What’s Your Most Disappointing Game Of The Year?

What’s Your Most Disappointing Game Of The Year?
Image: IMDB

Earlier we kicked off the Kotaku Australia Reader GOTY poll for 2018. And you’ve got one day left to vote on the reverse: the game that let you down the most.

There’s been some true crackers this year, but there’s been a fair string of surprise disappointments as well. Nintendo’s approach to online services – which is not a game per se, but absolutely on the table for voting this year – has left many frustrated and confused, not to mention what’s happening to online matches of Smash Ultimate right now.

Enough has been said about Fallout 76, although many of the complaints about that remind me of issues levelled against Rare’s Sea of Thieves at launch. Agony certainly failed to live up to the hopes many had for it, and Jurassic World: Evolution certainly didn’t hit the high notes of Planet Coaster, especially launching without mod support.

But this is your poll. So as was the case yesterday, you’ll get one box below to type in the name of the game that let you down the most. I’ll collate the results and present the findings around Christmas. The poll will be live for a week.

What’s been your most disappointing game of the year?

[polldaddy poll=10188367]


  • I can see Red Dead winning this. Which is a shame.

    fallout is not the answer, because the game looked like hot garbage from day 1, so was not dissapointed in the slightest when it turned out that way.

      • I was not expecting such a slow paced game, but I discovered yesterday that I’d spent 45 hours in it already… for time to just disappear like that and theres still so much to do, sign of a good game really.

        • RDR 2 was my biggest disappointment because I have not found a game in years that so actively fought against me to have fun. It doesn’t respect your time, which is different to just a long game, and just seems to hate you for going your own way. Amazing in technical achievement, just forgot it was a game.

          • I guess it’s really about what you yearn for in escapism and entertainment, and therefore tolerate accordingly. One person’s aggravatingly slow pace is another’s rolling, lackadaisical ambience 🙂

          • Weirdly enough for me RDR2 has ruined other games for me because I love the immersion I feel playing it. Everything else feels shallow now. I enjoy the journey of galloping off and screwing for hours in the wilderness. I get why some people wouldn’t like it, hell I didn’t like it at first, but now I love it.

          • Totally agree. The focus on the mundane and minutiae make it this year’s biggest disappointment to me, particularly when I can see how wonderful it is in many other ways.

    • I think its RDR2’s controls that are largely its problem; your character is even less responsive than GTA5, control overlap for very different actions are frustrating and I can’t think of anyway to make the gunplay feel worse.

      The game is a technical wander, but as a game it is a let down.

      • Yes. This was a fundamental reason for my selling it after a few days. So spongey. So unresponsive. Like shooting underwater.

        I mean, I want to play a GAME, it has to get some things right.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if RDR2 won ‘Most disappointing’ and ‘Goty’ if i’m being honest…

      As someone mentioned above, there’s times it feels like the game has sensed you’re having a good time and strives to stop you in your tracks… yet i love the bottom off it all the same?

      It’s like a 14/10 with some 4/10 elements thrown on top for funs – the gaming equivalent of pizza with pineapple on it! 😀

    • Jeezus. I found 3 a disappointment compared to 2, which I loved… And here was me hoping they’d turned it around for the latest sequel!

    • Man, why does everyone hate this game?! I’m about half way through and I bloody love it. Maybe it’s because it’s my first JC. Although I also love Mafia 3 and don’t like GTA V so maybe there’s just something wrong with my open world tastes haha

      • Maybe it’s because it’s my first JC.

        Probably this. JC4 isn’t a bad game, it’s eminently playable and does what it set out to do, and the story is as action-packed as it’s always been. What I find disappointing about it is all the side activities, things that turned the previous games from 15 hour games to 80 hour games, is basically gutted. There are no street races, just ‘drive through this ring above a certain speed. No proper wingsuit courses, just ‘fly through three rings’. No vehicular challenges, just ‘drive this kind of motorbike through this ring’. In previous games these were full-fledged activities that you could try to max out and leaderboard against your friends and everything, but in JC4 they’re much smaller almost like afterthoughts.

        The other big change that I’m not a fan of is blowing shit up used to be how you cleared locations, but that’s gone now. You clear locations by completing a few wingsuit and speed challenges instead, leaving the blowing shit up part to mostly just when you feel like you need to earn more chaos to get more troops. And don’t get me wrong, I love the troop thing and how you can take over the map that way now, but they could have done that without gutting the rest of the location-clearing and side activity experience.

        Also, the complete lack of C4 or explosive charges sucks. That was always a means of blowing stuff up if you ran out of ammo, and in JC4 it’s just gone. Boo I say.

        • Fair enough, I see your point. I’m enjoying the bite size objective hunting things, but I can see how people who enjoyed previous games would be bummed by those changes. Also all of the grapple stuff feels novel to me, I’m sure it would be very much “yeah ok, what else you got” if you’ve spent 100s of hours on that already. Shame in that respect!

          • The grapple and wingsuit is still an awesome part of the series. Getting used to how it works, and being able to wingsuit across the entire map once you’ve got the skill down is still great fun.

        • Wait what? So no more attaching rocket propulsion explosives to cows and sending them off into orbit???? This was the best thing about JC3!

