10 Overhyped Video Games That Didn’t Live up the Hype
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.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
In recent years, the Call of Duty series has struggled to innovate, much in the same way as reviewers or critics struggle to come up with new and clever ways to say that the series struggles to innovate. 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in an alternate timeline and is unique because for the first time, players could play as Riley, a faithful member of the Ghosts squadron, and a dog. As far as innovation goes, that’s not the worst idea anyone’s ever had, but it was nothing to get too excited about. Regardless, hype for Call of Duty: Ghosts grew, partly because people were hoping that the story might bring back our beloved Ghost, who was cruelly shot by General Shephard back in Modern Warfare 2. No such luck, unfortunately. The game’s story and gameplay was criticised for being generally bland, with nothing but its Extinction mode being praised.
Ryse: Son of Rome
First of all, Ryse: Son of Rome looked absolutely breathtaking. From the moment you caught of glimpse of its gameplay trailer you knew that the Rome within Ryse would surpass any depiction you’d ever seen before. Unfortunately, unlike the Rome of centuries past, that’s where the game’s greatness begins and ends. Despite everything that got Xbox and PC gamers so excited turned out to be just another run-of-the-mill video game, complete with repetitive, albeit fluid, combat.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
For several years, LucasArts tried to create a new game to help expand the Star Wars universe. George Lucas himself encouraged his team to shed light on the period that took place between the prequel and original trilogies. Thus, Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice was born. Star Wars fans eagerly awaited news on this new adventure which should have made full use of next-gen technology (PS3/Xbox 360). The force as shown in The Force Unleashed was more powerful than anything anyone had seen in the films, unfortunately, it made for a less than impressive gaming experience. Ridiculously easy enemies and repetitive gameplay made Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, one of 2008’s biggest video gaming disappointment. It’s not a terrible game per say, but with all the excitement surrounding it, you’d be forgiven for expecting something a lot better than enemies that seem to collapse when Starkiller sneezes.
A first person shooter allowing you to don the bestial wings, mighty claws, and drooling jaws of a monster? “Yes please!” cried a mass of gamers. Two asymmetrical teams, one comprised of five human hunters, the other comprised of one monsters and its spawn. It could have been, and should have been one hell of an FPS multiplayer game, and it was…for the first month or so. The problem with Evolve, ironically, is that the fun seems to just die out quite quickly and you realise that everything thrilling about the game was shoved into the trailer while 2K Games crossed their fingers and hoped no one would notice. Despite superficially glowing reviews, many players agree, it wasn’t worth the money. Coincidentally, Evolve has recently switched to being a free-to-play game.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
Before this most recent entry into the most recent Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft was a professional archaeologist who only occasionally brought untold destruction unto the various ancient sites she stumbled into. Her adventures were exciting, generally light-hearted, and always enjoyable. Then she presumed dead for an entire game and was brought back for Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, what would have been the first of a darker trilogy. To its credit, TRAOD was ambitious. It included various RPG elements, and a stamina bar that would later become quite common. Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign, excitement for the game grew, despite the critical mess that was Tomb Raider Chronicles. Despite being delayed twice, The Angel of Darkness was rushed and released in such a hurry that what players got was essentially a half-developed video game. Quite the disappointment and definitely overhyped.