What Was Your Most Disappointing Game Of 2017?

Just before the Christmas break, we asked you all: what game let you down the most in 2017? And while "all of them" sadly wasn't an option for some people, there were some real flops.

Before we get into the most disappointing games, here's some of the more interesting replies from the "Other" category. While there was a bunch of games you'd expect in there - various spellings of NBA 2K18, Sonic Forces and Star Citizen - other entries included Blitzkrieg 3, "Sonoc Forces", AMD's Vega 64 graphics card, the PS4 release of Divinity: Original Sin 2, "still No Man's Sky", "the first thing" and "I'm still hurting from No Man's Sky".

As for everything else on the poll, here's your top 5 letdowns of 2017.

5. For Honor

Image: @edc

Seems a lot longer than 11 months since For Honor landed, although readers clearly hadn't forgotten the server and balance issues at launch, not to mention rancour around the monetisation system (although Ubi's implementation would look quaint given what the rest of 2017 had to offer).

4. No Virtual Console on Switch

Image: Kotaku

We'll supposedly hear more about this (and the rest of the Switch's online solution) in an upcoming direct. Would have been nice to hear about it, y'know, when the console went on sale though.

3. Destiny 2

Image: Bungie/Destiny 2

It's like the launch of Destiny 1 all over again.

2. Star Wars Battlefront 2

An image that describes the feeling most readers had for DICE's latest Star Wars epic. As Luke wrote, just give the reins to Criterion already so they can remake X-Wing. (Or any other Star Wars-esque space shooter.)

Please Bring Back Star Wars Space Shooters

Hello. Are you a Disney executive, passing a few minutes downtime between acquisitions and layoffs? Maybe you work at EA, and are trying to work out how to salvage your brand's Star Wars efforts after the disaster that is Battlefront II. Here's a free idea. make another space shooter.

Read more

And finally, for your most disappointing game of 2017...

1. Mass Effect: Andromeda

Image: Kotaku

Andromeda might not have upset the legislative apple cart when it comes to loot boxes, but the game's well-documented failings have undoubtedly left a massive dent in Bioware and EA's reputation.

Andromeda's five year development was beset with problems throughout: the EA-mandated Frostbite engine was poorly suited for RPGs, it didn't have an animation system out of the box, the game was rescoped after pre-production and two years before it would eventually ship, and developers ended up using crucial polish time to fix bugs and errors.

The Story Behind Mass Effect: Andromeda's Troubled Five-Year Development

In 2012, as work on Mass Effect 3 came to a close, a small group of top BioWare employees huddled to talk about the next entry in their epic sci-fi franchise. Their goal, they decided, was to make a game about exploration — one that would dig into the untapped potential of the first three games. Instead of visiting just a few planets, they said, what if you could explore hundreds?

Read more

Fans still love the Mass Effect series, and Bioware's older franchises. And so it's understandable why Andromeda was your most disappointing game of the year: because instead of continuing an incredible gaming legacy, it ended up souring the franchise so badly that we may not see another Mass Effect game for a long, long time.

Thank you to everyone who voted! Later this week, we'll reveal your winners for your favourite Aussie game of 2017, and favourite game overall.


    I put twenty hours into Andromeda before finally giving up, such a shame.

    Yup EA/Bioware totally "Dragon Age-d" the shit out of Mass Effect

      I disagree. After Inquisition and especially after its DLC I felt they'd recovered from the Dragon Age 2 debacle and I'm actually looking forward to a new Dragon Age (the lead writer for the series leaving late last year has me worried though).
      Mass Effect though? I was cautiously optimistic about Andromeda and boy did it disappoint on pretty much every level a Mass effect could. After 3's ending and now this I have zero confidence anyone they put in charge at Bioware will know how to write a halfway decent story, let alone a good Scifi space opera.

      One advantage to this I suppose is my confidence in Anthem is now so low it could only meet or exceed my expectations.... that's good right?

