2018 was an amazing year for video games. In a year that saw the release of God of War, Red Dead Redemption II, Spider-Man, and more. We truly saw multiple contenders for game of the year. Yet even with the mightiest of highs, there will be lows. The following are games that built up our hype only to let us down as bad as we let our parents down every day. These are not necessarily the worst games to come out this year. These are the most disappointing games of 2018.
1. Fallout 76
Let’s get this elephant out of the room first. First shown off at E3 this year, Fallout 76 was our first experience with playing a multiplayer game set in Bethesda‘s post-apocalyptic wasteland. Sounds like a pretty great idea, right? Tons of people love the franchise, and there is no cooperative mode in the older games, so making a multiplayer-only Fallout should be an easy success story. Well unfortunately for everyone involved, that’s not what happened.
Bethesda games are known to be buggy, and people give them a pass most of the time because they enjoy the games. That “Bethesda charm” ran out with Fallout 76 though. Bugs, the cheap collectible bags, and users’ information getting out to the public are just some of the reasons the game has a very negative light around it.
I personally only played the Xbox One B.E.T.A. (which you can read my thoughts about HERE), and I thought it was like Fallout 4. It felt empty even being a multiplayer game, but I thought it was a decent experience in my time with it. The good news is that there are glimmers of hope. There is an audience that enjoys the game, and like most games nowadays, Fallout 76 can be improved over time. However, with the constant negativity that keeps piling up on the game, it is easily the most underperforming and biggest disappointment of the year.
2. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is Rare‘s first meaningful contribution to the video game industry in quite a while. This makes it even more disappointing how much of a dud the game is. The cartoony graphics fit the mood the development team was going for, and the sea has some of the most gorgeous looking water. Aside from that though, there is not much that makes this game worthy of your time. The different factions all end up with the same conclusion. You are tasked with finding your objective (chest, skeleton, or animal) and bringing it back for gold. That’s all. Yay. Rare wants you to make your fun with friends in a sandbox world, but there is not enough there after a couple of hours of getting drunk and playing the same three songs on the instruments in the game.
Right before its release in late March, there was a lot of praise for the game’s beta. It was one of the most streamed games on Twitch and seemed to be building up good feelings. Once it came out, we saw that Sea of Thieves was an empty game and it disappeared off most of our radars.
3. Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 is frustrating because it does not need to be the greatest game ever to succeed. It just needs to give insane action scenes with explosions and rockets. Unfortunately, with a world that our Anthony Dennis calls “bland and empty” (read his review HERE), it is overall a step backward for the franchise.
Marketing for the game leaned in on the tornadoes that, if you fly into, will gently push you away. The overall chaos of the game feels tame when compared to how Just Cause 3 expanded on 2’s gameplay. Bring in graphical and technical issues, and it is the worst Just Cause game.
4. We Happy Few
Does it count if this game originally disappointed us when it hit early access a couple of years ago? The game we all wish was Bioshock released this year and surprise, surprise: it’s still not Bioshock. That’s not the only reason this is a disappointing game. It hit full release with a ton of bugs. The issues that you would think would be ironed out during the early access are very much present in the 1.0 release.
The general gameplay is nothing special for this run-of-the-mill survival game that, when running at its peak, might be a decent game but so far is completely forgettable. The most interesting part of the game is the overall story and characters, but once you get into the randomized world, you find out just how basic it is.
5. Battlefield V
During a time where battle royale games are the biggest story in video games, EA surely has faltered in Battlefield V not having its Firestorm mode at release. You have to figure this topic is a black eye for Battlefield when Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has their battle royale mode being taunted as one of the best battle royales.
One big argument with the game has been the “time to kill” metric. How long it takes someone to kill another player has already been changed multiple times. The game looks to have sold less than half the physical copies that Battlefield 1 did. The biggest criticism I have seen on the game is it purely cannot decide if it wants to be serious or fun for players. It also seems to want to be historically accurate in some areas, but not in others. Overall, not a bad game, but seems to be a step backward for the very popular franchise.
6. Kirby Star Allies
Kirby has always been a relatively easy game series. Unfortunately, Star Allies takes this to a new level. The game is a cakewalk — something along the lines of baby’s first Kirby game. The game emphasizes cooperative play but is only available locally. If you have far away friends, then it’s essentially a solo only game. The inclusion of playing with four characters on the screen does not add to the fun as New Super Marios Bros. did. It just makes things too simple. Boss fights are a breeze. The inclusion of characters from past games as possible allies is an awesome addition, but overall, this is the most forgettable recent Kirby game.
Those are my personal picks for the most disappointing games this year. Which games did you look forward to, only to be let down? Let me know in the comments!