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Most Disappointing Game of 2022

Most Disappointing Game of 2022 - Article

by Paul Broussard , posted on 22 January 2023 / 5,539 Views

Life is full of disappointments and video games are no exception. We as consumers have high expectations for the biggest names in gaming, and more often than not they deliver. But every now and then there's a game with every advantage given to it, and which should be a home run experience, that calmly and deliberately throws it all in the trash. Being a bad game is one thing, but being a game that should have been good and turned out to be bad instead is exponentially worse. These are the most disappointing titles of 2022.

    

The Shortlist:

    

Babylon's Fall

    

Gotham Knights

    

Overwatch 2

   

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

    

Saints Row

   

    

    

   

The 'Runner Up':

Babylon’s Fall

Oh Square Enix, what happened to you? Over the past year you embraced NFTs and blockchain projects, got into a fight about forcing Balan Wonderland (of previous Most Disappointing Game fame) out before it was ready, and tried to sell a wallet for nearly $500. Are you really that desperate for cash? What happened, did you blow all your Final Fantasy VII Remake income on more half-naked 2B statues? 

But topping all the questionable attempts at cash-grabbing is Babylon’s Fall, a multiplayer online game that was so dull, so bland, and so unengaging that it somehow made PlatinumGames action boring. Samey mission design, lack of interesting enemy variety, ugly graphics, and withholding the most interesting combat abilities until after the game is completed all make for a really bad game, and the inevitable microtransactions located in a full price $60 release add further insult to injury. When Final Fantasy XVI inevitably brings in enough money to match the GDP of a small country in 2023, don’t blow it all so quickly on Yoko Taro’s lewd art collection, yeah?

    

    

   

The 'Winner':

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

Speaking of bringing in enough money to purchase a small country: Pokémon! It’s always sad to see a series that was such an integral part of my middle school years struggle with poor framerates, low-effort animations, shoddy graphics, consistent ugly texture pop-ins, game-breaking bugs, and more, but it’s even more disappointing when game series that are far less profitable vastly outpace it on a technical front.

What arguably makes it even worse is that there are plenty of interesting gameplay ideas hidden within this absolute mess. While the underpowered nature of the Switch doesn’t help, the lion’s share (or Litleo’s share) of the blame probably lies with whoever is continuing to push for annual (and sometimes biannual, as was the case this year) releases. 365 days is simply not enough time to develop a full-blown 3D open world title, and you have to feel for the developers who are consistently lumbered with these deadlines. I’m not sure whether it's a decision being made by Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, or Game Freak itself, but whoever it is: please, stop! You’re killing a series I used to love, and your Scrooge McDuck-esque pool of money is going to burst if you keep this up.


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16 Comments
Darwinianevolution (on 22 January 2023)

The Switch is more than capable of handling the open world GameFreak wants. What failed here is GameFreak themselves, caught in a destructive spiral of shortening production times , growing earning expectations and not enough experienced personnel. They have been able to keep themselves from launch disasters by corner-cutting and content-cutting, but not this time. And since everyone and their mother bought Sword/Shield when they cut so much from the previous games (pokemons included) and they have bought Scarlet/Violet now, I don't think the Pokemon Co. is going to fix this, since there is no problem for them.

  • +16

They sold 10 mil in 3 days? Yeah I don't think anything wiil change unfortunately.

  • +6
Slownenberg (on 22 January 2023)

GameFreak needs to do some combination of fewer Pokemon releases, add more people to their teams, get more skilled people, and not be so rigid about new pokemon gen coming every three years. Like this past year Legends Arceus should have been the only Pokemon game to come out, and they should have pushed V/S to holiday '23, thus giving V/S enough time to not have issues. Also I feel like their artists are DS/3DS level artists and perhaps they need to hire more talented people to make HD level texture/models, etc, or maybe the issue is just the artists aren't given enough time to make the games look good.

  • +11
Kakadu18 (on 22 January 2023)

Scarlet/Violet is better than Sword/Shield.

  • +6
Qwark Kakadu18 (on 22 January 2023)

Still not good enough to deserve so many sakes though.

  • +1
Mystro-Sama Kakadu18 (on 22 January 2023)

That really doesn't say anything. lol

  • +4
Kakadu18 Mystro-Sama (on 23 January 2023)

Both are a lot of fun.

  • -1
SecondWar (on 22 January 2023)

While Pokemon deservedly gets this award, I disagree with some of the gripes. The Switch’s technical limitations are not the root of the problem. Xenoblade Chronicles, which this site has mentioned repeatedly in its other awards, has not had such issues and Breath of the Wild did so much better than ScarletViolet at the Switch’s release.
Neither does Game Freak do annual releases. Between Sword/Shield in 2019 and Scarlet/Violet, Legends Arceus was its only game. SV was likely in development since SwSh’s release, and development on Gen 10 has likely already begun.
The mainline games have released every 3 years since Black/White in 2010. Unless Game Freak can get better at optimisation, they need to move away from that fixed schedule. Otherwise another technical failure is due in 2025.

  • +5
MTZehvor SecondWar (on 22 January 2023)

While the Switch's hardware is far from the biggest problem here, I would note that Xenoblade 3 suffers from some technical problems too, including notable frame drops, particularly in the Erythia Sea, and while it's not as prevalent as XC2, textures/enemies do have a tendency to pop in suddenly every so often.

  • +4
LivncA_Dis3 (on 23 January 2023)

GameFreak should be crucified just like CD PROJEKT RED

But no....

  • +1
Mystro-Sama (on 22 January 2023)

They really need to start outsourcing the development of pokemon games. GameFreak just can't keep up anymore.

  • +1
SanAndreasX Mystro-Sama (on 22 January 2023)

Intelligent Systems and Monolith should be asked to help when available.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion (on 22 January 2023)

Should've included Mario Strikers Battle League for this.

  • +1
coolbeans CaptainExplosion (on 22 January 2023)

I think that reached the prelims, but didn't have enough gas for the shortlist.

  • +2
CaptainExplosion coolbeans (on 22 January 2023)

Last I checked it still didn't have enough game modes.

  • 0
Kanemaru (on 23 January 2023)

GoW Ragnarok and Horizon 2 are by far the 2 most disappointing ones. GoW became a narrative Walt Disney circus full of good vibes and family business... So pathetic and sad to see the franchise lowered to that. And Horizon 2 confirmed that Guerilla can't make a good open world (like many many many other games) even tho everybody knew it's a generic open world with nothing to do. If Elden Ring hadn't been there to save the year, 2022 would have been beyond hopeless for the following years of gaming.

  • 0