Kotaku Awards 2013: Nominate Your Biggest Disappointments Of The Year

Kotaku Awards 2013: Nominate Your Biggest Disappointments Of The Year

Welcome to the Kotaku Awards 2013. This is how it goes: we take nominations the first week, we take the vote on the second, and announce the winners on the third. In this post we’re talking disappointments.

Contrary to the surprise of the year, the biggest disappointments are the games you were excited about that ended up underdelivering. These games might not necessarily be bad, just not as good as you expected them to be.

Some of mine are…

BioShock Infinite

Actually those are the only two I can think of right now. How about you guys and girls? Drop your nominations in the comments below…


  • Wind Waker HD. Objectively I know it’s a great game. I know this is going to be controversial, but as a complete Zelda newbie it didn’t live up to the pedestal I had always held this on in my head since 2003. First 2/3 I loved though.

    • I’m going to have to agree with you. As a huge Zelda fan, I *usually* put my life on hold for a week and blast through new releases. I didn’t with the original Wind Waker, and I didn’t with the HD variant either.

      • yep agreed. it is a great game but by no means is it a contender for best zelda, but damn zelda a link between worlds is blowing my expectations out of the water.

  • Biggest disappointment: not as many people buying or praising Wonderful 101 as there should be!

    Also Nintendo being dicks.

  • I’m surprised at Ryse. I never thought it looked good.

    I think I’m going to have to go with ‘Remember me’. It had some awesome ideas, but it turned out to just be a brawler. If they took the same ideas and IP and out them in an RPG, I’d be all over that.

    • Nice choice although I haven’t played it yet. But from what I thought it could be to what was delivered was so very very different

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines

    Than again we did get ample warning from review sites before its launch, wasn’t as big as a unexpected disappointment.

  • Batman Arkham Origins. Not a bad game, but it was almost exactly the same as Arkham City with a bit of snow. Felt much more like DLC than a new game.

  • Biggest disappointment of the year has to be X:Rebirth
    so much potential but yet so many bugs, ugly NPCs, dumbed down, UI totally unusable and more.

    • I was hoping for this to be the game to hold me over til Star Citizen but now there is only disapointment. I guess I’ll just have to go back and look at my fish tank.

    • While I agree X: Rebirth was a disappointment, pretty much all of the X series have followed the path of a ludicrously buggy & unplayable initial release, eventually patched into something sublime.

      You would think they would have learned by now.

    • Hah you jest but seriously that is my biggest disappointment, of the generation even.

      The game failed on every possible level for me, the online was shit ALL of it. From the missions to auto aiming multiplayer matches. In the single player, the whole game fell apart after the first heist. The story didn’t even just dissapear it left gaping festering wounds.

      From Trevor industries where we spent the entire start of trevor vanished never to be heard from again, every characters personal life was left with nothing, they got the gold the end.
      Hell even the switching characters did nothing for me, it wasn’t done in a way that actually enhanced the gameplay it was just a “oh okay” and ruined what could have been great had they just gone with 1 character with a 1 proper story.

      Oh and flying anything was just plain stupid so much “turbulence” nigh impossible to fly straight even with maxed stuff it was atrocious.

      The game is the very worst in the series for me because of all these reasons, so much so that I wish I had never played it.

  • I haven’t even played it, but surely Aliens Colonial Marines.. I was heaps excited for it when it was coming out, but glad I waited for the reviews.

    Also, gotta agree with @markserrels about Bioshock Infinite. I did enjoy it when I played it, but after finishing it and hearing about the average DLC I’ve come to realize it was a bit over-hyped in the end.

    • Rome 2 has ended up being amazing. The best Total War so far.
      They had a rocky start, so what? Within a week, the bulk of the problems have been removed.

  • I’d like to nominate Aliens: CM, Assassin’s Creed 3, Anarchy Reigns and SimCity. And Dark Matter.

  • next gen consoles – wii u is a farce. ps4 and xbone could have been a lot better than pc’s in console’s clothing. waiting for steambox.

