, but for killing that queen (acctually, you were set up) or whatever she was, and you can't find any logic in that? I passed this game 2 times in different ways, and both were good. No bugs and AI didn't cheat, lol. Seems like you are bad at this game and thats why you hate it, and you probably suck at every other challanging game. Also, graphics are a matter of taste, if you don't like them, that doesn't mean nobody likes it, or it sucks and the game should've been cancelled.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Going to have to disagree on the Halo 2 mention. It was vital to show the Elite's/Covenant's viewpoint on things and show the desolation of their various viewpoints during war and question thier own motive's.

Also I found playing as the Elite to be refreshing, seamless and an intrigal part of the story. Just because you didn't get another game where you smash everything on legendary as master chief doesn't mean its not a good Halo game.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Eh, I still consider Duke Nukem as an over-hyped fail-bandwagon that many people hop on to. To be fair, no, it didn't live up to expectations. But were those expectations ridiculously high? Hell yes they were.

We need to realise that 15 years has progressed between titles and so too have our human lives. Word issues, personal issues, and personal mental growing-up has happened in those 15 years. Expecting a COD-quality shooter with DX11 spectacular graphics and Battlefield-style gameplay awesomeness? You're delusional. 15 years development, what do you think happened in all that time in the blender?

I myself haven't finished the title but I know I spent the first two hours laughing like a maniac non-stop - I even convinced some of my friends to purchase it from the game quotes alone. I do see the stupid aiming, but Im also not in denial.

This is a Duke Nukem game in 2011 (or whatever), not a 2011 game that just happened to have Duke Nukem themes. On that page, it has delivered.

I agree, though the game was no stellar accomplishment and was buggy, I thought it wasn't horrible. It was funny at times and playable, I don't think it should have taken 15 years (Plus that old trailer for it looked kick ass, I still wondered what happened to that game). Honestly if the game just focused on the wrong aspects of making a shooter, jokes and stupid side add ons instead of core gameplay.

As for Warz, wow...Yea I hate that game, its atrocious and a blatant copy of Dayz that is/was (I have not played it again recently) more buggy on average (Though Dayz is still Alpha and FREE), horrible graphics, and encourages spending real money over actually trying and playing the game. My friend bought the game thinking it was the standalone of Dayz months back on steam and was horribly disappointed when I told him it wasn't. I started playing on it to give it a try thinking "Oh well ive been playing dayz and they are supposed to be similar, I bet I can actually play it". Wow, I tried so many times to get started finding it almost impossible, I could not get anywhere very easily, players spawn trapped other players, finding ANY loot other than stupid hats was a miracle, and the zombie AI was atrocious (Though to its credit, I do like the speed the zombies run at better than on Dayz because its more zombie like). Though at the same time when zombies detect you, your screwed because you cant sprint for more than like ten feet and it has a ridiculous cool down. The game really pissed me off because it was an obvious scam for a quick buck.

Seketh said:

Going to have to disagree on the Halo 2 mention. It was vital to show the Elite's/Covenant's viewpoint on things and show the desolation of their various viewpoints during war and question thier own motive's.

Also I found playing as the Elite to be refreshing, seamless and an intrigal part of the story. Just because you didn't get another game where you smash everything on legendary as master chief doesn't mean its not a good Halo game.

You're confused, like many are. They are not mentioning the original Halo 2 game, their are mentioning the Halo 2 PC Port.

It's very misleading, that part should be re-written.

And while I agree it came too late and had the Vista requirement. How many AAA console games don't get a PC port?

Why would a port be on a list of games that should have never been released? It makes no sense.

If you want to mention a bad port on the list, Dark Souls is a pretty good example. A PC port that had a locked internal resolution and is unplayable with a mouse+keyboard. Mods saved it, but then again, Halo 2 for PC has mods too. Again, a console port on that list makes no sense...

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

I agree 100% with all the titles. Now TS should make an article about games that were cancelled and should have been xD. Like Star Wars 1313.

cmbjive said:

Yeah, those games are crappy, but the burning question on everyone's mind is: Who has the nicer rump: those two chicks in Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, or that chick holding the gun in WarZ?

Guest said:

I nominate Trespasser. I expected a cerebral Turok-type game for the PC. What I got was a boring, bug-filled puzzle game with no dinosaurs... And a health bar that was a heart tattoo over the heroine's breast that you had to look down to see...

Guest said:

The only thing I kinda disagree with was duke nukem. I agree and admit some of the level designs did have me lost for a minute but I actually enjoyed the gameplay. the shooting and aiming mechanics felt fine to me so idk why everyone else hated them. graphic wise it looked better than doom 3 so to me thats a step up from what ID last produced so its a win to me. shoulda had more boss fights imo too

Guest said:

Add to the list the new Fast n Furious game. That looks like a poorly done PS2 game and I can't believe it actually got published.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

From the simulation side, Silent Hunter V was flat-out awful and near unplayable. So disappointing because the series up to that point had been stellar. Check out the 2.6 user score on Metacritic:

[link]

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Sure, DNF was bad but not an as big letdown as Deus Ex 2 Invisible War, even though I did preorder the former and paid full price.

