DYEGB’s Bummers of the Year 2017

DYEGB’s Bummers of the Year 2017

Not every game can be winner, and often our expectations of a title can outstrip the reality of what it is destined to deliver. In this section we’re not talking about games that were so bad that you ended up shame eating while crying in the shower, but rather games that were just underwhelming enough to make you sigh and stare out the window for a bit. Here are DYEGB’s choices for games that didn’t make us angry, just disappointed (except Jordan, we’re pretty sure he hates everything).

teganbummer2017

Runners up:

Call of Duty: WWII

I admit, I haven’t played many of the games in the Call of Duty series, but something about the announcement of Call of Duty: WWII had me at the edge of my seat. I was beyond excited to be dropped into Normandy on D-Day and battle across Europe in one of the greatest conflicts the word had ever known. Much to my disappointment though, the whole thing was one massive let down. Normally I’d pin my disappointment in first-person shooters down to the fact that I’m just terrible at them, but this wasn’t the case here. I felt it didn’t live up to Call of Duty: World at War (a comparable game in the series). The atmosphere was nice, but that’s honestly the only positive point I can think to mention. DYEGB rating: 8

Destiny 2

Though I was most definitely late to the Destiny party, I enjoyed what I got to play of the first title, so much so that I decided to pre-order the game’s successor – a decision I now thoroughly regret. While I don’t think there is anything necessarily bad about or wrong with Destiny 2, I just found that I struggled to play for extended periods of time, and got so bored with the game that I stopped playing before the first raid came out. As I was a latecomer to the Destiny party, I don’t know what exactly its successor is missing, but I can say with confidence that Destiny 2 is not for me. DYEGB rating: 7

Bummer of the Year: Dream Daddy

So, as I’m sure you’ve all worked out from my bio here on the site, I am a MASSIVE fan of trashy visual novels and dating sims, so it’s no surprise that I was eagerly awaiting the release of Dream Daddy. For those unfamiliar, Dream Daddy can be described as a ‘dad dating simulator’, and was developed and published by Game Grumps. Though I’m not particularly a fan of Game Grumps, I am always excited for new dating simulators, but upon playing this one, I found that it just did not hit the spot. The game had its moments of charm, but overall it just wan’t that exciting, and I found that I was struggling to play through it more than once (much like I’m struggling to talk about it now). Alas, it looks like I’ll have to wait a little while longer before finding my Dream Daddy. DYEGB rating: 6

edwardbummer2017

Runners up:

DOOM Switch

If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of why I was disappointed with DOOM on the Switch, you should read my in-depth review. I had fairly high hopes for the port of one of my favourite first-person shooters, but sadly a lack of attention to visuals and the user interface left a lot to be desired. It’s by no means a bad game, just one that is better played on a heftier console. DYEGB rating: 6

Destiny 2

For me, the tale of Destiny is a sad one. It’s the kind of game that has so much potential and yet never seems to reach the mark, plagued by shallow promises and hubris. Destiny 2 was supposed to change all that; billed as a clean slate it was meant to be a chance for the developers to show that they’d learned from their mistakes and changed for the better. In their defence, it was a vast improvement on the first game and I still hope it gets better as time goes on, but I can’t help but feel pretty disappointed with a franchise I’ve sunk so many hours in to.  Poor player relations, a focus on microtransactions and a blatant disregard for the established lore leaves me feeling a bit like Obi-wan Kenobi at the end of Revenge of the Sith. DYEGB rating: 7

Bummer of the Year: Mass Effect: Andromeda

The original Mass Effect games, for all their flaws, are fairly high up on my favourites list. The dense, sci-fi RPG shooters let me live out my dream of being a badass space-cowboy who saves the galaxy from certain doom. On paper, Mass Effect: Andromeda sounded great, a brand new adventure with a fresh cast of quirky characters to romance and a focus on exploring the stars to find a new home. Sadly though, save for a few changes to some gameplay mechanics it really did just boil down to another pedestrian action game, where your ‘Pathfinder’ spends more time killing things than actually trying to colonise a world. I can forgive the shonky facial animations and average voice acting, but the shallow characters and glaring plot holes turned this into my biggest disappointment for the year. The damage done to BioWare with this false start was pretty significant, but I hold out hope that they can eventually recover. Please let Anthem be good. DYEGB rating: 7

kieranbummer2017

Runners up:

