Kotaku Awards 2014: Biggest Disappointment Of The Year

This the award that allows us all to vent about the things that annoyed us most. Find out the winners now!

Okay, this is awkward. This has never happened in the history of the Kotaku Awards. We had 1000 votes on this thing but, despite that, we have an actual tie. Two things received the precise same amount of votes.


So, the joint 'winner' of the biggest disappointment of 2014 is...

Reader's Choice

Gamergate and Destiny When the nomination for Gamergate as a "disappointment" of the year, I wondered precisely what was meant by that? Were people disappointed by the 'movement' itself, by what it stood for? Were they disappointed with how it split gaming communities? Or were they disappointed by the way in which women (and men, but mainly women) were systematically harassed and bullied online?

Most likely it's all of the above.

Gamergate is like Darth Vader. Once upon a time he had good intentions, maybe. Then some bad things happened and before you know it he was blowing up entire planets with Death Stars and brutalising innocent people. But like Luke Skywalker, I choose to believe there is good there. I want to bring people back. Gamergate may be more machine than man, but I hope they can take the mask off as a collective, and turn back to the good side before being burned on some weird metaphorical funeral pyre.

And that's all I have to say about that.

As for Destiny? Well, it might not have been the game we all expected and God knows it's not perfect, but I enjoyed it. A lot. But I was also sort of disappointed by it.

Destiny is such a strange game. Our reaction to it is equally strange. Because everyone is still playing it. I suspect we will all continue to be disappointed by Destiny for many, many years to come and I mean that in a good way.

Editor's Choice

Halo: Master Chief Collection's Multiplayer Disappointment is a strange thing. We're only disappointed because we have hope. I had hoped that the Halo: Master Chief Collection would be this incredible package that would allow me to seamlessly leap from multiplayer match to multiplayer match, across four different games. That's kinda what was promised.

The fact that, a month after release, the game's multiplayer still isn't working is disappointing. It's disappointing because I want that seamless experience so bad. It's disappointing because I've moved on and most likely won't come back. It's disappointing because the potential for that experience was stratospheric.

It's not disappointing because it was a bad idea or a bad game or a bad package. I've still been jumping between single player levels and having a blast — but when I think of Halo and what I truly love about the game I think of multiplayer. And I haven't been able to indulge in that love. Such a shame.


    I am with you with the Master Chief collection. Could have been a great package but it is a hot mess. I have seen so many bugs even in single player.

      I agree it's a mess with the multiplayer but I haven't had a single bug in the single player campaign yet. I've played through the first 3 so far. Not defending it really though because it's unacceptable to still be a broken product multi player wise.

      Yeah, it got my vote, for the exact same reason, it should have been better than good, it should have been friggin great. Instead it was a mess, and as stated, I moved on, and now won't be going back to it. Such a collosall waste of Microsoft's #1 IP.
      There is no emoticon for my level of disappointment.

    Loved Destiny, and then didn't. Was quite strange. Played it for ages then one day just stopped, and have not played it since.

      same, can't even remember what I stopped playing it for, was it another game? was it due to work? did I have to go somewhere? I lost interest so quickly I literally cannot remember.

      yeah it is an odd beast and ive never had an experience like it. i still play it nearly every day and love it....yet.....i wish it was so much more.

        Sounds like those games (eg: Tera) where a particular mechanic works well (eg: combat), yet everything else is lacking

          Pretty much. After a certain point there's no motivation to do the shooty. You might as well be running the intro section of a Call of Battlefield game shooting paper targets in the speed/obstacle course.

          I logged in again, last night - knowing I have new raid gear that needs levelling and extra bounty slots to do it with (because you can't level the raid gear IN the raid, and if the raid is the only thing you're doing, the gear doesn't get levelled), and maybe that would be useful to do before the DLC lands. Y'know, jump from 29 to 30.

          I just... stared at all the bounties. Patrol missions on mars. One of the story missions on heroic. Two-for-one fusion rifle kills. Three Fallen Walkers... I just. Didn't want to do any of it. Turned it back off again.

      Same here. I think if it had a decent story and characters it would have kept me hooked.
      It's a very lonely game, even with mates

    Ooooo I hope I'm right in guessing Destiny get's biggest disappointment AND best online experience!

    ..... Haven't announced best online experience yet, right?