        • Yeah… I got the down vote attack from good old Andre3000 the user with 1 post about Leisure Suit Larry.

    • I didn’t down vote this, because I think it’s worth discussing. Is what we really want a future where consoles are PC’s/media centers with closed ecosystems? One of the things the notable things about Mark’s article on the Xbone last week was that he didn’t really like how Sony and MS are pushing specific services on both devices, rather than letting the user choose the best available. At that point, it struck me that what he seems to actually want is a PC.

      Could this flexibility be the killer feature that gets the Steambox over the line? I don’t know, but it does seemed to have helped Android.

      • i think steambox attracts disillusioned console users like me. as you say, if they are going to be media centers and closed ecosystems why not just use a pc? at least i can upgrade that when the games get too much for it to run them well. both just seem to heavily push their camera’s and always online applications – there is not a lot to differentiate them from each other, let alone the previous gen. better hardware yes. better experience is arguable.

  • XB1. As a lifelong Sony fan, the 360 had generated enough goodwill in me that I was actually genuinely excited to see what they would do. But then May came.

    • I can see where you’re coming from, though I personally liked all the stuff they announced and was slightly disappointed by the backpeddling. The only complaints I have about the Xbone are probably teething issues that’ll be sorted out in a formware update by the end of the year.

  • Batman Blackgate. I was psyched to hear three ex-Retro guys were doing a Metroidvania, but then it turned out not so great.

  • I’m on the MGR and Bioshock Infinite wagon. Oh, and Fire Emblem: Awakening let me down after how much people were talking it up.

  • Yeah, Simcity for me too. Big fan of the series (I played Societies on the weekend) and the tiny maps and short game time ruined it for me. Didn’t really have problems with the launch.

  • X : Rebirth
    XCOM : The Bureau : Declassified : Attack of the subtitle.

    Edit : also ShootMania : Storm.

  • I’d have to say GTA: Online.

    I loved the single player part of the game, but after trying to get on for two days I just gave up, booted it up after the patch to ensure that I’d get the half a mill stimulus package, did the tutorial, robbed a few stores, turned it off and haven’t gone back since.

    • Yeah, it’s still not fully fleshed out. It’s essentially just a bunch of mini-games at the moment. ‘Heists’ were supposed to be awesome, but they aren’t released yet along with: stock market, money trading between players, some other stuff.

    • i would have been happy with the level of GTA4 multiplayer in the GTA5 map.
      i wanted to stuff around with friends in an open world.
      this is a pita at the moment

  • I didn’t play Sim City but all the negative info that flowed out post-release turned me off ever doing so, so that was disappointing.

    I also never picked up X-Com: The Bureau for the same reasons. When it was originally pitched as an FPS reboot of the X-Com franchise I was cautiously unoptimistic. When Firaxis released X-Com: Enemy Unknown instead I was thrilled, and saw the third-person tactical shooter as a promising spinoff. Then I guess it just went to pieces with an uninteresting story and questionable mechanics. :/

    GTA Online was a let-down but I never really had a vested interested or high hopes for it, so the disappointment isn’t very significant.

    But out of all the games I actually bought and played (which admittedly isn’t very many) I’d have to say Bioshock Infinite. I enjoyed it, and I still quite like it, but I was expecting something far more. It had me fooled for awhile but now the shine is off the apple and the game feels distinctly above average rather than great.

  • PS4 launch lineup
    Atlus taking this damn long to finally announced Persona 5
    Serious lack of AAA must play games… and even less that aren’t shooters.
    Having to pay for PAX2014 tickets literally 12 months before PAX2014.

  • Definitely Bioshock Infinite. An interesting and thought-provoking story with a great twist, shoved into dull shoot-people-in-the-face-for-hours gameplay. That, and the handymen in no way lived up to their conceptual heritage – the Big Daddies.

  • Battlefield 4. The MP is good…when the bugs aren’t laughing in your face. Fix your shit EA!!

