Assassin's Creed Unity
Unfortunately, Assassin's Creed Unity never found stable footing -- and that's not only because the game's controls felt clunkier than ever. Reviewers and players slammed the game for its technical shortcomings that included terrible dips in frame rate, odd nonplayable character glitches, tons of graphical pop-ins and other general weirdness.
Perhaps this would have gone over better for an unestablished franchise, but for Assassin's Creed loyalists, this was way below par for the course.
Development controversy, missing features and a few gameplay oddities all lead to a new low point for the otherwise stellar NHL series from EA Sports. NHL 15 on the PS4 and the Xbox One was missing a significant amount of game modes compared with the 2013 last-generation version of the game which drove fans crazy. And the fact that the development team chose to skip a new-gen debut in 2013 in favor of this year makes it sting that much more.
It's a shame though because there was a lot of potential with this year's iteration. Graphically, NHL 15 shined and the new announcers and presentation brought the franchise's production value to a new level. Unfortunately, the other pieces to the puzzle weren't fleshed out at all.
The Sims 4
The Sims franchise has become synonymous with groundbreaking innovation in game design, but The Sims 4 seemed to hold back on everything we've come to love about the series. It's not that The Sims 4 is a poorly designed game, it just feels like it's more of the same game we've been playing for the better part of a decade.
It seems like a deliberate decision was made to change the course of the game philosophically and unfortunately it's incongruent with what players have loved for all these years.
There seemed to be a lot riding on Thief, or Thief 4 as it was originally pitched. A bumpy development period saw the game exchange hands many times, and the final result felt underwhelming and uninspired.
Blame the lackluster result on whatever you want, but the final product simply didn't move the needle enough for anyone to take notice.
The years of hype leading up to the release of Watch Dogs frankly weren't fair. How could one game live up to so much buzz? Watch Dogs isn't a bad game, it just failed to deliver on some of the overblown drama that was created around it.
If anything, Watch Dogs taught us a few valuable lessons. Don't always buy into the hype; let the final version of a game do the talking. No demo or trailer is ever a true indicator of a game's quality, so for that, we thank you, Watch Dogs.
If we're speaking about gameplay mechanics alone, Destiny was an above-average first-person-shooter. Beyond that, Destiny was redundant, trite and stale in almost every other category.
Destiny seemed like it had become a victim of its own hype, making players believe they were getting something they simply did not. Perhaps that void was a coherent story, level variation and a substantive campaign experience -- all of which were arguably nowhere to be found.