It's always a bit disheartening to see a game's potential held back by what I like to call a mismatch of genre and setting. Case in point Battleship, the video game adaptation of the summer popcorn flick of the same name, was a FPS that had very little to do with its nautical namesake. Granted, even if it had been more focused on naval warfare there's no telling if it would have escaped the jaws of mediocrity. That said there are some games out there that are pretty good, but could have been even better. To illustrate this kind of wasted potential let me present three examples.
There's no questioning the impressiveness of the visuals in Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. Unfortunately, most players won't have very many chances to enjoy all the meticulously crafted scenery outside of cutscenes. There are LPs of this game on Youtube in which every single level is played all the way zoomed out. From the sensors manager screen the gameplay visuals are reduced further to lots of red and green geometric shapes dancing around each other. It's a common problem with RTS games exacerbated by the evermore frantic and intense school of design that dominates the genre. Simply put, it's not a good way to enjoy the setting. The plot also lends itself to a character focused adventure game rather than an emotionally detached RTS. This isn't the empty vastness of outer space here, Kharak is a living, breathing world that deserves to be seen up close and personal (if only the game would give players a chance for them do so).
There are other examples out there, but I think I've made my point; uniquely artistic settings frittered away in order to satisfy business marketing needs. I don't say that simply to bash corporate culture. Rather, I'm trying to encourage developers to maximize the potential of their ideas instead of letting them become marred by the false assumption that homogenization is what gamers really want.