Before we can look back on 2016 in fondness of the great games we experienced throughout, we have to first acknowledge that there were a few rotten eggs during the year that we have to get off our chests.
No Man’s Sky
Let’s just get it out of the way early shall we? No Man’s Sky, the highly-anticipated title from Hello Games, launched in August presenting a neat space exploration game.
What it lacked however, was a plethora of promised content detailed in trailers, developer interviews and more. This sparked outrage from fans, many of which were refunded for the game and rated it in an overwhelmingly negative manner on Steam. This seemingly constant backlash wasn’t helped by the developer’s radio silence on the criticisms following the game’s launch, although a major update has now been introduced which could tempt fans to return to the game.
Performance Issues on Big PC Releases
Bug-tastic PC launches aren’t anything new (remember Batman: Arkham Knight last year?) but 2016 had its fair share of games releasing on the platform that encountered performance issues.
Massive releases such as Hitman, Mafia 3 and Dishonored 2 all suffered from some form of optimization or performance issue post-launch, with the likes of No Man’s Sky and XCOM 2 also falling under that category. So much so you are left scrambling forums to see if anyone else is experiencing the same issues. Or you are left pondering whether to invest more of your hard-earned pennies into upgrading your rig, or alternatively launching the damn thing into your garden.
It wasn’t all bad for PC games however, with big releases such as Battlefield 1 and Doom having smooth launches. Still, its worth considering holding off on releases to get them primed and ready before unleashing them onto the public.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came under mass scrutiny ever since the announcement trailer became of the most downvoted videos in YouTube history. The premise of the game did not sit well with a large number of fans, so negative feedback upon release was imminent.
Sure, the Metacritic score was dragged down by reviews that began with “I haven’t even played this game, but I hate it because…” and many players had no time to entertain the whole space theme surrounding the game. But looking at the statistics alone, even the inclusion of a remastered version of the massively popular Modern Warfare couldn’t save Infinite Warfare sales from being down by half of the sales of the previous year’s Black Ops 3.
It will be interesting to see where the franchise goes to next, perhaps it could take a year off from the whole futuristic, exo-suits thing?
Poor Sequel Sales
This is a category that Infinite Warfare could arguably fall under, but they were by no means the only new title in a franchise that suffered from poor sales compared to their respective previous games.
Sequels such as Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2 and Titanfall 2 were all down on sales compared to their previous releases. Dishonored 2 sales came in at almost 40% down compared to the first Dishonored game, whilst Watch Dogs 2 was nearly double that, not to mention the multiplayer issues it suffered from.
That’s not to say that they weren’t great games, and that they didn’t improve on previous games. In fact, Titanfall 2 is prime example of that, as a product that offered itself to more platforms, introduced a single-player campaign and boasted a generally fun multiplayer mode. Poor physical sales were initially reported for Titanfall 2, which left the hope that digital sales would prove otherwise. Sadly, stats showed that digital sales for the game were down by three-quarters of the first Titanfall game. A lot of fans and critics blame EA for the poor sales, since the game itself is a promising upgrade from the first. Why they would release a shooter sandwiched between the likes of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 is beyond me personally.
The End of Disney Infinity
A Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars hybrid version of Skylanders was such an exciting prospect to many of us. Yet back in May this year, Disney announced via their interactive website that the project had been cancelled.
Considering its success when it started out in 2013, the pulling of the plug came as a surprise to some. It has since been suggested that the tiny toys that accompanied the game were proving financially straining to Disney, who took a $147 million hit in the quarter that preceded their decision to discontinue the line. Understandable, but disappointing nonetheless, since there were plans to release Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars add-ons.
Did we leave anything out? What was your biggest disappointment in gaming this year? Let us know!