Gamers near and far are always apt to get hyped up about a game they’ve been looking forward to. Whether it’s a result of clever marketing or the developers are really good at reaching a certain demographic, there’s no doubt that video game hype is one of the biggest types of hype. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge assortment of direct sequels of beloved games all the way to indie developers coming out with the next big thing. Although often times the hype is necessary to make the game seem better than it will be upon release, sometimes the hype is overdone and as a result, we are left with a game that doesn’t match the amount of hype the game received prior to its release.
Here’s the deal, we’ve seen it happen time and time again. We get really excited for a new game, or a game that will continue the legacy of its predecessors, but upon release, we are left disappointed and demanding an instant refund. Today, I would like to shine some light on this topic and put forward 15 games that were way too over hyped that inadvertently lead to the game’s own failure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not overly critical when it comes to video games. If I can enjoy the game for what it is and spend a couple hours on it, I consider it a success. However, if the developers deliver trailers and screenshots of the upcoming release and the game is nowhere near what we were promised, at that point it’s worth the criticism.
15. No Man’s Sky (2016)
Let’s be honest, if you were not disappointed with No Man’s Sky, you probably weren’t aware of the constant hype surrounding this game. Although at this point in its life, Hello Games have released a patch that gives the game more of what was promised, the fact that the developers had to add those things after the release of the game is enough to be unsatisfied with the release. Over the course of its development, Hello Games were pretty consistent at teasing how vast the world of No Man’s Sky was going to be. They promised multiple ways of playing with other players and stressed that every planet would feel different. The problem is, Hello Games focused so much on making the game vast that they forgot about what would have made the game a success upon its release. If the patch is as good as people are claiming it to be, No Man’s Sky has a chance to redeem itself. However, if the game remains a complete and utter failure, I really don’t blame the individuals asking for a refund. If you want to hype a game as much as Hello Games hyped No Man’s Sky, the developers should deliver what they promise.
14. Fallout 4 (2015)
I hate to be the one to admit this, because I as well as many other players were really looking forward to the next big Bethesda release. When Fallout 4 was hinted at through their website, I wasn’t really a big enough fan of the Fallout series to be overly excited. However, this prompted me to purchase a copy of Fallout 3 and give it a shot. After about 20 hours of awesome game play, I understood the appeal, and I joined those that were eager to play the next game in the line. Unfortunately, even with the amount of content that Bethesda were able to throw into Fallout 4, the game still fell short. If you are a fan of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, you were probably with me regarding the opinion that Fallout 4 was not the proper sequel to these games. The reason Fallout 3 was an enormous success was because of the feeling of loneliness and death around you. Fallout 4 was the complete opposite. Although the hype was real for this game, it still did not deliver what it was meant to deliver.
13. Fable II & Fable III (2008, 2010)
Fable: The Lost Chapters was the very first proper Fable game that ever graced this earth, and with that came a couple sequels and remakes. Although the remake of the original Fable game is fantastic, I really don’t see the potential in the next two games being made into remakes. Here’s the deal: Fable II was a wonderful sequel to the original, but even it had flaws. Some things that were promised through trailers and sneak peeks didn’t make it into the final game. It felt as though the main draw in for the Fable universe was stripped and reworked. Then of course we were being given hints to another sequel with Fable III. Now, again I’d like to stress that although I enjoyed the two sequels in the Fable universe, I’m still no stranger to the flaws. To me, it seems as though instead of making proper sequels, they instead constantly tried to implement new ideas into the pre-existing idea surrounding Fable. Unfortunately, both times those new ideas fell short. I remember Fable: The Lost Chapters like the back of my hand, but I honestly couldn’t tell you a single thing about Fable II or Fable III.
12. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008)
The beloved bear and bird have had a crazy history together. With Banjo Kazooie being a humongous success and a highly sought after game, Banjo Tooie then followed properly in its footsteps creating the rare occasion where two games in the line of games were both perfect. However, given some unfortunate circumstances, Rare had to give up their rights to Banjo Kazooie and subsequently handed the rights over to Microsoft. Now, Microsoft is a great company don’t get me wrong. They’ve made plenty of great games and have been involved in the evolution of technology. However, when rumors surrounded the internet that another sequel to Banjo Kazooie was going to be released, everyone was super stoked that we were finally going to get a third installment in the games we’ve grown to love and hold dear to our hearts. What was delivered however was the garbage known as Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Don’t get me wrong, many people love the game, it even ranks above 70% across different platforms. However, if you’ve been a lifelong Banjo Kazooie fan, there’s no doubt you were disappointed with everything that was stripped from those games to make this game. Along with No Man’s Sky, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was among the most disappointing games released in video game history. It had so much potential.
11. Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)
This particular release hits pretty close to home because I was one of the many people waiting patiently for an amazing revamp of a series we’ve all grown to love and appreciate. I’m a humongous fan of Star Wars, and the games associated with the rights of Star Wars, so when news broke out that a new Star Wars: Battlefront was going to be released, I got excited. The hype for the game was real. Everybody and their mothers were expecting something amazing. But unfortunately, this particular release followed the same fate that most if not all EA games face. When Star Wars: Battlefront was finally released, many people were frustrated and disappointed with the lack of content along with the typical EA money grabbing schemes. This one is particularly disappointing especially for EA given the fact that they had a chance to revive an old loved series into something amazing. The delivery was nothing but a disappointment.
10. SOMA (2015)
If you’re a big horror game junkie like myself, you were probably looking forward to SOMA as much as I was. The thing about a horror game that has to constantly be considered when making it is the fact that you want to scare the pants off the people playing it. Given that this game was developed by the same people that brought us the Amnesia series, it’d be pretty safe to assume that SOMA was going to fall into the same category of awesome. Unfortunately, my personal experience did not allow the game to flourish. Even though the game was received fairly well, it lacked a lot of what makes Frictional Games worth playing: scare. The game is not scary. The idea behind it being a science fiction exploration type deal is great, but the promise was a game that would scare your pants off in a dark science fiction setting. I sat playing the game for a few hours before I realized that I had not been scared once, nor did I feel a sense of unease.
9. Pokémon Sun & Moon (2016)
Pokémon Sun & Moon were released literally a month or so ago, and for me to come here and include them into a “disappointing” list is a pretty big deal. I’ve not had the chance to play Pokémon Sun & Moon for myself, but I’ve read many complaints regarding the games. Nintendo and Game Freak are phenomenal at hyping up the new Pokémon games, because at the point of their announcements, people have just gotten over the previous release. Pokémon Sun & Moon were holding promises of a vast island full of adventure and wonder, but what was delivered was a dumbed down linear experience that caters to new players. Long time fans were undoubtedly disappointed with this release because of how it tries to cater to newer players and leave long-time fans in the dust. I understand that the Pokémon series is trying to accommodate all parties and not just cater to the long time fans, but don’t just get rid of the long time fans in order to include the new generation of players. Given the negative feedback these games have received, I don’t really see myself getting in line to purchase them anytime soon.
8. Borderlands: The Pre Sequel (2014)
If you remember my 15 Best Video Game Sequels Ever Made article, you’ll notice that I purposely avoided including Borderlands: The Pre Sequel into the equation. Borderlands has been a beloved game for years, and Borderlands 2 followed in the footsteps and upped the ante and brought forth an incredible sequel. Then…Borderlands: The Pre Sequel was set to release. The hype for this game was real, especially when a trailer was released showing that the character could leap into the air via jetpack and slam havoc down onto the enemy. Unfortunately, with the addition of Australian voice actors and the whole ordeal of needing to constantly keep your oxygen level at bay, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel failed to deliver what was meant to be a great game. Even though some critics were rather positive about this release, it was also not well met among some sites giving it at most…a 7/10. I’m a big fan of the Borderlands series, but I can’t say this is a fantastic release. It’s definitely the worst in the line.
7. Runescape: Evolution of Combat (2012)
If you are a long-time fan of Runescape, you should see this inclusion as no surprise. I along with a large amount of the Runescape community have actually completely stopped playing the game altogether because of this. Even if this update of Runescape doesn’t necessarily count as a standalone game, it still counts in this list because it turned what used to be a great game into a money hungry pay to win experience that threw away everything about what made the game amazing. Think of it like a terrible sequel to a pre-existing amazing video game. Basically what had happened is that back in 2012, the company known as Jagex decided it was in their best interest to rework the combat system in the game to make it fair and balanced. However, the result was a constantly dwindling community who were fed up with the update, and wished it had never happened. Although this update was pretty hyped up and people were expecting great things, the result led to people leaving the game entirely out of frustration and hatred for the new pay to win system.
