It was probably nothing: The 10 biggest gaming disappointments of 2020

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Maybe it happened to you this year under the Christmas tree: you enthusiastically unwrap a parcel from a loved one, your parents or someone else, anticipating that one present you’ll definitely get: And then suddenly there’s a bag of 50 socks instead of Playstation 5, and instead of The Last of Us Part 2 you have a good old crypto com exchange 

Cyberpunk 2077      

CD Project Red | 10 December 2020 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

Hardly anyone expected Cyberpunk 2077 to be on the list of the most disappointing games of 2020 a few weeks ago, and yet here we are. Of course, we’re not referring to the PC version . It definitely has its quirks, such as bugs and AI crashes, but in principle it works pretty well. No, we’re talking about the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions . which prove: advance praise is rarely a good idea. Everyone knew that perhaps the most anticipated game of the year wouldn’t look as good on aging boxes as it would on a high-performance PC. Such a technical fiasco could not have been foreseen. Cyberpunk on consoles is riddled with bugs, loves to crash, graphical performance is cut down to the point where you sometimes feel reminded of the PS3 era, and the fussy, intense game world of the PC version here is shockingly empty.

Bleeding Blade      

Ninja Theory | March 24, 2020 | PC, Xbox One

What do you think of when you hear the name of British studio Ninja Theory? Well, probably mostly for heavily written and directed single-player adventures. With Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West , DMC: Devil May Cry and, just as importantly, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice they’ve earned a great reputation. Rather than build on those strengths, Ninja Theory released Bleeding Edge as the first game after the Microsoft acquisition: a well-meaning but moderately well-made Overwatch-style heroic multiplayer game. Instead of shooting, however, the focus here is on hitting. To put it mildly: you could say the studio’s strengths are elsewhere: the scope is small, the maps are lifeless and boring, and the long-term motivation is endless. There’s a certain level of expectation associated with the Ninja Theory title, and while Bleeding Edge ended up hurting very few players, it was a disappointment from that perspective. Better to wait for Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 .

Port Royale 4.      

Studios Game Minds | September 25, 2020 | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

During development and previews Port Royale made 4 a pretty good impression. The economic system was good, as was the turn-based sea battles and the promise of a varied campaign. In practice, the maritime adventure doesn’t do anything radically wrong, but all these individual aspects aren’t enough to provide satisfying and motivating gameplay. Above all, there is simply too much idling. Nothing happens in the long stretches, endless sea lanes line up with endless sea lanes, and there’s very irregular action in between. There’s also unintuitive menu navigation, error-prone controls and other minor and major flaws. Port Royale 4 is good enough for a little sea travel, but no more than that.

Maincraft Dungeons      

Mojang/Double Eleven | 26 May 2020 PC, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch

What if Diablo , but blocky? That’s probably what the developers thought when they started Minecraft Dungeons . Well, the result is exactly that: a short, ridiculously simple or fairly complex Hack & Slash game with a Minecraft skin, depending on the difficulty you choose. So far so good, but unfortunately so boring. Yes, Minecraft megafans will love the thing, especially because of the many references to the main game. But Minecraft Dungeons just doesn’t do anything we’ve already experienced many times better in countless games. Now there are a few additions to the adventure, but they don’t bring with them any fresh ideas, just the same old stuff. You can’t go wrong with Minecraft Dungeons, but you’ll already forget about it ten minutes after the credits roll. The charm of the original doesn’t even show here.

Lantern 3

What went wrong? After the two predecessors received high ratings, the third installment unfortunately fell off sharply. This is mainly because the developers decided to simplify the series with a new adventure. Role-playing elements have been reduced and in some cases eliminated altogether, most of the time the gameplay is simply reduced to running around and beating up enemies. It’s fun, but it’s also pretty irrelevant. In a market where games with very similar designs are constantly changing hands, it’s not enough. Also, like some of the other games we’ll mention in this video, it too often involves a lot of intense grind. This could be explained by the fact that Torchlight 3 was originally planned as a mobile spin-off that was then remade into a regular game, but it doesn’t justify that fact.

