Every year at Player 2 we sit down over dinner to sort out our game of the year awards. That dinner then turns to arguing, then fighting and finally some sort of grand melee in which kitchen furniture becomes projectile weaponry. After the wounds are healed we then head back to our own corners and just write an award winner each, thus avoiding having to come to any sort of conclusion with each other. Now it is time for our biggest disappointments.
2017’s Biggest Disappointments
Paul James – Shadow of War
I think for most this category will be a two horse race between two EA published games, but my vote goes to Middle Earth: Shadow of War. It’s a game I quite enjoyed, until I didn’t – until the grind set in. With very little to distinguish the game between its predecessor, and more fat on the bone than a blue whale, Shadow of War started out promising, and I quickly felt very much at home, but one game and 15-20hours into its sequel and the novelty had finally worn off. It’s time for Monolith to go back to the drawing table and reassess the established formula. The Nemesis system is a blast, but if it’s all you’re going to lean on, then the popularity of this franchise may fade fast.
Stephen del Prado – No Dark Cloud 3
In keeping with the past 14 years, my biggest disappointment of 2017 was the distinct lack of Dark Cloud 3 announcements from Level 5 and Sony. I appreciate the continuation of Ni No Kuni, Professor Layton, Yokai Watch and Inazuma Eleven but there’s only one thing I truly want from you Akihiro Hino, and that’s more Dark Cloud. Having avoided Mass Effect; Andromeda, there weren’t actually any games in 2017 that I was disappointed with.
Sarah Ellen – Mass Effect: Andromeda
I started 2017 with a long list of preordered video games and consoles. Mass Effect: Andromeda is the reason why I cancelled every single one of my preorders and smacked myself upside the head. Maybe I misread my own instincts, but I have never felt as if Bioware could release a game that would disappoint me to the point of returning it. Andromeda left me feeling hollow and inconsequential – the last thing that anyone should feel when playing a role-playing game. Even worse was the news that Andromeda’s lukewarm reception prompted the decision to cancel any DLC or significant updates to the game. I hope that it doesn’t ring the death knell for Bioware, as EA has been notoriously trigger-happy with smaller studios in the past.
Adam Rorke – Star Wars Battlefront 2
Well this is fairly new and relevant, which I’m sure some will think is cheating a bit, but let me justify this for you. When the newest Battlefront had come out, it was plagued with gameplay issues that didn’t seem to be addressed (at least in a timely fashion). It looked superb and there was fun to be had! However, due to the aforementioned reasons it was quickly forgotten by the players and finding a match was fairly impossible early on.
The hype leading up to its sequel was stating that all these issues would be fixed. The gameplay was revamped and echoing the former glory of the Battlefront series from yesteryear, the visuals were simply jaw dropping and you could ‘earn’ your DLC! And of course you all know the rest … the < 1million sales figure speaks for itself and I’ll admit there was a part of me that smirked at the idea of a big Company being slapped on the ear by an even bigger Company for tarnishing its brand IP.
Stevie McDonald – Hello Neighbor
Remember that Simpsons scene where Bart and Lisa want to go to Mount Splashmore? You know the one. Well, replace, “Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?” with “Will you play Hello Neighbour?” and you’re in my world. My kids were stoked beyond measure when the full game finally released but, disappointingly, the end product feels as though it hasn’t reached the potential it hinted at in earlier versions. Not that this bothers my kids much, as they haven’t really worked up the courage to leave their own house yet, but they like to watch me play and boldly go where they won’t – however, the glitchy mechanics and less-than-compelling gameplay makes me much more reluctant to indulge them.
Dylan Burns – Steamworld Dig 2
I nominate this as my most disappointing not because it was a bad game. Nay, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a gorgeous game. It just isn’t long enough. I was loving it so much, slowly levelling up my abilities and exploring all the nooks and crannies of the vast underground map, that when it ended I felt like I was only just hitting my stride. No New Game Plus mode, no post-game enjoyment to be had at all. And it honestly felt like half a game. I realise that the point was to then explore and complete everything that I’d missed, but I still couldn’t help but feel that the experience was cut short, and so – with a heavy heart – SteamWorld Dig 2 gets my most disappointing nod.
Royce Wilson – Destiny 2
It’s a matter of public record that I did not enjoy Destiny 2 at all. The massively hyped sequel to the Console-exclusive loot-shooter Destiny was being billed as the greatest game ever and a huge event, but from the first few minutes I played it at E3 I was not impressed – a feeling that continued through to the release version, where I quite literally had no idea what was going on, why I should care, or any idea at all what I was supposed to do in the game. It’s an unpopular view, I know, but Destiny 2 was hands-down my biggest disappointment of 2017.
Jenn Christodoulou – Dragon Ball Xenorverse 2
All I wanted to do was live my dream of being a Super Saiyan and go around punching bad guys. But no, apparently that’s too much to ask. Why, guys? Why do you hate me so much? Why do you hate my dreams? Why do you hate my happiness? WHY?
Matt Hewson – Scalebound
Well, what a sad story this is. I honestly don’t blame Microsoft for this, I mean how bad a condition must this game have been in for MS to cancel it without anything to replace it. It must have been an absolute shit show. But I still have dreams of massive dragon combat, multiplayer questing and red licenced headphones that will now never be fulfilled and I can help but be sad about that. I hold the tiniest ray of hope that something will be salvaged in the future but it is looking less and less likely.
James Swinbanks – Elex
Elex is a game that, at least from screenshots and its backstory, seemed to have massive potential. Not only did it completely fail to live up to that potential, it fell flat on its face. A dead-faced, boring main character placed into a world that’s full of promise that never pays off. If it’s not the bugs and constant jank you’re putting up with, it’s the terribly balanced combat system that’s so bad that running from combat feels like the only honest means of progression. I tried so hard to like it, and there are admittedly things to like – the world of Magalan is pretty huge and great to wander, as long as there are no enemies around – but ultimately, Elex only serves to frustrate and annoy.