          • The ‘special’ versions of the explosives got merged into the grapples. So you can make a balloon grapple, or a thruster grapple, and still send cows into orbit, but there’s no separate explosive any more.

        • Ah that’s really disappointing to read I was looking forward to picking up JC4 in a year or so cheap as I loved JC3. I liked doing some challenges but clearing locations is the most fun in JC3 plus the expansions are really cool.

          • In a year when it’s cheap, I’d still say pick it up. It’s still a decent game. Just make sure you set your expectations appropriately. I’d say I’m mildly disappointed, and while I’ve been enjoying the game I’ve felt much less of the addictive ‘pull’ to keep going back to it that I had with JC2 and JC3.

  • Monster Hunter: World

    Little substance in the way of lore or story. Average to poor gameplay. Cool outfits and weapon design is really only what holds it above water but otherwise a disappointing game.

    • I dug the hell out of MH:W, but then it was my first Monster Hunter game and I’m told that you’re either on board for all the Monster Hunter-y stuff, or you’re not.

  • Monster Hunter World.

    What a lovely, pretty, interesting and cool game full of complex systems I have no desire to get better at. I appreciate why people love it – the rush of finally taking down giant beasts within those awful time limits was pretty great. I just didn’t feel like it respected my time.

  • The PC release of Ys VIII for me. Delayed last minute in 2017, sat on for six months, and still a complete shitshow when they finally squeezed it out. Got some patches and then NISA just abandoned it and it still doesn’t run properly.

    Best game in the series too. 🙁

  • Battlefield 5. Such a letdown after the excellent Battlefield 1. But it’s early days, with a few more bug fixes & updates, there still could be hope yet.

    • I personally disagree – BFV is a ton better than BF1 ever was. Yes it’s currently buggy but is being patched constantly and improving every week. Having an absolute blast with friends.

      • Improving every week doesnt fix a good launch. Examples such as Destiny 2 can show. Also the fact a quarter of the game isn’t open at launch. DICE and EA expect you to come back when there is an update. However this just shows how overworked DICE is. Its literaly being worked to the point where its not making a finished product anymore.

  • I wasn’t really invested in the big names this year so I didn’t really feel the same disappointment in them as other people did. Spiderman was a bit of a letdown for me because I really enjoyed the movement but the combat quickly became a chore and it didn’t really do anything to break the “Activity sandbox” genre mold but I was overall positive about it.

    What I think is most disappointing for me this year is that Dragalia Lost was just another gacha f2p game. It’s not surprising given who developed it but I would have thought that Nintendo would have been more influential in making it something special. Then again, I have long maintained that Nintendo are one micro-transaction away from being the Gods of F2P money making.

    • Same, I think the only games I’ve played this year that actually released this year were God of War and Soul Calibur 6. Most of the rest of the time was re-playing older games or remasters.

      Mind you, I have several 2018 games on my Christmas list (Smash Ultimate, Darksiders 3) so I’ll be playing a few more soon enough.

      • Depending on who you ask, Darksiders III could be a shoe-in for this title. People are PISSED about it, although it seems to be improving with post-launch patches.

        • Guess it’s lucky I won’t be playing it for another couple of weeks. By then most of the issues should be sorted out.

    • Yeah big labels like Blizzard, Bethesda, EA and Ubisoft all screwed the pooch until the poor things head popped right off. Sony kept it pretty real though luckily.

  • There are some games that I saw other people play, but didn’t actually play myself, that kind of fit this category. But I never actually played them so I daren’t vote for them.
    Vampyr, Sea of Thieves, We Happy Few, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

    I kind of want to say Far Cry 5.

    • Is shadow of the tomb raider really a disappointment? I recently played the free demo and loved it. I am only holding off buying it cuz of my backlog but I will bite soon i think

      • I can only tell you that the person I watched play it on twitch was a long time Tomb Raider fan and that they were disappointed.
        That doesn’t really answer your question, and I’m sorry, but I do know that they’re not alone in their opinion.

        I can only suggest you give it a stab yourself once your backlog has cleared up, at least then you won’t have splashed full cost on it. 🙂

    • Oh yeh. I didn’t vote for this but I wish I had thought of it. As a lover of WoW since Vanilla, this is the earliest I’ve bailed on an expansion. Something just so dull about it.

    • Yeah, I was having trouble thinking of what would win this year’s ‘most disappointing’ for me, but I didn’t really invest much hope in anything that was any worse than I expected… except for WoW.

      Hell, I was just playing some WotLK zone music/ambience to accompany some mindless busywork at work and getting serious nostalgia-regret that BfA wasn’t even close to my expectations for a good expansion.

      Which sucks, because I really wish it had been good. I’d love to be playing a good WoW expansion right now.

    • as far as im concerned, its worse than WoD. none of the classes are fun to play, Azerite gear just fucking sucks and is a piss poor replacement for our artifact weapons. the leveling was terrible outside of drustvar. the story is complete and utter bullshit. the servers are still laggy as fuck.

      Island expeditions are just down right terrible and war fronts are so terribly designed that you can basically afk and still win.

