What's Your Most Disappointing Game Of The Year?

Image: Kotaku

If you haven't voted for your favourite game of the year already, you should head over there and do that. And since we've got people voting on what their favourite game of the year was, it only makes sense to ask the other question - what your most disappointing game was.

While I'm not expecting Planet Coaster to be on anyone's most disappointing lists, it's a reminder that RollerCoaster Tycoon World was released this year too. And it wasn't pretty, with the game crumbling under the weight of bugs, poor performance and instability, even after months of Early Access (announced days before the game was originally due for release).

But there's plenty of other disappointing candidates too. Street Fighter 5 launched without a singleplayer mode and several in-game systems at the start of the year, while Battleborn found itself being discounted less than a month after release. After being one of the highlights of EA's lineup, Mirror's Edge Catalyst failed to capture people's imagination, and Star Fox Zero was ... mediocre at best.

ReCore finally launched this year, but the performance was sketchy from the off and the fetch quests took the shine off the cute robot dogs. The Division got better as 2016 progressed, but there was a real shaky window in those first few weeks after launch. (Especially if you ran into cheaters on PC.)

And each of these games missed bits and pieces in their own right: Mighty No.9, Infinite Warfare, the majority of VR games, No Man's Sky. The list goes on.

But it's time for you to decide. What was your most disappointing game of 2016? Vote now and we'll reveal the results tomorrow.

And don't forget - you can also vote for your favourite game of the year right here. The results of both will be revealed tomorrow.


    I know No Man's Sky is going to win this, but Mirror's Edge is really the heartbreaker.

    Running was OK, it was pretty, but...

    Awful characters, dull world, crap plot, and the open world led to stupid collectathons amidst a lifeless IKEA catalogue. Gah.

      The marketing for the game made it pretty clear that they didn't get what made Mirror's Edge work. Then again, everyone clamouring for an open world Mirror's Edge game missed how the tight level design made the original what it was.

      The more I saw about that game before release, the more convinced I was that it wasn't going to scratch that right itch.

        Open world has been the poison that killed a lot of good franchises recently, which is a shame.

          Definitely this. I remember when TOTAL OVERDOSE was made, GTA SA had just come out and the open world game had just blown out fully, VC had been a huge hit but SA was the one that brought it out into the true mainstream for everyone. Allegedly, Total Overdose was a level by level shooter, where you simply went level to level etc, then after the game was actually complete, Eidos went back and told Deadline to actually throw in an 'open world component' (this is heavily suspect, and was put in a HYPER article once, they never named the game but heavily alluded to it being Total Overdose), resulting in a hamfisted 'open world' between levels that just sucked arse x 10000. Because of that component it was universally agreed that the shooting stages were amazing, the open world parts *sucked* and its score plummeted from 9's to around 7's (nothing wrong with a 7!). Well done Publishers... you poisoned your own well and we never got that true sequel, Tequila Gunrise :(

            Man i loved playing Total Overdose on pC back in 04

            We may never have gotten the true sequel, but Chili Con Carnage was an excellent little remix. Definitely improved the whole experience to remove the pointless open world, although some of the vehicular mayhem in the original was fun.

          Yep I agree, there a very few times where going open world has been a success (Witcher 3 is the only one I can think of) Games like FFXV don't really benefit from being open world and would be better IMO if they went for a more linear approach.

            I liked the semi-open world approach of previous FF's. The whole map overview with locations, small figure traversing it, random encounters etc personally.

            It's funny, I love the FFXV world even with it's flaws, but it suffers from MGSV syndrome where you take a tight, story based experience into the open and it loses some of the charm.

    Pokemon GO

    They really could have done so much more with it.

      ^ This.

      Poor communication and lack of (good) updates really killed this one. It could have been so much better, it had the potential and they flubbed it bigtime.

        I completely agree. Pokemon GO was the most disappointing game that I played this year.

      See, I called that it was not going to be what everyone was expecting it to be back when they first announced it. As it turned out, it was fun for about 5 minutes and then uninstall time.

        Congratulations Grace, You called it back when they first announced. Here is a pat on the back for you buddy.

          Thanks for the pat on the back mate. I'm glad my foresight has garnered some recognition!

          While I didnt really think through my comment very well and worded it poorly, what I meant to say was the end product is a shallow, mildly amusing attempt at what could be a great game. Initial trailers also made it look more amazing than it ended up being just because trailers do that. Loads of people still played it and play it now, and if they enjoy it thats great. However, I didnt like it at all, and promptly uninstalled.

    I didn't pick up No Man's Sky because I didn't buy the hype and the promises the devs were making.

