A video game trailer is supposed to get you psyched for the game it’s advertising by showing you all the best parts. It’s supposed to say, “Hey, look at this game! It’s going to be the bees knees!” Unfortunately some of those trailers are damn dirty liars, and when the game comes out critics and people looking forward to it are disappointed and betrayed. These are the top 20 trailers for disappointing games so far this console generation.
10. Call of Juarez: The Cartel
The Call of Juarez games seemed to come out of left field. The first game received mostly good reviews and the second game set the bar for the few games set in the Wild West until Red Dead Redemption came out. The trailer for The Cartel shows the series moving into a new direction. Instead of being set in the Wild West, The Cartel takes place during the present day. However, people still act like they are from the Old West, so the clash of two worlds makes the game that much more appealing. Unfortunately, the game did not live up to its predecessors and fell flat on its face with its tired shooting mechanics and borderline offensive storyline. Maybe they should’ve stuck to the old Old West instead moving to the New Old West… or something like that.
Hmm, dragons, how can you go wrong? You can ride on them? That’s pretty neat. Wait, did that guy just hijack another guy’s dragon just to kill it and leap back onto his own? According to the trailer this should be the best game ever, but when Lair was released back in 2007, it was met with a fury of hate. Reviewers praised its art direction, but when actual gameplay was brought up, Lair was just a couple notches above broken. This game was supposed to showcase the PS3’s Sixaxis controls, but they ended up being loose and unwieldy. Lair was also criticized for its less than stable camera, faulty targeting system, and uninteresting dragon fights. Sony released a patch months after its release trying to remedy the controls, but by then most gamers had moved on.
8. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
When this trailer showed off their symbiote versions of various Marvel heroes and villains, I geeked out like crazy. I’ve always liked Venom as a character, and with the symbiote’s ability to control other characters it seemed like Web of Shadows was going to be a roller coaster ride. That roller coaster came to a screeching halt when the game was released. Instead of an awesome game where Venom is taking everything over, we got a mediocre game that slowly fell apart the further you played in the story. Oh well, at least it’s better than the Venom story line in Spider-Man 3.
7. Dynasty Warriors 7
It’s no secret, I love these games. For some reason I still find them fun after 7 main installments and countless offshoots. However, I will admit that the trailer promises far more than the game delivers. At no point in this game do you bound off horses, run along walls and grab onto some guy’s flail only to come full circle and kick a horse in the face, and I can see how that can be legitimately disappointing for gamers. Part of me would love to see Dynasty Warriors play like the trailers, but I also know that another part of me will miss the old “square, square, square, triangle” combo.
This trailer is thoroughly entertaining. It looks like an awesome mix of Borderlands and Mirror’s Edge and a lot of people, including myself, were interesting in seeing how the SMART free running system worked. That interest almost instantly deflated as reviews came out. The first thing I noticed was the general consensus that they barely used the SMART system and was more of a gimmick than an actual mechanic. Other things that made Brink fall further into the pit of disappointment were complaints about the brutal checkpoints, stupid AI, and overall frustrating gameplay. And here I was expecting the game to be a multiplayer version of Casino Royale’s parkour scene.
5. James Bond 007: Blood Stone
Speaking of 007, the trailer for Blood Stone looked like it was going to take the James Bond videogame series out of mediocrity. This trailer showcases everything a Daniel Craig Bond game should have. There are fist-fights galore, crazy vehicle action scenes, explosions, and what seems like non-stop action in general. The game itself didn’t bring as much to the table. Blood Stone was short, shallow, and an all around average 3rd person shooter. It’s not an outright bad game, but it has the feel of that old “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” line parents say to their kids.
4. Final Fantasy XIV
The first disappointing thing for me was finding out Final Fantasy XIV was another online game, but that’s neither here nor there. Everything you expect a Final Fantasy game to have shows up in this trailer. Monsters, both new and recognizable, people dressed up in those weird clothes that are fashionable in the Final Fantasy world, and the promise of an epic adventure. If that wasn’t enough, the trailer wraps it all up in nostalgia with the opening theme from FFIV. Upon release, FFXIV was met with a wall of criticism and negativity. Critics reported the game being boring, buggy, and unintuitive for a modern day MMO. FFXIV was so disappointing that Square Enix disappointed themselves, something even Final Fantasy X-2 couldn’t do.
3. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
Alternate realities and “what if?” scenarios can be very lucrative when it comes to story ideas, and this trailer really hammers that point home. Watching the trailer progress from a single soldier, then to a tank, and finally to a whole fleet of ships and planes takes your breath away until you play the game. Heralded as one of the worst shooters of the year it was released in, Fall of Liberty brings nothing from the trailer into the game itself and leaves players with memories of ugly graphics and sloppy controls instead of the feeling that you helped push the Nazis out of America.
2. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
The trailers for Force Unleashed II are arguably the best parts of the game. They left gamers and Star Wars fans salivating as they presented a brand new adventure with Starkiller liberally using his force powers on just about everything while also introducing characters like Yoda and Boba Fett. When the final product was released it seemed like Lucasarts cared more about putting together awesome trailers than putting together an awesome game. Instead of being boss fights or long term characters, Boba Fett and Yoda had only a couple minutes of face time between them, and you can almost see the rest of the story being held together by duct tape. While Force Unleashed II was fun to play, it just wasn’t enough, and I mean that literally. You could finish the campaign in one sitting and there was no real reason to go back. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Star Wars fans suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear Force Unleashed II has happened. See what I did there?
1. Sonic Unleashed
Maybe games should stop using the word “unleashed” in their titles. It only brings disappointment. This trailer in particular boggles my mind to this day. Gamers were psyched to see Sonic go back to his side scrolling roots, they even seemed happy with the modern day Sonic gameplay thrown in every now and then. This is it. This is the Sonic game that is going to turn the series around.
Haha! Nope! Say hello to the “werehog.” He is one of the more noteworthy trolls of this generation and he puts a huge black mark on what would have been a good game. The side scrolling speed segments in Sonic Unleashed were generally praised, but the now infamous werehog stages were criticized for slowing the game down and inserting unnecessary beat-em-up gameplay into a game that’s supposed to be all about speed. The most disappointing part about this is that you play as the werehog for over half of the game, and he’s not even in this trailer! To me that means that Sega knew what we wanted, but decided to crush our dreams anyway.
That concludes our list of the Top 20 Well Made Trailers for Disappointing Games. I hope it wasn’t too disappointing for you. if you missed 20-11 check them out here.