      Seriously to go from how great legion was to BFA just boggles my mind. I mean even in WoD, the leveling was excellent as were the raids and dungeons. it was the lack of content that killed it and in cata you could see that well blizzard had definately been working on the it and the updated world was definately at good thing.

      • Yeh I thought WoD was great and played a whole bunch of it. Lack of support after launch killed it. Whereas BFA was just shit right out of the gate.

      • Artefact weapons were a terrible idea so anything worse than artefact weapons is really bad. I hate the RNG on azerite gear and the fact you don’t really build a nice matched set of gear like the previous tier sets. I could see azerite gear being interesting if they took a more Diablo approach and actually gave them better synergies.

        That said, I’ve been enjoying BFA more than Legion. Largely because they rolled back some of the class changes that annoyed the hell out of me. Though they did break a few more things (give my druid back Displacer beast!) I think they got most of the profession back to a good (well, better than Legion) level. I like being able to get the basic recipes from a trainer and then improve them based on rep or drops. So much better than forcing you to jump through hoops for every damned recipe.

        Maybe the next xpac will actually be decent again.

    • Yep, that was the first thing to come to mind for me….Played Legion for 2 years straight…quit within 2 months of BFA release.

  • I mean, I’m a little bit sulks that there’s no “roll up the most $$$ value” level in Katamari Damacy Reroll because it was one of my faves, but I wouldn’t describe it as a DISAPPOINTMENT. Mainly because I play it safe and wait until after a game is released and I’ve seen community feedback before I buy a game.

  • Spider-Man PS4…..

    I know I know, I actually really enjoyed it and consider it one of the best takes on the Spidey story in a long while and I did say I would be happy with just an old school Spider-Man game with modern graphics so it’s all ticks across the board….
    I had just hoped for more I guess and really look forward to seeing a sequel.

  • Pretty happy with everything this year actually. RDR2, Yakuza 6, Detroit, Spider-Man… All great games. Back on Xenoblade X for Wii-U now to try and sink that one.

  • Wonder if anyone is going to mention Underworld Ascendant, or whether it just slipped under the radar? 35% positive rating on Steam with accusations of being a Kickstarter scam where the devs wasted all the money before rushing out a practically unplayable alpha. Haven’t played it myself though, but it’s disappointing to hear the spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld get such a reaction.

    I can’t actually say I’ve been disappointed by many games I’ve played this year… because I don’t buy AAA games at all any more, since I’m fully aware the entire industry is irredeemable garbage. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever PLAYED a game that came out this year. I guess I COULD say that I was disappointed by Monster Hunter Worlds and Dragon Quest XI both making the unforgivably moronic decision to use Denuvo on their PC ports, which is an immediate deal breaker that made me lose interest in buying them at all. So yeah, those 2 probably. Fuck Denuvo and any company that uses it.

    • Fucking oath my man. Underworld disappointed the shit out of me.
      I was hoping for something that would capture the magic similar to what Legend of Grimrock did…but what the hell happened there

      It’s FAR from the dungeon crawl that was promised.
      Think it’s made worse by the team behind it…maybe they’ve been out of the business too long =\

      • Seconding you here man, I was sooo looking forward the UA. How can this game be both so broken and also absolutely nothing like Ultima Underworld. It’s just… man it’s so sad. Ultima was such a special game. Not that it would happen, but I would pay $100 for that game rereleased with updated controls. Even keep the same graphics!

  • Weird to say, but AC: Odyssey.

    I haven’t really had any interest in AC since 3, but Origins was a surprisingly good game, and renewed my hope for the series. Odyssey… dashed those hopes quite expertly. It feels like it leans way too much on being an RPG, and in the process loses a lot of the “infiltrate, observe, assassinate, escape” loop of the past games that I found so much fun.

    • I enjoyed it, though I found my self compulsively upgrading assassination stats just for instant assassinations on all but, the strongest enemies.

      • More and more, I’m thinking I may have only liked Origins because the levelling system didn’t get in the way too much… primarily because around level 8, I found a sword that let me deal 400% damage at the cost of 75% of my health, so playing stealth felt a lot more empowering… and the weapons and gear got more interesting as time went on. All the weapons in Odyssey feel pretty much the same, even after 40 hours – minor stat boosts only, nothing really game-changing – and enemies can feel really tanky as a result.

        I understand why people like the game – there are definitely things to like about it, especially if you enjoy the combat – but the levelling system, with no way to offset it, just ends up getting in the way for me.

        • towards the grind as a PC user I just used a trainer to not bother with the leveling so I could enjoy the game more. only used it for a couple of levels but, it made a world of difference. even now with the raised cap I’m keeping up so that it’s not such a bother. at least we have the ability to change the appearance of items now so I only need to upgrade one set of armor and one weapon the catagory I use. I’ve enjoyed spears and clubs lately.

  • NBA 2K playgrounds 2 for me. I really enjoyed playgrounds 1 for what it was. When I heard 2K jumped on board for the sequel I thought it would be a positive and improve on the first one. Turned out the game was a backwards step.

    • Have you played the joke that are the newest NBA2k games? I had more fun with NBA 2k11 when I was rooming with friends overseas and could create custom teams than this micro-transaction riddled mess of a game they have now. I don’t even bat an eyelid when they release now, even though I love bball.