    I did however hype myself up for Space Hulk and I find it incredibly boring to play (the impact of melee strikes is atrocious considering what it should have been for example), plus it runs awfully on my new 1080 rig.

    Last edited 22/12/16 10:06 am

      That's a real, real shame. Fuck. I wanted that to be tops.

        As they say dude, hope is the first step on the road to disappointment. Give it a go and return it if you're disappointed. Multi is ok when it works and the guns feel alright, but when I swing a crackling power maul I expect nids to go flying, not drop one by one like whack a mole.

          Holy shit I'd expect that too???? They just slump to the ground?

            Sometimes they will gib, but there is no real impact to each strike, even when you line up a charged hit. I was picturing Sauron levels of explosive contact with enemy faces, but it's just underwhelming. You're seriously better off expending all your bolter rounds before you consider hitting things with the melee weapons.

            Last edited 22/12/16 11:02 am

              The fact that it felt like charged attacks did absolutely nothing over the basic melee attack ruined it for me. The gunplay is okay but my god does the game feel incredibly mediocre. The multiplayer bugs also ruin it for me.

              When I compare Deathwing to Vermintide, I just have to ask what the hell went wrong. Both are L4D type games but Vermintide is far and away more enjoyable.

                Vermintide also had over a year of patches. It was pretty janky on release too.

                  Might be worth checking out for 2016's Best Game Of 2017 sort of jazz.

                  I would love a most improved within a year category, but there are just so many games coming out each year I can see that would pretty much double any workload to consider it seriously.

      This times 2. I tried not to succumb to the hype, I told myself I'd wait and buy it on the day and I just couldn't resist. Less than a hours worth of gameplay and it was blurry (my rig is fine, BF1 on Ultra easy), the AI was no where near as threatening as I'd imagined (End of the first chapter where you have to hold the "Beach head", I stood at the top of a ladder and just kept hitting melee... And it worked...) It was, without a doubt, the biggest let down for me. It's the catalyst for me not preordering anymore.

      On the flip side my refund went into Astroneer and after an 8 hour binge I can safely say that that game was a quiet release of which blew my expectations out of the water!

        Haha I did the ladder thing too and was just bopping nids thinking "gee, being the most powerful infantry unit in the known universe sure is a chore".

    I am sure my mum will vote for me being the most disappointing thing this year. I can never do anything right in her eyes.

    Mankind Divided :(

    Just........ yeah. Left you feeling like a puppy kicked through a ceiling fan

    Tough call between No Man's Sky and Mirror's Edge: Catalyst.

    Both games promised a lot of things and failed to deliver. Which is sad, because personally, I was really looking forward to both of them.

    Mafia 3. Story, sound track and voice acting were good but everything else about the game itself was a steaming pile of poo.

    Battlefield 1. Was not expecting to get so bored of it so soon.

      Yes yes yes.
      It's not a bad game by any means. But yeah it just didn't do it for me. It wasn't a game I couldn't put down, it was just a game. I think I was a bit over hyped for it but it just didn't do it for me. So even though it's a great game I was a bit disappointed with it.

    Why would you include Oculus and HTC Vive on this list? Obviously they aren't games. But more importantly, the focus is on the hardware when you are still new to it, but the more you try VR, the more the focus switches over to where perhaps it should be now: the design of the software.

      Figured best to give people that option. It's left-field but legitimate enough in terms of what happened in gaming this year that I think people don't mind it being included.

      I don't think it'll win or come close, regardless, but more options is better than less.

      I agree with Alex in that it's something that deserves a category in itself, rather than specific titles. It'd be unfair to shit on any one particular tech demo VR game when there's so many deserving.

      Hell, I even think it would've been good if @alexwalker had lumped it all together as 'Consumer VR in general', to avoid the console-wars element. With a very slim handful of almost-exceptions, I'd reckon ALL VR games could fairly be judged as wanting, in terms of being mostly tech demos rather than feature-complete, fully-realized, holistic adventures of the type we're used to. All of them, not just platform-specific games.

        Probably unfair to lump PSVR in with the Vive or Rift though, because of the gulf in accessibility between them.

    Mighty No. 9. Had so much potential to be a re imagining of a classic, and it fell so incredibly flat.

    NMS. Without a doubt overhyped and under delivered.

    I must be one of the Might No. 9 backers that wasn't disappointed with the game. I wasn't expecting a pure Megaman X style game, just something to have a bit of fun in and I got it

      While I dont begrudge people their opinion of NMS, I am firmly of the opinion that a big chunk of the overhype was the consumers fault and not HelloGames. For me, the players set themselves up to be disappointed, and a portion of the blame needs to fall on them.

