A hellish year all began with one horrendous game release.
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On January 28, 2020, Blizzard released Warcraft III: Reforged to some potentially eager fans. The promise of a visually remastered version of the classic real-time strategy should have been a slam dunk release. Fans would have the game they've loved for years only with a fresh coat of paint and a modern UI and gaming experience built for modern systems.

What fans actually received is a downgraded version of their favorite RTS that failed to deliver on nearly every promise made prior to the game's release.

We highlighted a lot of these issues back on January 29, 2020 when fans became very vocal about Reforged's release. These "downgrades" impacted everything from the pre-rendered cinematics, which were nowhere near the typical Blizzard quality, to the gameplay itself. Not only was it not as visually impressive as the pre-release footage promised, but Reforged also removed features that were standard in the original's release.

For example, clans were removed. You were unable to play or even make custom campaigns. Profiles, automated tournaments, and social channels were just not present. Even some balancing changes that were made in Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos were gone, instead opting to use The Frozen Throne for balancing across all campaign content.

The worst part about all of these changes is that Blizzard changed their acceptable use policy. The change effectively made it so that any mods that made use of third-party content was banned. Furthermore, all custom games that would eventually be made in Reforged are now the property of Blizzard. The policy update also says that any custom game made in Warcraft III: Reforged could not be replicated anywhere else. The content now belonged to Blizzard and that was that.

These changes were obviously made to avoid another DOTA situation, but it still obviously did not sit will with fans and mod creators of the original Warcraft III.

All of this might not even be that big of an issue if fans still had access to the non-Reforged release. However, once Reforged was released, Blizzard made it so that there was no way to access the old game. It fully replaced Warcraft III across the board.

Blizzard seemingly went radio silent after Reforged's release. The game has received a few updates, the latest coming on December 14, 2020 (version 1.32.9) but nothing sufficiently substantial happened for months. Fans are still voicing their displeasure in the game even to this day in the game's official forums.

Warcraft III: Reforged is a game that launched in a poor state, removed a fully functioning game from users, and still hasn't gotten the replacement game to its former glory even a year later.


Runner-up: Cyberpunk 2077
Surprised to see that I did not choose Cyberpunk 2077 as the worst game of 2020? So am I, if I'm being completely honest. Unlike Warcraft III: Reforged, Cyberpunk 2077 holds the distinct honor of being the first game to have a disclaimer put up for reviews, pulled from sale on the PlayStation Network, and had companies changing their return policies across the board. It was also a game that included a fair amount of transphobic actions and imagery in both its social media presence and within the game itself. I don't feel qualified to talk about those issues, but I will defer to this thread on ResetEra that talks about these issues at length.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game where police spawn out of thin air and they have no way of actually pursuing you. It is a game where NPC AI is near non-existent and act like a synchronized swim team when faced with danger. Duck and cover, that's all you can do. It is a game where you can make cars and pedestrians vanish or respawn entirely new entities just by turning your camera 360 degrees. It's a game where, outside of the main story, animations and animation blending are janky at best.

Maybe I can nit-pick here and talk about seeing what feels like the same three advertisements all over the city? Or the weird sleeping position for V in their apartment? Maybe I can talk about the lack of standard radio information such as the song name or artist. Should I bring up how the life path choices don't make a lick of difference past the first hour or two, the prologue, of the game? How's about the lack of GPS? Or, at the very least, how's about the fact that CD Projekt Red didn't even think about pulling the mini-map out when cruising around at high speed, all but ensuring that you overshoot your turn every single time. Does Night City not believe in fire departments or paramedics?

It is a vapid husk of a world full of promise that ultimately delivers on none. It's a fantastic game if you love your game worlds filled with dildos though. What's the point of an open world when the AI is as dumb as it is in Cyberpunk? What are the points of gangs that were severely hyped up prior to the game's launch? Why can't cars just go around obstacles in the road? Why does the game run so poorly and crash as often as it does on consoles? Why is everything in this open world game just so damn mediocre at best? What are the points of branching dialogue options when the outcomes are almost always the exact same?

At least shooting things felt fine in Cyberpunk. Plus, Cyberpunk doesn't replace an old game on your computer like Reforged did. I also had the benefit of playing through Cyberpunk on a PC, which at least ensured that I had a fairly "smooth" experience compared to the console releases. So, those are positives working in its favor, I guess?

A lot of these issues aren't exactly "fixable" with a patch. They aren't bugs, they are features that were half-baked and then shipped in a final product. There would need to be some major overhauls to many of the game's core systems and I honestly do not see that happening. Perhaps there will be some major changes when the expansions come along, but who can say for sure.

I spent my time playing through the game. I witnessed an ending that I felt satisfied with in the grand scheme of things. As it stands right now, I have no desire right now to ever return.