  • God of War for me. Only cause I got hyped after the reviews and everyone’s impressions. Decent game, just not as good as I expected. Sea of Thieves too I guess, though I enjoyed the short amount of time I spent with it.

    • I hate to say it because it was a pretty good game, but God of War for me also. I felt the RPG elements were a bit too tacked on and not really suited to the game. I hardly ever upgraded anything because when I did I’d almost always immediately find a new item of the same type. And then another 10 minutes later. And a lot of the upgrade currency couldn’t be farmed, so I always hesitated putting any of it into anything.

      It looked amazing, the combat was visceral, some amazing boss fights… it just wasn’t what I was hoping for in a God of War game.

      • That’s a fair point. I read up on all the systems to make sure I wasn’t wasting any time. If I hadn’t, I would have no doubt wasted resources and never gotten the best items to get the final trophies.

      • And whilst I disagree, I think out of all the AAAs I played this year, GOW was the best, the upgrading elements are super confusing and unwieldy. There’s way too much going on back there.

        The combat is super great though.

        • It really is a good game and the combat is fantastic, and every time I put it on the visuals would leave my jaw on the floor. But like @zzzonked I think my expectations were set unrealistically high, and the upgrade system annoyed me to the point that after many, many hours I just gave up and didn’t go back. At some point I will go back, maybe start from the beginning again but this time read up on upgrading as @slyph suggested.

          • Yeah try not to hype youself on a game. if it has generally favourable reviews and looks like your kind of game give it a go. Honestly the first two fable games I played before ever seeing marketing for them and found them amazing. if I tried hyping myself I probably would’ve been disappointed in them to.

          • Agreed actually. I can’t always tell in a review, or based on the opinions of others. Damn, I resisted Borderlands 2 for 3 years. Now it’s one of my favourites. Ever. Had to experience it for myself 🙂

  • It didn’t come out this year, but I only just got around to playing it this year, so I’m going to vote for Undertale.

    If I have to pick one from this year I’d probably go for OnRush. I was a big fan of Evolution’s previous games all the way back to their first WRC game on PS2, but OnRush did absolutely nothing for me.

    • Yeah, I keep bouncing off Undertale, too. I’ve tried to play it through a few times, but keep bailing, bored. My partner is in love with it and has all kinds of feels attached to the soundtrack and everything, but I feel… nothing. Just… nothing. It’s… a game, I guess? I really don’t get the hype.

      Maybe over the holidays I’ll give it another go, let it really get some dedicated time without distractions or interruptions so that it has a chance to seep in, get hooks in the way it did for everyone else.

      • I loved Undertale, but it’s really not for everyone. There’s a certain subset of fans that think it’s revolutionary, that it’ll change how you play games etc. and, despite really enjoying it, I think it can only disappoint if that’s the kind of stuff you hear before playing it.

        What I took from it was sort of personal, and without what inspired those personal reactions I’m not sure it would have clicked for me, so if it doesn’t click in the first few hours I wouldn’t push yourself to like it, the narrative won’t be for everyone, and the combat mechanics are certainly not going to work for many.

        • Personal resonance would seem to account for a fair bit of the hype.

          I know it was certainly the case with Frozen/Let it Go. That whole thing left me cold (*rimshot*), but some of my friends found a sort of empowerment in it – something they felt they weren’t getting elsewhere. Me, I’m empowered to the point of arrogance and got zero out of that aspect. I guess everyone’s gonna find what they’re looking for in different places.

  • I’m torn on my choices of disappointment.

    Monster Hunter World, while fun, was not the Monster Hunter game that I wanted. Maybe it’s my fanboy nature getting the better of me, saying “This is too casual” but it felt quick, some of the changes didn’t gel with me and I felt the grind hit too soon.
    I’m thankful for it giving the series the attention it deserves but I’m worried of the trends that may kick off with its success taking away from what I love from the “main” series.

    A disappointment that I can’t even find the silver lining to is Underworld Ascendant.
    No seriously, industry legends, no big bad publisher telling them what to do…and they drop this.

    Bugs that would make 76 blush.

    Mechanics that feel dated (Not the aww, that’s cool/retro),

    Frame drops that can make it seem like a PowerPoint presentation is playing…especially with fire

    Speaking of fire, I don’t think the team knows how fire works, watch a few videos or a stream when fire is happening….you’ll see.

    Voice-acting that seems like they recorded lines from people off the street off an IPhone mic.

    I was excited to get lost in the Abyss, hoping for a true form dungeon survival game similar to what Legend of Grimrock provided, with the team behind it, it should have been a breeze.
    I hate putting this here, but it’s earned its spot

  • Lol whats the point of the Poll?

    What’s Your Most Disappointing Game Of 2018?

    Other: 100%

    Very helpful hahahah

    As for the question, I’d say “We Happy Few” was very disappointing.

  • For me it was my Switch. Love the damn thing but i found it difficult to find something to lose myself in compared to last year. No games besides Hollow Knight caught my attention.
    The AAA industry as a whole with microtransactions and a general shift towards anti- consumer models.