        Unfortunately its not about story any more, its about heavily marketing a product to return a quarterly profit better than the previous quarter.

    In terms of the Switch (and I know I'll be chased out of here for saying this), my biggest disappointment would have to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

    To be fair, I'll mention what I liked first.

    First and foremost, it looks like it has a well detailed and interesting story and the mechanics are closer to the first Xenoblade game.

    Despite this, these same points also work against the game. It has a good story but the presentation has a very bad case of Japanese Dialog Syndrome (JDS) - to the point where I had to remind myself I was playing a game.

    In terms of the battle mechanics, while it still has the "active" portion the tweaks on top seem to take away more than they add.

    Truth be told, I have not finished the first Xenoblade game, but I still come back to it from time to time. Mostly because it is a great experience. Something that seems to have been forgotten in both later sequels.

      Is JDS the "Metal Gear?" thing, or is it something else?

        I don't know about JDS being a "Metal Gear" thing, but I do know it is a good description for it.

        Truth be told, I first heard the JDS term from @junglist back in Good Game's early days when it was just him and Bajo.

        They were reviewing Professor Layton and the Curious Village and it was one of the low points @junglist had of it.

        Since then, I basically used JDS to describe any game where the cutscenes are excessive either in their number or duration.

          Ah, I had a different thing in mind, where in Japan people would commonly repeat back things you've said to continue conversation of sorts. Example I saw was Metal Gear where most of Snake's dialogue is repeating back things said to him to get more info.

          But yeah, Japanese love their cutscenes too, haha. MGS in abundance.

      I'm loving the mechanics of the game but 'less is more' would be my critique of the story, much much less.

    I actually liked Andromeda more than most people, apparently. That was probably one of the advantages of playing it during the review period embargo vacuum.

    My biggest disappointment was Yooka Laylee. It wasn't really a bad game, per se, it just... wasn't that fun. Controls weren't as polished as they needed to be and the platforming difficulty in some places was just stupidly hard. I got halfway through and never picked it up again.

      Yooka-Laylee was definitely unfortunate. What's really surprising is that Odyssey picked up the slack; it was pretty obvious that it was going to be good, but it caught me offguard with the 600+ moons. It's like they were trying to show up all other collectathons by going crazy on the moons.

      Heck, there are 600 notes in Banjo-Kazooie. There are more moons in Odyssey than there were notes in BK. That's absolutely nuts to think about. Odyssey really went out of its way to prove that the world-based collectathon isn't a dead concept.

        There are 900 notes in Banjo Kazooie but yes, that's still a lot of moons.

          Whoops, I somehow got the number for the wrong game! Not sure how I managed that.

      I was really enjoying Andromeda. Problem was, one day I just... stopped playing it. Was pretty close to the end too I think. Just never felt the need or desire to finish it.

        Exactly as I did.

          for me it was the hope of DLC so I stopped just before the point of no return

      I enjoyed Andromeda as well. My biggest disappointment with it was finding out that Bioware weren't planning to make anymore, because there's some interesting stuff in there that could be teased out in future games. It feels like there's a lot of untapped potential that's going to go to waste.

        Yeah, this. I finished Andromeda and didn't too much mind the driving-around aspect, but then I also liked the Mako in ME1. I remember driving around on that asteroid where the Turrian ark was and thinking, "Oh yeah, you guys just put this whole place in so I could do low-grav jumps in the rover."

        The disappointing part was that they just ditched the entire thing, future dev and all. So many things left undone for DLC, like the giant robo worm out there on Tatooine. And if they'd put more effort into the next installment, they could have had a turn around like ME2 did and come out on top.

      I loved Andromeda! I had no issues with it at all. I've always thought negative press weighed it down too heavily, and a lot of people didnt bother with it because it was panned, even though it's still a quality game.