      In their urge to get behind what they wanted, people chose to isolate their views to outdated information, when more recent information they chose to ignore was right in front of them, and that falls on the player. The complaints about not being able to see other players is a great example of that.

      When someone chooses to use 2 year old information as their basis, rather than the 6 week old message right next to it, whos fault is that? Ironically, the recent patches added things in that complainers would get behind, but in the end its only made the exploration aspect worse - you're now forced to explore further to find rare materials just to research upgrades.

      And yet, the patches worked to add some depth.

        I agree to a point. I remember in the lead-up people were asking all sorts of ridiculous questions that were fabrications based on what the saw in the trailer. Way before release people were ranting about base building and fleets and all sorts of stuff that never looked like it was going to be in the game.

        That said, Hello Games shoulders some of the blame because some of the things they said would be present clearly aren't.

        Late reply I know. But the game promised so much (For me, I think was marketing via the trailers) but delivered a very on rails storyline, limited combat, and too much focus on harvesting minerals. I don't know, but the game got boring fast for me. I might have to try it again with thew patches.

    My only regret is that Destiny isn't here for me to shit on again. This year was the year that they finally (indirectly, the fucking cowards) made it known that unawarded-due-to-bug VIP rewards weren't ever going to be given, that bug would never be fixed. Fuck Bungie. Smug, unjustifiably narcissistic pricks who wouldn't know humility if it cost them three points on review scores and millions of dollars in employee bonuses.

      What's this you're talking about?

        A VIP reward for owning both the year one DLCs/or being Light level 30 by a certain date and pre-ordering (or playing within the first week or something) the Taken King. Some cool black skins, some currency, gear, and sparrow/cosmetic flair. Awarded after completing a 'Veteran's Tour' quest in the Tower.

        Unfortunately, a lot of folks who were eligible for the reward never got it. Drowned out by the folks who thought they were eligible, but weren't, Bungie acknowledged the issue was a bug in October 2015, added it to one of their updates in November 2015, then quietly removed most references to it in December. A hidden and poorly-publicized (read: not at all) webform did the rounds on some forums, allowing people to submit their PSN/XBL gamer IDs and their evidence (receipts, etc) for qualifying for eligibility, to be resolved one by one. Evidently that was just too fucking hard for the lazy/incompetent shits, and only a handful of people reported success after submitting their forms.

        There was no acknowledgement of the problem until some off-the-record conversations between one user and a dev/mod indicating that after February 16 it was no longer possible for the rewards to be applied to anyone - eligible or not.

        Beyond the initial note indicating that they were aware of the problem, there was never any subsequent official acknowledgement on any of the support lines - the BungieHelp twitter or the official forums - about the problem. No denials, just absolutely no response to questions. Point-blank silence. Cowardly cunts.

          Somehow I missed all that. The questline sounds familiar. The rest of it... sounds pretty poor form.

            Probably missed it because it was only ever two lines of text on any official forum anywhere, and a whole bunch of utterly ignored tweets and forum posts, with no responses whatsoever. At one point a mod did ask people who were eligible to collate their responses in one thread, but no dev ever replied to any of it. Didn't affect enough people to hit the news articles, I guess? Just a few hundred people.

            So fuck Bungie. I'm done with them. They sold out. Destiny was a huge disappointment, even their two out of four vaunted 'good' expansions. From their disdain for PC, their initial fuckups on loot/grind/pacing/failing-to-realize-they-were-using-MMO-mechanics (but it's totally not an MMO! No-one's farts have ever smelled as nicely and uniquely as this!), to the utter arrogance and ignorance displayed in firing their writing team then having a committee of designers arrogantly think they could do writing and story better than actual writers, then the absolute nerve to be surprised when it turns out to be the one point that every single critic panned them on and which cost them literally millions in review score bonuses. Which led them to abandon the whole 'space opera' concept that appealed in the first place, and double down on their facile 4th-wall-breaking dudebro treatment of the thing as a PVP arena game.

            All while eminently-punchable face of PR DeeJ smarmed over every fault and flaw they had with the annoying insistence that, "Hey, you love us anyway, right? People are still playing, so we must be doing something right, hey!"

            I'm annoyed that I spent as long as I did 'hunting for fun', lured by the traditional Skinner Box mechanics into following the standard loot-grind treadmill in the hopes that each upgrade or unlock might be worth the tedium of repetition.

