Gamespot's Most Disappointing Game Of 2007 Is Not Kane And Lynch

Kane & Lynch and Gamespot are strange, strange bedfellows. Though it was never officially confirmed, last month saw rampant speculation that Gamespot’s negative review of the game led to the eventual firing of Gamespot’s then Editor in Chief Jeff Gerstmann. It was presumed that the layoff was largely due to mounting pressure from Kane & Lynch’s publisher, Eidos, following a heavy marketing campaign involving full-page spread ads on Gamespot. In the eyes of the public, this made Kane & Lynch more than just another bad game; Kane & Lynch became a product that embodied the worst in marketing practices and business ethics.

Even though Gamespot denied the rumors, the public wasn’t hearing it, and Gerstmann became a martyr as many accused Gamespot of “selling out.” Gamespot would not confirm the rumors, claiming instead that the layoff was due to a deteriorating quality in Gerstmann’s reviewing style. But many weren’t buying it, and the game still leaves a sour, sour taste in the mouth of many gamers today.

That’s why, when the title made its way onto the nominations list for Gamespot’s annual “Most Disappointing Game” dubious honor, it was bound to cause a stir amongst its readers. Again, though Gamespot has not confirmed whether the publisher’s influence was somehow a factor in Gerstmann’s firing, I imagine that many people, including myself, were hoping in the back of their minds that somehow, Gamespot might vindicate themselves by awarding that dubious honor to Kane & Lynch. Instead, the title ultimately went to Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08, a game that garnered only 3% of the “Most Disappointing” vote from Gamespot’s readers.

In all fairness to Gamespot, it’s likely that “dubious” honor was awarded after carefully weighing the gameplay merits (or rather, demerits) of all the nominees, and perhaps Tiger’s ball-whacker of a game was the gameplay equivalent of getting your own sack whacked with a nine iron. Still, it’s hard to see Kane & Lynch on Gamespot and not feel a pervasive sense of disgust and a deep, deep disappointment. And the fans agree – right now well over half of the votes cast for the game are for Kane & Lynch (followed by PS3’s Lair). The least voted for game? Gamespot’s top-spot choice - Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08.

Perhaps Tiger did deserve to take home the award for endorsing what is clearly, a broken game. But when you have a game that is not only poor, but has (supposedly) gotten an Editor of a major online publication fired... that’s a special, unique kind of disappointment: one that extends far beyond anything as trivial as poor hit detection, wobbly controls or an awkward camera.

And even if none of this is true, even if Gerstmann’s firing had nothing to do with Kane & Lynch or Eidos whatsoever, it looks like Gamespot still has a ways to go to quell these rumors and convince its fans otherwise.