What an absolute dumpster fire this year was for gaming. I can barely  do a regular feature of worst and best games, as there were so few  games of interest to me.

Granted there are still a few games that  I have not played yet that came out in 2021, but I doubt any of those  will carry the year on its shoulders. If I look back through my posts  since January I've uploaded more articles about movies and TV shows than  games.

Let's make the best we can of what little material was  there to work with. I'm going to start by listing the games that are of  interest to me, but haven't gotten around to playing yet, because I  didn't expect much from them in the first place, so I'm not so excited  to start playing them, or even to buy them until they get a deep  discount.

First game on this list is Days Gone, which I already purchased, but  didn't work up the courage yet to start even once. What I expect from  this, is an OK game at best, with some annoying features and quirks,  that is padded to be much longer than necessary.

Second one on the shortlist is Aliens Fireteam Elite. This looks like it  could be either an enjoyable shooter, or a total disaster. And I'm not  willing to bet my money on it until it goes bellow $10. And that's that.

Third and final game, is Deathloop, which I quite frankly expect to  hate, so it's also on my wait for a sale list. But I can be totally  wrong about this one, if it's great I'll gladly admit that, I'm just not  putting my money on it.

So with these out the way let's see the games I actually played.

The pleasant surprise of the year

I  got a games pass subscription for a month earlier to play Forza Horizon  5, but I ended up spending most of my time with other games as FH5 was a  total wash. One of the games I've tried was Comanche. And it was the  one game that I actually enjoyed my time with.

This game reminded me of many old shootemup games from the nineties.  It's like Cyberia meets Descent, with a hint of Rogue Squadron and maybe  Terminal Velocity. I found myself enjoying the simplicity of it, albeit  the controls are a bit quirky and takes a lot of getting used to. I  don't know if it's more praise to this game or the absolute state of  games pass that this was the best game I could find that was included in  the subscription.  Either way if you are looking for a bit of nostalgia  I recommend this game. But keep in mind that it has nothing in common  with the old Comanche series by Novalogic apart from the name, which is  now owned by THQ Nordic.

The not so pleasant surprise of the year

I  often say that when your expectations are not met then you had  unrealistic expectations, which is a true statement in this case as  well. But there is not much point in expecting a bad game, is there? If I  expect something to be bad I won't bother with it, as with Deathloop  which I mentioned above.

I did not go for a Games Pass subscription because I expected this  game to be terrible, I did so, because I expected to finish it in a few  days or a week maximum, just as I did in the case of Forza Horizon 4,  which was a decent game, the best arcade racing game on PC since  forever. Unfortunately, with FH5 Microsoft decided to lean on the  aspects of FH4 that I liked the least. The cringey hipster racergirl/boy  act, but I'd have let that slide if the actual gameplay was good. But  it's not. The AI is so bad in this game that it kills me from inside  just to think of it.

The difficulty slider of the AI does not  alter their skill, it simply alters their car's performance. Which is  asinine. This means even on medium difficulty the AI will be much faster  than you in a straight line when driving the exact same car as you. And  there is no middle road, lowering the difficulty makes the game too  easy, raising it makes it bad.

I also took issue with the lack of  FOV in the game. It made me literally nauseous. The FOV slider  goes up  to some ridiculously low values.

The game was further hindered by technical issues, like loosing  connection to the servers ever ten minutes, and I also had audio issues  with it that were causing me a headache. My experience was so bad that  my patience ran out before my games pass subscription, hence why I  started trying other games on offer.

So that is why Forza Horizon 5 wins my disappointment of the year award.

The controversy of the year

Of  course it is this category that has the most contenders, like the  Blizzard debacle, and Ubisoft is not far behind. I don't want to go too  deep into either as there is just not enough concrete information to  pass any judgement. Of course that doesn't stop youtube channels like  jimsterling and yongyea to dish out rock solid judgements left and right  as if any accusation = fact. I don't remember Randy Pitchford getting a  tenth of hate when in his case there was actual evidence of being an  abusive jerk, and a thief among other things.

It seems to me that  in both Blizzard's and Ubisoft's case there were actual victims of  workplace mistreatment, but the campaign for justice for those people  was hijacked by activists trying to piggyback their politics on the  case. Which can only hurt the chances of dishing out actual justice for  those involved, instead of social justice.

There was other  smaller cases, like Raven firing a bunch of people recently, but those  are all small fries compared to Blizzard, who didn't just manage to be  terrible, but make things worse by their knee jerk reactions. Like  removing even mild references to flirting from WOW, yeah that's going to  make everything alright, won't it? See, blizzard is a good boy now,  they are removing naughty stuff from their games, see?

Blizzard clearly wins biggest controversy of the year.

The worst game of the year

What  does no imagination, no talent, and chasing trends give you? Oh yeah,  it gives you Outriders. The shittiest game I've ever seen that dared to  identify as triple A.  Zero innovation, plagiarized story, generic  gameplay, unimaginative maps, joke of a graphics. That is Outriders for  you. If you think that's not enough words wasted on this abomination, go here.

And finally, the only thing that is left is choosing the

Game of the year

Frankly  I'm of a mind to forego that choice this year, as there was no game  worthy of the title, any game I really enjoyed playing was not released  this year, so they are disqualified. So instead of chosing the game of  the year I'll do honorable mentions. Or rather mention, as there is only  one game that was relatively enjoyable and came out this year, and this  is...

Of course the game is not without its problems, and I already did a review of it, so if you want the details look for it there.

That an almost average game with terrible story and writing was the best we got this year makes me disillusioned.

Hope for 2022

There  is no way 2022 can't top 2021, but it remains to be seen if it will  just be a slightly better year, or an actual good year. There are such  titles to look forward to as Elden Ring, Starfield, Gran Turismo 7, Test  Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, Horizon Forbidden West.