“Hype” is the marketing buzzword tossed around the most in the video game industry, with seemingly every major studio promising to change the way we think of gaming with each new release. Sometimes, this buildup and excitement are warranted, but nowadays, hype is almost exclusively used in service of gaming’s pre-order culture, where publishers are desperate to wring as much money out of customers as they can at the time of a game’s release. The hype machine is probably only going to get worse as retail chains like Gamestop become increasingly obsolete (publisher’s rely on retailers a lot to pre-sell their games), but if you’re looking for some classic examples of games that promised the world and came up well-short, these 10 are some of the worst offenders.
10. Assassin’s Creed Unity (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
The yearly development cycle of the popular Assassin’s Creed series finally showed significant signs of strain last year with Assassin’s Creed Unity, the 1st title in the franchise built exclusively for next gen hardware. Expectations were pretty high for the title, considering it had a new engine, an intriguing time period (The French Revolution), and was the follow-up to the pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, one of the best games in the series. When it came out in November 2014, Unity had a rough launch, to say the least. Numerous bugs and glitches made the game practically unplayable, but even with numerous updates that fixed some of the problems, the game itself was still not very good. While Unity’s recreation of Paris was visually impressive, the game’s story and characters weren’t very memorable, and large chunks of it were simply not as engaging as Black Flag. To top off the list of grievances, the game’s French characters not only didn’t speak French, but spoke with English accents — an oversight that really encompasses the lack of thought put into the entire game.