2016 saw some of the biggest video game releases in modern memory, but they weren’t all successes – here’s our list of some that fell short of expectation.
It can be hard to view 2016 as anything except a success for the video game industry when massive releases like Uncharted 4 and Final Fantasy 15 delivered on the hype. In a year that had an extensive list of most anticipated games, many of them exceeded expectation, and fans of nearly every genre had at least one title that was considered a must-have. Heading into a 2017 that will see the release of at least one brand new console and the continued evolution of virtual reality technology, things are looking up for video game fans in a noticeable way.
That doesn’t mean that the games lineup in 2016 was flawless, however. For every game that blew minds and dominated sales, there were those that could have been just as successful but fell flat instead. To that end, Game Rant has compiled an extensive list of games that really should have been great but ultimately disappointed once they were finally released. They aren’t necessarily all bad, but they all left gamers wanting more, and they failed to follow through on their promise.
Battleborn had a lot going for it in development. It looked like a refreshing take on a multiplayer experience that was being made by a studio in Gearbox that was fresh off an incredibly successful title in Borderlands 2. While the decision to take a risk and go with a new IP rather than produce the obvious Borderlands 3 could have paid off in spades, all of what made Battleborn look unique during its development wasn’t executed upon its release. Critics cited a lack of content and more than a passing similarity with the MOBA genre the game was supposed to challenge, but the death knell for the game was its incredibly shaky servers at launch – something that crippled any momentum it might have generated and quickly led to it being forgotten.
Homefront: The Revolution
A sequel to 2011’s Homefront, Homefront: The Revolution was meant to be an improvement on all of the things that Homefront did wrong while maintaining the sense of identity that had made the first game popular. Unfortunately, a new studio, new publisher, and sloppy execution led to the production of a shooter that lacked any sort of identity at all, delivering a generic trudge through bland enemies rather than the exciting look at alternate history that made Homefront: The Revolution‘s predecessor so interesting.
ReCore was always meant to be a cheeky nod to the platforming and adventure titles that came before it, and fans were initially excited by what they saw as a modern take on a classic gaming genre. The problem with ReCore is that it relived that era too realistically, showing flashes of brilliance but ultimately ending up as a frustrating game that incorporated egregious length-padding to its narrative while being slowed down by inexcusable load times.
Star Fox Zero
Star Fox Zero is a perfectly serviceable game, and many gamers will likely find its inclusion on this list disagreeable. The problem lies in the fact that Star Fox Zero had so much promise during hands-on preview sessions and trailers – Star Fox Zero was supposed to be much more than just a solid release on a fading console. Instead, Star Fox Zero featured a steep learning curve and a playstyle that never fully gelled with the control scheme of the Wii U, and it was a far cry from the Star Fox 64 game that was meant to serve as a source of inspiration for the title.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is another case of a sequel that couldn’t escape the long shadow of its predecessor. The original Mirror’s Edge was a quirky freerunner that made a name for itself with a unique aesthetic and rewarding action, and while Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst refined those free-running mechanics, it also faltered due to a lack of content and scarce variety in its gameplay modes.