Video game disappointments tend to happen all the time. We look forward to a game and hope it delivers on all it promises and then when it releases we get less than what was either anticipated or promised. Of course expectations should be curbed when it comes to video games especially given the communities penchant for overhyping certain titles, but even with just what is put out, some titles just miss the mark on what could have been incredible potential. Please do keep in mind that the titles listed are not the worse games put out in 2016 nor are they bad games but instead are titles that clearly should have been great but stumbled out the door, tripping on their own hype and promises made as they competed for your dollar or launched with underwhelming qualities but were still enjoyable. Again these are of my own personal opinion and do not reflect the full opinions of those of us here at CORe.
Keiji Inafune teamed up with Retro Studios for this project that came out as an XBOX One exclusive title and its reveal trailers garnered some hype among his fans. Then there was a large drought of information up until the game actually came out. That is never a good sign and despite an interesting premise and a curious world to explore, boring fetch quests and basic puzzles made the game feel bland. Playing the game became a tedious experience and its unique setting, fantastic main character, mysterious story and interesting game mechanics weren’t enough to have this game garner any sort of praise from most major review sites. I personally enjoyed the game despite its flaws, but the archaic design approach did hold it back for me.
9) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan
When Platinum Games is mentioned to have its name on a title we automatically expect insane over the top action. The studio unfortunately stumbled with its Legend of Korra game but had it right with Transformers: Devastation and missed again with a title that is further up my list. This game offers no local co-op and suffers from generic enemies and unimpressive boss fights. The biggest sour point in my eyes though was its bland combo system which brought what should have been an amazing experience to a just flat out boring ordeal.
8) Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
The first Mirror’s Edge was a novel experience and fans continuously cried out for a sequel. We got one but it decided to offer monotonous gameplay and not much to do in its open world setting. It also didn’t help that the mission types repeat themselves and therefore what should have been a great sequel bogged down to a ho-hum experience in what was once a novel idea.
7) Mafia III
Despite having a strong narrative, Mafia III suffers from terrible mission structure and generic gameplay. The mission structure is so bad and bland that there are times where you are literally doing the same mission repeatedly 4 or 5 times over. It’s a shame that the game offers this, because if anything at all, the story stands out as the strongest highlight for it.
6) The Division
Ubisoft and developer Massive had an intriguing game on their hands when they revealed The Division at various game shows. We knew it would be open world and have multiplayer but as to the design and nature of the game and what it would actually be remained a large mystery until mere months before the release. We then knew we would be getting an online Diablo-esque experience with loot drops and the like and for console gamers it felt exciting to have something that could potentially be on par with the likes of Destiny and what that title offers. However, The Division at launch was plagued with technical issues and contained no true PvE endgame until its first paid expansion which is something many felt it should have launched with. To make matters worse, the PvP centric Dark Zone was a colossal mess and in many ways still is. Despite its interesting setting, it turned out to not be a good fit for the genre as the suspension of disbelief just didn’t work with guys in hoodies as opposed to evil space monsters. Recent patches have fixed much of the grinding problems to some degree and have also begun to tweak the PvP elements to a level of enjoyment but most gamers have already checked out by now as indicated by the massive number of players who have dropped the title, myself included.
5) Street Fighter V
CAPCOM seems to garner a love/hate relationship with gamers and the release of Street Fighter V is no exception. It launched with no single player content and contained mediocre online modes. It amounted to what essentially was a paid early access title complete with DLC character releases that you had to pay for. It became glaringly obvious that CAPCOM rushed this one out so that it could have it ready for the much touted EVO fighting game championship and has begun to add in the things that are missing. For some though, it was too little too late.
4) Star Fox: Zero
As is tantamount to Nintendo and its tried and true method of re-releasing nostalgia bombs left and right, excitement was in the air when word of a new Star Fox title developed by Platinum Games would be making its way to the struggling Wii U. Instead we got a rehashed Star Fox N64 with a slightly next generation paint job. The Wii U gamepad aiming was awkward and frustrating and the game just wasn’t fun to play. It released and was easily forgettable afterwards which is a damn shame given Nintendo and its usual penchant for delivering stand out titles.
MOBA games had a strong resurgence thanks to the popularity of League of Legends, so it made sense that eventually the MOBA like mechanics found in games like League of Legends and Smite would make it to the First Person Shooter genre. Battleborn was one such game but despite its colorful cast it contained bland humor, mediocre gameplay and sluggish shooting mechanics which all cripple and hinder the most essential component of shooters. Combine that with awful map design, repetitive game modes and a boring single player campaign and we have a game that was doomed to fail even despite a competitor’s title garnering more hype alongside it.
2) Mighty No. 9
Any hope for video games being made through Kickstarter coming out as successful ventures may have seemingly been misplaced in this title. Generic level design, weak voice acting and muddy graphics shut down what could have been an incredible piece of gaming and it launched so off received that many even questioned whether or not they’d back a game through the service again. It is a bit sad too as there are hints of a good game when they rear their head but after too many delays and perhaps a lack of coherent vision in the design process, we wound up with a title bogged down by mediocrity. Now while I did have some fun with Mighty No. 9, the biggest disappointment for me is that the title didn’t do enough to differentiate itself from Mega Man and instead comes up as a bland rip-off of the once treasured series. Keiji Inafune is better than this, and I do hope he finds his stride again in the future.
1) No Man’s Sky
If there was any title this year that had massive hype due to offering an interesting premise combined with something video games desperately needed in originality, we had No Man’s Sky. With such an inventive and fresh idea and a perplexing offering of over a quintillion planets many were excited to dive in an explore what would hopefully be a rich galaxy with unique experiences for all who went in No Man’s Sky. However, it was found to offer no true multiplayer despite it being promised, the gameplay wound up being boring and monotonous, and what may be the game’s largest flaw is that the universe lacks diversity. Many planets looked the same, the space stations were all the same and there just wasn’t a lot to do. Overall the experience felt more like work than a fun game. Early trailer and offerings showcased so much promise and ingenuity and a large portion of it isn’t even in the final game. Many gamers felt lied to and they are right in that justification. A recent patch fixed some of the issues mentioned but many have already considered themselves done with it and have been content to throw this game into the trade-in piles at most retailers.