      Wouldn't be surprised. I wonder how many people voted for it as biggest disappointment and completed the raid? If so, they most likely played the game for 50 hours plus and then that's not really fair. If not they've missed out on the best part of the game. If they're voting because they have to play the game for how ever may hours to get to the best part then I understand! Or maybe people just don't get that disappointed anymore? Either way, gamergate was shit all over

        It's unreasonable to expect players to trudge through 50hours of mediocrity to play the best bit.

          I wouldn't say it's 50 hours of trudge, mainly getting between lvl 20 and 28 is trudge. 15 hours of trudge? Also, I like the word trudge, thanks for using it

            15 hours of trudge is 15 too many

      I think the best online experience was World of Warcraft, Que Simulator.

        Hahaha. You peasants and your queues. Clearly lacking the motivation to do as I did: log in immediately after reset at stupid-o-clock in the morning when sane people aren't awake.
        Then never log out again. Ever.

          hahaha yeah would have been smart but I am a chump and forked out 27 bucks and changed servers lol

            I was only partly joking, though. It was NOT very smart. I spent most of the time as the living dead, suffering from microsleeps and snorting awake whenever the music changed to let me know I'd gone back to character select. "I'M UP! I'M AWAKE. Huh-wha?!"

      Got my fingers crossed for Dark Souls or Mario Kart being best online. Many good times, many controllers thrown.

    Surprised it isn't Watch_dogs.
    I loved it, but it could have been better.

    Last edited 09/12/14 2:26 pm

      I thought it was going to be watchdogs as well as it just got ripped to shreds by so many people.

      Watch Dogs was third.

        Hey Serrels, can you quickly add the Team fortress 2 End Of The Line update to this list?
        1 years hype and it JUST launched and it's getting torn to bits.

          It is, isn't it? That's TF2 fans for you though....we'll hype anything

      watch dogs was my number 1. promised so much, hyped so much, delayed so much, TOA (turd on arrival. it wasnt just bad, it was a huge disappointment. more so than Destiny or anything else. It was awkward, it was boring, it was illogical.

      It's a definite contender, but I think with the delays and the screenshot reveals and more delays and complaints about things, the cracks were really starting to be obvious before it launched. People knew enough in advance to set expectations a little lower, avoiding some of the disappointment. Surprise and disappointment are very closely linked.

      Whereas with Destiny... there was nothing but glowing praise. The signs that should have been tip-offs as to problems (like the lead writer quitting) were willingly ignored because god damn will you look how pretty that is?

    My biggest disappointment in Destiny was the lack of story. Games are a visual media, show us the story don't tell us the story, don't make us look up your website for little snippets of information.

    And it could have used about 20 more missions.

    I may start playing again, The DLC/Expansion pack is coming out on the 10th and since I already paid for the first two (Yes I was onboard the Hype train) I may as well try and get some fun out of them.

      20 more missions that weren't horde mode with enemies that were just reskins and the same behavioural AI.

        There's 4 Species of enemies at the moment, each species has it's own ranks/hierarchy/units asking for tons of variation there is a hard call. But asking for the layout to be made interesting isn't.

        Lego was (I'm old, the new stuff seems to have parts made for it) a set of limited parts and hundreds of combination. Video Games kind of need to be the same way. I don't think a shooter needs to have a couple million named enemies with specific behaviors or that it is even possible with the current tech. But the layout and setup can be made interesting.

        I wish my ghost was more a companion and less of a key.

        Take the scene from the Reef, everybody knows about the Black Garden. Actually this is the second time I've heard it can you tell me more? You can barely find any info on the thing.

      Yeah. I was on the hype train, too. Reluctantly because the beta was pretty shitty and empty/hollow, but people kept saying it wasn't done yet, and the fleshed out launch version would be so much more.

      The DLC's on my plate, and I paid for it, so I should probably eat it, but... mmph.

    I can't believe Ass Creed Unity escaped scot free - the only game ever that I've cancelled my pre-order for.

      It's hard to be disappointed when something meets your expectations. And I think expectations were pretty low. I mean... we knew already it wasn't going to have pirate ships. You can't just give people pirate ships, then take them away. Where do you go from there?