            Fuck them, fuck their 'golden-child' attitude. They earned a lot of passes from me - and everyone else - due to their stellar previous work, but they coasted too hard on their reputation, and now it's all just skid-marks.

    Out of all the games on the list, Space Hulk: Deathwing let me down the hardest.
    The AI wasn't nearly as smart as the "Pack Tactic, flanking, baiting" Tyranids we were promised. The environments were dark but quite blurry (Even on Ultra) when you could actually see them and I'm one of those people that absolutely LOVE little details (Reading notes left around the world, seeing photos akin to the billboards from The Division or the Info displayed on the Projectors in The Forest) but couldn't make out any of the small details they had initially told us they would.
    Also apparently the Emperors Finest Terminators can sprint for around the same time as a Call Of Duty Soldier. I know that's meant to set pace exploring the environments but when you just went in the wrong direction for 10 mins it gets frustrating and you lose that feeling of being a badass Terminator and get the feeling of being a heavily armoured obese can of hate.

      Don't forget your sprinting is also assisted by the fucking nuclear reactor or whatever it is in the back of your armour, it's good for 5 seconds of waddle!

      e: also the charge impact, what the fuck is that about...

      Last edited 22/12/16 11:06 am

    We cant vote for Final Fantasy XV?

      I love it, but I also spent years going "this will be shit" so I was given a pleasant surprise.

        I'm in that boat. I had low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. 90 hours in and i'm still going! :S

    Mafia 3 was the only Disappointing game i brought this year due to how terrible the diversions as main filling were done ( Saints Row: Gat out of hell also did this but it done in a far superior way)

      I would probably say Mafia 3 if I hadn't played Quantum Break.

      Mafia 3 was a good game, but beset with problems... it crashed 4 times in one play session (I'm on xbox).
      I ended up walking away from it just before the final few levels, just because of how often it crashed.
      The driving never got better, the open world was too much... it just disappointed, but it wasn't my most disappointing game of the year.

    I have a fairly good routine going on.... either get in free to test a game early, or wait till just a week after release for all the reports to flood in.

    its worked wonders so far.
    Still have hype guys,
    just dont press that pre-order button!

    I tested many a game before release this year..... EVE Valkyrie was a letdown (no players so playing against AI) and star citizen is always a big letdown

    edit: if anybody wants a real space game to play... go to x3: albion prelude... just started back in this, and even tho its 2011 its top notch

    Last edited 22/12/16 11:24 am

    Quantum Break for me.

    A new Remedy game, that looked amazing.
    Then you played it...
    Cut-scenes were all streamed, an A list cast utilised poorly, it handled like crap, the story was obtuse... they should've just made a new Alan Wake game.

    Last edited 22/12/16 11:26 am

    XCOM 2?!

      You can't vote for XCOM 2, you only had 5 turns to sprint across the map to get your vote in but you got bogged down in a scrap with aliens on overwatch along the way. Restart the mission and try again next year.

    I havent played most of those games, because I've been addicted to Overwatch. I am SO glad I didnt buy No Man's Sky since I now know I would have regretted it. Otherwise I most of the games didnt really interest me to start with so...

    The game I did vote for was Stellaris. It's a fine game, but its so easy to get bogged down mid game. I played it for a while, but ultimately I could never get through to the end game because of how boring it got, and I dont feel like it's really worth starting a new game just to get to that point again.

    ALL OF THE ABOVE... and all the comments too.

    The industry has ti do a lot better Day One patches, over hyped and poorky delivered priducts, Ikack of quality control, just show how much contempt they have to their product, their industry and consumers that they are too busy trying to meet unmanagable timelines rather than produce quality. A terrible game will always be terrible no matter how many patches you apply.

    Would Destiny, Duvision, Pokemon Go, No Man Sky... of been so much better, less critised, retain more players after realease and made a truck tonne more money if they properly tested it, fleshed out the ebd game content and delayed it 6 months to a year. Hell yes. The rush to realease and fix it in post needs to stop.

    I have only played The Division out of that entire list... I feel like I haven't played all that much in 2016...

    Steep. Wanted it to fill the Skate 4 sized hole in my heart, but it played like garbage.

    *whispers* I tried out Stardew Valley, but hated it. I've played 300+ hours of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and was hoping for something similar. But I hated the controls, hated trying to walk anywhere and got bored after about 2 hours.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    I'm pleasantly surprised that the Master of Orion reboot isn't on here. I know it copped HEAPS of flak when it first went into early access, but as someone who bought it the day it went into EA I can testify that it has moved ahead leaps and bounds and is now a worthy successor to MoO2 (because we all know MoO3 never happened).

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