Why did 2011 feel like such a disappointing year for video games? (or the year of the threequel)

There was an article the other day on Kotaku discussing 2011 as a year of disappointments.  I thought about this long and hard.  2011 actually had some of my favorite games of possibly the last decade, but there was always this subtle agreement with that statement, something in the back of my mind that told me this year really was a big disappointment.  Now I know why.  You can certainly have great, amazing sequels and some of them may even be GOTY, but if there are no original titles to surround them it becomes a wash of rehashed and refined formulas.

Few, if any, original titles were actually great this year.  All of the ones we had hopes for (Brink, Homefront, L.A. Noire, Dead Island) ended up selling us short.  Maybe our expectations for original AAA titles are now too high? Or maybe we just don’t bother paying attention if there isn’t a 2 on the end of the title.

Not to mention that so many games weren’t just sequels, but threequels! Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, Killzone 3, F.E.A.R. 3, ugh…can’t you publishers try something NEW once in awhile?

I certainly don’t mind the great titles being new iterations, most of the time it gives the developer a chance to refine what they originally brought to the table, but I think the lack of original story and gameplay ideas just vexes me, a disappointing year indeed.


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About Ryan Saul

Hailing from Portland, OR I work by day and blog by night. I like to consider myself a video game connoisseur, playing as many new things as I can get my hands on. Its hard to hold me down to one game for very long before I move on to the next big thing. Luckily, that works pretty well in terms of video game blogging.

5 responses to “Why did 2011 feel like such a disappointing year for video games? (or the year of the threequel)”

  1. giantsbane says :

    Why is this a disappointment? Doesn’t this happen every year? I’ve seen quite a few articles arguing that this year was one of the greatest years in gaming in recent memory (and I agree with that sentiment)…

    I started playing Minecraft and LoL this year. I know these games weren’t released this year, but they weren’t popular until this year. Very original content to me.

    • Ryan Saul says :

      I just can’t come to agree with the idea that its one of the best years in gaming yet, but don’t get me wrong, it was pretty great.

      Disappointing doesn’t equal a bad year, just disappointing. The bar was maybe too high for all these new games, that might be the only real issue going on. I put a lot of stock in original titles. Sequels should do well no matter what since they’ve made the game before and they know what the flaws are. When someone wants to break out of the mold in some way and take a risk, that’s when spectacular titles come out and break new ground and that’s what makes fantastic years.

      I don’t feel like we have a lot to build off of this year, just a lot of things we already knew worked.

      The best thing to come out of the year was the rise of indie titles like Minecraft and Terraria. I love these games a ton, but they’re not the AAA titles that we usually focus on.

  2. giantsbane says :

    I just read the Kotaku article. My impression was that the author was not conveying that 2011 was a disappointing year in video gaming, but rather that he was recaping the disappointments in gaming that occured in 2011. There will be disappointments every year, but that doesn’t diminish the net abundance of success from 2011.

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