    • At first it felt overwhelming and wanting too much of my time, and it just didn’t click. The amazingly high expectations I had didn’t help. I’d play an hour here and there, then move onto something else. But once I realised everything can be done at your own pace, and most of the mechanics really are optional, and the story starts to take off… GOTY for me. There’s so much to it, I must be a hundred hours in and it’s still finding ways to surprise me.

      • Gee i hope you’re right. Im still hoping to get back to it one day but i really cant be bothered. Thats not the feeling you want when you play a game ;(

  • Thinking about this a little, I’d have to say Sea of Thieves. It was a game that promised so much, and delivered so little. You cant even point to bugs like others in a similar vein, and suggest it was released early. It wasn’t, it was complete and released as planned.

    And… nothing. The grind quickly boiled down to only a couple of things to do, and to do repeatedly. The occasional Kraken attack was more an annoyance than anything, and even other players tended to just be annoying for a few days before they too got bored and moved on.

    For a game set in an exciting realm of pirates and buried treasure, it was incredibly bland.

  • Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.

    After getting Monster Hunter World (easily my GOTY) earlier in the year, I was excited for having a portable MH experience, and also interested in seeing what the series was like before World.

    It turns out that it was basically unplayable trash. The game is needlessly complex, with all kinds of stupid systems that either limit your ability to play (guys this was $70 at JB, not a free-to-play mobile game) or your ability to have fun. The areas are utterly stupid– broken up into tiny little zones with poor indicators of the transitions between them. I get that this was a DS game at first, and there’s limits to that, but if you’re porting to the Switch then maybe take advantage of that? I bounced off this game super-hard, and I can only hope that future MH games are much more like World than this trash.

    Also, God of War. I loved it except for the ending, which I feel the game completely mishandles. The biggest issue is the game showing off entire areas that aren’t in the game (they’re planned for sequels, but I had no idea about that when I played it), and then just suddenly… stopping. With basically nothing resolved and more questions than answers.

    I’m sure that when all five planned games in this rebooted series come out it’ll be great, but that’s a pretty discouraging way to get people hyped for your revival.

    • I was pretty happy with the way the story wrapped up, but I’m a writer that would put a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter if I could 😉

    • I loved World, but I miss the variety you see on the handheld games. I just wish I could play MHGU with an actual controller on a real screen… but I’m not prepared to drop $500 on a Switch + controller + game just for the privilege. I can’t wait for a MHW sequel…

    • You make a good point about GOW. I was ready for it to be over I think, I like it a lot, but 4 more games? I really think they could do it in 3. It’s just too much.

  • Monster Hunter World for me. Most of the year has been bouncing between different Gacha games, and I really really enjoyed Vampyr for the most part. I bought MHW for my younger brother’s birthday, and a copy for myself too and the grind killed me long before it did him. Just that horrible, horrible grind…

  • I’d say pretty much everything failed this year (AC and DQ being the only ones I’ve enjoyed). Darksider 3 is a failer, very sad. I’ve bought and returned more games on Steam is the last 6 months then in the last 10 years. No one seems to be able to create a decent game at a decent price these days. And WoW oh my, it’s been 3 months waiting for them to do an update to make any progression, and it’s still as buggy as is was before, and not much has changed. U:A, another failure, what the hell were they doing, obviously not actually working on anything, would have been better if they looked at what was being done with Bards Tale 1-3, and copied that.

  • There were plenty of bad, mediocre, or even ‘good, but not really exciting’ games released in 2018, but it’s hard to think of many that I was actively disappointed in, on account of being pretty dialled-in on what to expect from each.

    And it doesn’t even really feel right to ding things that were still ‘pretty good’ or ‘just OK’ when I was hoping for more, especially if they were still not bad in their own right…

    I did a big list for shit I loveloveloved in 2018, but disappointments I’ll just /spoiler tag.

