Gaming's biggest disappointments 2018 TGN

2018 sure was a long decade. Let us forego the boring introduction and just get into gaming's biggest disappointments of 2018. The games seen here are only games that I played, with the exception of one of them. I am sure there are other terrible games, but I probably did not play them.

The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man is just straight up trash with no redeeming qualities. This game has quickly taken the title of "the worst game I have ever played in my life." The action was pathetic. The controls were garbage. The character animation was abysmal. The live-action cutscenes were laughably bad. The fact that they did not add dialogue audio until a week or two after the game's release was just a stupid idea. It should have been included at the start and their "gimmick" of a deaf character would have still worked.

Why? Because even though you as the player had no idea what was being said, it was clear that the character you play as could understand it all. They even omitted captions for a bulk of the story segments, including those where sign language was used. If your character knows what is being said, so should the player.

Nearly all of the enemies in the game, save for the final boss fight, are straight out of the "Hispanic Gangster Stereotype" handbook. This is quite problematic when you're playing as some white dude just beating the crap out of them time and time again in the most random and generic looking of places. I'm not even going to dive into the whole can of worms that is the fact the woman who plays your love interest in the game also plays your mom in flashback sequences. Freud would have a freaking field day with this one.

To cap it all off, the final boss fight glitched out on me, preventing me from actually finishing the game. Maybe it was a mercy soft lock on the game's part because the fight just kept going and going before the boss fell through the floor never to return. The lack of a checkpoint system meant that I would have had to have replayed the entirety of the last chapter, which is just something I could not even force myself to do.

If you would like to see me suffer through this terrible game, I did upload all two parts of my play through to YouTube. You can find those below.

This game failed to deliver on any of the hype generated in the months leading up to release. Agony is some weird over-sexualized, misogynistic, and overly long "survival-horror" title that takes place in a decent looking but ultimately generic version of hell. The game went on for about six hours too many. Good luck to anybody out there who opted to also collect all of the few hundred collectibles scattered throughout the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2
It is well into January 2019 and I am still in Chapter 3 of Red Dead Redemption 2. The term "deliberately slow" applies to nearly every action in the game, from travelling to looting and oh my God; the game just feels like a chore to play as a result. There is almost no sense of player agency to be found in any of the story missions. Hell, even outside of the story, most of what you can do in the game just does not seem to matter. Most of the camp upgrades are for visual changes and that is about it. The ability to clean weapons is kind of a neat idea, until you realize that a clean gun will mean you take out an enemy in one less shot. Wow.

Story missions are constructed in a way that removes any sense of player choice. If you want any sort of freedom in your mission structure, you best look elsewhere because Rockstar makes damn sure you complete the mission as they want you to and not in any other way. Stray too far from where they want you to be and you failed a mission. Try to spend some time looking around for loot and the other NPCs make sure to nag you on to get a move on. Chase sequences will play out the same no matter how many times you replay a mission. If there is a convenient train that shows up right at a pivotal point in a chase sequence, that train will show up at the same point every other time.

Part of the fun in open-world games is the fact that anything can happen at any time during a mission. Rockstar makes sure that things happen only when they want them to. We saw this start to really take hold in Grand Theft Auto V, but that was a game from six years ago. The open-world genre and gaming as a whole have evolved since then. I am over their mission structure at this point. For as beautiful as their game worlds are, it just isn't enough to make up for the massive gameplay shortcomings. Even Red Dead Online feels like a massive letdown after how much I enjoyed the first game's online component. I am not even about to dive into the mess that is the whole gold bar fiasco for online item purchases either.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
I enjoyed the previous two reboot games in the Tomb Raider franchise. I liked them more than I liked the original Tomb Raider games from the original PlayStation days. They were fun and had what I felt to be a good balance between action and puzzle solving. Lara sure had some character quirks that some people didn't particularly like, but I didn't mind them too much.

Then comes Shadow of the Tomb Raider that pushes Lara even further into the realm of "insufferable asshole." She endangers the lives of her friends and those around her constantly as she tries to prove herself and her own personal bullshit. Lara literally sets into motion the end of the world because she felt the need to steal an artifact before a rival group could and then she has the nerve to be pissed off. What?!

