Well 2018 sure was a year, wasn’t it? Thus far in our Game of the Year Awards we’ve been primarily focusing on things that we’ve liked. From the game that had the best grind to the character that we all kept biting our lips over.
Now we turn our attention to something a little less positive. We had high hopes for a lot of games this year but more than a few of them just didn’t meet expectations. The Biggest Disappointment Award is given to the game that had the most promise, but fell flat in one way or another. We wanted to like the winner of this category, but just can’t do it.
Runner-up: Sea of Thieves
Oh, the open sea. So tempting. Desolate at first glance yet teeming with life under the surface. The promise of Sea of Thieves had me hooked from its debut at E3 2015, but the more gameplay I saw leading up to its release this year, the more I wondered about the game’s lifespan.
When I set sail with coworkers earlier this year, I had a blast. That week.
I know Sea of Thieves has released consistent updates that have tempted me a few times, but mostly I was left with the sense that the game would always feel empty. There’s simply not enough to do yet there aren’t enough moments to explore the raging seas by yourself. The game exists in this odd space where I’d almost rather it be a single-player exploration/simulation.
The game hasn’t had its No Man’s Sky moment yet, where the promise is fulfilled by thoughtful additions. So far, I haven’t seen a reason to don the eye patch and chase chickens again.
-John Warren, Editor-in-Chief
Biggest Disappointment of 2018: Fallout 76
Country roads…take me home…away…from this game…
Bethesda really bit the big one on this release. Not only did Todd Howard warn us in the weeks before launch that it would be buggy, the “buggy and broken” hole went deeper than any of us could have imagined once the game was released. Some issues went as far as to make the game unbearable with players unable to deal damage to enemies.
The aptly named “Duffle Kerfuffle” was the first sign of the coming storm. Bethesda advertised their Power Armor Edition of the game ($199 as of this post) with a swanky West-Tek bag that could house your power armor helmet or any necessities in the apocalypse. Instead, super fans were met with a nylon bag they could buy at Wal-Mart for around $10 on a bad day. That, and the infamous “We’re not doing anything about it” response from Bethesda. As someone with a “build and maintain a community” background…yikes.
Though Bethesda eventually caved and offered replacement bags to everyone with a valid purchase, this was only the initial drizzle before the storm. When players submitted their tickets for the backpack replacements they started being sent out to random players in the world.
Yes, random players of Fallout 76 had full access to your support tickets and information.
Though it’s not all doom and gloom, the base of the game is still pretty strong. I think of it as a No Man’s Sky in the sense that it will get better over time. If Bethesda is willing to support the game I could see it accruing a large fanbase in about a year or two. That alone has me excited to finally unravel some of the game’s more prominent mysteries! We just wish the game launched when it was ready.
-Andrew Whitmore, Social & Community Manager