games / Columns

The Top 8 Disappointing Games of 2019: WWE 2K20, Anthem, More

December 17, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
WWE 2K20

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! 2019 is almost over, so I thought I might go over some games this year that were disappointing. Some of these games aren’t bad, per se, but still had issues that reduced the enjoyment a person could have. Two honorable mentions: Catherine: Full Body for not having a working online mode at all, and Borderlands 3 for the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING GODDAMN CHARACTERS CONSTANTLY TALKING in it. Let’s begin:

#8: Far Cry: New Dawn

There were actually some parts in New Dawn I liked. The gear system was interesting (and could be over-powered), the idea of building up your town was a nice repeat from Primal, and the shooting itself was still fun. The disappointment comes into play with regards to the story and the bad guys. The bad guys are really lame and honestly barely factor into the game. This drags down the story greatly because they are presented as this big, dangerous threat, but they have no agency within the game. Also, I still hate how in recent Far Cry games you play “The Deputy” (FC4) and “Security Chief” (New Dawn) as opposed to *actual* characters, that you can inhabit.

#7: Days Gone

Taken as a complete game, Days Gone isn’t the best thing ever, but it’s perfectly “alright”. The bike riding is serviceable, shooting/stealth is fine, and there are some harrowing moments in the game, especially when you have to clear out a swarm. The bad thing about the game is that is goes on for too long. WAY too long, in fact. Days Gone would have been a great 30 to 40 hour game, but about the time I hit the 60 hour mark, I had really had it. If Days Gone had been a tighter experience, it would have gone a long way in making it more enjoyable.

#6: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

I can’t really think of anyone I know who likes, or has even played this game. I have a bit of a soft spot for the last game, Wildlands, because while it had a dumb story, the core mechanics were fine. This game didn’t even have the core mechanics, using some arcane loot system, and survival mechanics that literally no one was asking for. I think it would really behoove Ubisoft to actually start switching some of these games off. Make a Wildlands-style game (3rd person, open-world), but have the next one be like Rainbow Six Vegas (tactical, FPS), or hey, maybe bring back Splinter Cell (3rd person stealth), to change up some of the formula and lessen fatigue of the franchise.

#5: The Dark Picture: Man of Medan

There is precisely one good part of Man of Medan and that is playing it co-op with a friend. That (shockingly) worked really well, and the time I spent playing it with a friend was enjoyable and fresh. Oh, Pip Torrens is also good. Everything else about the game was lame. I genuinely like Shawn Ashmore as an actor, and he played one of the most unlikable characters I’ve seen in a game, in quite some time. Add to this, there are boring puzzles, the game wasn’t scary, and the “mystery” is neither clever, explained, or something that could have been figured out if you’ve seen at least two episodes of the X-Files. It all adds up to a game that I was severely disappointed with, in the end.

#4: WWE 2K20

This is a minor disappointment, since I realize these games will never actually be good. There was some very faint hope that with Yukes off the franchise, Visual Concepts might crank out something decent. Instead, this game is arguably the worst in the franchise and that is REALLY saying something, considering some of the previous years crap-filled garbage. It is actually impressive that the game regressed from the past few years, which weren’t the most complete packages in the first place. For the love of god, just make WWE All-Stars 2, or have NetherRealm make that mobile WWE Mortal Kombat game, into a full-on project.

#3: Jump Force

The idea of Jump Force is great: combining Naruto, DBZ and One Piece into a fighting game should be the simplest thing ever. The reality was quite different, though. The actual fighting engine was just bad. It was boring, slow, most of the characters played the same, the animations were bad, etc. When you compound those issues with a completely nonsensical (even for anime) storyline, and how actually slow that story was, it became a nightmare to actually play. If they want a Naruto or One Piece fighting game, them get the guys who made Dragon Ball FighterZ to do them.

#2: Plants vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville

The slow decline of Popcap is only the second biggest tragedy EA has committed in the past few years, which is wholly depressing when you think about it. Remember when Plants vs. Zombies was just a colorful, fun, simple tower defense game on consoles/PCs? Well, those days are gone. Who was actually demanding Garden Warfare 3? For some ungodly reason, they’ve made 3 of them and each has had worse sales figures and audience interest. The game itself might be serviceable enough, but I’m more disappointed with how EA has handled the Plants Vs. Zombies property, at large.

#1: Anthem

And this is the biggest tragedy/clusterf***/WTF game on this list. It’s hard to pinpoint the decline in quality from Bioware. I guess the turning point for me would be Dragon Age 2? I actually really did love Inquisition, but almost every game since Mass Effect 2 has been marred with either story problems, or a plethora of technical issues. I managed to play Anthem with a friend and while it was fun, the second the last cut-scene hit he and I both un-installed it, never to be touched again. Given how much DLC EA has released for this game, which is exactly none, it seems like EA has also un-installed it from any support as well. Even if the rumors are true that they are going to reboot it, I know of no one that will care.

For comments, list your own game disappointments of 2019 and why.

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Top 8 Performances of 2019