    Ahh, For Honor. Great concept, some good core mechanics, but butchered by the most uniquely Ubisoft-styled triple gainer into a pool of bad decisions that the world has ever seen.

    Server issues aside, For Honor had some crippling identity problems. The mechanics were at their best in 1v1 situations, but the structure of the game put a lot of focus on team vs team game modes where everything felt sloppy and unbalanced by comparison. It felt like they somehow didn't understand where the strengths of their design were or, somewhat more sadly, that they did understand but management forced them to focus on some horrific team modes because team multiplayer games are chic.

    It's very sad. As a 1v1 fighting game - a genre I'm typically not into - it really is a lot of fun, especially due to a focus on predictive and reactive parries/dodges. But everything else, from the servers to the modes to the monetisation structure, is such hot garbage that I still couldn't bear to play it for more than a week after launch.

      The trailers I originally saw for it had me stoked for a cool 1 player story driven game, when it came out and with reviews I was sevearly disappointed.

    Sigh. Such a shame.

    Andromeda was mediocre. Squaresoft is a shadow of what it once was. Fallout 4 was disappointing.

    At least we still have Atlas and CD Project Red, I suppose :/

      ATLUS showed a remarkable reduction in quality and effort with Persona 5, amd CD Projekt has essentially had half the guys who made witcher 3 leave to be replaced with 300 new guys, so good luck on that consistent quality.

      Fallout 4 come out like 2015, 3 years ago lol

        Was more referring to the fact that all my favourite RPG developers are shit now.

    What's the story with "the PS4 release of Divinity: Original Sin 2"? Am I missing something here?

      Someone voted for it in the poll as an other option. Given how highly praised DOS2 has been on PC - and I've put about 60 hours into it over the break myself - I thought it was interesting that someone was so let down by the PS4 port.

        Ummm... it hasn't been released on PS4 yet has it?

          Some people won't a little thing like that get in the way of their disappointment.

      I am guessing they were referring to the fact that there is no PS4 port of the game yet.

        That's what I thought. Not sure how anyone would actually be disappointed by that, though - I kind of assumed it would be a similar situation to the first game where there's an "enhanced edition" later on which is better tailored to the consoles.

    Marvel Vs Capcom Infinity. It looks so WRONG is the main complaint, but beyond that the lack of X-Men and inclusion of some painfully boring characters hurts it to the point of making the last title before it feel more modern and relevant.

      It was never going to overcome the lack of the x-men, but they botched so much more of the game.

      Meanwhile, arc system is going to handily crush mvc at its own game with dragon ball fighter z. It does everything i wamt, and it looks phenomenal.

      But still no x-men... :p

    I straight-up loved Andromeda. When I was done playing it, all I wanted to do was play it more and see the consequences of different decisions. Even in the age of the Internet that lets me look that shit up.

    Nightmare difficulty + newgame+ made subsequent playthroughs even better than the first, and when it was done, I couldn't wait for story DLC with the Quarians et al, or a sequel to see how the Angara will cope with endgame revelations, find out who made the Remnant, and see how the Greater Kett Empire would deal with the blow struck to the almost cult-like Heleus expedition gone rogue.

    Ryder is no Shepard, but by the end of the game I was happy to forgive them for that. Shepard was already a veteran and a hero by the start of the first game, with the series progressing them to new messiah. Ryder's journey is showing how you become a veteran and hero in the first place. And once I got on board with that, I was able to revel in the feeling of exploration that Heleus offered. And I would legit look at things in real life and subconsciously feel the desire to ask SAM to give me more details about it.

    The most disappointing thing about Andromeda, to me, is the attitude of the community that received it.

