You sit through streamed press conferences at E3 every year and make a mental list of everything that looks exciting, interesting and downright playable. Until release date you watch every video and read every news post about each of those games and then … then something happens, something you should have expected, you are underwhelmed by the game you waited two years for.
For days after release you can practically feel the disappointment seething through the internet. Then the sequel is announced and you repeat all of the above.
Let’s take a look at some of the franchises we’d love to love.
Sonic The Hedgehog
The Blue Blur may have given a small, fat Italian Plumber a run for his money back in the early 90s – though we’re not sure why that ended up being such an enduring achievement – but nowadays he’s become something of an internet joke. Sonic Heroes, Shadow The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic Unleashed have collectively managed to destroy any reputation the series once had.
That hasn’t stopped people getting excited with every announcement. But, with Sonic Colours and the upcoming Sonic Generations restoring a little bit of faith back into the cynics, maybe we’ll soon love Sonic all over again.
Peter Molyneux joked at Eurogamer last year that he had had something of a turbulent relationship with the press. He brought up the example of planting a tree and coming back later to see that the tree has grown, that people latched onto this idea and, when it inevitably never made it into the game, it became a much critiqued point.
People love the idea of Fable, the world is beautiful and the gameplay is solid. The result, however, is never quite as good as the build-up; nor as revolutionary as time and again we’re led to believe.
The original Assassin’s Creed was a beautiful but flawed game that people didn’t quite get into because you were required to repeat the same five or so missions time and time again. Then AC2 came out and everybody suddenly loved it, the missions were more varied, more interesting and the plot made a lot more sense.
And then Brotherhood came out and it was AC2 in make-up. It’s a brilliant game, but the series hasn’t exactly moved on in leaps and bounds. With Revelations coming at the end of the year, will enough be enough?
Call of Duty
Call of Duty has a mixed reputation. Yearly outings with similar gameplay each time gives a stale feeling that casual fans of the series just can’t manage to get around. Of course, it doesn’t help that only four people have actually played the single player of a Call Of Duty game since the original Modern Warfare.
Personally, I liked Black Ops the best. Split screen online meant my girlfriend and I could play together, instead of me ignoring her for several hours every day. With the possibility of this feature being removed for Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty is destined to become a series that I’d love to love all over again. Oh well, there’s always the likelihood that Black Ops 2 will hit next year…
Pro Evolution Soccer
Every year it’s the same: ‘revolutionary new mechanics, player animations, amazing ball control and a free Cristiano Ronaldo with every purchase’ we’re promised. Every year we’re presented with a football sim which is adequate but falls way short of how we recall the franchise from just five seasons ago, while FIFA marches ever onwards.
We’re still fans of PES, its very name invokes memories of our wasted youth, but something has to improve and quickly. Just as well then that Konami’s latest press releases state PES 2012 brings in “many new Teammate Control elements,” and “[added] realism that Active AI brings.” Oh wait, what did we just say?