2023 was a disastrous year for video games, ranging from unfinished releases, horrifying glitches, bad online experiences, and an overall boring. The year did not catch a break from all these. It’s as if a virus spread by Cyberpunk 2077 infected all other game companies, resulting in the release of half-baked games despite being in the oven for ages and sold for full prices. Let’s take a look back at the disastrous video games of 2023.
This post is not intended to speak badly of the developers who worked night and day to meet the demands and pressures from all sides to complete a game. If anything is to be blamed, it’s the current system where all AAA games are hyped to death, elevating expectations and then failing to deliver due to poor release schedules. In this day and age, trailers and announcements feel more hyped than the actual game, and that also affects how we criticize games. The following list is based on feedbacks from gamers and reviewers all around, well-researched, and explains all the points. So, if you happen to disagree, take some opinions with a grain of salt.
Let’s address the obvious one first. Starfield started on shaky ground when the trailer was released, and Todd Howard was making claims like: “large-scale goals and storytelling,” “16 times the details,” and “upgrade your PC.” Well, even upgrading the PC didn’t help in enjoying this game, especially when you shouldn’t have to sell your organs to play it. The story is uninspired, exploring was boring, gameplay is repetitive and grindy, character animation was straight out of horror movies, and gameplay was sluggish. Then the gaming community started claiming it gets good after 12 hours of starting! Like, WTF?! They were out of their minds when they said that, and many angry individual reviewers had a lot to say in response. This was definitely a mega disaster of video games of 2023.
Although, due credit should be given. Some elements of the story were good, and the environment was something to ponder due to the sheer scale and isolation of the numerous planets, space stations, and the view of the cosmos. However, you are brought back to reality with the fact that you can’t hyperspace into the sun, experience seamless transitions from planets to space to the galaxy, the poor combat system, glitches, bugs, and much more. It still feels like they just increased the number of polygons with ray tracing in the same engine as Oblivion (no need to delve into that disaster). On to the next one.
Name a game that made employees of a developing company quit… Guess what? It’s Redfall! Yeah, this was marketed as one of the most interesting gameplay-wise, bringing new elements to the table. For an FPS game fighting vampires, the concept was great with cool designs and all. But yes, they failed to deliver on the promise. One of the highlights of its promotional material was smarter AI, and that’s where things crashed. The enemy AI has no idea what they are doing, often not noticing the player, not reacting at all to getting attacked, glitching through the geometry, sometimes disappearing completely, and players wander around an empty map doing… IDK, and the list goes on. It was weird, to say the least, and kind of pathetic.
8 months later, it has seen some light of hope since the devs are trying to fix this and have come close. Good for them. Only if they released the finished game at launch.
Where do I even begin with Forspoken? The story almost feels pointless, with the main character having no room for development. Like, she’s already this gung-ho brat with no mental weaknesses (except for having the ability to pick up a bag full of money on her way to save her cat). The dialogue is cringeworthy, cutscenes feel full of unfinished animations, weird character animation and expression, and the lore loses its interest. At this point, I’m just complaining, aren’t I? Well, this is the post to point out all the disasters of video games of 2023, not the blessings. Though not all bad things are without some good. The gameplay is fun for what it is. It will get repetitive and lose its meaning. The boss fights are a little fun, even though the difficulty is questionable. It’s all show and bling with zero substance, as if the devs tried to forcefully jam-pack everything into one.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Assassin’s Creed Mirage would’ve been fine with its short story and $50 price tag. Ubisoft is trying to get back to its roots and start anew with this concept. While some elements are commendable, the bad aspects overtake the good ones. The game is buggy and the traversal and stealth make you want to throw your controller. The combat is the worst so far, despite how much the paid reviewers are trying hard to sell this game. The overall plot has lost its point due to dragging it for more than a decade.
First, the stealth, which is impossible to pull off since you’ll end up getting detected no matter what, and the hidden blade kill animation is just dull. Next, the combat, which I have no idea how it’s supposed to work. The animations are boring (the type that doesn’t make you feel like a badass assassin), you one-shot enemies if you can parry, your attacks go through the enemies like jelly, and you get no feedback from hitting them (combat worse than Shenmue 3, I reckon). Then the upgrade system, which is grindy as always, and you are always under-leveled, sucking the joy out of the game. Need to level up? Play the side mission, but wait, you are under-leveled. Even if you can pull it off, it feels like getting chores off the list instead of accomplishing something worthwhile. Lastly, when will you realize that you are fooled into buying the same game every year with nothing more new to offer? I think I’ve said enough about this disaster.