    Monster Hunter World: This was also one of my favourites of the year, but I’m allowed to be disappointed by parts of it, too! The gear/skill check and grind at the end was a little disappointing, but the biggest disappointment for me was that the ‘open world’ was just smoke and mirrors – it was handled exactly the same as going out on an assignment, rather than being somehow integrated. Disappointing. I was planning on just fishing and gathering with my partner and occasionally tackling monsters. The fact that they were on their own timers made them just random assignments. Missed opportunity… but still fantastic.
    Dynasty Warriors 9: Open world had a lot of promise… that went unfulfilled. Maybe it was something that wasn’t needed or couldn’t/shouldn’t have been done. Yeah… I can’t recall not enjoying a Dynasty Warriors game in the last thirty years, but here we are.
    Age of Empires: Definitive Edition: It’s not even AoE’s fault. I was just hanging out for AoE2. That’s the REAL game. Where’s THAT HD remix?
    Extinction: Man, I’ve really gotta stop getting excited by Blur trailers. Still… what a waste of a cool premise.
    Battle Chasers: Nightwar: Look, it’s an excellent game… I was just expecting a bit more depth/freedom/complexity to it. That wasn’t fair. It’s really good, guys. Really good.
    State of Decay 2: Super bummed about this one. Just… really distracting, fun-hindering flaws everywhere. Maybe it’ll get a life-saving remaster the way the first one did.
    Battle for Azeroth: I bought this. I played the alpha, the beta, then I got a refund. Just… not fun. Boring. Bland. Full of frustrations. And the meta narrative was fucking Garrosh 2.0 as far as I can see… Horde being the unquestionably bad guys instead of nuanced, and for all their talk of ‘choice’ there are no choices. If you’re horde, you put up with what the narrative gives you. Choice… pah. They meant which faction will you choose, but that’s for new players, not old ones. First expansion I’ve ever missed. I’m sad about that. WoW has been my most enduring ‘virtual home’. Sad to see it lose its lustre.
    TWEWY: Look, technically I didn’t actually play this one, but the reason I didn’t buy it is because the control system is hugely disappointg. It’s disappointing that this core function was handled so poorly that I knew I would loathe it and regret the purchase. Better just not to purchase. That sucks. I was really hanging out for this.
    Thronebreaker: False choices made the story less impactful and all too frequent, frustrating puzzles with only one solution took away from the whole versatility angle that makes Gwent a great card game. It’s still good. It’s fine. It’s just not as good as it could’ve been, and didn’t hook me the way the base Witcher 3 gwent did.
    Fallout 76: I know it’s an easy target, but look… I was expecting this to be garbage. But I still had this little core, this little hope held deep, deep down that Bethesda would pull off some magic and prove me wrong. Prove everyone wrong. They not only failed to do that, but they surprised me in awful, horrible ways that make me wonder if they’re taking a Blizzard-like shift in attitude towards what they put out that makes them incompatible with me.

  • Huh. Looking back, I’ve hardly bought anything this year. It comes down to Shantae, Owlboy, Yoku’s Island Express and Smash all on Switch.

    Owlboy I haven’t touched yet, Yoku I’ve only played the demo but it was fantastic and pushed me into grabbing the full thing.

    Shantae was pretty disappointing to fire up – it’s full of tiny nigh-on-unreadable fonts that are hard enough to see on the Switch’s screen held right in front of my face let alone on the CRT I prefer to use for my gaming. And then it’s just full of terrible loading screens everywhere, most irritatingly there’s one for the Game Over screen after you die and then another one after that for when you want to return to the level to continue. Awful.

    On the other hand, Smash is full of great stuff… hidden behind god-awful menu systems that don’t have a shred of consistency between them (and often have similar readability issues). And having no way to alter options for matches without backing out and creating a new preset is just mind-bogglingly lame. Actually it’d be nice to just have an option to flip whether you choose maps or fighters first too.

    Truthfully though the biggest disappointment this year was the Switch’s online subscription. Not at all surprising just how anaemic it was, but as it’s primarily for me a Splatoon tax (don’t have any other games I play online, even Smash is going to be 99% local or single player) the fact they specifically pointed out the problem of save backups during the announcement while that game won’t support the feature stung hard.

  • A lot of people in this comments section seem to have forgotten that Sea Of Thieves came out this year.

    To be fair, I can’t exactly blame them for forgetting.

    • I got a boatload of fun (:P) out of it for the two dollars of Play Pass I paid for it. Got a mild itch to check it out after all these updates, would happily do so for another dollar.

  • Red Dead Redemption 2. The controls are terrible and combat is a nightmare. A shame because it’s such a gorgeous game.

    Also Spider-Man, it became repetitive and boring real fast. Yet another Insomniac game that’s failed to grab me.

    • haha I wanted to ask the same thing. We may not be able to buy it yet, but it was definitely the most disappointed a game has made me this year.

  • To all the people who reckon F76 wasn’t disappointing because they never expected anything from it. Think of it this way: we could, quite feasibly, have had this generation’s iteration of Fallout: New Vegas instead. Tell me that doesn’t make you a *little* disappointed.

    • I’m disappointed that it didn’t prove me wrong, surprise me, and give me a reason to jump into a fresh new Fallout world.

      Need to wait for the rads to die down a bit.

    • its weird, Im still enjoying this game despite its MANY!!!!!! issues

      There are a lot of flaws and i totally get why so many people are disappointed. My biggest problem is the way online has ruined how VATS works (time doesn’t slow down for you), its ruined pausing the game (you cant pause), its ruined saving the game (if you’re trying to make your way through an area that you are clearly under leveled for you cant save after each huge fight, so if you die you have to start again.) Its funny how some of these things are so small yet it completely changes how the game feels and flows.

  • Won’t accept my vote for some reason. I voted for Overkill’s The Walking Dead.

    As a long-time fan of zombie games, from the days of Left 4 Dead, I was actually hopeful for that game. And with the amount of money they poured into the cinematics. it was easy to be hyped. Too bad we realized soon enough that they were spending money on the very, very wrong things about a game, marketing, instead of spending money on the game itself and letting word of mouth and streaming market the game for them.

    However, where do even start? 2018 was one of the worst gaming years in history!

    Battlefield V, Fallout 76, Battle for Azeroth, No Man’s Sky, Vampyr, Detroit: Become Human, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, Metal Gear Survive, Kingdom Come Deliverance, and to some extent, Monster Hunter: World, Destiny 2: Forsaken, and We Happy Few.

    Some of those games got acceptable reviews, but after just a few weeks passed, a lot of gamers started to feel the disappointment.

