Over the years, superhero games have proven to be a hit or miss sub-genre, with many suffering from the licensed game curse. That is, a lack of development time mixed with poor quality control. Add-in the time sensitive deadlines that tend to cripple movie tie-ins and you have a video game cocktail which began its doomed life in a broken glass.
Although there have been many unfortunate occurrences where our favourite comic book heroes have failed to impress in interactive space, some titles have been much more offensive to the geek population than others. Stay tuned as we count down the five most disappointing superhero video games in recent memory.
5) Spider-Man: Edge of Time
After Beenox knocked one out of the proverbial park with 2010’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, it seemed as if the Quebec-based developer really understood what it takes to create a good game based on the human arachnid. Not only did it feature an interesting story that allowed time travel to become cool again, it also provided us with something different: an opportunity to play as four different variations of the titular hero, with each one having its own unique mechanics. Those elements, along with some incredibly creative stages based on different villains from Marvel‘s lore, really made the game stand out.
Following the web-filled success that its debut effort achieved, Beenox set to work on its follow-up, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, which hit store shelves in October of 2011. However, despite promises that it would build upon all of the above-mentioned features that so many ‘webheads’ loved, the game’s release was filled with disappointment. Why is that? For some reason, Edge of Time locked Spider-Man inside of a boring office building, and limited its playable characters to only The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 – Shattered Dimensions‘ two most basic playable characters. The result was a polished yet disappointing experience that lacked all of the creative whimsy its predecessor had employed.
4) Watchmen: The End Is Nigh
Perhaps we should’ve seen this one coming. After all, Zack Snyder‘s celluloid representation of DC Comics‘ cult classic graphic novel relied upon dramatic dialogue more than fisticuffs. But, as is the case with just about every applicable big screen blockbuster, the powers that be felt that there was a need to cash in on the film’s success by releasing a video game bearing its name and characters. Looking back, I wish they would have never made that decision, and that I could have the five hours that I spent playing through the two dreadful episodes that made up Watchmen: The End is Nigh back.
Surely, every person who made a mistake by giving this game a chance will agree on the following statement: The elements which made the original graphic novel and its characters so interesting were not found within this interactive travesty. What was originally a well-written and character driven narrative was somehow turned into a basic and derivative beat ‘em up featuring two playable characters whose melee move sets were far from stellar. Adding insult to injury is the fact that those issues were coupled with some of the most uninteresting stages ever to grace the genre. What a waste of money. That is, for those who purchased the game digitally through Xbox LIVE Arcade. At least PS3 owners received the film’s Blu-ray for their troubles.
3) X-Men Destiny
Professor Xavier’s mutants earned their spot on this list by failing to make good on pre-release promises. That’s because X-Men Destiny was hailed as being the next great super hero game, where comic book fans could essentially create their own X-Man. However, that incredible selling point ended up becoming moot once the game actually hit store shelves, and it became clear that its three pre-generated characters lacked the creative offerings that they were said to feature. Although players were given the opportunity to choose their (boring) characters’ powers from a short list, none of the available options came close to being spectacular, let alone remotely interesting. Couple that disappointment with incredibly generic beat ‘em up gameplay and a lacklustre storyline, and you have this mutated mess.
Don’t believe me? Check out this trailer.
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