We call it how we see it here at Dealspwn. Often that means we get incredibly excited about upcoming games -- sometimes too excited, I'll admit -- but by the same token we also can't help but grow concerned after testing, previewing and analysing titles that seem to be headed down a worrying path. Or worse, are being hyped far too much.
So, as per our yearly tradition, here are the ten games with the most potential to disappoint us or otherwise fail to live up to their hype in 2015. Obviously we're not saying that every game on this list will be bad, and we desperately want to be wrong. We want to be made to look like small-minded idiots by games that defy our expectations... or give us realistic expectations in the first place.
Here's hoping, but for now, be prudent with your pre-orders...
10: No Man's Sky
Whoa there. Calm down. Let me explain.
The problem here isn't with the game, rather it's with some of the crazy expectations I see day in, day out, from people who don't know what No Man's Sky actually is. I.e. an exploration game where you chart a lonely course through a vast and mainly empty universe, offering the thrill of discovery above anything else. It's not some sort of multiplayer space sim sandbox (to be clear, you'll likely never see anyone you know due to the size of the universe, the distances involved and your random placement therein). If you've played MirrorMoon EP, you'll know roughly what to expect since the basic premise is exactly the same.
I suspect that No Man's Sky will be incredible, but like many niche games it won't be for everyone. Especially for those who are expecting a totally different game. Do your homework to avoid disappointment, and remember that too much hype can kill even the most wonderful things.
Evolve is a tough sell. What could have been a fantastic idea for a budget PC download with a dedicated passionate audience, such as Natural Selection 2, is distinctly unattractive as a full-priced console game. Since enjoyment hinges on everyone knowing exactly what they're doing and skill levels being balanced to a hair, fun is simply not guaranteed, while its Esports credentials are a little shaky too.
Still, the newly-announced Evacuation campaign mode makes for some markedly improved value. Stay tuned for more on that later this week.
8: Quantum Break
Quantum Break is an interesting proposition. On the one hand it's set to be an intense shooter with an astonishingly clever storyline that unfolds based on your choices, rooting you in the time-twisting narrative.
On the other hand, the entire game will crumble if the story doesn't measure up, or the combat fails to remain fresh and interesting after several hours. Our early impressions are promising, and this is Remedy we're talking about, but there's so much expectation and risk in play here that we have to include it.
7: Final Fantasy XV
We keep waiting for another great Final Fantasy from a Square Enix obsessed with fussy art direction, mad combat innovation for the sake of it and horribly convoluted storylines... but Vaas has the right of it. From the trailers, XV looks like being stuck on a road trip with glum poorly-dressed people you hate.
We like Techland. They're great sports and they love what they do, but on the flip-side, we have to point out that the only genuinely great game they've made in years is Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger. Everything else has been oversold, shonky or plain terrible, and Hellraid looks like it could shoot for all three.
With luck they'll remove some of the embarrassingly clichéd story beats and focus on the action at the very least.
5: Battlefield Hardline
We're delighted that EA delayed Battlefield Hardline to fix Battlefield 4 and address our concerns from the beta, but will the game change dramatically enough to make it worth buying next year? Will every police officer and bank robber still have parachutes and grenades? Will it just play like Battlefield 4 with motorbikes?
As it stands, we're unconvinced that Hardline needs to have multiplayer at all, and perhaps could have just offered a campaign DLC pack for Battlefield 4. Again, we want to be wrong, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this one.
“GODUS is a unique game that we hope will grow to be truly special. We've thoroughly enjoyed developing our dream game alongside the community and are continuing to refine the game based on the feedback of the players. We warn you that there are still bugs and incomplete features - this is the nature of the journey we are on. You may wish to wait for the finished game, but we have much content still to discover and improve as the game continues development. We do hope you’ll help with this. If you do, you are part of our development team. We look forward to receiving your feedback.” - 22cans
"It's a boring click-heavy waiting simulator from the once and future king of self-aggrandizing flam." - Everyone else.
Still, at least Godus isn't the most potentially disappointing title associated with Peter Molyneux to grace this list...
3: Fable Legends
We're still not sure why the Fable franchise made it past two games. Albion was a vaguely amusing parody in the first title, but the joke wore thin in Fable 2 and is now a shuffling embarrassment with the worst voice acting in the business. We can't take a world designed to be a parody seriously. It just doesn't work like that, and we can't believe that Lionhead are back for another run rather than attempting to launch a new RPG universe.
Still, hey, 4 vs 1 multiplayer. That's exactly what precisely nobody wanted.
2: The Division
Ubisoft's 2014 track record + outrageous hype = disappointment recurring.
I desperately want to be wrong, but the equation is right there.
1: The Order: 1886
"You're going to absolutely love The Order: 1886, PS4 fans.
"Well, if you adore quick-time events, that is. And games rigidly holding your hand. And not being able to deviate from mission parameters at all. Oh, and if the mere thought of instafail stealth gets you all tingly. Basically, if you're a fan of outdated, outmoded, excruciatingly linear game design, you're going to love The Order: 1886." - Matt
"Annoyingly, The Order 1886 basically rips the controller out of your hands every minute or so in order to show you a cutscene. "Stop all that shooting, " it seems to say, just when you're hitting a groove, "I've got something to show you." Hectic thermite-cooking gameplay melts away into stodgy dialogue, followed by trudging around a house and helping to move an injured police officer into cover.
"Which, like so many shooters from Gears to Ghost Recon Future Soldier, involves controlling Galahad's pistol arm in a drab rail-shooting section. Shoot some grunts in the face. Then some more run out. Great." - Me
The Order is 0 for 2, and remember, devs usually try to show us highlights of their games at preview events.
Prove us wrong, Ready At Dawn.