If there’s one thing developers and publishers have nearly perfected, it’s their ability to market their products and generate an incredible level of hype in their demographics. Everyone loves a good CGI trailer, and there are those who love watching those 10 minute gameplay videos and imagining how they’d handle each situation.
If you’re lucky, those developers will deliver what was promised, and the game might even surpass your expectations. But every gamer knows better than to let a flashy, beautiful looking trailer raise their hopes, after all, those hopes have been dashed far too many times in the past. Look no further than the video games mentioned below for 10 overhyped video games that didn’t live up the hype (at least at release).
The Elder Scrolls Online
After the widespread success of the critically acclaimed The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Bethesda felt confident about its next release— an MMO that had been in development for 7 years. TESO (The Elder Scrolls Online) would allow players to do exactly what they had been begging for since the days of Morrowind, a chance to explore all of Tamriel. Better still, TESO was revealed to feature the voices of several celebrities including Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, and John Cleese among others. When April 2014 came around however, initial reception was…less than stellar. ZeniMax’s overhyped MMO game was riddled with bugs, issues regarding subscriptions, and phasing issues which ruined the experience for those playing in groups. Since then, The Elder Scrolls Online has been rebranded as Tamriel Unlimited, with most if not all issues patched and fixed, it also no longer requires a subscription. While TESO has received praise for its storyline, as well as the general experience it offers, it continues to fail to meet the expectations raised before its release.
700 years into the future and humanity has dwindled, fallen toward the brink of extinction. One last city remains, watched over by ‘The Traveler’— a giant orb. Destiny’s premise seemed new and intriguing, but everyone was particularly excited since this was the beginning of Bungie’s first new franchise since Halo. Destiny became one of the most overhyped games of the year and expectations were high. With the inclusion of Peter Dinklage as a major character voice, everyone began to expect a first-person shooter of epic proportions. Lo and behold a disjointed plot and loot items people could farm. While it wasn’t wholly disappointing, Destiny certainly wasn’t the grand game everyone expected from the developers of the fantastic Halo series.
On the subject of dystopian futures, you might remember Haze. With a new and interesting concept, including gameplay elements that were smoothly integrated into the plot, there was an incredible amount of hype for this game, a game that was purportedly going to be the “Halo killer”. Never has the public perception of an unreleased game ever been so wrong. The story, revolving around Nectar-fuelled Mantel soldier, Shane Carpenter, failed to impress. In fact, Haze was nominated for The Guardian’s 30 Worst Video Games of All Time.
Not nearly as bad as the last entry, and set instead in an alternate present-day Chicago, Watch Dogs gave us a story and concepts that didn’t exactly play with science fiction, and that was what was exciting about it. Gameplay was innovative, though not as innovative as people first believed it would be. The concept of conquering and controlling a city through ubiquitous technology was enticing and seemed to come with the promise of an experience unlike any other. After Watch Dogs’ release however, the veil of ambition and exciting CGI trailers fell away and you all saw that beneath the dash of innovation, it was just another third person shooter with a mediocre plot.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Ubisoft has gotten into the horrible habit of churning out unfinished video games in an effort to provide yearly content. In no series is that more true than the Assassin’s Creed franchise, which has seen yearly releases since 2009. Still, after the success of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the announcement of a current-gen exclusive video game, Assassin’s Creed Unity was expected to astonish and amaze. Ubisoft’s audience grew excited once more, believing that Black Flag had been the signalling of a return to form for the franchise. Unity’s epic trailer and offer of online multiplayer missions made it seem that much sweeter. No one expected that those multiplayer missions would be far and few between, no one thought that Assassin’s Creed Unity would be released as buggy as it was. It was a beautifully rendered disappointment which would directly affect the sales of its successor, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.