The most disappointing games of 2015

Title The most disappointing games of 2015
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Features
When December 17, 2015

Calling a game disappointing arguably has more to do with me than the game itself. Disappointment isn't an inherent quality. It can't exist without some sort of expectation in the first place..

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I feel like almost everything you said about Just Cause 3 applies as much or more so to Just Cause 2. Except of course, 2 did have Bolo Santosi. It's really weird to me seeing game critics reacting so tepidly to this installment (John Walker on RPS aside) when so many were so rapturous over JC2 and as far as I can tell 3 is an improvement in some pretty basic respects. For example, both games are primarily about blowing shit up, but 2 severely limited your access to explosives and put most of the actually effective ones behind a two-fold gate of ridiculous sums of cash and terribly long loading and cutscenes (the latter could be modded out on PC but the loading remained). 3 gives you a rocket launcher right off the bat and has convenient stations containing ammo for it, plus of course infinite C4. And the ability to tether-slam explosive barrels into things. It also seems from the limited amount I've played like they toned down the ridiculously excessive enemy heat system from the first game which got obnoxiously clown-car-ish almost immediately and made havoc-wreaking decidedly unfun. Maybe that gets worse later, though.

I can well believe it ends up being repetitive, empty, and light on narrative content, but JC2 was that -and- actively worked against the core pleasures of the gameplay.

As an Xbox One user Your bitter pill comment about Tomb Raider can go right along with mine regarding Street Fighter V.

You're overlooking context. In 2010, Just Cause 2 was a fantastic game and an even better engine. But this was before Saints Row IV, GTA5, MGS5, or Skyrim, all landmark achievements in open-world games. But if your point is that games from five years ago don't always hold up, I agree.

I'm disappointed you weren't disappointed in Fallout 4.


Correction: After the jump, the ten most disappointing games of [2015].

Maybe his expectations weren't that high to begin with.

Ha ha ha, that's a great one Tom. The most disappointing game of the year wins that spot solely for the platform it's released on. You kill me, dude.

I'm really enjoying Xenoblade Chronicles X after coming off of a several hundred hour Witcher 3 high. Yes it's grind heavy and I wish there were a story comparable to the previous installment, but I'm still having a blast. If it weren't for the hype, I'd put it alongside Kingdoms of Amalur as a fun entry in the single player MMO genre.

I always think screenshots of those Xenoblade games look amazing, but I fear that just like every JRPG I have attempted over the last 10 years, there is probably some super boring early game slog that would kill my interest before I ever got going.

I don't agree that I am. I had that reaction to Just Cause 2 back in 2010. The engine was spectacular, for sure, but it was a game with little actual content or direction, almost no personality, and plenty of repetition. There's a certain amount of fun to be had with the explosions and grappling hook and parachute, but the game does its best to get in the way. And, sure, all of the games you just listed are phenomenal and raise the genre to new heights, but even back in 2010 there were plenty of games that knew how to do an open world better than JC2. Games like Red Dead Redemption, Crackdown, Fallout New Vegas, Saints Row 2, Mercenaries (not Mercs 2, which had similar issues with over-aggressive enemy alerts), Red Faction: Guerrilla, etc. Also Xenoblade Chronicles was 2010, although I'm not sure how closely it fits into the open world genre.

As Kevin S. implied, Fallout 4 was about exactly as good as I expected it to be. :)

That's cool that you don't like Just Cause 2 and I'm sure that would have been a fascinating conversation in 2010. But this is a list for 2015. :)

I guess my point is that for me, Just Cause 3 is pleasantly surprising because I was expecting it to be Just Cause 2 with newer tech, and instead it's an improvement in ways that nobody seems to be giving it credit for, and its problems are mostly nothing new for the series. But I guess I can see being disappointed if you hoped that Avalanche had learned anything from the rest of the genre since then.

So the Tomb Raider mention is solely due to the Xbox exclusivity? I've been looking forward to this coming to the PC next year, should I be crestfallen or merely aggravated that I have to wait?

Ugh, I had the misfortune of being disappointed by all 3 of those RTS games.

Grey Goo was perhaps the single blandest RTS I've ever played, despite being technically competent. What you get when you take Universe at War and remove the only memorable thing about it: the massive tripods.

Etherium was the best of the bunch, but amounted to nothing but a shoulder shrug at the end. "I guess..."

Act of Aggression. I was such a massive Generals fan. Act of aggression might be good if they fixed the scaling (can you tell a vehicle apart? Infantry are identical dots until you zoom close enough for them to fill the screen), consolidated the number of units down to one-third the amount (do you really need 5 kinds of APC?), ditched that 3 resource nonsense, ditched the need for resource storage capacity, and cleaned up that total mess of a tech tree. Do I research that tank upgrade at the stealth lab, research center, or armory? Oh there it is at the vehicle factory, the building that looks exactly like the light vehicle factory, the logistics center, the administration center, the hospital, and the helipad. It also didn't help that the maps were too big and the games too long with harassing totally discouraged (thanks, POW system!) and super weapons foiled by static defenses (so much for the traditional turtle-cracking role).

The zero personality didn't help much either :(

Even people who enjoyed it says it takes 30(!!!) hours to get going. I played for 2 and was bored out of my mind. No way was I going to flush 28 more on the promise that it gets good when I have a massive Steam backlog of immediately good games to get through.

Is it still a fairly rare limited release? I should really get around to selling that sucker. Checking the bids on ebay would be more exciting than anything I experienced in the game. =)

You still used Fallout 4 screenshot in the preview. You're evil.

It's a fantastic game. One of the best of the year. Get excited.

There is no objective measurement on this stuff. Just Cause 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. It just worked for me. I loved moving through the world collecting stuff and had the HEAT system figured out exactly and the rhythm of it worked brilliantly. At the same time, I just couldn't stand Red Faction because of the enemy spawns. And good lord did I try.

Anyway, my point is, if you love Just Cause 2, JC3 may seem like an awkward half-step up on the ladder and that's just enticing enough. But if JC2 didn't appeal to you for whatever reason, JC3 may smooth out enough rough edges to get you on board.