2017 has been a great year for video games, except for when it wasn't. Some of the most anticipated games of 2017 ended up being real stinkers, which proved especially frustrating when the hype surrounding these high-profile games eclipsed some of the lesser-known releases that were far better.
If nothing else, the most disappointing video games of 2017 can teach us a few lessons: nostalgia isn't everything, microtransactions and loot boxes are frustrating, and we'd rather have a delayed, polished game than a straight-up janky one.
The worst video games to come out in 2017 span an eclectic range of genres and franchises, but most of them demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of what players want. Surprisingly, some of these trash fires are direct sequels to titles that many consider to be among the best games of all time, proving that fan familiarity isn't everything when it comes to gamer satisfaction.
While we celebrate the great times we had playing games this year, let's also take a moment to also remember the bad video games, and promise ourselves we'll never be duped again.
Star Wars Battlefront II was marred with controversy from the very beginning. As soon as the trial released in September, players were met with paywalls blocking off premium content. This "optional" content turned out to be most of the stuff players wanted, like familiar characters and ships. To make matters worse, most additions were only available through loot boxes, so if you wanted a specific piece of content, you had to keep forking over dollars until the luck of the draw proved to be in your favor.
These loot boxes could be purchased with in-game currency, which could in turn be purchased or grinded out. However, astute fans did the math, and discovered it would take 40 hours of grinding to unlock a single hero or villain, kicking off a larger conversation about exploitation, the addictive nature of loot boxes, and how much games can get away with.
EA has since made changes to the loot system, but the damage is already done. In addition to the loot box issue, the game suffered poor reviews for its lackluster single-player campaign, paper-thin story that reads like fanfiction, and overly-complicated progression system.
When EA tried to respond to the controversy, their defense ended up becoming the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit, with over 35,000 people expressing their disdain.
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Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite had good intentions. The creators wanted the game to be more accessible to new fans. Unfortunately, that led them to do away with some core features, like three-on-three battles and the trademark assists.
Add in some less-than-inspired artwork, and you have a recipe for disaster. Longtime fans of the franchise, which has remained pretty consistent for nearly 20 years, were turned off by the game's changes, and people who might have been drawn in by the added accessibility were unimpressed with the art style.
The game was also criticized for its small character roster, with some of the beloved Marvel favorites locked in DLC. Licensing problems prevented the inclusion of any X-Men characters, leading new and old players to wonder what exactly the point of this new game was. Not very "infinite" if you think about it...
1, 2, Switch
As one of the Nintendo Switch’s launch titles, 1, 2, Switch needed to showcase the best aspects of Nintendo's new hardware. From previews, it looked a bit like this generation’s answer to WarioWare, the goofy, minigame-oriented franchise that showed off the capabilities of consoles like the 3DS and Wii.
Unfortunately, 1, 2, Switch managed to capture little other than WarioWare’s goofiness. It lacked replayability, and set a low bar for excitement about the new console. After the failure that was the Wii U, Nintendo needed a strong start for the console, one that 1, 2, Switch didn’t provide, especially when compared to it's fellow launch title, Breath of the Wild.
Seriously though, why was it surprising that a game called 1, 2, Switch pulled a fast one on us?
Mass Effect: Andromeda was BioWare's big chance to redeem the franchise after the disastrous ending of Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately, they failed. BioWare Montreal, the studio that had previously worked on DLC for the series (the other three games were developed at the main headquarters), developed the game with a constantly shifting list of goals, a jury-rigged engine, and amid several high-profile departures from the company.
Rather than letting it languish in development hell, BioWare Montreal pushed the project forward, and the result was a messy, empty, and poorly-received sequel to a beloved franchise. Upon its initial release, the game was so buggy that many speculated it had only passed quality certification due to the clout that the series and publisher held within the games industry.
Marred with animation issues and ultimately abandoned by fans, Mass Effect: Andromeda is believed to have led to the absorption of BioWare Montreal by EA Motive, who went on to work on... Star Wars Battlefront II's single-player campaign. Yikes.
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