Disappointment of the year. Back 4 Blood, Battlefield 2042, GTA: The Trilogy
In this nomination, we celebrate the releases that disappointed us the most in the past year. These are not necessarily failures (although they are too) – first of all, these are games from which we expected much more than we received in the end.
Fifth Place: Battlefield 2042
Over the past ten years, every release in the Battlefield franchise has gone through the same lifecycle over and over again. When DICEfor the first time presents information about the next game in the series, the community – overjoyed – starts the hype machine to the fullest. Then the traditionally broken beta version comes out, the first complaints about technical flaws, balance, controversial decisions in terms of game design sound. The community naively, contrary to common sense, conceals the hope that during beta testing, the developers simply showed the old build of the game and in fact everything is not so bad. But by release, the situation usually gets worse: there is little content, a lot of problems. The people are vying to bury the new Battlefield and romanticize the old parts, although at one time they were also infinitely far from ideal – and a couple of years later, when a fresh announcement appears on the horizon, everything is repeated again.
Battlefield 2042 runs the risk of breaking this vicious circle once and for all, because DICE has finally exhausted its players’ credibility. Moreover, the point here is not at all in the bugs, to which everyone has long been accustomed – the Swedes themselves did not fully understand what kind of game they wanted to make. Electronic artsduring the marketing campaign proudly called Battlefield 2042 the largest game in the history of the series, but predictably, everyone else had to pay for the record scale of the project. The quality of the level design, the elaboration of details, the feeling of a large armed conflict and other nuances that favorably distinguished the series from any competitor on the market. Unfortunately, in pursuit of the current trends in multiplayer shooters, DICE virtually destroyed the old Battlefield identity by not offering longtime fans of the series any alternatives. So Battlefield 2042 is unlikely to leave behind the same fond memories as its predecessors.
4th place: eFootball 2022
Over the years the series Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami competed with FIFA on an equal – if not in sales volumes, then at least in terms of the quality and strength of the people’s love. Last year, PES took an unprecedented step and took a timeout: limiting itself to the cheap Season Update, skipped the next release in order to be reborn in 2021 and show itself in all its glory. And then the competitor got into a puddle in time: FIFA 22 for PC, Xbox One and PS4 turned out to be in many ways a tracing of the previous part. All that was left for Konami was to lay the trump cards on the table and hit the jackpot.
But the trump cards were not at hand. The game, released after a double development cycle, turned out to be one big misunderstanding. She lost her recognizable name: instead of Pro Evolution Soccer or at least PES, she became eFootball . The proprietary FOX engine on which all PES releases have been developed since 2013 has been replaced with Unreal Engine 4, which Konami clearly couldn’t befriend. A version of the game has been released, which is comparable in the amount of content to the demo, and in quality to the alpha.
Horrible faces of football players, unnatural animations, cardboard fans, thousands of glitches. Extremely slow gameplay, stupid AI partners, giving up on tactics. Just one mode and a small number of clubs to choose from. Yes, eFootball is free, but the sense of it is like a burnt pancake from a shovel.
Konami has promised to fix the game, but the release date for version 1.0 has left from last November to an unknown date in 2022. By then, eFootball will be forgotten for a long time – and rightfully so.
Third place: Back 4 Blood
The Left 4 Dead dilogy is remembered and loved to this day: killing zombies with your comrades is fun, and since zero no one has done anything better on this topic. Turtle Rock , whose founders once laid the foundations for Left 4 Dead, had a good chance . Four heroes again against hordes of zombies and mutants, only now with an even greater emphasis on variability – it sounds great! But the developers of Back 4 Blood seem to be very afraid to make a clone of Left 4 Dead, and this ruined their new project.
Without all the healthy and comfortable L4D stuff, the novelty was incredibly frustrating. The maximum health of heroes is constantly decreasing. The ammunition is not infinite, even when the enemies cane in an endless crowd. “Large Variation” periodically creates situations that make the passage intolerable. Enemies take not by cunning, but by number and excessive vitality. Back 4 Blood even limits the number of attempts to complete the campaign: two failures – and that’s it, the team is disbanded, progress is lost, start all over again. And instead of a full-fledged PvP mode that gave L4D depth and replayability, Back 4 Blood offers only a pitiful stub. It could have been different if Turtle Rock had undertaken to improve the ideas of Left 4 Dead, and not fix what was not broken.
Runner-up: Twelve Minutes
AAA games rarely delight audiences with outstanding narratives, so we look at every budding indie project with interest. Which Twelve Minutes was undoubtedly: the very first trailer for this chamber story about a time loop was remembered by us for its minimalistic but stylish production and intrigued by the setting. What awaits the heroes of this Groundhog Day ?
In the end, literally everything disappointed. The gameplay turned into a painful search for triggers for the next scene with the repetition of all the “correct” actions in each cycle. Empty and superficial characters cause a sharp antipathy: their squabbles with each cycle are harder to endure. The script is bursting at the seams from hardened cliches and plot holes. The answers to the questions posed in the tie make you want to pierce your face with your palm. This story didn’t deserve to be told, let alone have a whole game built around it.
Worthy of a Mention
Games constantly disappoint people: even projects that are warmly received by some players can become an unequivocal failure for others. So, Subverse made an unexpected emphasis on narrative – but greatly upset those who expected from the Studio FOW porn game , in fact, porn. And since the release of the game in March, it has received only one significant content patch: no one has yet waited for the denouement, nor the promised hours of adult content.
It was hard even to enter MMORPG New World at release: Amazon with its endless server capacities for some reason could not cope with the influx of players. The game itself feels secondary, the scenario is depressing with boring dialogues, a banal story and faceless characters, and the gameplay is stifling with strict inventory restrictions and paid teleports.
Finally, Biomutant intrigued with an interesting post-apocalyptic setting, but eventually frustrated with ubiquitous towers, overly tenacious enemies and yawning low difficulty. A bad game cannot be called, but the missed potential in her case is obvious.
First Place : Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition
When Ubisoft released a trailer for the remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time , the public expressed dissatisfaction – and the studio delayed the release by two years to meet the high expectations of fans. But when a similar reaction fell on the trailer for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition , Rockstar did not raise an eyebrow: the trilogy of remasters was released on schedule. Although, in an amicable way, it should have been wrapped before the announcement.
After all, her problems are visible to the naked eye: you don’t even need to look for them. The updated character models not only do not look like the original sources, but also look extremely poor. The textures, apparently, were automatically enlarged using a neural network and did not even look at the result. The sign fonts are terrifying, reminiscent of the Silent Hill HD Collection . The cars seem to be plastic. The drawing distance twisted to the maximum disfigures landscapes. And bugs – hundreds, thousands of them!
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition earned its first place in our top disappointments for several reasons. First and foremost: all parts of the original trilogy are games beloved by the public that deserve the most scrupulous attitude towards themselves. The second is trying to pass off these ugly remasters as the best definitive versions of games. And the third is an attempt on the originals themselves: Rockstar initially removed them from sale altogether. And only after the hype around the remasters flared up, the studio went back and handed out the old versions to the owners of the new ones.
After the release of the third “The Witcher,” the head of CD Projekt RED, Marcin Iwinski, expressed his desire to be among the top three developers in the world – where he recorded Blizzard , Rockstar and Bethesda . Then it was difficult to imagine how companies with such an impeccable reputation could ruin it, but since then all four have succeeded – and the last was Rockstar. Sic transit gloria mundi.