It’s a truism that a number of ideas sound great on paper but are revealed to be absolutely horrid when put into practice, especially when it comes to video games. For example, doesn’t it seem like common sense that a Superman game would be an amazing experience? Yet we still keep figuring out ways to screw it up.
Sometimes spectacularly so (see above image!)
Granted, none of these games on this list come anywhere close to being as bad as Superman 64. In fact, they’re all pretty good games, but they still have those underwhelming segments and infuriatingly inept mechanics that keep them from joining the pantheon of gaming.
Here are 5 games with brilliant concepts that had awful executions.
5. Assassin’s Creed II: The Entire Carnevale Segment
I consider Assassin’s Creed II to be the pinnacle of the series, an almost perfect game that brilliantly captures everything Assassin’s Creed is about by letting players pull off stylish assassinations and leap from rooftop to rooftop in meticulously recreated cities like Venice and Florence during the Renaissance. Ubisoft had listened to the criticisms of the first game and in-turn provided gamers with a memorable open world filled with plenty of fun side quests and items to collect long after you finished the memorable revenge storyline.
However, there is one nasty segment that sticks out like a gruesome pimple on an otherwise unblemished face: the Carnevale. The setup is that Ezio must participate in a number of events (minigames) to earn a Golden Mask that will grand him access to a party hosted by the man he needs to kill, Templar Marco Barbarigo.
Sounds pretty like a pretty cool scenario, right? If only. The four subpar minigames are tedious, boring exercises . Worse, two of the events (capture the flag and racing) shine a light on what has always been the series’ Achilles’ heel: an awkward control scheme.
The race event in particular requires an almost perfect response time, which is unfortunate since the game doesn’t immediately tell you where you’re supposed to go, and Ezio’s habit of jumping in the wrong direction certainly doesn’t help. You have to look for the white beacons of light, meaning that you must stumble through the stage several times before you even have the trajectory of the course laid out in your mind.
Worst of all is that all of that hard work essentially is meaningless since the contest is rigged, forcing you to steal the mask from your target’s bodyguard anyway. Boo.
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This article was first posted on January 13, 2013