EGMR Awards 2015: Most Disappointing Game Of The Year
As gamers, we’re used to disappointment. It’s become a part of our lives, and some us have even reached the point of staunch defence of disappointing experiences in a strange Stockholm Syndrome level of victimhood. It’s what you get when dealing with hype culture, and 2015 had hype in abundance. Many high-profile games releasing to insanely high stakes means a few of them are bound to disappoint in some way or another. And so we get to list them for you here, because we’re an equestrian bunch; we just love beating dead horses.
Many gamers get confused with this award, because with the most disappointing award, our nominees are often seen as being bad. This is not always the case, and let us assure you that disappointment doesn’t always have to do with the result being bad, but rather ending up as a letdown, and like it could have been more. In order for a game, or anything for that matter, to be disappointing, there has to be a certain level of hype, expectation and anticipation for it. Something can’t be disappointing if no one gives a crap about it, right? Then it’s just crap. Disappointment in gaming usually stems from receiving tons of hype and becoming involved in all the excitement only to discover, once the game is released, that it’s not what you were expecting, and most importantly not what was promised to us, which is increased by the anticipation surrounding the game. So just to clear it up, the games on these list are not all bad (some are of course), but the point we’re making with this “award”, so to speak, is that the following games just didn’t live up to all the hype and promises and were ultimately letdowns.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Much like The Dark Knight Rises, Batman: Arkham Knight sought to conclude a trilogy of rather excellent Batman-themed creations, and also fell a little flat in doing so. Make no mistake, Batman: Arkham Knight is a great game. A great game. But it’s also got a lot of disappointments about it. In case you somehow missed it this year, the game’s PC version was pulled from shelves after release because it was effectively broken, and to this day remains in a not-fully-functional state. Meanwhile, the game’s DLC practices came under question with fans feeling they were intentionally removed from the game to be sold separately later. Finally, the game was criticised for not doing enough new and relying far too heavily on the Batmobile to provide all the best moments in the game, hinting at not enough fresh and exciting ideas left for the team behind Asylum and City. Batman: Arkham Knight just didn’t feel as if it had adequately evolved the experience. Speaking of…
Despite science’s best efforts, there are many in the world who deny evolution exists. Likewise in the gaming world, Darwin’s greatest achievement has struggled to really make the impact we all hoped it would, due in no small part to a lack of content to keep interests gauged. Evolve promised a pretty solid idea of 4 humans taking on 1 monster, with all parties controlled by human players. While the premise was solid, the experience boiled down to playing catch the monster, and rarely went much further than that. While initially a blast, the novelty quickly wore off, and the poor matchmaking didn’t help anything either. Evolve fell victim to just not being very exciting for far too long. Quite the opposite of its namesake.
Following the release of Mad Max: Fury Road is difficult enough for a movie, but for a Mad Max game that seems nigh-impossible. Nonetheless, fans were quite eager for the new Mad Max game that promised enough frantic action and mayhem to bring back the days of Carmageddon and other classics. Unfortunately Mad Max didn’t quite achieve even that, and suffered from dislikeable characters, a rather silly plot, and an overall boring open world. In short, Mad Max: The Game was the antithesis of Mad Max: Fury Road, and when the latter is the best thing to happen this year, well…
Star Wars Battlefront
Okay maybe the best thing to happen this year is a new Star Wars movie, but hey, who’s keeping track of these things I say. Star Wars: Battlefront certainly had its fair share of detractors when it was first announced, with many wary of Electronic Arts and their fondness for taking our money. Fans were also upset at how many things were removed from Battlefront II, but over time the objections went away and people warmed to the game. Then it released, and we were told we needed to buy a $50 season pass to enjoy everything already in the game (and more in future) over and above the RRP of the game. Absolutely ridiculous, and as a result, overwhelmingly disappointing. Especially for those who dared to show a little faith in EA. Star Wars: Battlefront did what everyone was expecting at the start; it disappointed us.
The Order: 1886
Do you know what’s longer than The Order: 1886? This explanation of why it’s disappointing! Also what the hell are those black bars doing in an already-widescreen game? How does a game use a fraction of monitor space and still have a shaky framerate? Nothing makes sense!
It wasn’t The Order: 1886 or Star Wars: Battlefront, because hopes weren’t exceedingly high for those games anyway, we kinda knew something would go wrong and really it was our own fault for allowing ourselves to get excited for them at all.
The loser wasn’t Batman: Arkham Knight, even though the PC contingent might disagree. Thing is, there were a lot of positives from it as well.
Mad Max didn’t take home the award either, because shitty open world games are boring and this game is boring.
At rAge 2014 the EGMR crew sat down to play some Evolve. At that point we were sceptical about it, and had questions surrounding its longevity and overall long-term appeal. We figured we were being nitpicky and gave it a chance. The initial experience blew us away, and some of us expected Evolve to be played throughout 2015, with many content updates and an eventual game experience not entirely unlike DotA. Imagine how we felt when it crashed and burned shortly after release. Evolve, for us and many others, was the most disappointing game of 2015. More disappointing even, than that Hunger Games finale.