    Then, we have the memes that will never be forgotten: “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”, “Don’t you, guys, have phones?”, and “This is, by far, the largest project that we’ve ever done.” (Fallout 76).

    Man, the more I remember about this year, the more I truly feel that it was the worst gaming year of history. I won’t miss you, 2018.

  • 2018 is the year I truly lost faith in the big developers.

    Lootboxes. Live services. Microtransactions. Mobile games. It’s all just too much now. I don’t trust anything they sell me.

    They’re all just misery.

    The thing is, with how bloated and useless they’ve all become, I’m finally spending more time with interesting double A and indie games.
    And to be honest, I’ve never had more fun.

    Plus, there are plenty of ethical AAA games out there still, such as Sony and Nintendo’s stuff, so it’s not like I’m playing less. I just avoid anything by the greediest publishers.

    • Double A! The unsung hero of the industry! Even when they fall over flat on their faces like Elex, I still always keep trying them, hoping for underrated successes like Vampyr, The Surge, Mutant Year Zero, etc. Not all heroes have AAA marketing budgets, but some strive to be more than pixelart platformer/roguelikes.

  • Guess I’m gonna chime in with Monster Hunter: World as well. Had some friends who hyped it up before launch and I bought it to play with them, but I found the game’s multiplayer was atrocious and I quickly kinda just… stopped playing. Traded it in last week to get Smash cheaper. On top of that I seemingly had a day 1 bug that stopped me from joining my friends’ groups or clans or whatever; never had the option, friend requests didn’t work, and ultimately I was kinda crushed. That and my friends ended up leaving me in the dust.

    Additionally? No Man’s Sky’s NEXT update. Yeah, I know, NMS, but I really really liked NMS. I was really hyped for the expansion. And then it dropped. The galaxy got reset. My base disappeared. I spent about 3 days trying to find a base computer to get my base back, just to find out the story quest I was on to unlock all my vendors was broken. I waited a few weeks and it still wasn’t fixed, I still don’t know if it is or not – maybe I’ll go back one day but until then, NEXT was another stupid disappointment I honestly forgot about.

  • My vote got cast for Dissidia NT. I know it technically came out in 2015, but the release on consoles was 2018 so I still say it counts and hoo boy, that was a quick and instructive lesson in how to wreck goodwill and kill a franchise.

    I know this carries the same sort of issue as F76 with the whole “nobody expected this to be good”, but to me that makes it even worse. They knew this was going to be an uphill battle, and yet they forged ahead and made it as terrible as possible.

  • I expected so much from Battle for Azeroth. Absolutely disappointed in where it is now.
    I keep asking myself how did I go from playing Legion daily to not knowing when I logged in last.

    How did Blizzard go from the heights of Legion to the lows of BFA? Did they learn nothing about what they did right?

    • How did Blizzard go from the heights of Legion to the lows of BFA? They scavenged developers from WoD to make sure Legion was as good as it could be. They then didn’t do the same with BfA, mainly because at the important times they were still supporting Legion.

      So it simply came down to how many resources Legion had versus how few BfA had during important development phases. Because Legion was so good, it also meant they couldn’t free up those same programmers to repeat the process with BfA.

      • See I didn’t think Legion was that good. The massive class changes, terrible profession system and artefact weapon just ruined it for me. I only came back to it just before Antorus opened.

        • I’ve heard a few people say similar. Strange how widely varied opinions seem to be. On the whole though, it was the best received expansion since WotLK (the Panda’s might argue). Personally it dragged me back into WoW for the first time in years, and I thought I was totally done with the game.

          Was more pointing out that it had the advantage of extra programmers to make sure it worked, after Blizzard cut the cord with WoD. BfA didn’t get that same advantage as those programmers weren’t ‘free’ to redistribute. They were still supporting Legion.

          • I guess I feel like the extra team made it a more muddled xpac. Like they brought a bunch of new ideas and they threw them out there and while some were ok a bunch weren’t.

  • I can’t say Fallout 76, because I avoided it like the plague – and hoo boy, am I glad I did so – I can’t say Far Cry 5, because apart from the plot and the game forcing me to play the plot, it is seriously wacky fun, but…is it sacrilege to say RDR II? It’s beautiful. It’s got its great points (best damn poker minigame I’ve seen in a while – the NPCs try to bluff and everything), but the controls are so lousy, I can’t walk through a crowd without annoying people, and it just seems like the moment you try to branch out and have some fun, it grabs you and says “NO! NAUGHTY PERSON! TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!”
    I’m sure people will disagree, and that’s fine, but I stopped for a bit, played San Andreas and the first thing I thought was “damn, this game was fun…”

    • Funnily enough, I’m in the midst of a GTA marathon, from the first one onwards, and I’m playing San Andreas again. Its not quite how I remember it, its better, and boy… it is so much fun. CJ’s finally slimming down a day or so after getting chubby for the cute mechanic gal… overweight CJ during cutscenes just completely breaks the ‘This is serious!’ atmosphere.

    • I think it’s totally OK to be disappointed in something that you also love. Parents know this, right? 🙂

      I was disappointed by a LOT of things in MHW, but it’s easily in my top 10 favourite games of the year. Same goes for Red Dead 2, Far Cry 5, and Odyssey.

