Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Most disappointing games of 2017

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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Most disappointing games of 2017
Mass Effect: Andromeda – the obvious choice

Readers discuss the worst games and biggest upsets of the last 12 months, from loot boxes to Destiny 2 and Super Mario Odyssey.

As is tradition for the last week before Christmas, this weekend’s Hot Topic asked what was your biggest video game-related disappointment of 2017. What was the game, news story, trend, or hardware release that you considered to be the low point of the year for games?

Many people picked a particular game as their big disappointment, with everything from the critically acclaimed to the universally panned. But predictably it was loot boxes which were the most common complaint of 2017.

Below par

For me one game springs to mind when it comes to being disappointed with this year and that’s Mass Effect: Andromeda. After replaying the original trilogy just before the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I was so hyped thinking it could possibly be on par with original trilogy. And even though I did have some fun with the game, it just felt flat in some areas of the game, especially the characters. I wanted someone like Garrus, who I loved in the trilogy, but I couldn’t feel any connection to any of them in Andromeda.

And also the ending to the game really let me down, as when all the characters were there at the end the other sibling was nowhere to be found and didn’t feel like we got a closure with them. It’s a shame they didn’t do any single-player DLC as I hoped it could have helped the game address some of the issues it has.

Fingers crossed if they do ever make a new Mass Effect it will be a better game than Andromeda.

Wish a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone at GC (keep up the great work, I read you every day) and everyone that reads the page.
Rawdog1985 (gamertag/PSN ID)

Bragging rights

It wasn’t a massive disappointment, because I was never really interested in it to begin with, but the launch of the Xbox One X was a big non-event of 2017 for me.

I still don’t understand the point of the enhanced consoles, which must have cost both Sony and Microsoft a lot of money to develop and manufacture.

Some games look slightly better if you’ve got a flashy new telly? Wow.

Surely the X and the Pro are solely for people who feel compelled to own the latest and most powerful technology, despite the fact that their cutting edge devices bring scarce advantages other than bragging rights.

Microsoft should have just concentrated their efforts on making or commissioning new games for the existing Xbox One. Maybe the X will come into its own in the future, when or if Microsoft release a virtual reality headset.

Until then can someone explain the specific benefits of owning the ’world’s most powerful console’?
msv858 (Twitter)

Lie back and think of Nathan

For various reasons 2017 has been truly awful for me and I’ll be glad to see it go. There have been things in gaming that have disappointed me this year but I feel I moaned about them enough at the time!

So instead I’d like to end the year with thanks: thanks to gaming for keeping me sane (ish), thanks to my wonderful parents for all their love and support (and putting up with me constantly blithering on about how gorgeous Nathan Drake is!) and lastly thanks so much to you, GameCentral.

Your reviews, interviews, and features have always been informative yet fun reads and I have enjoyed reading and writing into the Inbox.

Wishing everyone at GameCentral and all its readers an awesome gaming Christmas and a very happy new year!
LastYearsModel09 (PSN ID)

GC: Thank you for reading. And all the best for 2018!

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Easy answer

The game I’d like to highlight as a disappointment, I should probably first caveat with the fact that it is clearly not a bad game… Just that expectations are obviously high to begin with, then a slew of exceptional reviews boosted that to astronomical.

Super Mario Odyssey I found just to be far too easy. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, just that for 90% of the time I felt like I was doing little more than wandering around just collecting moons, through simple exploration rather than any challenge. Tied to this, I think the number of moons and the collection rate really diminished any sense of achievement. Odyssey is far easier than other any Mario I remember.
Jokeb (gamertag)

Racing today

For me it would be Gran Turismo Sport, I hate that the focus is now on multiplayer and single-player has become an afterthought.

They have gone downhill since 4 and it was at its best with 1 and 2. At this point I wish they would remaster Gran Turismo 1, it’s a shame they couldn’t just make it in the same mould with extra content.

I used to love that you could buy an old used car, apply upgrades and racing kits so it could compete with the best, and you didn’t have to change cars every race, the way racing games like to force you to these days.

Prey for better

My biggest disappointment of 2017 has got to be Prey. I enjoyed the original from many years ago and thought that its sci-fi and Native American mash-up was fun and unique. Although I knew the new game was linked to the original in name only, I’d read that it was a kind of ‘BioShock in space’. Having loved all three BioShock games and it being from the developers of the brilliant Dishonored, I was really looking forward to it. Oh dear…

Terrible generic story (although it started off well), useless weapons (I ended up just whacking everything with the wrench), cheap jump scares, and endless scavenging through desks and filing cabinets for junk to try to get meaningful upgrades. And don’t even get me started on all that ‘sticking needles in your eyes’ nonsense!

I tried to like Prey, I really did, restarting it several times, hoping that I was missing something or doing something wrong and that it would soon ‘click’, but it never did and so it sits in my Steam library, never to be touched again.
Andrew Redfearn

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

So NieR and yet so far

My biggest disappointment of the year was NieR: Automata by some distance.

My take on the experience was that there was probably a great game in there but the developers basically didn’t nail the execution of the individual elements which made for an unsatisfying whole. This is probably where the real disappointment stems from, compared to say a Mass Effect: Andromeda where it’s because the game is just plain not good.

The repetition killed the experience for me – I felt it was very clear that the budget didn’t match the ambition and that content was recycled to paper over this rather than editing things down. The narrative was so intriguing to begin with (‘This Cannot Continue’ – wow) but it completely lost focus as the developers ran out of reasons to keep asking you to go back to the same environments and do the same things.

There was a shell of a great combat system in there but it lacked variety, any sense of progression and was very easy (other than the opening which was a good challenge and great extended set piece in general). I also thought the game was quite ugly most of the time, aside from a couple of the areas.

Regardless of my moaning I’m glad that the game has been a hit, as it at least wasn’t scared to be itself and try some interesting things – I think it’s very lucky to have had the reception it has though and was looked on more favourably than it might’ve been because of some of its quirkier touches and subversive tendencies rather than being a particularly well-realised overall experience. Hopefully now the budget will finally be there next time for the developers to make the game they’ve been trying to.
PS: Having to wait until I’d nearly finished the game to get the chip that sucked in the enemy loot drops automatically rather than having to stop and press a button was really annoying. Why not just have that happen anyway? Obviously in no way was that a big deal but it’s a really easy to cite example of a poor design choice, symptomatic of NieR: Automata’s issues overall and something I had to get off my chest.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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