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?


    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.

      Agreed. The pace and downbeat story are not for everyone, but it’s far from what I would consider a disappointment.

        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! :D

      Agree, everyone with half a brain already new Fallout was gonna be a POS.

    Just Cause 4 for sure. Such a let down compared to 3 imo.

      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.

              Agreed. It's not technically bad but it's not quite what I was expecting.

    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 would argue that gameplay was its greatest strength and that it was everything around it that let it down.

      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.

    Triple A gaming in general. I think I skipped them all this year. I've spent most of my year playing rereleased PS2 games.

      Yup. I've played much more retro titles than usual this year.

      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. :)

      Forgot about Far Cry 5. The way it pulls you out of whatever you are doing for a boss fight.

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth... jesus that was such a let down.

      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.

      I'll of it as a good first start. it's clearly set up for more, so hopefully it just get's better.

        Yeah I do love it, I just worry we will get another Tomb Raider where the reboot is amazing but the sequels seem to be the same game with the same systems

      I absolutely loved Spider-man on PS4 BUT the webslinging is way too easy. I was definitely disappointed by the webslinging, as cool as it looks.

    Fallout 76

      Id say F76 as well but i expected the game to be a dumpster fire so it was less a disappointment and more of a confirmation.

    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!

    Black OPs 4 - How do you have a better game at Beta than you do at launch? really screwed the pooch with that one

    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.

          (FYI, the '400% extra damage at the cost of 75% health' rune is also available in Odyssey.)

    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 mean... it came out on switch this year, so Undertale sorta counts?

    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.

      The answers go through! But only I can see them. Just the way our poll widget is setup, unfortunately.

    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.

    RDR 2 .... unfortunately.

    Got about 5 hours into it in the first week, haven't touched it since.

      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.

      Totaly agree. The 2 week special quests were shooting yourself onto a chair.

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