Chances are you’ve heard this scenario before: a new game is announced at a big event like E3 or PAX. You’re told what the game will contain and you’re instantly excited. Time passes and more information is released, increasing your excitement, and fan theories stir the interest even more. Finally, perhaps after a delay or two, the game is released, but it ultimately fails to live up to your expectations.
This isn’t always the fault of the gamers setting high expectations, though. Sometimes the companies behind these games promise great things and just cannot/do not deliver. Other times, something goes wrong and the game isn’t as good as it could’ve been, or deadlines get out of control and a game is rushed out unfinished. For one reason or another, sometimes games just fall victim to hype.
Game Rant has come together to list 5 games that are prime examples of that overhype. Games that, either through the companies promoting them or the fans wanting them, were hyped as the next big thing and in some way, didn’t deliver or meet expectations.
Please note: just because a game didn’t deliver on everything it said it would doesn’t mean it was bad. A number of these games were still good, or at least decent. They just didn’t deliver of everything they were meant to.
#5. Crackdown 2
Crackdown was something of a surprise hit when it arrived on the Xbox 360. It had a hand in starting the “superhero sandbox” subgenre, which games like InFamous and Prototype expanded on, and garnered its fair share of fans. The success ensured that a sequel was on the way, eventually announced at E3 2009. The main focus of the promotion was that it would feature multiplayer, which was naturally appealing to those wanting to take down multi-million dollar crime syndicates with their buddies. About a year later, the game was released.
The problem with Crackdown 2 it was basically more of the same, but worse. Very little in terms of gameplay was changed and the game actually featured less variety than its predecessor. Players could be forgiven for thinking it was the same game, or at least part of the same game. The story of Crackdown 2 was cut down in comparison to the first Crackdown, which left some wondering why they were fighting the good fight, doing the same thing over and over again. This game did not deliver.
#4. Final Fantasy XIII
The Final Fantasy series has been through a lot of changes over the years. Starting as the originator in high fantasy and RPGs on this side of the planet, it evolved into a tech-punk sort of story featuring characters with ridiculous hair and equally ridiculous weapons, and has got to the point where no one knows what to expect next. XIII was the first to appear on the current console generation so naturally, fans were hyped, particularly PS3 fans who needed exclusives. But then, the news broke that XIII would be appearing on the Xbox 360 as well. This sounded almost like a death knell for the PS3, and many were saying that if Metal Gear Solid 4 jumped ship as well, the system was finished. Meanwhile, after delay after delay, Final Fantasy XIII was released four years after its announcement at E3 2006.
Final Fantasy XIII had to deal with a ton of controversy on its release. Very linear gameplay and a problematic fighting system hurt the appeal of the game, while its story also failed to deliver. Despite the criticism, there are loyal fans who fiercely defend it. In the end though, FFXIII, followed by the disappointing MMO FFXIV have caused some to wonder if Final Fantasy as a series can survive in today’s gaming market.
Peter Molyneux has become something of a joke to some gamers. He’s become infamous for promising incredible things in his games and failing to deliver on such a level that it’s spectacular. Nowhere was this more apparent than with Fable for the Xbox. Peter promised incredible things, like “trees that grow in real time”, “rival factions that go to war with you”, “characters that age over time” and so on. With all this and more going into one game, Fable had to be one of the best things ever, right?
Well, not exactly. For starters, none of the three things mentioned made it into the game. Yes, your character did grow up, but via a timeskip rather than over time. You could choose between good and evil, you could get married, you could make your character fat or thin, but it ultimately didn’t mean anything. The ending was still the same and your choices really didn’t change much of anything. All the choices seemed tacked on for gimmick’s sake. Still, Fable has its fans who enjoy it for what it is but it didn’t contain everything Molyneux said it would, and that’s why it makes it onto the list.
#2. Medal of Honor (2010)
The Medal of Honor series was often criticized for offering one bland WWII game after another. In a world where Halo was gaining ground and Call of Duty was pushing FPS games as the big genre, gamers were getting tired of playing the same scenario over and over and over. So, the series disappeared for a while before being set for a reboot. EA would take Medal of Honor the Modern Warfare route and bring its next story to present day Afghanistan, with actual members of the armed forces helping develop the game.
While the new Medal of Honor was praised for its change in setting, it was more of the same the genre already had to offer. We had Battlefield: Bad Company and Call of Duty already and this game followed a similar path, only without anything new attached to it. In doing so, it just became another run-of-the-mill shooter. It would have its audience, but wouldn’t be the groundbreaking experience it promised to be for critics or gamers, and certainly not a contender to take down Call of Duty like EA promised.
Homefront had a lot of promise behind it. Instead of being an ultra-futuristic space shooter or one taking place in a famous historical war, it would take place in the near future and tell the close-to-home story of a battle between scattered U.S. Forces and an oppressive Korean government. It was something different and held a lot of expectations as a new force in FPS gaming.
The story however, failed to help push the game forward. The game did not offered a restricted single player experience and was criminally short, forcing the game to rely more on the age-old fallback of shooters, the multiplayer. Because of this, like with Medal of Honor, Homefront failed to be the unique, revolutionary IP people were expecting it to be from the marketing, and it just became part of the pack of console FPS’s that are so ingrained in gaming today.
Now that you’ve seen our picks for the Top 5 Most Overhyped Games, what lesson can you take from this? Simple: Don’t raise your expectations too high. Whenever something new is announced, always look at it with an objective eye. You never know if something can meet the high expectations set by smart marketing and eager fans. Keep this in mind as you prepare for the newest items to come out of this business that we follow. Like say, for example, the Wii 2?
A special mention goes to Daikatana which was originally on our list but replaced by a more recent overhyped game. List some of the games you’ve played that you felt were disappointing in some way due to overhype.