The game also leans too far into the puzzle solving side of things, I assume because some people complained that the previous two games had too much combat? The problem here is that they leaned too far into the puzzle side, leaving the action sequences to be too infrequent, too short, and kind of boring.

Then there are the countless issues I had where Lara's character movement just did whatever the hell it wanted to. I had no shortage of issues when climbing and jumping during my play through of the game. I'm talking about jumps where Lara flat out refused to grab onto easily reachable ledges, Lara not climbing on walls properly, and so on. To say she felt "clumsy" would be putting it lightly. It's even more weird when I remember quite liking how Lara controlled and navigated throughout the environment in the previous two games. I have no idea how they regressed so badly on that front. The only real joy I found in this game came at the conclusion of the terrible story, because I knew I wouldn't have to play any more of it.

Marvel's Spider-Man
This game was tedious and visually glitchy almost from the start. I am not talking about the Mary Jane stealth missions either. I actually rather enjoyed those as a diversion from the rest of the action filled gameplay. I'm talking more about how most of the side-quests, namely the enemy hideouts were all pretty much the same thing only with one of a few different enemy types to separate them. It was filler content of the laziest order.

Any idea I had of 100%'ing the game went out the window when dozens of enemy hideouts for different factions popped up all over the map. Each one just has you going in, fighting a bunch of cookie-cutter baddies for a few waves, and that's kind of it. Then there are the side-missions where you chase after bad guys who are speeding around the city in a car. There were more than a couple of instances where their getaway route consisted of them just going around one city block in a non-stop loop. All of this side content was just tedious at best. I later went on to play another one of Insomniac's releases, Sunset Overdrive, and had a much more enjoyable time compared to the time spent in Spider-Man.

Fallout 76
This is the only game here that I didn't play, nor will I probably ever play it. If the countless news articles detailing this game's woes weren't enough, it's the fact that Bethesda seems to have stripped even more out of the Fallout formula for this game. Fallout 4 was already a major disappointment in this regard and ensured that I would take a long, hard look at future entries in the franchise before I ever touch a new entry again.

After the first few action-packed "races" wear off, you are left wanting a game that could have been so much more. There is no actual racing in Onrush. Instead, the focus of the game is on taking out opponents using your own vehicle or a few different power-ups. Otherwise, you are trying to score points for your team in a few different modes, none of which tasks you with actually winning a race to first.

Given that this game was developed by many of those that created the MotorStorm titles, I expected more from Onrush and it simply failed to deliver.

We Happy Few

We Happy Few
A largely boring slog of a game set in an environment that is far too interesting to be wasted on a game like this. You can get even more insight on this one by checking out my review for We Happy Few.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
I really liked Battle for Azeroth when it was first released. I went through the new storyline content in each of the new zones. I was having fun doing quests and adventuring, but then the honeymoon phase wore off in a right hurry. Once you hit the new level cap, you really begin to see that their new Azerite progression system just flat out sucks. You never really felt as though you were becoming more powerful as you leveled due to this system and partly due to the rather broken level scaling Blizzard implemented to put all players on an "even" playing field in PvP situations.

I haven't been back to the game in months, so maybe it's changed for the better since then. However, looking through the WoW sub-Reddit, I'm inclined to believe that's not really the case.

Call of Cthulhu
I already said what needed to be said about this disappointing title in my Call of Cthulhu review from late October. Aside from the interesting setting and the general appeal of the Cthulhu mythos, there just wasn't much positive to say about this game.

Destiny 2's Black Armory DLC
Destiny 2: Forsaken was the best that Destiny has ever been. It more than made up for the content shortcomings in the base game and surpassed even the best that the first Destiny had to offer. This was Destiny done right.

Then the Black Armory comes out and yeah, it's not really all that great. The new weapons are nice to have, but everything else feels like I'm back in Year 1 all over again. Talk about taking a dozen steps back after the high that was Forsaken's story and content. I understand that the Black Armory DLC is not a full expansion like Forsaken, but you just cannot help but feel supremely let down when the story delivered in the Black Armory content is weaker than even the already weak Curse of Osiris DLC from Destiny 2's first year of content.