  • Xcom: Enemy Within – because of the price of the damn thing! An expansion should not cost almost the same of the base game!

  • I think Bioshock Infinite has to be mine too for much the same reason as others – A great story and setting, beautifully realised, interspersed with over long periods of surprisingly unengaging combat. I had similar concerns with the original Bioshock, but they feel much more pronounced in Infinite.

    @Mark, with regards to Ryse, the general consensus seems to be that the game is better than expected, which is to say not -quite- completely and utterly unplayable garbage. I’m wondering how you could find yourself disappointed in a release like that.

    • I think it would also be a much better game if they did away entirely with loot drops in bins etc. It really felt like “Rubbish Bin Rummager 2013” for large parts of the game. I guess I could just bypass them, but they’re there, and the game is balanced to assume that you are collecting that stuff.

      • I hear that’s been removed from the new expansion, though I haven’t felt all that compelled to check it out myself.

        I think Irrational need to go back to square one with the inevitable next game in the series and really think about how to make Bioshock a more consistently compelling experience. I’m inclined to think dropping the heavy FPS combat focus in favour of something more akin to the modern Fallout games might be a good way forward.

    • Well, Mark was disappointed from the outset when he got his hands on a demo prior to the release, so his expectations were not tempered by the near-universal critical condemnation the game has earned.

      I’m personally planning on picking it up later. Not because I’m waiting for a price drop, it’s just I have five other Xbox One launch titles to chew through.

  • Pokemon X/Y. They had the opportunity to bring the franchise kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat, but it still feels like the same game as 10 years ago, just with a clunky 3D engine over the top of it. That movement system is awful.

  • Bioshock Infinite. The opening bit was so amazing, then the actual game got started. 🙁 But I kind of went into it expecting it not to live up to expectations.

    But the biggest one for me was Ni no Kuni. I’m an enormous Ghibli fan and love JRPGs so I was massively hyped going in, preordered the CE and everything. Played for maybe five or six hours and absolutely couldn’t stand it. Juvenile plot, annoying main character that felt at odds with the Ghibli style, terrible quality animated cutscenes that looked far worse than the actual in-game graphics and weren’t remotely near the expected quality, and an incredibly clunky, hard to use combat system. I think it’s the most disappointed I’ve been by a game I was excited for in many years, not just this year.

  • Bioshock Infinite.
    I wasn’t actually expecting much besides a good story and way too much shooting, but I didn’t play the game at launch and heard loads of people talking about how amazing and surprising the story was. So I played the game but was disappointed by how not amazing the story was. I found that I didn’t really care a great deal about the characters and the end that was apparently so very “mindblowing” was kind of obvious.
    I should have stuck to my original expectations, then I would have been fine and my biggest gaming disappointment of the year would just have been not having enough time to play enough. 😛

  • I am disappointed that Steam is on a (steam)roll with announcements including Family Sharing, however multiple account login (e.g. what will be required to stream to SteamBox) hasn’t been spoken about at all.

    • Now that we have family sharing access, I would appreciate if I didn’t have to manually log out of my account and log my wife in to play and vice versa. Couldn’t that stuff just be synced to our respective windows profiles or something? Better than what we had before though, when she was walled off even from the games installed on our hard drive unless she wanted to log in as me and not get to enjoy the perks of having her own profile, unlock her own achievements, etc.

      • Yeah – if it was a game by game basis, I’d be fine with that. Having to share the entire library is a load of crap.

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines – there was so much potential that was squandered. Not a surprise, but definitely a disappointment.

  • No DLNA or external hard drive support on PS4 – I’ve decided to jump ship to Xbone after always being a PS fanboy. Such a huge fail for a box that’s supposed to double as a media server to not have these things.

    • For the media side of things, the PS4 does have external HDD support. What you can’t do is run games from it, which I think is pretty sensible.

      The DLNA thing is bewildering. They say its coming now, but why on Earth wouldn’t they assume people would want that?