Prey

It’s kind of a miracle that Prey actually got to see the light of day given its tumultuous development, but see the light of day it did. Much to its credit it didn’t suck either, but it also didn’t totally not suck, did it? The biggest issues were the awkwardly uneven combat and some truly epic loading screens that made it a chore to explore what was in essence a pretty cool derelict space ship setting. DYEGB score: 7.5

Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider

There are very few games that can so perfectly nail the feeling of ultimate freedom in a stealth game. More often than not I feel most stealth games tend to punish the bloodthirsty killer in favour of the meek and mild sleeper holders. Refreshingly, Dishonoured doesn’t care what you do in the shadows, as long as you have fun doing it. As a standalone experience I felt that Death of the Outsider restricted some of freedom as Billie Lurk’s arsenal was considerable leaner than Corvo or Emily’s in the previous titles. There was also a distinct lack of upgrades which made the whole thing a bit one note. Perhaps it’s a bit of franchise fatigue creeping in through the window and stealing my whale bone charms, but I think Arkane Studios might be wise to leave this one to skulk in the shadows for a while. DYEGB score: 7

Bummer of the Year: Mass Effect: Andromeda

Few people know this about me, but I was once both the scourge and saviour of multiple galaxies… I was also a woman. The original Mass Effect series was a beautiful space opera that allowed to me carve out what felt like my own personal story in a vast world. Andromeda failed to recapture that magic; the world didn’t feel as deep, alive or tangible as those that BioWare had crafted previously, and the game was rightly considered by many to be a bit of a stumble out of the gates rather than a bold new step. The laundry list of technical issues certainly did the game no favours either. “We’ll bang, ok?” No Shepard, there will be no more banging. Not until my beloved Mass Effect has been returned to its former glory. DYEGB rating: 7

jordanbummer2017

2017 was full of disappointments this year. We saw a rise in the amount of crap that the AAA gaming industry felt entitled to throw at us, and as a result some games took a hit. It’s a shame, really. I don’t like to call games disappointing or underwhelming, but when even my low expectations aren’t good enough, you know something is wrong.

Runners up:

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 (and by extension, Curse of Osiris) was a game that should not have been as underwhelming as it is. While I gave it a score of 7/10 and stand by that score (fundamentally as a game it is very solid), you could very easily see that Bungie’s target was not the dedicated fanbase that it had built up over the years with its continual improvement on the original Destiny. Instead, the game was very clearly designed around those who would play casually. Things like shaders, sparrows, emotes and ships became a microtransactional feature, which is always annoying. The end game became incredibly shallow due to how easy the power climb was and its subsequent expansion is by far one of the worst pieces of DLC that I have ever played. Not even the higher framerates and keyboard and mouse controls on PC were enough to stop me from dropping this game. Bungie, get a grip. DYEGB rating: 7

Mass Effect: Andromeda

This was a title that disappointed me on just about every level. The story was uninteresting, there was frame skipping and hitching, the gameplay was awful. The only good thing I can say about the game was that the combat was fun, that’s it. Even stupid things like having to watch the same animations every time you travelled to a different planet just made the game tiresome. I wasn’t even overly interested in the title, I decided to give it a go because my friends raved on about the previous Mass Effect titles (I’d only played the first one that the Mako section made me quit because of how bad it was) and it still disappointed me. DYEGB rating: 7

Bummer of the Year: Middle Earth: Shadow of War

This game really kicked off my exhaustion with the industry this year. It was not without its controversy, either. Leading up to the release, the game, its developer and its publisher were under fire for including lootboxes in a singleplayer game. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even make it far enough for the lootboxes to actually mean anything. I played about 8 hours and it felt exactly like Shadow of Mordor. An uninteresting story, Ubisoft-like open-world design and a diluted Nemesis system were the key ingredients to getting me to stop playing the game. Also, why Monolith decided a giant female spider needed to be depicted as a sexy woman is beyond me. Just leave her as a terrifying spider, seriously. DYEGB rating: 8

dylanbummer2017

Runners up:

Sonic Forces

After Sonic Mania came out and made Sonic somewhat relevant again, Sonic Forces returned to the meme-worthy version of the hedgehog, destroying the momentum that Sonic Mania had built. Sonic Forces wasn’t expected to be a great game, it wasn’t even expected to be a good game, but what it is was a short, uninspired, lazy Sonic game that arguably is the reason that they have such a bad reputation. The premise of having Classic and Modern Sonic worked in Generations, but somehow it was botched in Forces. Modern Sonic stages are narrow and require almost no deviation and player control, whereas Classic Sonic’s physics that played well in Generations were scrapped and replaced with a floaty and uncomfortable Classic Sonic that was infuriating to control. The player character levels provide players the opportunity to use their own character, but the mechanics are underdeveloped and the game further suffers. Sonic Forces is simply a bad game, and it’s disappointing that Sonic yet again fails to find his footing in 3D. DYEGB rating: N/A

Star Wars: Battlefront II

This is an easy game to bully this year, but there is a myriad of reasons to be disappointed in Battlefront II. Primarily, an egregious microtransaction system that despite being derailed (for now) by consumer backlash left a bad taste in gamers’ mouths. This was enough of a debacle to land Battlefront II on most disappointing games lists, but the game itself was another thing that left me downcast on Battlefront II. The game’s campaign felt rushed and was too short and predictable, while the multiplayer was fun enough, but the progression system and annoyance of the game’s Star Card system led to an imbalance that is still present despite microtransactions being pulled. I really did have high hopes for Battlefront II, but I have been left soured and out in the cold. DYEGB rating: 4

Bummer of the Year: Valkyria Revolution

I love the Valkyria Chronicles games, so obviously when the series spinoff Valkyria Revolution was announced I was excited to explore another game set in the Valkyria universe. Sadly, the action role-playing approach of the spin off falls flat, removing a lot of the strategy that made the core series games so enjoyable. The game looks surprisingly bad for a Valkyria title, with lengthy load times sure to frustrate even the most patient of gamers. The story is decent, but everything around it is underdeveloped and it blatantly shows. Much to my chagrin, Valkyria Revolution can’t hold a candle to Valkyria Chronicles in any way, making it one of the most disappointing games of 2017. DYEGB rating: N/A

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Runners up:

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back

An attempted revival of a much beloved franchise by me failed at hitting the mark. Its congested level design, unrewarding and pointless challenges and inconsistent boss battles made this game little more than just something to quickly pass the time. It was most frustrating and not in a Crash Bandicoot ‘damn this is challenging’ kind of way, but in a ‘why is this game designed like this?’ kind of way. One could easily pass this game in about three hours with its 14 levels and with no added pressure of having to complete any of the challenges, it made the level design pointless. DYEGB rating: TBA

For Honor

This game had a lot of promise with its Knight/Viking/Samurai heroes and can be a lot of fun multiplayer-wise, but its single-player campaign is truly awful with an uninspired story and terrible voice acting. The combat system is intuitive and requires a bit of thinking and focus on who you’re battling and where you’re attacking or blocking, but ultimately it became repetitive and ultimately requires quite a bit of grinding for progression. I am not big on multiplayer games unless they are incredibly fun and captivating so this one just wasn’t for me. DYEGB rating: 7.5

Bummer of the Year: Prey

Prey started off as a promising survival horror set in space with plenty of tension and mystery. Sadly it turned out to be too much of task for me as I barely made it through a quarter of the game without quitting and trading it in towards something else due to its uneven combat difficulty and imprecise aiming. I’m not a huge fan of games that require me to find and read memos all over the place to make sense of what is going on. Don’t get me wrong I love finding clues and solving puzzles, but I grew tired of going between stations trying to make sense of what was going on. I’m an impatient person, if a game doesn’t grab me early, I’m done. DYEGB rating: 7.5