  • Black Ops 4. What a bad game. I am never pre ordering cod again. I will only buy it on discount.

    Also disappointed with Just cause 4’s graphics on the xbox one, expected it to look better.

    Surprisingly, Need for Speed Payback turned out to be a good game.

  • As much as I like Battletech, it was also simultaneously a disappointment too. i love the Battletech tabletop game, but the PC game felt so much clunkier due to overly-long animations, mechs being way spongy overall than I remember it, the changes to the heat and turn systems and the BS that is the lack of being able to freely mount weapons on a mech and SRM carriers.

    • I felt a little similarly on launch, so I just hacked it up to tweak it the way I wanted. My understanding though is that patches have fixed the animation issues and freed up a few config options.

    • Oh yeah. Battletech for me. The first mech I killed just fell through the ground to another layer and I thought “wtf?”

      I wish I’d bought it on steam so I could refund.

  • No mans sky had a big overhaul remember

    And relaunched and launched on xbox with it

    And it was still dissapointing and bland despite every article promising it had been fixed and was better now, looking at you kotaku, you hyped a still shitty game

  • Sea of Thieves was a huge disappointment. Still not much to do and griefers everywhere. I returned Red Dead 2 to the shop. So slow and got sick of riding everywhere to be told to do some more riding.

  • God of war 4.
    A huge fan of the originals. I couldn’t bring myself to finish this one. Watched someone else complete it on twitch instead.
    Glad they made a 4th.. just wasn’t the game for me.

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider, or perhaps Fallout 76.

    The former was touted as having great stealth and combat, but that was far from the truth. The stealth was really not much more than the original games, and very much a missed opportunity. The combat was nothing short of horrible, especially in close quarters. Everyone is complaining about RDR2 combat but I think it looks polished in comparison to SotTR.
    The puzzles were for the most part great, and the game looks fantastic, but the rest of the game was just not that good. Not to mention the uninspired ending.
    One just has to look at the forums which are pretty much dead other than the “I have a problem” post.

    Fallout 76 was far less than I expected – repetitive, buggy and almost storyless – but the knife was driven home for me by buying the collector’s edition. Their lack of desire to deliver something reasonable, or care until a gun was put to their head, really made a sub-standard offering just that more disappointing.

  • Mario Tennis Aces for me. Barebones game at launch and still not amazing now. I haven’t played it regularly since about 3 weeks after release. The core gameplay is solid and fun for a little while but overall it is certainly a disappointing game.

  • The greatest gaming disappointment of 2018 is the outrageous extent to which Sony and Nintendo’s online stores still hyper-inflate their prices for the Australian/NZ market. Seriously the price difference for games over here isn’t anywhere near the actual exchange rate, at least not since the mid 2000s. $120 NZD for a digital copy Tales of Berseria on ps store rn. It is $60USD on the US site (already overpriced*) but that should translate to about $90NZD. I don’t expect the prices to exactly reflect the exchange rate but it should at least be in the same ballpark and a $30 markup for nothing is highly unethical to put it mildly.
    * Don’t get me wrong it is awesome game

    • What’s super annoying to me is that I’ve actually been pretty keen to check out Berseria, but I got it on PC as part of a Humble monthly, which is not my preferred platform. So I’m STILL looking to re-buy it on PS4, where it is absurdly over-priced, even when periodically discounted.

  • I’m counting PUBG as this year’s game because technically it was early access last year!

    I played and loved the mobile version, stuff like auto pickup, lots of supplies everywhere, was awesome.

    Bought the game for Xbone and at the time was taking 15 minutes of matchmaking to get in. Finally drop, 15 minutes of scraping together average guns, then killed from behind without firing a shot.

    Matchmaking got better when I went on north American servers, but was still 20 minutes of trying to get passable gear then dead without warning!

    The mobile version has training mode, the console version really needs something like this, I’m a trial by fire player who gets better with each death but takes way too much to get good at PUBG.

    Never been more disappointed in a game!

  • Horizon zero dawn for me. I grabbed a ps4 to play the exclusives that were being hyped and them up and started playing. Graphically the game was stunning but apart from that I found it repetitive and boring. It failed to capture my attention.

        • I played it on hard and loved it. Every encounter with enemies had to be taken seriously. It got a little easier as access to weapons improved but gameplay was still good and I actually thought the story was quite good as well. The DLC was stunning, and much harder.

          • I didn’t find it extremely hard or anything. That wasn’t the issue. I just found it boring. But I understand that is a less likely opinion. My time for gaming is quite restricted these days so I can be quite judgemental. But full respect, it seems very well made and produced just not my sort of thing.

  • RDR2 simply because they crammed way too many mechanics in. Eat this, eat that, don’t ride too fast, don’t eat too much etc. It’s a solid game but there’s just too much crammed in for me to actually enjoy the gameplay

  • Coming back into this late, so I don’t expect many to read this, but it just dawned on me that Metal Gear Survive was this year as well. And barely a mention on the list.

    That was a dumpster fire and a half, with pretty much everyone lining up to throw more petrol on it.

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