2013 gave gamers some of the best titles of the generation, but for every "BioShock Infinite" and "Tomb Raider," there was a game that didn't live up to its potential. These games aren't necessarily bad, but in each case, gamers had every reason to expect pure gold, and ended up with something between silver and a handful of rusty iron shavings. Read on to discover the games of 2013 that fell short of the mark — some by a hair, and some by a mile.
Batman: Arkham Origins (Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U)
There's a good game underneath the flaws in "Batman: Arkham Origins," but it takes some digging to get to it. The game, a prequel to the well-received "Arkham Asylum" and "Arkham City," features Batman duking it out with famous villains like Black Mask, the Joker and Bane while exploring Gotham City. But compared to previous games, the city is a bit empty, the combat feels clunkier and the villain roster is lackluster. Add in a whole mess of bugs that make the game almost unplayable at times, and "Arkham Origins" is a tough sell.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PS3 / PS4 / PC / Wii U)
"Call of Duty: Ghosts" is not a bad game, but it's not a very good one, either. This first-person shooter has the franchise's standard over-the-top campaign and robust multiplayer suite, but both feel a little bland and uninspired, especially compared to last year's "Black Ops II." The campaign is unusually ridiculous and xenophobic, even by "Call of Duty" standards, and the multiplayer adds very few new options. "Call of Duty" has demonstrated that it can be smart, engaging and even subversive, but "Ghosts" demonstrates that it can also be as dull as dirt.
Given the pedigree of its creator, "Knack" should have been a much better game than it was. Mark Cerny, who designed the kid-friendly action game, was the mind behind "Jak and Daxter," "Ratchet & Clank" and the PS4 itself, but "Knack" felt bland compared to his previous efforts. Knack, the eponymous robot who stars in the game, can traverse a colorful, cartoonish world and alter his size and abilities as he incorporates ancient relics from the world around him, but the game is simplistic and ultimately shallow.
Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
David Cage, creator of "Beyond: Two Souls," is trying to push the gaming medium in a new direction — although given the game's tepid sales, it's a direction that only David Cage seems to want to explore. Cage's previous games, like "Indigo Prophecy" and "Heavy Rain," were essentially interactive films, and "Beyond: Two Souls" continues that trend — as well as their trends of atrocious dialogue, contrived plot points, needless exploitation and barely any gameplay. Not even Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, who starred in the game, could save this one.
Lococycle (Xbox One)
Every console's launch library needs a real lemon, and for the Xbox One, "Lococycle" rides off with that dubious honor. Although "Lococycle" sells itself as a motorcycle combat game, it can be more accurately described as a soporific with a side of racism. The game boasts repetitive combat, inaccurate controls and a painfully unfunny story that insults a cornucopia of races and nationalities. Developer Twisted Pixel has produced delightful games in the past, but while "Lococycle" wanted to be a farcical joyride, it wound up in the scrap heap instead.