  • 1. Aliens: Colonial Marines (This is a given)
    2. Metal Gear Rising (Terrible narrative)
    3. Bioshock Infinite (I guess my expectations for this were way too high)
    4. Dead Space 3 (Feels more like Gears of War than a survival horror adventure)

  • Pokémon X and Y – Enjoy it, but after Black/White 2, this is just multiple steps back. Though, to it’s merit, it does pick up towards the end. I also wish there were more Pokémon, though more could be added to this generation later.

    BioShock Infinite – Really enjoy it, but the story kinda’ fell apart. Some crappy bosses.

    GTA V – Just plain boring. Lost all interest not long in. I will replay it later, but for now, it’s one of my most disappointing of the year.

    The Last of Us – I just genuinely didn’t enjoy this game. Nothing about it was particularly good in my opinion, and the game felt as though it was trying to hard to be deep. I can see why some people would like it, but not me.

  • 1. Microtransactions in full priced games

    2. Simcity for online only for no good reason

    3. X:Rebirth. No X game was ever good out of the gate, but this is a mess

    4. Aliens: Colonial Marines. For taking a much loved franchise and reducing it to just another bug hunt, literally.

  • Rayman Legends – Origins was a breath of life back to the 2D platforming games that aren’t Mario, given the trouble Legends had, the delays for more platforms, the claim they were using the time for more levels and updating the some of the Origin levels.

    If you take out the Origin levels, the game is very undercooked, a collection of levels with no cohesion and less replayability.

    • Oh yeah, that too. I thought the biggest insult was that they fleshed it by adding levels I had already played in Origins.

  • Sim City – I’m sure there’s a great game in there and I don’t even mind the always online restriction if it worked as advertised but… sigh it’s all just a bit disappointing, city sizes are far too small, AI is all wonky, always-online stuff doesn’t really work, loads of micro-DLC-disguised transactions really disappoint as well.

  • Rome 2?
    Definitely the biggest disappointment of the year for me; a massive step backwards for the series.

  • Easily Battlefield 4 for me. The combat feels terrible compared to BF3.

    Its something that they will (Probably) fix but I doubt it will be fixed before the end of the year.

    I get shot by people and die then I see them walk around the corner to where i’m standing and fire their gun. I have also shot people after my character has died. Constant kill trading.

    I cant believe they would release such a broken game.

      • Well it is much better than it was at launch, the game would crash every other round and the times it didn’t the servers themselves would crash.

        By the time you get it it might be decent 🙂

  • The Bureau: X-COM Declassified
    Aliens: Colonial Marines
    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

    Theres actually been a few this year. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Aliens Colonial Marines. SO glad glad I didn’t pick it up, but apparently the updates improve it slightly?? I just want a GOOD Aliens game 🙁

  • Pre-purchasing watch dogs literally 5 minutes before loading kotaku & seeing the story about it being delayed.

    Personally, I thought Aliens: Colonial Marines was adequate. Not good by any means but if the rumour of them having the junk the lot and start from scratch with 9 months to do it all in is true, I’d say they did a fair job of it. I’d like to see them have another crack at it but no one would trust them with it again.

  • God of War: Ascension:
    They really should have left it as a trilogy with the couple of psp offshoots, Story was all disjointed, level design paled in comparison to any of its predesesors, I couldn’t put down the first three games but I couldn’t even be bothered to finish Ascension, it’s not even a long game.
    I love the series & even named my German Shepherd Kratos, that’s why this saddens me so.
    broken storyline spoiler
    Ascension should have shown Kratos prior to getting the ashes burned into him, GOW 1 showed what happened after, the storyline doesn’t feel like it belongs where they jammed it in the timeline.

    • i agree. i was so looking forward to that game, but they broke everything. no cool secondary weapons, no awesome over the top story, and the flow and ebb of combat was utterly wrecked. still, i haven’t lost hope for the franchise. I’m really hoping they make finish Kratos story.

