As with any form of consumption, subjective gaming experiences are often weighed against the initial expectations we have for them.
Should our experience outweigh the expectation, or at the very least meet it, the game is—nine times out of ten—thought of as good.
Every year, there are a few highly anticipated games we all expect to blow us away; should they fail to impress, we tend to call them over-hyped or a disappointment. 2016 is unlikely to be any different.
The good news is there are a number of titles many will expect to suck and, instead, will rock our faces. But that’s not what this feature is about.
These are the games we think won’t impress us as much as their marketing campaigns tell us they will. Not because we want them to be bad, but because our experience tells us otherwise.
Hitman might have been a fan favourite at one point, but over the past few months, we’ve been begun to worry about its inconsistent release plans and repeated delays.
Io Interactive first revealed the game in a season pass format, where gamers would purchase the initial release and get access to a set number of missions as a result.
If they wanted more, they would buy a certain edition of the game or a season pass, and the game would continue.
Io then scrapped this and, subsequently, has gone for an episodic release, where gamers would play the game via a series of episodes.
This plan would see the game release over a period of six months, which has brought all of the associated concern surrounding intentionally holding back content, the quality of each episode and the overall pacing being broken up.
It’s one thing delaying a game to polish it up, but to delay a game’s release and then change its release structure entirely, twice mind you, should ring some bells for those who plan on forking out the full R999 for the complete experience.
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is probably the most anticipated release from Square Enix in years, minus Final Fantasy VII Remake, but the game has us concerned.
We really want it, and we’re so hoping for it to be good, but Episode Duscae proved that the game needed polish as the frame rate, visuals and combat system were lacking.
The list of changes which came after the playable demo’s release was even more reason for concern.
Square Enix might be pushing a bit too hard with Final Fantasy XV, and being such an ambitious title, they have high expectations to fill as they try and make up for the likes of lacklustre Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII release.
One thing is for sure, you cannot over-hype a Final Fantasy title, but you can release a game not worthy of the series name.
Battleborn is Gearbox Games’ upcoming shooter, with the beta taking place late last year.
At the time, it lacked a lot of the polish we saw from prior games like Borderlands 2, but more than that, it didn’t really grab us.
Sure, the game has a solid Hollywood storyline, but it was the gameplay which left us unimpressed, feeling secondary to the general aesthetics and presentation.
Battleborn has to contend with a huge array of upcoming titles, and bland gameplay is hardly going to sell it to us.
Something about it feels… meh.
Far Cry Primal
Ubisoft have always taken their Far Cry series seriously, but we’re worried about Far Cry Primal taking itself a little too seriously.
We’re worried that for as interesting a concept as it is, it’s going to get repetitive, lacking many of the activities and additional side quests that keep you playing a Far Cry game – a la Blood Dragon.
The narrative may be solid; the execution, largely superb; but you can only kill so many tribesman with a pet sabre-toothed tiger before you need something else to do.
Think about it, Far Cry Primal is the first time in the series that the game will lack any of the series’ biggest selling points.
There’s all the chance in the world we’re wrong, and it rocks (get it, rocks), but the best we can be is cautiously optimistic.
Total War: Warhammer
Although Total War: Warhammer has the potential to be a great title, recent titles in the series have proven to be a buggy mess beyond acceptability.
The developers are also planning on selling an entire faction as DLC before release, which could mean players being locked out of content intentionally.
If it goes the way of Total War: Rome 2, a game that broke every time we so much as considered multiplayer, we’re going to be thoroughly disappointed.
It doesn’t help that their DLC race already has us frustrated, and the game has yet to release.
No Man’s Sky
Don’t get us wrong, we’re looking forward to No Man’s Sky as much as anyone else. It looks beautiful, promising a fresh take on intergalactic space exploration and sandbox environments.
Here’s the thing, it’s that very expectation we’re worried about. Can No Man’s Sky meet the many narratives, experiences and expectations we’ve all cooked up, knowing very little about what is actually possible in the game.
Speaking from consumer point of view, we’re worried that the game will lose its appeal pretty quick as you mindlessly travel from planet to planet doing who knows what.
Here’s hoping there’s more to it than naming planets the number of genital synonyms we’ve got in mind.
Fable Legends’ free-to-play module may very well be the game’s downfall.
We’ve seen in past with games like Project Spark, which released with over-priced in-game purchases, that pay walls rarely entice players to continue playing.
Free-to-play can definitely be successful, League of Legends has proved that 1000 times over, but it’s a tricky thing to get right, and Lionhead Studios has struggled in the past with accessibility.
Take Fable 3’s dimwitted, unintuitive menu system, among a number of issues besides; they’re mechanics that dissuade enjoyment, and we’re worried Fable Legends will do much the same thing.
Fable Legends looks great, but fans of the series have loved the story and great combat behind the games.
By implementing a free-to-play module, it could keep away die-hard fans who just want to enjoy the story and play a good ol’ Fable title.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Let’s be honest, Ubisoft doesn’t have the best of luck when it comes to new IPs.
Releasing lacklustre titles built around hype, marketing buzz and expensive production value hasn’t really been working for them.
Unfortunately, the beta The Division has a few worried that the game may lack enough interesting content to keep players coming back.
They may go the Destiny route, building a lot of the game’s replayability towards loot grinding and an endgame, but that would definitely be a disappointment for us.
We want a game that sucks us in from the get-go, giving brand new players much the same chance as even the most kitted out players.
The PvP side of the game lacked any sort of skill, and it felt like a lot of it was down to who had the most patience – favouring camping behind cover above all else.
The Division could be the next best thing, but it could also be another over-hyped title from Ubisoft; we hope it’s the former.