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This year has been a fantastic one for games, but most of the time many of these games are expected to be good. Very few would have doubted the critical success of games like Bloodborne and the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, however along the way their were a few disappointments.


Nominees

Tony Hawk 5

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 

I remember playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 when it released in the early 2000’s. It was fun arcade that helped put the skateboard genre in the spotlight, but after multiple disappointing sequels, and complete disaster that was Tony Hawk Ride, the series was on its last wheels by the time Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 was announced.

It just had to be decent, but what we got on day 1 was a completely broken experience that still hasn’t worked since it release. For a series that started offline, the design to choice to force players to connect and play online ridiculous. Could it have worked? Maybe but the execution was abysmal to say the least.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is the worst game of the year by far. Their is no competion in that regard, but the warning signs were out there. Six months before its release date the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 developer Robomodo changed the art style to be more cel-shaded. Everyone kinda knew this was going to be dud, but hey at least you can ride as Little Wayne in Space.

Evolve 

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Evolve isn’t a bad game. It’s actually well balanced multiplayer experience that makes each of the four classes fun to play. Each hero has its own play style, and unique perks similar to a MOBA, which makes each match new and inviting. The only problem though is that it’s limited by a completely broken progression system that incentivizes players to purchases unnecessary. Since each class has it own lengthly requirements to complete in order to unlock new characters, damage bonuses, and cosmetic items; players on day 1 were more focused completing their solo objectives instead of operating as a functional group. This helped splitter its base immediately at day 1, which is why the game completely fell off the radar when it released.

 

The Order 1886 

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It felt very much like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. A boring game that got interesting before it immediately ended. Yes! my playthrough lasted a short five to seven hours with little redeeming about. The Order: 1886 was a sub-par Gears of War clone that seemed lifeless with stereotypical characters, and plot. The Order focused more on world building elements that felt out place at times. Does the series have potential? Absolutely, but the second installment has to knock it out of the park similar to Killzone 2. 

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture 

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Everybody Gone To The Rapture is much like an art museum that you’re planning on only visiting once. It isn’t intended for multiple viewings, and their is a charm in that just as long as the core gameplay is strong. The story takes place after everyone in your town has gone missing, which does set the table nicely for the rest experience, but the other elements bring down the entire package. For some reason you still can’t run from point A to B making the experience on-rails in a weird way. I felt guided from point area to another rather than doing unconsciously. I never felt it my journey through this now deserted town, while I uncover why the rapture occurred in the first place.


Winner

Halo 5: Guardians 

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Halo 5’s marketing told an excellent compelling, tense story about Master Chief facing off against Spartan Locke, but this is nowhere to be found in the second half of the campaign. I was invested in each episode of Halo 5’s Hunt The Truth serial inspired podcast that told the story why Master Chief is now an outlaw.

Locke is a by the book Spartan that follows the code that is sent to hunt down Master Chief, and bring him home again. He doesn’t have his own intentions aside from leading his squad to victory. Halo 5: Guardians has DNA of Spartan Locke origin, but without any payoff, and worse the character is reduced to being a sidekick by the campaign conclusion. Master

I seriously can’t emphasize enough how letdown I was by this. The Huge potential here with Locke vs. Chief making series protagonist an outclass or outlaw in the vast expanded universe of Halo recharged my interest with the brand leading up to 2015.

And it’s a shame because Halo 5 Guardians is the best designed Halo game since Halo 2. Every map is deistic, creative and suited for each individual mode. In campaign I had multiple options to complete objectives from traveling by air, ground, or vehicle. Most single-player campaign zones are made for four-player cooperative play against the AI, which remain tough, brutal, and ruthlessness on Legendary.

Halo 5: Guardians even though campaign has some decent moments it doesn’t feel meaningful, and cluttered. Maybe the franchise is just getting too expansive continuing what for what the past two iterations have proved that the storytelling doesn’t want to take any risks.


 

For the complete list, visit our Game of the Year Awards hub page to see the full list. To learn more about our grading policy, read our review policy.

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Editor-in-Chief at Victory Point. When I am not talking about video games, I am regrettably cheering for the San Jose Sharks, San Diego Chargers, and Phoenix Suns on Twitter.