My Steam Video Game Purchase Regrets of 2016

When it comes to my hobbies, the year of 2016 has mostly been a downer for me. It feels like buyer’s remorse has punched me in the face at every turn. To be fair, I didn’t get very many games, and some of the games on my list were gifted from friends. Regardless, here are my Steam video game purchase regrets of 2016.

The Division

I liked The Division quite bit when it first came out. The story was decent, if anemic. Gameplay was easy to pick up yet remained relatively challenging up until I started getting the higher-end gear. There was also decent character and weapon customization, though the naming conventions for much of the clothing gear could have been… more accurate.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t have much staying power. At a certain point, there was simply no challenge. End-game content was pretty straight forward: you either had the best gear and missions were a breeze, or you didn’t and failed. PvP was much the same way. There never seemed to be much of a middle-ground.

I haven’t played The Division in several months. Being a digital download, it frustrates me that I can’t trade it in for anything. To be honest, The Division is the last EA game I acquired, and I don’t think I’ll be getting any more. EA turned me off of Assassin’s Creed with it’s yearly sweatshop product refresh cycles. The only other franchise that had any chance of keeping me as an EA customer was the Mass Effect series. But it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting Mass Effect Andromeda, and that’s exclusively thanks to BioWare’s attitude toward racism from it’s senior leadership.

RUST

In the grand scheme of things Rust was alright. It ultimately grew stale, however. The game was basically Mine Craft but with better graphics. If one was running around with a group of friends, it could be really, really fun. When you actually did something other than just build, I mean. Otherwise, it got boring pretty quick.

Stellaris

I’m very disappointed in my experience with Stellaris, and it’s not Paradox Development Studio’s fault. That’s because I don’t think anything is actually wrong with the game. It gives gamers the chance to conquer a massive galaxy and it has a fairly good resource management system. It even has the ability to build and customize your own species and ship classes. Yet, for some reason, it just didn’t resonate with me like I expected it to.

Considering how much I loved (and still love) playing Civilization V and the sci-fi genre in general, I honestly thought Stellaris was a shoe-in. But, like Guild Wars 2, I just can’t seem to get into a game that I should love. And, again, like Guild Wars 2, something about my experience felt unavoidably superficial.

I really want to like this game more than I do.

The Secret World

Buying The Secret World is probably my single biggest regret of 2016. Once again, we have a game with unique and fun mechanics and decent customization. The story and the enemy groups are amazing. I love the atmosphere, and the game’s focus on cosmic horror is unique and exciting (and slightly terrifying).

But in this MMO, you have to solo the main story missions. It’s simply not possible to do it with a party. Each member of your party can do the same mission at the same time… but in their own solo instances. Like, what the @#$%? Who makes an MMO that forces gamers to solo through most of the main content?

It also has a clunky GUI, but that pales in comparison to not being able to do main missions with other people.

Along with being another title that I sincerely wish I loved more, the Secret World only made me realize how much I really, really miss City of Heroes. Now there was a real MMO!

XCOM 2

Unlike the previous games in this list, my regret here lies in the fact that I didn’t purchase this game. Instead, I decided to try before I committed to a sale — something I did with Stellaris, before buying that game. The difference here is that my experience with XCOM 2 has been absolutely amazing!

The developer, Firaxis, took everything I loved about XCOM: Enemy Within, force-fed it Awesome with a capital ‘A’, and then stuck a ‘2’ on the end of it. It’s got soldiers, it’s got aliens, it’s got mechs, it’s got psionics. It’s got base-building, resources management, and the kind of character customization that even MMOs rarely bother to give two craps about implementing anymore.

The only downside of this wonderful game is its outrageous price. XCOM 2 is flipping $80! Aside from my renewed distrust of video game marketing, that hideous price point was the only other major factor that led to me trying it before I bought it.

I stopped playing my questionable copy of the game some months ago because I loved it so much. XCOM 2 is just too good play without paying for it, and I didn’t want to risk finishing it and then not buying it. A game-save that’s only at about 30% complete currently languishes on my SSHD, and it’s killing me not to play it. I hope I’m finally able to snatch it up, soon.

Without a doubt, if you like turn-based tactics and the sci-fi genre, XCOM 2 is a must buy. Hell, it’s the only title that really caught my attention in 2016.

If this article has saved you from wasting money and you would like to show your appreciation — or if you’re just feeling generous — then go ahead and feel free to check out my Steam wishlist.

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