      (Noticing some parallels between peoples' dislike of Ryder and of Hawke in DA2. DA2 also muddies the waters by being a pile of stinking garbage in terms of many mechanics, maps and enemy-waves especially, but I've regularly heard people complain about being put in the shoes of joe average growing into a champion and hero over a period of several years for the small-scale and initimate motivation of personal safety for themselves and their family, dragged into a world-changing and complicated political whirlwind, instead of the cliche-as-fuck chosen-one infused with superhuman powers to unite the races to defeat a fucking dragon in a magical fucking summer we'll never forget. Clearly people want their bog-common boring-ass cliche instead of something less clear-cut, more personal and relateable.)

        If I'm remembering correctly, people spit the dummy over Hawke because it was a direct departure from DA:O's character creation, not because of his archetype.

        As for the execution of DA2's story, I don't mind the whole idea of a more personal-growth-centric/slice-of-life approach to the story - fantasy genres need more of that in general - but I did mind how disjointed and clumsy the whole thing was. It has been a long time since I've played it, but my recollection is that it felt more like they had a list of settings that they wanted to get the character into, and that the game would either timeskip or quickly contrive a situation to make it happen. It gets more egregious as the game carries on, culminating in a final sequence that has too many problems to list in both tone and substance.

        I can see what DA2 was going for with the style of story, but they really botched the substance of it.

        Last edited 08/01/18 3:17 pm

          DA2 was also a deviation from DA:O's storytelling mechanism. DA:O was "here is your character, what does he do". DA2 was "Here is your character, this is what he does, what did he do on the way?" It very much railroaded you story-wise, with decisions you made along the way only having minimal impact on the final result. They knew what they wanted DA:I to be when they made DA2 and they tailored the ending to lead directly into that regardless of the players decisions along the way. I think that was one of the biggest faults that people had with DA2 (aside from the cut and paste environments), that nothing you did actually mattered because the story was going where it was going with or without your cooperation. After the freedom of choice in DA:O and the huge effect those decisions could have on the outcome, it was a huge kick in the gnads.

            Absolutely agree on the choice aspect. The way DA2's final gameplay sequence pans out has a shocking disregard for the impact of the player's choices. I remember going back and picking the other option to see if the ending was any better, and being immensely disappointed that the sequence of things that happens is almost exactly the same.

      I loved Andromeda at first, but it grew to dislike.

      It was more a case of, "oh cool, a rad looking alien planet."

      "Oh cool, another rad alien planet. I wonder what new adventures wait me here?"

      "Oh god, another alien planet. I guess I'll have to do more of the same crap I did on the other planets."

      Forced myself to finish it but ended up hating it.

      Also, the way the voice cut off whatever narration was playing whenever you walked three feet and bumped into some other trigger for some new piece of narration.

    I'm surprised For Honor was one of the most disappointing games for people. It was one of my favourites this year. I'm terrible at it and the community is total dogshit, but I still loved the setting and gameplay.

      I love the 1v1 gameplay, hate the rest of it. I think that's a big part of the problem. There is some really really great gameplay at its core, but it is heavily bogged down by the overall structure of the game.

      Also, the peer-to-peer issues made the game graduate from "suboptimal" to "profoundly disappointing" for a lot of people. Some people didn't experience many network issues, but others (including myself) saw enough of them that it ended up being a shameful display.

        Oh yeh, I completely forgot about the P2P issue. Fuck that was terrible. Worst part of the game for me, for sure.

        I haven't played it in a while, I gave up when the Gladiator was added. I'm too shit at the game, so I was just on the end of that grab spam combo all the time.

          I think what really got people was that Ubisoft was pretty desperate to convince people that P2P was somehow the best fit for the game, as opposed to being a resource-saving measure. The biggest chunk of bad publicity came from that, and for good reason; they were lying through their teeth.

          Ubisoft and EA were really trying to outdo one another this year.

    I love that the disappointment with No Man's Sky is still quite raw with a lot of people, myself included.

    Destiny 2, without a doubt. After the amazing PvE D1 got with AoT, discovering that D2's endgame was so dull was astonishing.