For the latter simply playing the demo was enough to know I should stay far away from that PoS, damn what a letdown that was from such a fantastic prequel

Kevin82485 Kevin82485 said:

Aliens: Colonial Marines

wastedkill said:

Wow you forgot one game from the list its Call Of Duty that game should be shut down now not rerun its nothing more than a rename with a few minor changes even a proper DLC brings more changes than CoD...

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

You're confused, like many are. They are not mentioning the original Halo 2 game, their are mentioning the Halo 2 PC Port.

Yeah maybe I should read the entire article before commenting, but damnit I liked Halo 2 so my comment stays!

Guest said:

OK, many people did enjoy DNF, for me it was utter crap. though I admit I smiled a few times at Duke's remarks, but guess what? My expectations weren't that high. It simply doesn't live up to the original and don't tell me I grew up, you can still play DN, laugh your pants off and shoot like crazy without any nostalgia. But the worst part is MP. I can't recall the hundreds of fun hours spent with the jetpack, RPG, holograms and of course the lift, while DNF MP feels like a broken copy of Q3Arena and that including graphics.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yeah maybe I should read the entire article before commenting, but damnit I liked Halo 2 so my comment stays!
LOL

Collin Raye - That's My Story

Tygerstrike said:

Its good that they stuck with the PC titles on this article. If you had included console games we would never see the end of the article. I could name more then a dozen horrible horrible console games. And that not recent. With the exception of a few titles, the late 80's and early 90's had so many bad titles it was a miracle that consoles went ANYWHERE. I need only point to Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest and say see what I mean lol.

treetops treetops said:

I really like Duke Nukem Forever. I think it was judged to much on its single player and not enough on its multiplayer. I give multiplayer a 9. Personally though I liked the single player too, but all the gripes I read from the reviews are about its single player. I never see anyone complain about its multiplayer. And I love all the DNF humor beside picking up poop... Capture the babe is epic.

Guest said:

Master of Orion 3 anyone ?

If first one was great and second one was awesome, then third was ... unrelated, to put it mildly. Cannot recall a single bigger disappointment in 20-25 years of my PC gaming, even the UFO After- "sequels" (the 3D stuff with freely rotating camera and dumbed-down world and base thingy) weren't nearly as bad.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Medal of Honor Warfighter 2012, horrible game after alot of hype, too many hax. Oh and all COD games after Modern Warfare 1.

Guest said:

I remember Outpost. It was the yardstick by which all game failures were measured back in the day. I will add my vote to Master Of Orion III, it was a buggy, badly designed POS, especially in comparison with the outstanding Master of Orion I and II games.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Para mi el duke nukem fue el mejor juego que eh jugado en mi vida me gusto mas que crysis 3 borderlans 2 etc yo me lo avia vajado trucho pero me arrepenti y lo compre y valio la pena exelente juego

For me duke nukem was the best game I played in my life eh I liked more than three borderlans crysis 2 etc. so I vajado trucho avia but I regretted and was worth buying and excellent game

Courtesy of translate.google.com.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Most of the games others have listed are just personal tastes more then a defective game imo, we all have different tastes its why some of us love MMO's and some of us like FPS, or RPG or racing. We all have different interests and I would say the games we play and enjoy reflect on those. But some games will make any gamers night just terrible when the story line is truly stupid or parts of the game are broken to the point of not being able to actually finish the game then yeah it always deserves to be hated by everyone, luckily we don't see many of those kinds of games anymore even with all the Indy titles popping up the game industry is a lot more polished then I remember it back in the early 2000s

Guest said:

Destiny from Interactive Magic

1 person liked this | fimbles fimbles said:

I agree 100% with all the titles. Now TS should make an article about games that were cancelled and should have been xD. Like Star Wars 1313.

Red dead redemption for the pcjumps to mind , And still crossing my fingers the new GTA gets released.

gingerbill said:

Deus Ex 2 Invisible War?

that was certainly one of the biggest let downs of all time.

Guest said:

I am seriously disappointed that Sim City isn't on that list. Even to this day, the game is not working anywhere near as it should.

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

I enjoyed Halo 2 back then. The article doesn't even mention that it was made to suit the PC, aka high resolution textures across the board. Shame on the author!

The fact that it was so heavily restricted to Vista and GFWL is what ruined it. No one gave a damn, and GFWL has been an abomination we've all wanted to see dead for a very long time.

Shame Microsoft has refused to release any future Halo games on PC. Not that I mind in present time, but still.

lipe123 said:

Where is Simcity 2013?

Biggest joke in quite some time.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

OMG. I installed The War Z(Aka Infestation: Survivor Stories), and I cannot play it. It is so buggy. Kind of slow like the servers running the systems can't keep up. And its totally confusing. I like my good games, but this game is NOT good. Just might uninstall it since it's wasting space in my Steam library.

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