6. Duke Nukem Forever (2011)
Coincidentally I talked about Duke Nukem in my powerful heroes article because let’s face it…Duke Nukem is a powerful hero and an overall badass. However, that does not keep him from being criticized when thrown into a game that isn’t rewarding his badass prowess. Duke Nukem Forever was supposed to be this great first-person shooter that was a sequel to Duke Nukem 3D. The sequel was so hyped up because it literally took forever for this game to be released, and people were expecting great things because of how long it took. Unfortunately, upon the release of Duke Nukem Forever, the game was met with generally negative and disappointing feedback with critics pointing out that the loading times were obnoxiously long and the controls were clunky at best. Among many different review websites, Duke Nukem Forever was given several 5/10’s and some even going as low as 1/5.
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (2015)
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series of video games has been through an incredible history going all the way back to the very first game people experienced. My personal favorite being Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, I thought it’d be rather tough for the developers to keep doing great things, but of course we were gifted with games like American Wasteland and others that came before it. However, back in 2015, the world was not gifted with a fantastic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game. Instead, the world was given one of the biggest disappointments the year saw. Given the games lack of expansive missions and intellectual game play mechanics, the game received several negative reviews upon release. I imagine the hype for the game was rather high given that people really wanted a brand new Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game to play, but unfortunately several magazines were awarding this game with a “worst game of 2015” award.
4. SimCity (2013)
EA games have never really seemed to be the type of gaming company to test their games before they release them. Instead, they cater to the small percentage of people that really don’t care too much about video games, and that’s how they make their money back. A version of SimCity was released back in 2013, and if you’ve been a longtime fan of the city builder genre, you were expecting great things out of this game. Unfortunately, with the typical EA formula, SimCity was met with several negative reviews commenting on the lack of content and the connection issues players were experiencing upon release. One of the biggest complaints for SimCity was the fact that you had to be online in order to even play the single player mode. This prompted the EA team to release an offline mode. It makes you wonder what EA would have gotten away with had the players not complained about the game. No doubt in my mind longtime fans of the series were met with several counts of disappointment when this was released.
3. Watch Dogs (2014)
I would not be surprised if a bunch of people started rioting saying “Watch Dogs is amazing, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” The thing is, Watch Dogs really isn’t amazing. Ubisoft as a company have not really been known to fail in regards to games, but this time they did. Watch Dogs was supposed to be this next level Grand Theft Auto game, but what was delivered was a Grand Theft Auto clone that had everything that made Grand Theft Auto boring. I understand the want to put in a new style of gameplay in regards to hacking people’s phones etc, but when it’s put into this style of setting, people will be expecting the new big Grand Theft Auto. The game was criticized for its overall gameplay and technical issues, even though it ended up being a commercial success. If you want a proper Grand Theft Auto clone, just play Saints Row The Third instead.
2. Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II are two of the finest and most fun Star Wars games ever made. Of course, there are plenty that come before it that can take that title as well, but from the mechanics to the stories of the KOTOR games, you can’t get any better. Now, back in 2011, there were several teaser trailers and screenshots hinting at a potential Knights of the Old Republic III. If you were like me, you were probably filled with so much excitement that you really had no idea how to react. Unfortunately, as should be expected, the trailers were extremely misleading. The devs for this game put forward the idea of something special and amazing and would give the character complete control over so much Star Wars related lore. Once the game was released, I gave it a shot, and instantly wanted my money back. It wasn’t anything special. Just take World of Warcraft, but throw the Star Wars universe over it. In today’s age, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a free to play MMO with in game purchases. Honestly, I’m not surprised. It should have been free from the start.
1. Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
This may seem like a cop-out, and maybe somewhere down the line it is. But I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Call of Duty franchise, and I’d go as far as saying that even though the developers of the games are constantly under fire for making the same game over and over again, this does not stop people from admitting that they are basically buying the same game over and over again. Of course, this was no different when Call of Duty: Ghosts came out. I was among the many people that were looking forward to this game because everyone was under the assumption that this was going to be the one that saves the devs from the constant scrutiny they get with their games. Unfortunately, the only redeeming qualities of Call of Duty: Ghosts is the multiplayer game play. No surprise there that the only redeeming quality of the game was the part that was more up to the players.