Top 5: 8th Generation Disappointments

With the ongoing craziness surrounding CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077, I could help but think of all the other times I’ve been disappointed by video games. In fact, it seems every console generation has its share of disappointments. Some are downright awful. Some are just bad, and some of aren’t necessarily bad at all. Rather, they just failed to live up to fan expectations and/or developer promises. One would argue that the former is always going to be worse than the latter, but I think you could make a strong case that overhyping an okay game is worse than simply releasing a bad game. Disappointment is disappointment though, and these are the games that disappointed me the most this generation.

Cyberpunk 2077 (2020) – CD Projekt Red

Video from YouTube channel: Cyberpunk 2077

We might as well get this one out of the way first. Like many other people out there, I let myself buy into the hype surrounding Cyberpunk 2077. I thought it was going to be a game combining the best parts of Witcher 3 (story) and Prey (do everything your way). Well, that wasn’t the case, and it was a buggy mess to boot. I think there’s still potential for something good here since its story is decent and there are hints of a deep RPG, but it’s going to be awhile before it gets there. So for now, Cyberpunk 2077 is a big ol’ disappointment.

Yooka-Laylee (2017) – Playtonic Games

Video from YouTube channel: Playtonic Games

Ever since Rare got bought by Microsoft, fans like myself had been dreaming of the day that the company would one day make its grand return to the top of the industry. The potential seemed like it was still there; this was the studio that turned out everything from Donkey Kong Country to Perfect Dark after all. If anyone could come back, they could. Well, they didn’t. Instead, the old 90’s -era team formed Playtonic Games. Their first project: a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie! What’s not to love about that?

I was fully on board with the new game, Yooka-Laylee, from day one. I even went so far as to pledge a couple hundred dollars to the Kickstarter, so sure was I that this would be the game to revive the 3D platformer. Yooka-Laylee isn’t a bad game or anything, it’s just nowhere near what Banjo-Kazooie was. Its worlds are pretty, but overly huge and empty; its minigames are annoying to play (usually due to poor controls and/or inconsistent hit detection), and the titular characters just don’t have the tight controls one would expect from the stars of a 3D platforming game. Playtonic has since done better with Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, but this one was a big-time disappointment.

Destiny 1 & 2 (2014, 2017) – Bungie

Video from YouTube channel: Destiny Game

Again, this is more a case of extremely inflated expectations than anything else. Before it launched in 2014, Bungie and Activision were making Destiny out to be an evolution of Halo. It would have the same excellent shooting, but place it within a shared world that could be freely explored with friends. In the demos, betas and trailers. That world looked like something akin to that of Skyrim: something bursting with places to find and secrets to discover. That’s not what we got.

What we got was something more like World of Warcraft, but in the framework of an FPS. It also didn’t help that both Destiny 1 and 2 were content bare at launch. Destiny 1 eventually became good for what it was, but it took a year. As for Destiny 2, it’s never really gotten there. It’s had expansions that’ve made me think that it’s finally turning the corner, but then Bungie does something to make the whole thing unappealing again. So all in all, this one was disappointing too.

Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017) – BioWare

Video from YouTube channel: Mass Effect

This one was just plain bad. There’s no way around it. The warning signs were there before launch, but I really wanted to believe that Mass Effect was back. What did I get? Bugs upon bugs; a boring story; a cast of dumb, unlikable characters, bad combat, a tacked-on crafting system, broken multiplayer and all-hints of meaningful character building stripped away. What more do I need to say about it? Mass Effect: Andromeda killed the series in my eyes, and it doesn’t get much worse than that. (Actually, it kind of does. I didn’t want to accept the reality of what I’d bought, so I told myself all sorts of things to justify it. “Best combat in the series” Uh-uh. No way.)

Fallout 4 (2015) – Bethesda

Video from YouTube channel: GameSpot

Fallout 4 is here because it just wasn’t what I wanted in a Fallout game. It was competent enough; the shooting worked well, and the bugs didn’t affect me so much. I actually put a few dozen hours into Fallout 4 once all was said and done. Even so, I left the game feeling like I never got the experience I was hoping for. None of the smart writing or interesting storytelling seen in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas (especially New Vegas) was present in Fallout 4. The RPG elements felt hollow. The locations weren’t all that interesting, and the factions were just dumb people with dumb motivations. That base-building thing really felt tacked-on too. There was no reason to engage with it at all. It’s a perfectly decent game, and I even liked it. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for in the end.

As much as it sucks to be let down by your favorite developer, I actually kind of feel like it’s a good thing to be disappointed every so often. Don’t get me wrong, game makers definitely shouldn’t create unreasonable expectations for their games, and fans shouldn’t let themselves get sucked too far into the hype.

All that said, I think an occasional disappointment is a good thing. It’s a reminder to all of us to keep our expectations in check, for both individual games and gaming as a hobby. It can also remind us of what we actually like (and don’t like) in games. Tastes can change over time after all, and sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re confronted by it. I still think it stinks that the games listed here weren’t better, but, hey, that’s gaming for ya. Right?

What were some games that disappointed you in recent years? How did they affect you as a gamer?

Lede image is an official promotional screenshot from CD Projekt Red’s site


  1. emonyagami says:

    Mass Effect Andromeda was a huge disappointment for me also, I did try to stick with it and put in quite a lot of hours. But I eventually gave up on it, I’m hoping with the next one Bioware give it that true love and care like they did with the first two.

    Halo 5 Guardians was another disappointment for me, mostly for the campaign and how the game was being advertised. It ended up being nothing like how they portrayed it to be.

    Most recently, Marvel’s Avengers. I was expecting a game in the same format as Spider-Man 2018, not a bad rip off of Destiny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Always sad to see a promising idea fall to the “live service” model. Never works because it’s impossible to constantly produce good content.

      Forgot about Halo 5! I was so psyched for that game! I totally bought into the marketing and thought I was going to get to see a great chase-style story set in a massive ONI conspiracy. But…nope. Instead we got Not The Covenant” and Evil Cortana. Fireteam Osiris wound up being super-lame too.

      A story with ONI as the true enemy in the shadows (like was low-key promised) would have been so much more interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hatm0nster says:

      Did you follow the “Hunt the Truth” web series they put out at the time? It hinted at something much, much cooler!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. emonyagami says:

        Yeah I’m not a fan of the “Live Service” model, and couldn’t agree more about the story of halo 5.

        I did actually! Which only compounded my major disappointment when I played Halo 5. It hurts to talk about Halo to be honest, I sort of enjoyed Halo 4 but since Bungie left, the series just hasn’t been the same.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hatm0nster says:

          True, but then it’s not like Bungie’s been handling Destiny well either. Game’s always had problems, but they’ve been making it worse and worse the more they chase the “live service” aspect of it. Game would’ve been served better following the old expansion model with seasonal events. They sort of did that with D1, but kind of made trouble for themselves by making people expect new content all the time.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. emonyagami says:

            Yeah Bungie are culpable for some of Destiny’s failures for sure. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and say their hand was was forced due to their partnership with Activision. Now that they are flying solo, it will be interesting to see where they go with their next project.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Hatm0nster says:

            They’ve been flying solo for two “expansions” and several seasons now though, and the trend hasn’t exactly been good. At this point, I’m more interested to see what (if anything) they do after Destiny.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. emonyagami says:

            Oh really? I must admit I haven’t been paying much attention to what is happening with Destiny 2. But yeah, I am looking more forward to their next project. I’m hoping they do something completely different, and not another first person Sci-fi game.

            Liked by 2 people

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