Skull Island: Rise of Kong
This one is just too sad to look at. I don’t even want to know what happened in the studio that worked on Skull Island. Is this even a real game? It feels like it’s still in the production and test phase. The game is unplayable most of the time, and when you do play a bit, it doesn’t have much to offer. No art style, design, mechanics, nothing. You just run around and do the same thing over and over again. Why did they even release it? If this is a joke, it’s not funny. It’s single-player only and costs $40, which is okay, I guess. I don’t want to knock this game anymore; it’s just not worth it.
The Day Before
The Day Before is where creativity goes to die. The beginning of the game is filled with cringe, as if it’s forcing down your throat that it’s a SURVIVAL HORROR GAME. The game is hard to take seriously. It’s not just technically bad; the game mechanics are, too. Level design is uninspired, the glitches are straight from the developers’ nightmares, and there are also online issues. It’s just trying too hard to be an extraction shooter and failing even harder. It’s all just fake promises at this point.
The Walking Dead: Destinies
Well, it’s as if the entire year of 2023 wasn’t enough; towards the end, more broken-esque games are being released. The Walking Dead: Destinies is an embarrassment to the franchise. The main attraction to the Walking Dead series is the choices you have to make that have real consequences, big or small, later on in the game. But this one just throws everything out of the window. The choices no longer have any real consequences, the timing for the choices is horrible and destroys the tone of the scene, the cutscenes are pathetic and lazy, and the graphics are just straight up bad. Then what about the gameplay? Nope, it’s another 3rd person zombie-beating game that doesn’t work out either. The mechanics are uninteresting, gameplay isn’t fun, and it gets repetitive. When will the developers learn not to make the same mistakes? I’m running out of words to convey my disappointment.
Wanted: Dead is strange. It’s one of those games that are so bad that it’s good. It’s a nice change of pace comparing to the other entries in this list. Wanted: Dead is a 3rd person, shooter, hack and slash game. Gameplay-wise it’s fun. It might get repetitive but the payoff makes up for it. Even so, prepare for the cringy story, try-hard game mechanics, and a lot of weird moments.
Crime Boss: Rockay City
Here’s a game I recommended at the beginning of the year that had an insane promo, a star-studded celebrity cast, and a huge budget. The trailer even confused people if Crime Boss: Rockay City is a real game or just a crime drama show. Even with all that, it failed to meet expectations, hack, not even close. It’s supposed to be like Cyberpunk 2077 but retro and rogue-like. The game sure has its flair, colorful environment, and good art design. But the gameplay is just another FPS without any depth. The cutscenes feel like a drag and are unentertaining despite having celebrities delivering the dialogue. The writing is just horrible in that regard. Crime Boss: Rockay City faced massive loss and backlashes.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
What do I even say about Gollum? Everything I said for the other games above apply here. So… Next!
Anyway, if I have to speak any personal opinion, I just wonder how they got this bad and expected to make profits from this. 2014’s Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor had better graphics, 2002’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers pulled off better VFX, now in 2023 with all the modern advances, how do they fall this hard? It’s baffling.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (3-2)
Here’s another yearly release of the same game with different skin on. But it’s not without some redeemable substance. Some cinematics are well made (if you ignore the cringe at some instances), game design is spectacular with the graphics, subtle details like bullet shells flying out, water physics, etc., the presentation is top-notch overall. You can tell the devs really care about what they are putting out for sale. But the publisher is the main problem. They don’t care about the story at all and hell-bent on keeping their IP alive since people don’t seem to care about playing the same game over the years. So new game (with the same elements, maps, guns, in-game purchases, everything) they bring some old players back for a little while and make profit off of that. That’s it.
Lastly, it’s Payday 3, which is boring to say the least. The game feels like another lazy release with uninspired game modes, weirdly easy difficulty, and a horrible online experience with broken servers. It’s one of those unplayable games at launch that almost feels irredeemable. We don’t know the current situation of its online aspects now, but the lack of variety in game modes doesn’t just cut it. However, the game has seen some updates, patches, new additions, and the gameplay is generally improved over the last ones, which is something worth checking out, I guess. Not gonna dwell on it too much; you can try it and see for yourself since it’s also safe to recommend compared to the others above.
That’s all for now. It’s a shame the entire year of 2023 went by like this. Even amongst all the disappointments, there are still some fun to be found. But don’t be blue, the next post will highlight on the best video games of 2023, so stay tuned for that. And if you are into Anime Games, then check this out, it explains everything about anime games in 2023. join our Discord server & Telegram chat to stay updated. Until next time, stay safe ♡.