Last week we chronicled the very best exclusive titles produced for Sony's big black behemoth - games that represent creativity, execution and vision at their finest. This time we're going to take a look at the console's seedy underbelly, so to speak.
Not necessarily the worst PS3 exclusives, but rather titles that had substantial potential, hype or resources associated with them, but ultimately fell short of the mark. Together, these games compromise our most disappointing PlayStation 3 exclusives, in alphabetical order.
Haze was one of a number of games placed in the unenviable position of 'Halo killer', simply because it was a first-person shooter on the PS3 during the heyday of the next-generation console arms race for anything exclusive. While the game's premise of a not-too-distant future ravaged by biological experimentation and private military corporations was intriguing, Haze quickly became over-exposed by fans eager to find the next big shooter. After a troubled development process that ultimately saw Free Radical close its doors, Haze suffered from a myriad of visual and design glitches, shallow mechanics, and a painfully short campaign.
Arguably the poster child for disappointing PS3 exclusives, 2007's Lair generated considerable hype based on its striking presentation and developer Factor 5's past achievements. The game was viewed by many as the saving grace from a generally lackluster software lineup in the months following the PS3's fall 2006 launch. Despite its high production values, Lair was a commercial and critical failure, largely because of the stubborn decision to make Sixaxis controls the only available scheme. The tilt controls simply did not function as advertised, and unfortunately neither Factor 5 nor Lair could recover from this fundamentally flawed design choice.
Let's get one thing straight: Resistance 2 is not a bad game. Compared to the other entries on this list and other games in general, Insomniac's follow-up to Fall of Man is a solid offering. However, based on the massive expectations associated with being the PS3's flagship franchise, Resistance 2 somewhat failed to deliver. The game's main problem was ambition. It tried to offer too much within a two year development cycle, with mediocre results across the board - the inventive online coop being the one and only exception. Insomniac appears to have learnt their lesson for Resistance 3, focusing their vision and taking the time to refine it.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm
The concept of Razing Storm sounds compelling. Bringing the classic arcade, on-rails shooting franchise to the PS3, with a sleek visual presentation and full PlayStation Move support, carries with it a great deal of potential. Unfortunately, Time Crisis: Razing Storm failed to meet the mark on all fronts. Namco Bandai seemingly wanted to transform the series into a strange hybrid of on-rails mechanics with modern, competitive FPS conventions. In the end, Razing Storm failed to appeal to either segment, and was quickly forgotten within the packed holiday game release season.
White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles, like numerous titles before it, garnered a great deal of hype simply because it was in development for a long time and subjected to delays in the game's release. Of course, developer Level 5's stellar pedigree didn't hurt. The game promised an epic, fantasy tale for diehard RPG fans with inventive online elements, but only delivered on the latter. White Knight's storytelling, characterization and combat system were bland and quickly forgettable, a real shame coming from the team behind the colourful Professor Layton series.