        To be honest, I would have settled for French accents, a 30fps frame rate and way fewer bugs. I did 100% sync on ACIV and I thought the ship combat (while great) was a little shallow after a while. I love France and its history, and while the revolution was, in my view, a travesty, I think it was a really interesting period. All Ubi had to do was give this game another 3 months of polish and I'd have been over the moon.

          And yet people didn't believe them when they said they didn't have enough time to go adding a new protagonist model... All those budding armchair project manager experts who may know a thing or two about modelling and animation but jack fucking shit about projects.

          Last edited 10/12/14 2:45 pm

    Can I be disappointed that Wolfenstein is probably the most overlooked, underrated game of the year?

      I second this. I've been a little disappointed how off-the-radar Wolfenstein is in regards to GotY nominations. You can really feel that the game was a work of love from the developer.

      Yes, yes you can! And I wholly agree dude. So many BS FPS's coming out and Wolf stands head and shoulders above as it had engaging combat, great player feedback and imo, a really brilliantly realised story.

      Hehe, I can’t get all the Wolfenstien love. I keep on hearing people putting it up as a game of the year contender but I don’t quite get it.

      It was very solid shooter but I couldn’t find anything in it that was significantly new or which blew me away.
      Graphics solid, gameplay solid, story solid.

      I also thought it was thematically really weird.

      *SPOILERS* The way it mixes Nazi history and themes with some of the cheesiest characters and writing you could imagine was so weird. The brainy crippled leader, the magic Jews, the lovable oversized retard, the grizzled untrusting veteran, the black guy who despite the completely different course of history had somehow turned himself into a Jimmy Hendrix stereotype…. The way it all fell together was outright odd. I mean the part when they take acid and then the black guy goes down playing the star spangled banner on the electric guitar?!? I mean it was cool…. but WTF?!

      Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it… it’s just a rather strange game.

        Wolfenstein has always been about the cheese factor. Did you ever play Spear of Destiny? Wolf has never been normal.

        But I can see where you're coming from, particularly if you didn't play the original and it's sequel.

          Oh yeah I played the original to death back in the day and I remember mecha-Hitler and guys throwing syringes and whacky things of that nature. Return to Castle Wolfenstien was no different, I knew exactly what to expect. The thing is that those games put the action so far ahead of the “story” that the correlation between the silliness and the realities being referenced were lessened.
          There were certainly no concentration camp detainees in those games!

          *SPOILER ALERT*
          Female love interest: “I was raped by Nazi’s and had to have a backyard abortion”
          Inexplicable Jimmy Hendrix character: “Wanna drop some aaaaaacid and play some electric geeeee-tar?!? WIGGGIDDDY WIGGITTTYYYY WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

          Don’t get me wrong I’m not upset and I still like the game, I just thought it was hilarious the way they mixed the most serious of themes with a handful of characters who wouldn’t be out of place in a Borderlands game.

            Ah dude cheers for that. It's always awesome hearing someone else's interpretation.

    gamergates loudest "supporters" had only the title to do with the movement

    Watch_Dogs was definitely a disappointment.

    My biggest disappointment would probably be the Evolve Alpha I played in. I had so much hope for the game, absolutely loved L4D and I know it's just Alpha, but I can't see it changing in a way that will revive my hype for it.

    That's so weird that there was a tie. I mean... the scores were hidden! It's not even like anyone could have known how the scores were going, to manipulate it.

    After Black Flags surprising refresher for the series, Unity was a complete backwards step for the series.

    I don't remember what I voted for. I would have been reminded of being disappointed by seeing the name in the list, immediately before voting for it. I imagine having moved on, maturely, from the emotionally-charged crushing disappointment and looked to the next horizon; I generally try and stay optimistic.
    Either that, or I didn't vote at all because my phone was flat or I spent all day in bed.

    Hi Mark, tell me what part of "Another standard is to be confident that, if we had to sit down with the person we are writing about and have them quietly read what we wrote about them in front of us—even if the piece was negative to them—we could ask them if they considered it fair and they'd say, "yes."

    How many GG supporters would agree with the trash you've just written as per Stephens guideline above? Now don't get me wrong over the last couple of days Kotaku have been guilty of plagiarism, posting hoax articles, and from you above outright lies. If you want to have some semblance of credibility please retract the "When the nomination for Gamergate as a “disappointment” of the year, I wondered precisely what was meant by that? Were people disappointed by the ‘movement’ itself, by what it stood for? Were they disappointed with how it split gaming communities? Or were they disappointed by the way in which women (and men, but mainly women) were systematically harassed and bullied online?"

