As Christmas rolls towards us, we are rejoicing in a slew of awesome video game titles—from Halo 5: Guardians and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 to Just Cause 3 and Lego Dimensions. However, the past year wasn’t all roses for the video game industry. For every great game released, there were two or three disappointments. Whether it was glitches, poor multi-player functions, overpriced downloadable content, or games that ended up having their releases cancelled altogether. Whatever the reason, here are 10 of the most disappointing moments from the video game world over the past year.
10. Need for Speed
There was a lot of hype around this title, but as far as racing games go, Need for Speed was a big disappointment. Nothing about this game felt fresh or interesting. Sure, the graphics are decent and the customization options for the various cars are good, but the rubber-banding is terrible, and all the races are set at nighttime for some inexplicable reason. Also, the online gameplay is weak and the cut-scenes are terrible. This game was particularly disappointing as it was supposed to reboot the Need for Speed franchise and revitalize a racing series that had grown stale in recent years. (Not to mention a terrible movie based on the game series). Instead, the 2015 version of Need for Speed served to isolate gamers further and make this title even less relevant for racing game enthusiasts. Electronic Arts needs to rethink their whole approach to Need for Speed. This game has a flat tire.
This game was super hyped and promoted as the next big multiplayer game. And many gamers took the bait that developer Turtle Rock Studios laid out—i.e. four players take on a fifth player who is a gigantic, ever-evolving monster. However, once released, it didn’t take long for people to realize that there was a serious lack of content to this game. The online gaming community spotted that this was a turd and fled pretty quickly. Sure, Evolve is kind of enjoyable for a few hours. But the game has no legs and becomes tiresome real fast. That is because there is not much to do, and the gameplay is mind numbingly repetitive. Plus, the big showdowns that were expected occur infrequently, and the team versus monster exchanges are not much more than clumsy battles. But the big piss off was the ridiculously overpriced downloadable content. All in all, a bad release from the studio that had previously scored with Left 4 Dead.
8. The Order: 1886
Billed as a AAA (highest quality development game) in the same vein as the gorgeous Ryse: Son of Rome, The Order: 1886 was highly anticipated. However, the game disappointed everyone when released. Not only is the length of the game too short, at just eight hours, but the execution is horrendous. Four of the game’s levels are nothing more than unplayable cut scenes that gamers are forced to sit through and watch passively. And, when you do get a chance to actually play the game, the combat is incredibly faulty, glitchy and loaded with a bunch of redundant quick time events. It all adds up to a massive disappointment. After all, who wasn’t looking forward to fighting vampires in Victorian England? This could have, and should have, been one of the best video games of the year—and the start of a new series for developer Sony. Instead, it drove a stake through the hearts of gamers everywhere.
7. Mario Party 10
Everyone loves a great Mario game. So, understandably, people were psyched for a new Mario Party game in 2015. But, after 10 games and three spin-offs in 20 years, this series has fallen flat on its face. Any creativity in this series is long gone and what we’re left with is a repetitive game that is bored with itself and completely uninspired. Yes, there are still a few enjoyable moments here and there. But, generally speaking, the first Mario Party game for the Wii U is pretty lame. Even the graphics and cut scenes look recycled from previous titles in the series. Worse, Mario Party 10 doesn’t take advantage of the technology available through the Wii U, and use of the gamepad is uninspired. Mario Party 10 will be remembered as the game that took this series from satisfactory to just plain awful. It’s time for Nintendo to retire the Mario Party series and come up with something new for everyone’s favorite plumber to do.
6. WWE 2K16
To be fair, this year’s signature wrestling game is not as bad as the WWE title that was foisted on us last year. And, WWE 2K16 has a great roster of wrestlers for players to choose from. However, WWE 2K16 is still an uninspired and predictable game—even for a sports game that sees a new version of itself released each year. The main problem is that the visuals are terrible and look like they are from a decade ago. The character models are clunky and the crowd scenes look downright robotic. Compare this to sports games based on hockey, soccer and football, and it is laughable. Then there’s the gameplay, which is way too slow. And there are still plenty of glitches in the game that are super annoying. The online play features frustrating lag times and can even cause server crashes. Pretty atrocious all around. Here’s hoping we eventually get the WWE wrestling game we deserve—one for the 21st Century, at least.
