Disappointment is a hell of a feeling – it’s not full blown disgust or hatred, but it doesn’t quite give you the warm and fuzzies either.
This year had some highs, but it also had some downright awful lows that failed to deliver on the expectations developers (and their fanbase) put on them. These 5 biggest disappointments of 2021 weren’t the worst this year had to offer, but they did leave us feeling hollow when all was said and done.
5 Biggest Disappointments of 2021
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
Nostalgia is Nintendo’s bread and butter – who doesn’t know Mario at this point? Needless to say, when the studio pitched the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack with “more games, more features, and more fun,” we were all too eager to sign up for its Nintendo 64 and SEGA Genesis games.
However, things quickly went sour The $50/year annual fee was more than double that of the $20/year base plan, making for a 250% increase in price for a handful of more games.
Things got that much worse when it comes to how poor the emulation is for the Nintendo 64 portion of this service. The team at Game Revolution cited fan feedback regarding input lag, bugs that have never appeared in previous releases, and odd rendering issues that harken back to rushed port jobs like the Silent Hill HD Collection. You can see a couple of the worst offenders below:
— Toufool (@Toufool) October 26, 2021
— phrog phone (@kirbolotl) October 26, 2021
— 5”7 and will explain evangelion wrong to any girl (@thetoiletboyz) October 26, 2021
Additional games like Paper Mario have since been added to the service, but this is a textbook case of too little, too late.
Originally revealed at the 2019 E3 Bethesda Showcase, Arkane Lyon’s Deathloop finally came out this year after countless teases and previews.
However, the final release simply couldn’t live up to the hype. The idea of being stuck in a time loop is a novel one, and the 1960s flair only adds to its atmosphere. When the bullets start flying, things quickly start to fall apart.
For one, taking down its eight targets requires a great amount of repetition. We appreciate the game sticking to its Groundhog Day scenario, but seeing the same four areas ad infinitum means that players will quickly tire of things. This is made that much worse with its broken roguelike mechanics; we simply had too much gear before too long, which utterly breaks any sort of balance.
When it comes down to it, Deathloop just isn’t fun. Those hoping to itch that Dishonored scratch will be sorely disappointed with this one.
You can read our review of Deathloop here.
Naoto Ohshima and Yuji Naka both made a name for themselves with their work at SEGA’s honorable Sonic Team, but this experience simply didn’t pay off with Balan Company and Square Enix’s Balan Wonderworld.
The magical world of Wonderworld simply can’t hide how broken this platform is at its core. Adding 80 costumes might sound like it provides a healthy amount of variety, but its one-button commands and lack of balance ruin any chance of them standing out. Wonderworld’s sandbox environments don’t fare much better, with a poor camera and endless Balan Statues to collect.
The game was a terrible flop, selling less than 2,100 copies in its first week in Japan and the Nintendo Switch version currently sits at 36 on Metacritic. Worst of all, Square Enix and Yuji Naka parted ways after the game, with Naka stating on Twitter that he is considering retirement at 55.
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) June 5, 2021
The potential for EA DICE and Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 2042 is most certainly there – 128 player battles, legacy content from its Battlefield Portal, and cross-platform play have all the underpinnings of a multiplayer legend.
However, the final release proved to be the worst-reviewed entry of the series. The title is prone to countless bugs, the removal of series staples, and gameplay changes that are all for the worse. Perhaps the worst offender is its broken servers; a cardinal sin when it comes to a multiplayer title like this one. We have played Battlefield 2042 since its Early Access period, and it still has yet to be remedied weeks after its initial launch.
You can read our review of Battlefield 2042 here.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
The original Jurassic Park is a veritable 90s staple, stealing the hearts of dinosaur lovers the world over. The idea of managing your own prehistoric theme park is the stuff dreams are made of, doubly so when it is a sequel.
However, no amount of feedback and development time can prevent Frontier Development’s Jurassic World Evolution 2 from being a colossal dud. Aimless AI that doesn’t know a dinosaur from their hand, a cumbersome interface that feels like traversing quicksand, and a sandbox mode that prevents players from actually playing make this park more of a prison.
The story doesn’t fare much better, failing to build upon the lore that made the series so popular in the first place. Even Jeff Goldblum sounds downright bored with his rendition of Dr. Ian Malcolm – an unspeakable sin when considering his overall personality.
You can read our review of Jurassic World Evolution 2 here.