    The disappointment lies with you and your organisation Mark. If you want to be a pariah all well and good but as far as the dark side goes you are more than it...

    edit: minor spelling mistakes

    Last edited 09/12/14 11:49 pm

      I'm not sure how attacking Mark, who is about as far from the root of Gawker's issues, is going to help anything. This is just the Australian site, after all.

      Sugar and vinegar and all that.

        I'd love to share your blind optimism. So I'll lay it on the line. Mark, doesn't care for, or respect, his local readership. His lack of response in any forum, highlights not just his lack of care, but his willingness to sacrifice your page views for praise. It doesn't matter which internal email from gawker, you view but if the soon to be stepping down management team, have any say in the matter. You could say for sure that, Kotaku AU are just as guilty of publishing clickbait articles. Further, you can bet your sweet bippy, Mark was part of that...

        I've said it many times. If Mark wants to be the Hero he portrays himself to be, then debate me on the issues. But he won't. He's a coward who hides until he thinks he can win. He's biding his time to push a pathetic dialogue which will never wash with the AU public.

          Well I disagree on the first part. It's pretty obvious he loves the community here (or at least, the ones who play nice and preferably don't support GG).
          Why doesn't he respond to things? Not my place to say. Maybe he's busy. Maybe he legitimately doesn't care. Maybe he just doesn't want to respond to negative discussion (although I have seen him reply to opposing comments, so I don't think it's this one).
          Are Kotaku AU guilty of publishing clickbait articles? I would say literally yes. Well, republishing. That's at least a big part of Mark's job, if I understand correctly. Based on conversations or articles from many years ago filtered through a poor memory, Mark gives the thumbs up or down on what US slop gets published here, and we should be so thankful. If we got the US feed raw, this place would just be the worst.
          Now, are Kotaku AU guilty of penning clickbait articles? They may have made a few, I don't know, but for the most part I would say no. No Buzzfeed titles here. No Uproxxing, no Viralwhatever.

          By the sounds of it, if you had Mark's job, barely any US articles would make it here and then you'd be fired because, shit son, there's no articles on this website! What are we paying you for?
          (I'd be the same way.)

          You really go nuts with that last paragraph. Mark portraying himself a hero? I don't think so. There's more idol-worship than self-portrayal. People like Mark. Mark is by most appearances a "top bloke". I don't know where you're getting this "coward in hiding, biding his time until he can win" thing from. Win what? What is there to win?

          I will say this though: From everything I have read on Gamergate and of Mark's handful of articles on the subject, I believe that Mark hasn't done enough research for himself. He's taken everything he's read from the narrative being pushed by all angles at face value. In that respect, he is part of the problem, yes. He needs some solid evidence to open his eyes.

          Why won't he discuss the topic with you? Honestly, if you're going to use words like "coward" and "pathetic" with an overly aggressive tone, it's not hard to see why he might not. Change your tack a little, maybe try opening a dialogue with a friendlier email? Keeping the discussion out of the eye of the public might make it easier to talk on the topic.

          One last thing to work in here: Years ago I was complaining about some shitty article being clickbait, and Mark told me that clicks on this site aren't worth shit (my words). Maybe things have changed since then, maybe he lied to me, but I've assumed it was a truth. Food for thought?

          PS: Even if you find yourself disagreeing with this whole post, I hope you'll take solace in that I'm at least not chugging the kool-aid like Mr Delerium down there. An appropriate name, it seems.

      Nah gamergate is horseshit and all about attacking women. That's how it's began, and it never managed to rise above it.

    Interesting that neither Watch Dogs nor Unity made this list. Given that Watch Dogs was super overhyped (apparently) and underdelivered like crazy, and Unity was one of the most anticipated games of the year and both pretty much flopped and were critically panned, it's interesting that they're not the big ones. It was a very well publicised shaming of both. I guess people enjoyed them more than critics did?

    More than any other game in history, Destiny gets credit for your actual relationship with your friends far more than the quality of the game itself. Destiny is at best boring, at worst, bad.

    Play the exact same levels and modes that you enjoyed with strangers, and that is your true feelings about the game.

    Last edited 10/12/14 8:28 am

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