NBA 2K21      

Visual Concepts | September 4, 2020 | PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch

NBA 2K21 is a great basketball game. What happens on the court feels even better than in last year’s predecessor, thanks to adjustments in detail. However: With everything going on around the basketball gameplay, the developers really got into the wrong hands. The game is riddled with microtransactions that only seem optional. Unless you’re prepared to spend countless hours on the grind, you won’t see the country here without the use of real money. Fortunately, the shop for real money is also constantly and very aggressively advertised. There are also nested menus, an uninteresting story mode and the fact that owners of one of the newer consoles aren’t allowed to adopt their player from the latest generation version. If you really want to play virtual basketball, you’ll find a great implementation here,

Krisis Remastered      

Game Design Studio | 18 September 2020 | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

We’re deliberately not talking about the Switch version of Crysis Remastered now . Because while it doesn’t look as good as the original game, it’s still impressive that the developers managed to port the shooter to the hybrid console so well. No, the disappointment comes unexpectedly on PC, PS4 and Xbox One . When the original Crysis came out in 2007, it was an extremely voracious graphical monster that still looks relatively good. So we expected more from the remaster than just a half-assed implementation. Performance on PC in particular is very poor, on consoles you have to struggle with technical issues, whether it’s in graphics or performance mode. In terms of gameplay, the title is still interesting, but in addition to the multiplayer there’s a few DLC missing. As a fan, you really should have expected this.

Project Cars 3.      

Slightly crazy studios | 28 August 2020 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

When creating the first Project Cars , Slightly Mad Studios aimed to revolutionise the world of racing sims. Well it didn’t quite succeed, there were clearly more realistic and better members of the genre. Speed Fun was definitely a very good game, as was the sequel . But then Project Cars 3 came along. And even though it’s inherently a good racing game, it deliberately alienates fans of its two predecessors. It just doesn’t feel like a sequel anyway. The driving experience has been radically altered towards arcade accessibility, the new game modes and career structure only make sense to a limited extent, and in every nook and corner you can tell that an attempt was made to create a jack-of-all-trades, but in the end no one was really happy. There’s also annoying grind, weirdly acting opponent AI and technical flaws. Here’s hoping for a return to the old powers in part 4.

Warcraft 3: Recast.      

Blizzard Entertainment/Lemon Sky Studios | 28 January 2020 | PC

Ever since Blizzard gave up its independence and became part of Activision, fans have repeatedly accused the studio of losing its once very good community ties and putting quick profits ahead of quality and its own principles. With the rapid emergence of developments such as Warcraft 3 Reforged, it’s hard to deny some changes at Blizzard. Instead of a nice new edition with useful improvements there was an outdated look, degraded multiplayer, an unimpressive design and even missing features compared to the original. We didn’t even mention the recently added bugs. So Reforged isn’t a bad game, but it’s far from what was promised and what fans were expecting, and almost a step back from the original.

Marvel’s Avengers.      

Crystal Dynamics | September 4, 2020 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

When Square Enix once announced Marvel’s Avengers, all signs pointed to success: one of the biggest licences of our time, with Crystal Dynamics, which developed Legacy of Kain and the Tomb Raider reboot, an established studio: nothing could go wrong! Well, in the end, that’s the reason it “actually” went wrong, as the assembled players were actually waiting for a classic single-player adventure after it was announced at E3 2019. After all, that’s always been Crystal Dynamics and Marvel’s Spider-Man’s forte , until.not long before it proved that a Marvel license could deliver a great single-player experience. It was probably some top manager in the Square Enix offices with dollar signs in his eyes who decided that wasn’t enough and that a game-as-a-service model was needed, be it hell or high water, to also have one last squeeze of cents from the fanbase.