Continuing on from our biggest surprises, we now move onto each member’s biggest disappointment of 2021. Sadly not every experience comes out the way we were expecting whether from technical issues or simply from a lack of polish as it was rushed out the door. In either case, here is our team’s reflection on the topic.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Pierre-Yves: The Skylia Prophecy
There’s one title every year that we find ourselves constantly thinking back to and wishing that it had been “more” than we experienced. There were a few others this year but The Skylia Prophecy took the biggest disappointment award for me as it had all of the potential elements to make it something great but just didn’t follow through. While the core gameplay was hard as hell, it suffered from design issues of constantly needing items that you may not even have access to in order to move forwards such as healing items and keys to unlock doors. While the keys could be circumvented by making deals with a demon, I ended up restarting several times just to not waste what I didn’t have or get stuck with next to zero health or mana because I accidently triggered an autosave. The silver lining here though is that… Nick’s not looking? You can score 1000pts to your Gamer Score in the first twenty minutes as they can all be done before leaving the first zone.
Richard: Cris Tales
Cris Tales was an ambitious game that just didn’t live up to its potential. The reason it’s in this category isn’t because the game is bad per se, or that I didn’t have fun with it despite being my Biggest Disappointment, I did actually have some hope for the title. Although some design choices were extremely poor, the fact is I really enjoyed Cris Tales, at least up to a certain point. There were a lot of aspects and gameplay mechanics that held so much promise, but just ended up falling flat because they didn’t deliver to the best of their ability, were horribly underused, or were just implemented in a really mediocre fashion. Cris Tales earns the spot as Biggest Disappointment because it could’ve been so much more than it was.
Susan N.: Monster Harvest
I really wanted to enjoy Monster Harvest because it was a different take on Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley as far as farming simulators go, but it completely failed to do anything it set out to do. The relationships with the townsfolk were non-existent, the combat system was absolute garbage, and the story was a figment of our imagination. I would have loved for Monster Harvest to bring a unique take on the genre, but even that concept was poorly executed. It felt like a Pokemon system which was woefully dull with a whopping three abilities and no heal to speak of. Each time a player lost their monster to fight in the dungeon, they had to level another one in order to progress. However, the four or five rooms that were in the dungeon were procedurally generated and served little to no purpose to the game, which also felt like a shell of an idea. I grew to dislike playing the game over time and for that Monster Harvest lands squarely as my biggest disappointment of 2021.
Nick: Werewolf: the Apocalypse – Earthblood
Werewolf: the Apocalypse – Earthblood reminded me of ‘the old days’, but for all of the wrong reasons. Muddled gameplay, visuals that looked like they were from a couple of console generations back and perhaps worst of all? Taking a known property and completely messing it up as a video game. That’s some old-school stuff right there, and none of it flattering which is why it’s my biggest disappointment for the year.
Robert: Star Citizen
Riddled with alleged mismanagement, feature creep, and being a bit too optimistic with timeframes is something famed developer/produced Chris Roberts and his Cloud Imperium Games studio (the folks behind the as-yet-to-be-released Squadron 42 single player title and its multiplayer component, Star Citizen) is well known for within the Entertainment Industry. With such juggernauts like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Henry Cavhill and so many more involved in the project in some way or another, you’d expect to see more than a periodic update to perpetually-unreleased Star Citizen.
However, with the recent CD Projekt Red debacle with the botched launching of Cyberpunk 2077, Chris and team came out and essentially said that they done talking about Squadron 42 beyond their once-a-month, monthly report (a very high level breakdown of some of the various tasks involved in the development of Squadron 42)- no release dates, no sneak peaks, nothing. This is monumentally disappointing while continuing to sell concept ships, something that they were sued for in the UK in 2021 due to the misrepresentation of content being sold.
From there, it’s been a rough year with a community-fracturing Ship Showdown that essentially devolved in hate being slung between three primary camps, to an awkward yearly CitzenCon event, to the money-grabbing “Intergalactic Aerospace Expo” that happens near the end of November every year and often called the “Anniversary sale” and is where you can purchase packages like the $6,500 Dominus package up to a $35,000 backer package…