The Big Question – When Did Video Game Hype Most Let You Down?

We’ve just had Sony’s State of Play, and we’re staring down the barrel of Summer Games Fest – or as it’s sometimes known, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Cavalcade Of Games And Kojima Cameos – which means hype season is well underway. Games that are already out? Bah! Who cares? All I want to hear about is games that are coming out soon, and how they’re literally going to reach out of the TV, grab me by my shoulders, and yell in face about how fun and immersive they are. Sometimes though, hype lets you down. Today’s Big Question from TheGamer asks – when did video game hype most let you down?

Mass Effect Andromeda

Stacey Henley, Editor-in-Chief

This is a pretty easy one for me, as getting hype for video games isn’t really my thing. The first time I tried it was Mass Effect Andromeda, so you can see why I didn’t bother keeping it up after that. I preordered the Steelbook Edition, I excitedly played through the EA Access demo, and as a major Mass Effect 3 defender, I was ready for anything. I just wasn’t ready for it to suck. In the end, it was probably better than people gave it credit for, bogged down by bad animation, but aside from stellar combat, everything is missing. The characters are thin, the villain is lifeless, the quarians are absent entirely, and we only meet one new race despite that kinda being the point of having a new galaxy. Hype, not even once.

Spore

Meg Pelliccio, Lead Guides Editor

A few games fell flat on their faces after riding the hype train in for their launch, but I wanted to pick one I didn’t think my colleagues would choose. Does anyone remember Spore? This game allowed you to follow the development of a fictional species from its humble microscopic organism stage right through to evolved space travel. Sounds impressive, right?

Even if you manage to wade through the tide of phallic player creations, the gameplay wasn’t as detailed as we were led to believe, and, for me, it fizzled out during the tribal stage. There wasn’t the intuitive evolution that we thought the game would offer. Instead, it was really just a series of different stages that acted as individual minigames. In-between each stage, you would slap more features on your creature, but it didn’t seem to have as big an impact on its evolution as initially presented in earlier trailers. Ultimately, we were left with a simpler version of what we were promised that quickly lost its shine.

Final Fantasy 15

Jade King, Lead Features Editor

I’ve written about my feelings towards Final Fantasy 15 many times on this website, and it remains one of the most underwhelming games I’ve ever had the misfortune of playing. It began development as Final Fantasy Versus 13, with trailers being shown as early as 2006. But the project entered development hell, only showing up a handful of times as the franchise moved on without it. Fans thought it was cancelled until Square Enix rocked up and announced it would now be rebranded as Final Fantasy 15. They made a new game just like that, how wild! The sad reality was a game that felt unfinished, clumsy, and failed to live up to the series’ legacy with its inconsistent vision and weirdly obtuse execution. Even a roadtrip with a bunch of cute boys wasn’t enough to save this game, nor was the abundance of post-launch updates.

Battlefield 2042

Harry Alston, Lead Specialist Writer

This is a basic answer but I don’t care. Battlefield 2042 is one of the most disappointing games I’ve ever played. I sat there in the review lobby with a bunch of other players and heard people incredulously ask: “There’s no scoreboard? Wtf?” and listened to Angel’s terrible voicelines with a growing sense of doom. I knew it was going to be bad. I gave it 2 out of 5. But it was even worse than I could’ve imagined. Battlefield is one of my beloved series—games I’ve played on and off for 15 years. Here was the “love letter” to the fans, a “celebration” of the series. Yeah, right. 2042 is watered-down pisswater, full of dodgy, half-baked concepts that have taken close to a year to figure out. Grim.

Fable Legends

Rhiannon Bevan, News Editor

Is it cheating to pick a game that never launched? Probably. But Stacey already went over Mass Effect: Andromeda, so I want to mix it up. Fable Legends looked fantastic. As much as I wanted another single-player Fable title, Legends looked well worth the genre detour, and was the sole reason I was planning to pick up an Xbox One. The character design was peak Fable, and making this iconic Xbox series multiplayer seemed like such a perfect combo that I can’t believe it wasn’t done before. Every Fable game up to that point had promised an amazing co-op experience, and finally, we were getting it. And then Microsoft pulled the goddamn plug during its closed beta. I vividly remember one of my old Tumblr mutuals getting hired to work on the game just weeks before this announcement, so I’m guessing it came as a pretty big shock to the team.

Halo 5: Guardians

Amanda Hurych, Evergreen Content Lead

I can handle a game that is not as good as I had hoped. I actually thoroughly enjoyed the many bugs and corny story moments of Mass Effect: Andromeda, if that tells you anything. But what I dislike is being actively misled. Halo 5 got advertised as this world-shaking story, painting the clash between Locke and Master Chief as one of the biggest driving forces of the narrative. Trailers depicted the Chief going rogue and kind of seeming like a villain, which is something the Halo games had never done before. I was intrigued and excited. Imagine my sullen disappointment when I played the game and practically none of the marketing’s promised story beats were included. Locke and Chief interacted a grand total of two times in the game, Chief himself only appears in three of the fifteen missions, and he does absolutely nothing that could even be considered villainous. And I couldn’t even share my dismay with someone else beside me since the game did not include couch co-op.

Cyberpunk 2077

Justin Reeve, News Editor

As a huge fan of The Witcher 3, like so many other people, I was incredibly impatient for Cyberpunk 2077. I loved the game so much that when I finished The Witcher 3, I went back and replayed the entire series from the beginning. I honestly dive back into this title at least once a year. Needless to say, my expectations for Cyberpunk 2077 were almost impossibly high. The developer behind the game, CD Project, has done a great job at improving Cyberpunk 2077 over the course of these last few years, but the title was a real mess on its release date. The game is already considered to be a benchmark for bad launches. In any case, my disappointment was about as high as could be expected. I tried hard to find the fun, but there was just too much distraction in the form of bugs, glitches, and broken systems. I finally gave the game another go after the most recent patch and while I’m still in the middle of my playthrough, I’m happy to say that I finally found the fun. Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t perfect, but the title has come a long way since launch.

Fallout 4

Joshua Robertson, News Editor

Fallout 3 and New Vegas are two of my favorite games of all time, and when Fallout 4 was announced I was ecstatic. It remains to this day the only game I’ve ever been to a midnight launch for, yet that excitement turned into disappointment the more I played. It became quickly apparent that Fallout 4 was more action-focused than previous entries and I was disappointed that nine times out of ten a quest would end in a shootout. A lot of the world was littered with locations that were designed for the sole purpose of plundering to acquire materials for the base-building feature, something that I really hope doesn’t carry over into future Fallout games. I want to explore the Wasteland, I don’t care if Mama Murphy doesn’t have a comfy chair to sit on. I don’t think it’s a bad game, I just think it’s a pretty subpar Fallout game, and you definitely won’t catch me standing in line outside GAME at 1 am for the next one.

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