2021 had its fair share of awesome games. However, it also went to the opposite end of the spectrum, with some real stinkers or games that didn’t manage to even come close to living up to their potential. And that bums us out, because some of these could’ve easily been winners with a little – or a lot – more development time.
So let’s take a look back at some of 2021’s most disappointing games, and make note as to what could’ve gone better for them.
It’s not often that EA finds itself backed into a corner with a major franchise, but, surprisingly, that just happened with Battlefield. While epic in scale, Battlefield 2042 is also loaded with problems, namely bugs that keep getting in the way of performance and multiplayer that simply doesn’t connect as well as it should. Throw in a supreme lack of single player action and anything to give newbies a chance to adapt to the game, and you have something along the lines of an elite club. Only it’s not worth going into at the moment.
Grand Theft Auto: The Definitive Trilogy
What should’ve been an instant grand slam for Rockstar Games turned into a real head-scratcher, mainly because it just doesn’t click as well as it should. While some parts of the GTA Trilogy look great on PS5 and Xbox Series S/X, others, well, don’t, including some awful weather effects, bland character models and frame rate issues. The game’s even buggier on Nintendo Switch, even after a patch to clean things up. We don’t have anything against the core material, but, honestly, this is far from definitive.
Square Enix granted Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka with a massive budget to create a massive platformer from the yesteryear of gaming – but…um, this is what he came up with. No disrespect meant, but Balan Wonderworld misses the mark in so many ways. The gameplay is bland at best, and the visuals, while colorful, don’t really mesh together as well as they should.
Not to mention some outfits and gameplay segments are just annoying. We get where Naka was trying to go with this interesting project, but it just never winds up being anything great, let alone good.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
We’re left wondering just how the heck a game that features werewolves can be so…boring? Earthblood fails to live up to the sum of its parts, built around a scattershot engine that can’t even come together in any of the right ways. It just looks bad, and the gameplay fails to let the player grasp the sheer awesomeness of being an unstoppable werewolf. Put a silver bullet in this one and stalk a copy of Resident Evil Village instead.
Why Sega isn’t making Crazy Taxi games anymore is beyond us, because they’re incredibly fun. But after the failure of Taxi Chaos, the publisher may have been scared off from trying it ever again. While the concept is solid, the general gameplay of Taxi Chaos just never really works on the same level as Taxi did. Throw in a forgettable soundtrack, repetitive voice acting and subpar visuals, and you have a ride that simply isn’t worth taking.
Last but definitely least, we have a game that’s the biggest letdown of the year, a title that doesn’t even come close to living up to what the PES games did before it. In an attempt to revitalize its soccer franchise, Konami took a free-to-play approach and tried to revamp the series from scratch. But…it went terribly. Like, really bad. The visuals fail to bring the game to life in any proper shape or form; the gameplay is problematic; and the bits and pieces of the game fall apart even before a match finishes up. Here’s hoping Konami gives some very deep though in where it wants to take this series next, because it’s a long climb back to greatness.
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