John Yan - Senior Hardware Editor
My most disappointing game of 2003 so far has been Unreal II: The Awakening
. Sure it looks pretty and has some really nice scripted events but those are few and far between. The game started out great though with gorgeous graphics and incredible fire effects. I really enjoyed the sniper scenario and the commanding of the troops to defend the base but other than that, the game was way too short. If I bought it and finished it in a little over five hours then I would've been very upset I paid $50. A co-op mode might have made me enjoyed the game a little more as that's how I went through the first Unreal. It's certainly not the game I waited all these years for.Tyler Sager - Staff Writer, Resident RPG Whipping Boy
There haven’t been that many disappointments for me thus far in 2003. All of this year’s offerings I’ve played, I’ve enjoyed. My biggest disappointment is actually in a genre that I usually don’t care for—first person shooters. I don’t like the multiplayer arena all that much, so I tend to stick with games like Deus Ex
and the Thief
series. And then comes Unreal 2
, a very-much-hyped single-player-only offering. Interesting, and worth a look. Because I tend to shy away from FPS games in general, I waited for the reviews before shelling out my hard-earned cash. I was quite disappointed to find mostly underwhelming marks across the board. There was certainly not enough glowing praise to pull me away from the blissful glut of RPGs that have since come my way. Guess I’ll just have to wait until Deus Ex 2 to scratch that FPS itch…Charlie Sinhaseni - Senior Editor
Let's see, there was Devil May Cry 2
, but that was slightly tolerable. There was Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
but I had a hunch that it was going to fail. I guess that leaves us Unreal II
, the biggest disappointment thus far. This is especially demoralizing because the sequel to its online variant, Unreal Tournament
was a damn fine game. This single-player romp through foreign planets was just too bland for me and the fact that it could be completed in a dedicated night didn't help matters too much either.
Did I mention the crippling bugs that plagued virtually every single outing? Turning on EAX causes the game to crash uncontrollably while using nVidia drivers from the 38.xx family causes strange texture corruption and tears. If you're going to recommend a piece of hardware on the box of the game at least have the decency to test it and make sure that it works.
It's okay though, there's always patches right? Let's see if someone can come up with a patch that makes the game fun.Charles Husemann - Editor-in-Chief
I was a little disappointed with Unreal II
just because my expectations were so high. The game looks great and there are a lot of elements that are really cool about the game but given its short length I just get the feeling that there could have been more. I also get the feeling that the game was partially a technology demo to show off what the engine could do to help sell licenses for the engine (it’s the same feeling I got with Quake 3
). Matt Mirkovich - Staff Writer
I'm going with Devil May Cry 2
on this one. The reason behind that mostly ies in the fact that this title had so much hype and so much it had to ive up to and simply didn't. It had it's cool elements but nothing that I haven't seen done before or better for that matter. This game has to live in the shadow of the first Devil May Cry, maybe if that game didn't exist then yes I would be a lot less disappointed, or I might have even been blown away. But when you create a new franchise and start making sequels, disband the original team and try to make all these radical changes then you're setting up for something that sounds great in concept, but execution is just lacking. This title was going to get me excited about the new year, but now I'm looking to Zone of the Enders 2
to get me excited about this year.James Stevenson - Cinescape Magazine, Contributor, All-Around Good Guy
I suppose I've had two major disappointments so far this year. The first is that The Getaway
really does suck. It's not remotely as entertaining as I had hoped it would be. The main problem stems from that it tries to be a movie and game at the same time and does neither very well. It's just an average movie, and the game aspects are unrealistic and far too easy. It seems that presentation took front seat ahead of gameplay, always a bad thing for a game. Back when Charlie and I saw this at the Gamers' Day in San Francisco, I thought it had potential, but ultimately it just falls on its face.
The other major disappointment is Devil May Cry 2
. There was some magical quality about the original DMC. It seems as if this has been stripped from the sequel and instead you're left with a fairly uninspired sequel that screams mediocrity. Oh well - at least the original is still just as fun, and only a $20 bargain title now.Ben Zackheim - Staff Writer
Am I going out on a limb by saying that I have played no bad games this year? Perhaps it’s my general sense of good taste or my advanced years that steer me clear of the duds but I’ve enjoyed everything so far in 2003. That could mean my taste is getting really bad too. Even those games I had high expectations for, like Splinter Cell
and Devil May Cry 2
, delivered. I guess Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball
could have been a better game but, one, “what game?” and two, disappointment depends on expectations (of which I had zero on XBV). So all in all I’ll walk a tightrope and be the dull one. 2003 has been a great year for gaming so far.
Here's the final tally:Unreal II: 4
The Getaway: 1
Devil May Cry 2: 2
And the winner is... (or should we say loser?)
Unreal II: The Awakening