Game of the Year 2018

Most Disappointing Game

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t enjoy not enjoying games. In a perfect world, every game would execute amazingly on what it sets out to do. But due to budget, timelines, or other limitations, not every game comes out the way that was intended. And, on the other hand, sometimes I just don’t like what the studio was going for.

These are the games for which I had the highest expectations compared to how I felt about the game after finishing my time with it. To be clear, these aren’t necessarily the worst games I played in 2018, just the ones I most wanted to be better.

Dishonorable Mentions

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Odyssey is far from a bad game, but coming off Origins I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed with the similarities. There are also just way too many systems at play here; it would take hundreds of hours to see and do everything.

Fe

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never even heard of Fe. But I always have a few indie games I’m keeping my eye on, and Fe’s focus on sound and clear inspiration from games like Journey had me expecting more.

5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I really liked 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot. I liked the “open world” elements added for Rise of the Tomb Raider less, but still thought it was a solid game and I was curious to see the trilogy wrap up. Unfortunately, Shadow of the Tomb Raider just isn’t a great game all around.

Honestly, Shadow of the Tomb Raider looked a bit messy from the first reveal, and knowing that Crystal Dynamics wasn’t leading development only made me more nervous. But even with those lower expectations, I was not a fan of this one.

4. Pokemon Let’s Go

Pokemon Let's Go

Pokemon GO was barely a video game, and the video game elements it did have were bad. The absolute last thing I wanted to see in a “core” Pokemon game was the implementation of Pokemon GO mechanics.

To be fair, these elements were clear from the initial trailers, but Pokemon Let’s Go deserves to be on this list because of just how bad the catching mechanics are, and that I would unequivocally love this game if that one feature wasn’t present. It seriously makes me mad to think about how much I’d love this game otherwise.

3. Destiny 2: Forsaken

Fool me once and all that. At this point I think Destiny has fooled me six or so times, but enough is enough. So in a way, I guess I should be thankful to Forsaken for at least being the last straw.

While I think the idea of the mini bosses was a good one, the overall story of Forsaken is still dumb, and the character work was too little too late. The main world you explore is incredibly dull, and Bungie yet again saved all of the good content for high level players. The problem with that strategy is that I’m so bored by the early content that I NEVER EVEN GET TO THE END GAME CONTENT.

2. Red Dead Redemption 2

If you’ve read this far, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Red Dead Redemption 2 on this list. The game does so many things well from the perspective of its characters, world-building, and writing, but falls so unbelievably flat in the actual parts where it’s a video game. I can’t look past that.

It absolutely boggles my mind that some people think the game is fun to play. Everything moves too slowly, systems and mechanics are poorly explained — if they’re explained at all — the shooting doesn’t feel good, the UI is atricious and inconsistent, and the fact that there are different buttons to pick up your hat or your gun or any other item is ridiculous. This is a game where they had so many resources that people stopped saying no to ideas.

1. Fallout 76

The fact that I hate Red Dead Redemption 2 so much and yet still picked Fallout 76 to win this category should say a lot. It’s actually kind of the opposite argument. Red Dead Redemption 2 does so many things well that it’s frustrating that the bad parts are so bad. With Fallout 76, it’s just frustrating that pretty much everything is so bad.

This game was just clearly broken from the jump. It doesn’t feel like a Fallout game without the interesting NPCs and unique cities and the dozens and dozens of interesting stories. Occasionally coming across a robot or finding a note isn’t nearly the same. And that doesn’t even bring up how completely broken and buggy the game was at launch, or how hosting 12 players on a huge map effectively makes it a single-player game — only without all the stuff you’d want in a single player game. This was just a bad idea with even worse execution.

With the negativity out of the way, check out the final page for my top 10 games of the year!

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