Every game that can be hyped to the high heavens often is. Call it a mix of marketing muscle but there are some games which can’t help but generate an unrealistic amount of hype and lead to disappointment. Of course, there are other reasons that a game could be disappointing. Maybe it didn’t live up to the pedigree of those designing it or saw too many development problems. Whatever the case may be, here are our picks for the most disappointing game of 2016.
No Man’s Sky
It’s funny to think how much of No Man’s Sky was a mystery. All that we knew was that the universe was massive and could provide an endless amount of exploration. Then again, when the game finally arrived, it’s gameplay loops, excessive grinding and performance issues proved that without an overall direction and repetitive tasks, no amount of scale was enough to compensate.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Depending on who you talk to, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was actually a fun game and the open world aspects added a ton of value. However, when viewed from the context of the original, what was possible in this day and age, and the final product? The story was asinine, the open world tasks were unimaginative and it certainly didn’t help that first person parkour was far from new (and still rife with issues).
The minds behind Borderlands and Borderlands 2 brought us Battleborn, an FPS/MOBA hybrid with a handful of story chapters – some of them so lame and unfairly difficult that they felt pointless – and some PvP. Hero balance was wonky and numerous issues, including cheese spots on maps, came up. But Battleborn just wasn’t fun. Maybe it was trying too hard to capture a new kind of magic and came up way too short as a result.
Also known as “When Keiji Inafune had forsaken the world”. Mighty No. 9 was the spiritual successor to Mega Man that fans craved for years. Delay after delay after delay after stupid marketing campaign finally brought us…this? With a ham-fisted story, boring level design, useless “twists” and several steps back from the signature Mega Man formula, Mighty No. 9 looked like a bad rip-off than a brave new beginning.
People actually had expectations from The Technomancer. What can you possibly expect when you play as a guy named Zachariah with a mentor named Shawn? The combat proved wonky even with some decent mechanics with a ho-hum plot and oddly small scale that promoted too much back-tracking. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn’t want to go to Mars after this mess.
Homefront The Revolution
From the beginning, Homefront: The Revolution’s development was troubled. Senior members of the development team weren’t paid, many left, Crytek UK was eventually shuttered and the IP went to Deep Silver. A new studio eventually finished the game but the result was abysmal. From game-breaking bugs to terrible co-op multiplayer, Homefront: The Revolution set new lows for an otherwise niche franchise…which is a shame considering how cool it looked at first.
No Man’s Sky
Say what you will about what was and wasn’t promised but when it finally released, No Man’s Sky felt more like a meaningless grind than anything else. What was the point of it all? The procedurally generated environments didn’t feel nearly imaginative enough to fulfill our deep space exploration desires. While the Foundation Update fixed a number of pending issues and actually made the game fun, No Man’s Sky should have been so much more after so many years of hype, regardless of its dev team size.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.