The most disappointing games of 2014

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Calling a game disappointing arguably has more to do with me than the game itself. Disappointment isn’t an inherent quality. It can’t exist without some sort of expectation in the first place. In many cases, these games are sequels, or the creations of developers with proven track records, or entries in established genres, or games with promising beginnings. But for various reasons, the central fact about these games is that I had personally hoped they would be better.

After the jump, the ten most disappointing games of 2014.

10) Sacred 3

Calling this trashy brawler a sequel to Sacred 2, an action RPG with intensely Germanic clockwork character builds that involved actual math, is blasphemy.

9) Wargame: Red Dragon

Very few RTSs benefit from the decision to just tack a navy onto the game. And what a sad step backward Red Dragon takes from the superlative single-player campaigns in the last game, AirLand Battles.

8) Counterspy

I love the aesthetic, but what should have been a replayable Cold War romp is a one-and-done sneaking game saddled with needlessly awkward controls. As Brandon Cackowski-Schnell cleverly put it, Counterspy never comes in from the cold.

7) Sir, You Are Being Hunted

What a wonderful bit of world building. Too bad you experience that world through the tedium of old-school stealth and filler FedEx questing.

6) Planetary Annihilation

No game has ever been improved by being played on a 3D globe. Read the review here.

5) Alien Isolation

After a strong opening introduces Sevastopol station, the alien arrives. It’s a pretty sad Alien game when the alien is the weakest part. It’s an even sadder Alien game when the alien pretty much ruins the gameplay.

4) Assassin’s Creed: Unity

After two unexpectedly great Assassin’s Creeds, Ubisoft removes the cool sailing ships and adds co-op multiplayer no one asked for. Then they situate it in a technically impressive but glitchy Paris littered with microtransaction nags and companion app tie-ins.

3) Transistor

If this had been Supergiant’s first game, I would understand a smattering of enthusiasm. But this is by the folks who made Bastion, which had at least 15 things to teach all other games. Transistor seemed to know only about three and a half of those things.

2) Sims 4

After each successive Sims game improved the gameplay and expanded the world, Electronic Arts has arrested the series development and put the sims back into little boxes. Ready for the inevitable parade of pricey add-ons?

1) Sunset Overdrive

Developer Insomniac has had such a long fall from the Ratchet and Clank games to this uninspired and borderline incoherent orange splat in which you’re supposed to shoot things while doing traversal tricks.

Top ten games of 2014
Most disappointing games of 2014
Most surprising games of 2014
Most overrated games of 2014.
Most overlooked games of 2014.