    Fixed rolls with such a limited loot pool meant loot ceased to be interesting really quickly - no need to look at what rolled on that nameless midnight cos I've already got one. Powerful engrams everywhere combined with low-chance and lacklustre loot drops in the raid meant no-one really cared about raiding beyond the first few weeks, and the theme of the raid just didn't work for me - felt way too bright and cartoony for what was designed to be the hardest content in the game. The CoO raid lair looks much better - thematically and mechanically - but haven't been able to convince my raid group to give it a go (and, given it's the only content in the DLC that looks interesting, and how much is still wrong with the endgame, I can totally understand their sentiments).

    I'll be staying away until they show evidence of their commitment to "players who want Destiny to be their hobby."

    Every game that tries to catch the magic of the originals, and hurts me trying. Every Harvest Moon / Story Of Seasons, and every MegaMan-ish game that came out of Inti Creates.

    Feeling like a kid in the post-divorce era, I want my parents/game devs to work together again.

    It's like a horrible alternate reality where Shigeru Miyamoto leaves Nintendo to make, "High-Jump's Amazing Mushroom Adventure" and, "The Legend Of Not Zelda", while the people back at Nintendo take the original IP and do crap all with it.

      Stardew Valley really made the recent harvest moon games look like garbage.

        What really struck me about Stardew compared to Harvest Moon is how generous it is. Takes all the stress out of it.

    I'm going for wolfenstien 2.
    It was very buggy for me, and yes they were bugs, then other performance issues. To much sneaking destroyed the pace for me as well. The story was good but seemed charectar and mood wide to be completely different from the 2 former games.
    Plus after playing doom and being blown away, my expectations for gameplay were very high. It's not a bad game it's just I had hoped for more based on experience and at the same time see so much wasted potential.

    EA...the whole company and everything they touched.

    I can't think of anything that EA was involved in 2017 that was even just..."ok"

    Even though i chose ME:A i was equally split between that and BF2 2017. Both of these games were gigantic piles of turd ruined by EA

    Nier Automata - People were saying this was the game of the decade, some of the best stuff ever made. I picked it up and couldn't wait to get into it. On the surface - the game is right up my alley. I love Platinum games and I love a good story. I wasn't enjoying myself after getting halfway through the first playthrough, but I pushed myself through and got ending A, still wasn't impressed but pushed through the whole game again for ending B. Started the first hour of playthrough C and just couldn't stomach another minute. My main gripes below:

    The combat - Is really boring and repetitive. The enemies have way too much health and fights just go on forever. I even tried playing on easiest difficulty, but all this does is make the fights easier (where the game will dodge and shoot for you etc), not shorter.

    The world - Is very sparse/bland, and you basically spend the whole game in the same map.

    The graphics - Look very previous gen, with overused bloom and a weird hazy filter all over everything as was popular in the PS3 era.

    Backtracking - God, there's a lot of it. You run from one end of the map to another, to find out you have to go back to the place you just came from.

    Fetch quests - Way too many of these and none of them were interesting.

    Redeeming qualities:

    The story - Seems really interesting, but not enough to stomach the gameplay.

    The gameplay view perspectives - I mean the mix up of 3rd person/top down/side scrolling was very unique and I thought it was cool for the first couple of hours.

    I'm sure this will anger some people, so my apologies :)

    Super Mario Odyssey. It didn't have the legs to sustain interest once the story was done. I didn't see the big deal, I was more excited over the 2D elements in the game (would love another New Super Mario Bros. 2D side-scrolling game!).

    Andromeda has issues even now. "My face is tired" still makes me cringe every time I see that scene and I absolutely detested the game when I first played it but I persevered and eventually grew to like and then love the game.

    In the end I came to realise that I was one of the reasons I was hating the game, This Ryder wasn't MY Shepard and this isn't MY crew. Once I started stepping back a bit and enjoying it for it's own merits it got a lot better for me.

    Honestly I think they should of made it a separate IP, sometimes having a recognised brand name can do more damage than good.

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