Just 10 days left in the year and we’re putting the final touches on the Gamespresso best games of 2015. But before then, let’s go the other way and look at some of the worst to come out of the gaming community these past 355 days! The events and games included in the list had good intentions, but spiraled into a shambling mass of broken dreams.
P.T. was cancelled
Arguably one of the most anticipated games to be in development was canned due to internal conflict within Konami. P.T. was the ‘playable teaser’ game that when completed revealed a trailer for Silent Hill. The project had the collaboration of many prolific individuals including Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, Normal Reedus and Junji Ito. Naturally, the promise of a sensational new entry into the survival horror genre with creative people like these heralded the return of a gripping and terrifying survival horror experience.
Sadly, due to the shaky relationship between Konami and Kojima productions, the game was cut down in its prime and completely removed from the PlayStation store. The extra sting came about when Konami had announced their move onto gambling and mobile markets, instead of supporting console gaming. This particularly incited much more hatred for the company when a brand new Silent Hill was coming… for pachinko machines. The bridges burnt by Konami has definitely placed them in the spotlight for being a very disappointing company.
Batman: Arkham Knight PC port release was a buggy failure
The anticipated final entry in the Arkham series was met with reasonably favorable success on consoles, it was a shame that this reception wasn’t shared with the PC port. Releasing on June 23rd, the game was hit with thousands of negative reviews over the many bugs that filled the PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight. Bugs that included frame drops due to rain, audio and visual stuttering, constant crashes and huge memory leaks. The game was effectively unplayable and people were mad. Warner Bros. saw this and took the game off of Steam in order to rework the port.
Fortunately, the company has taken the proper measures to control the damage. This includes offering refunds, giving constant updates and patch notes and giving all previous Arkham games to people who choose to keep Arkham Knight in their Steam library. As of now, Batman: Arkham Knight is on the road to recovery thanks to the latest patch and just about playable on PC. However, for the port to have gone this terribly wrong would suggest precautions weren’t made and huge errors like this fell through. If anything, this acts as a reminder for many companies to tighten their screws when it comes to what they release. That however won’t save all game releases, as there are dozens that still released with the need for day one patches this year alone.
Rampant multiplayer-only/limited releases including Rainbow Six and Star Wars Battlefront
Right off the bat I’m certain there are different schools of thoughts on this, and that is fine. You have people who are primarily focused on single player experiences or multiplayer experiences. I mean, if you have single player only games, surely there should be games that are multiplayer only. This is where the discussion is had. Being able to understand what to expect from the game is important, especially with context. So although Star Wars Battlefront came out and received generally favorable reviews, it was held back from having any sort of story immersion and which segregated fans of the franchise. This in itself would be fine if the the multiplayer component of the game is completely fleshed out with content. Sadly, when it came to fans of the Battlefront series, there was quite a bit of backlash when it came to the various features being cut. This included space battles and a severe lack of playable character diversity for both hero and races.
Then we look at Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege which also received generally positive reception, the problem here lies in the lack of content. With only 11 maps to play on and no single player experiences to immerse in the game, you’ll quickly grow fatigue from the lack of variety. That is until you buy DLC. It’s hard to blame developers for wanting to make money, it’s just a shame that the desire for money outweighs the desire to make a genuinely great game in its entirety. Things like cashing in on popular franchises, DLC packs and trading shortcuts for premium money is what’s made multiplayer-only games sting that little bit. Dishonorable mentions would also go to Evolve, which released earlier this year and announced their plans for DLC shortly after release. With revenue being the motivational factor, it becomes clear to the player that the developers see them as nothing but the faceless consumer.
Sony declares the devolution of the Vita into a ‘legacy system’
It’s not a great time for a gaming device to already be hurting for software, only to get pummeled down even further. And that’s exactly what’s happened to the PlayStation Vita, Sony executives have chosen to lump the Vita and the PlayStation TV as a ‘legacy system’. This implies that Sony would be letting the Vita fall into disarray and lack first-party support, something that the Vita desperately craves. Going on to even accept that first-party support has ‘been scarce’ to begin with, it goes to show that the only way the Vita still lives is through support from third-party developers.
Losing its ‘vita’ came about due to the success that PlayStation 4 has had. Argue all you want, the PlayStation 4 is out in the lead this generation of consoles based on sales. This commercial success prompted Sony’s desire to focus their assets and attention on continuing this successful growth, to the point where games that could potentially be on the Vita were revoked and kept securely on the PlayStation 4. Without the Vita, the handheld market is stuck to Nintendo’s 3DS and the ever-growing mobile market; something that terrifies me as a fan of the 3DS. There needs to be competition to keep the portable console market strong and growing. With one competitor out of the way, the mobile handheld market gains even more of a foothold as a source for handheld entertainment. A true disappointment over on Sony’s end to an otherwise great year for them.
That last note rings true for mostly everything for 2015. As I look back in the many achievements and faults of 2015, I’m still reasonably happy with how the year has been for gaming. Many solid titles came out for both indie and triple A companies. Most releases delivered on their promises and some gained some favorable praise. That said, no year can be perfect, and these small blemishes shouldn’t hurt an entire year. The gaming world is still hitting its stride and 2016 is looking promising! I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of big disappointments this year, so let us know! Heck, even let us know what you’re looking forward to for 2016.