  • GTA Online- Quickly became a P2W-fest with R* nerfing mission payouts to oblivion. Absolutely killed any interest I had in it.
    God of War: Ascension- Blatant cash-in, completely unnecessary as a game because the story concluded with GoW3 making this a prequel, felt very lacking compared to it too
    Dragon’s Crown- Oh man I was looking forward to this alot. It looked awesome and the arcade-y style of gameplay is fun for about 5 minutes, then it gets boring and montonous. There’s nothing that makes you wanna come back and play more.
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist- It’s never gonna be the same as Chaos Theory :'(
    Lego City Undercover- Mediocre compared to the other Lego games and it was one of only two games Wii U would get for a few months (the other being MH3U ported from the 3DS)

    I’d also say Gears of War: Judgment because it looks like an absolutely shitty cash-in compared to GoW3, but I never played it.

  • Definitely aliens: Colonial Marines. No matter where the excuses go-to I place the blame of this entirely on Gearboxes own decision making, plus I have stopped being lenient on them over DNF as a result of the disaster that was that game. I was expecting SIM City to disappoint and so I decided not to purchase that game until after everything settles, and even now I have plenty of excuses on why I’m not going to be shelling out full price or half price for it

  • OK, I am just going on games I bought this year, and I hesitate on this because I think it is still really good and I enjoyed it, but Shadowrun could have been a lot better

  • I gotta say, the new console gen is my biggest disappointment. The Wii U is the only one that seems like its going to have any future after the steam boxes start being a thing.

    • Because PCs (which are basically steam boxes already) have completely crushed the console market, right?

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines for sure. I remember hearing about the game years ago from Game Informer and being excited that I’d get to play as a Colonial Marine while facing off against the ‘Bitch!’ Gearbox shattered my excitement for that game ever since the reviews hit the presses…

    I’m really hoping the Alien game Creative Assembly is working on can redeem the brand and bring it some respectability again.

  • Forza 5. For taking what should have been a great game and destroying it with greedy pay to play bullshit.

  • Why is it so cool to hate bioshock infinite? It delivered completely on all its hefty promises. Bunch of hipsters

    • Because the gameplay wasn’t perfect. And we all know that gameplay is the only thing that matters…

  • Bioshock Infinite by far. Great ideas, scenery and all but the story wrapped my head too much where I had to look up on how the ending made sense left me feeling a bit sad at myself and the gameplay feels like a complete step-back compared to the first two Bioshock games.

  • Resident evil 6 and Asassins Creed 3.
    Assasins Creed made my list probably because I was just so hyped for it…and it was a bit painful to playthrough.

    RE6 on the other hand, I didn’t even have that much expectations for. All I wanted was a bit of zombie headshots, cheesy storyline and to roll my eyes at bad inventory management. Even THEN it was bad enough that I abandoned it…and I rarely abandon games.

  • Honestly, I would have to say The Last Of Us.
    It did have an amazing story but the gameplay felt like another third person shooter. And the AI did piss me off quite a bit.

  • Time and Eternity.

    Pitched as a JRPG with hand-drawn animation and innovative combat, what we got was a third-rate brawler with dodgy graphics (and a second-rate dating sim subgame.) As far as I could tell from what I played of it, combat is essentially an extended game of rock-paper-scissors.

    I considered whether it was the worst JRPG of this generation. I’m pretty sure it has that nailed. Then I wondered it if was the worst JRPG ever released. I think it’s in with a chance, but I can’t make any judgements on any JRPGs not released in English…

    I’m sure it won’t make the top of the list, but that’s mostly because the target audience is so niche that very few people will have had the chance to encounter its awfulness.

  • Ashes 2013. As a cricket lover I waited from basically last year for this title, then, after numerous delays and poor communication from the developers it gets a steam release before being taken back off steam and cancelled completely because it was so entirely broken. Worst gaming story of 2013?

  • GTA Online.

    I should have known; I didn’t like GTA IV multiplayer. This was full of niblets trying to kill me, rather than co-operating on missions. Boring. Irritating.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!