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5
Tony Hawk deserves better and so do his fans. This piece of crap features both awful graphics and horrific gameplay, which conspire to leave skater fans everywhere feeling let down and hurt. Gamers who love previous Tony Hawk skateboarding games were looking forward to a fun, rad game that they could love and appreciate. They wanted a great ride, man. Instead, they were given a low-budget, low-effort turd from game maker RoboModo. This entry in the Tony Hawk series deletes everything fans love about the series and provides only a quick, easy game designed to separate people from their hard-earned money. Riding the coattails of the Tony Hawk name, this game stinks. It is full of glitches, the skating feels off-kilter, and the quests on each level are repetitive. The multiplayer is so bad it is not worth mentioning. A total bummer, dude.
4. Batman: Arkham Knight (PC Version)
Holy terrible game, Batman! The console versions released for the PS4 and Xbox One are passable; not great, but decent. But the latest entry in the Batman series from Rocksteady suffers due to a PC game version that is so bad it is shocking. The PC game of Batman: Arkham Knight is a total mess, with the frame-rate dropping to levels that make it literally unplayable during sequences involving the Batmobile. A day after its release, the PC version was pulled from many stores shelves and refunds were issued to thousands of angry gamers. Media reports stated that Rocksteady and Warner Bros. knew about the technical issues with the PC version, but shipped the title anyway rather than delaying and fixing the problems. The game was re-released in late October, but the technical issues persisted—further irritating fans of the series. A total injustice to PC gamers everywhere.
3. Fallout 4
The designers behind Fallout 4 were certainly ambitious with this game. However, all the ambition in the world can’t make up for the problems in this role playing shooter. There are too many technical flaws to list, but the graphics are dated, glitches are everywhere, and the user interface is a total mess. Plus, the gameplay itself is difficult and confusing—even for the most experienced gamer. The story, too, is pretty lame and the dialogue is turgid. Plus, the game is extremely long and leaves players feeling both exhausted and lost at many points along the way. Though Fallout 4 has sold well, designer Bethesda should head back to the drawing board on the graphics and game engine. Plus, they could use a new team of writers for a fifth installment in this franchise. If there is a fifth installment…
2. Star Wars Battlefront
Die hard Star Wars fans no doubt love this game. But these are likely the same people who defend Jar Jar Binks. And, much like the wretched Star Wars Holiday Special from the 1970s, no amount of hope and wishful thinking can make this video game great. The third Star Wars Battlefront title arrived just ahead of the eagerly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. As with the film, hopes were running super high for this installment of the video game series. To be sure, the gameplay is alright. However, there is a real lack of content here that ends up making this game a letdown. The maps in the game are undecipherable and there are terrible spawns, as well as a lack of customization for vehicles. Like most things in the Star Wars universe, this game looks and sounds great, but it is the substance that is missing here. Plus the $50 season pass DLC being grossly overpriced. Clearly, the Force was not with game maker Electronic Arts on this one.
1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
This one is sure to divide gamers and readers alike. The newest Metal Gear Solid game is arguably the most ambitious by creator Hideo Kojima. His attempt at an open-world game contains the very best gameplay of the entire series—which is saying something considering the games that preceded this one. But the story is weak, as are the characters. And while the game is fun to play in spurts, it has many problems. The story is bare bones—in fact, it is the thinnest story in the entire series, which is a disappointment. Many of the classic Metal Gear Solid characters are missing altogether, and the ones that do appear end up disappearing just as quickly. Plus, the missions are incredibly repetitive, boss fights are boring and too easy, and to reach the ending of the game requires players to complete a bunch of cumbersome side missions. Like every Metal Gear Solid game, The Phantom Pain is beautiful to look at, but it just does not carry the weight and substance of the previous games in this series. Of course, it probably did not help that game developer Konami cut funding for this project near the end and then fired Hideo Kojima once the game was completed. This leave many gamers and fans of this series wondering, where do we go from here?