Not everything can be exceptional. Not every movie gets four stars, and not every book is a timeless classic. The same goes for video games. Even some of the most highly anticipated games fail to live up to fans’ expectations.
Before we even begin, let’s be clear that this article isn’t fair to the games on the list. We haven’t even played any of them, so we could conceivably end up being way off base. That said, we have some pretty good reasons for including the following titles. Each of the games on here, for one reason or another, have shown signs that they might not be all that fans are hoping they’ll be. Here are some upcoming games we expect to disappoint us.
1. The Last Guardian
If you’ve played developer Team Ico’s previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, then you might think the company can do no wrong. Both of those games are enduring classics that seem to have a timeless appeal. Since The Last Guardian is the next game from the same studio, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it will be another masterpiece, right?
Why it might disappoint: The Last Guardian’s development cycle has been the very definition of “troubled.” First announced in 2009, this game about a boy and his giant pet bird-dog disappeared from view for years. It seemed destined to become vaporware until Sony showed it off at once again in 2015 as a game for PlayStation 4 instead of PlayStation 3. Any game that takes seven years to make and jumps platforms should be viewed with caution. Clearly something went very wrong behind the scenes
2. Days Gone
What do you get when you mix Sons of Anarchy with zombies? Something like Days Gone, a game that follows a biker through a zombie apocalypse that looks much like the one from World War Z. That means your blood-thirsty enemies — they’re not zombies, they’re “freakers” — will come at you in fast-moving hordes, which you can thin down by spraying them with automatic weapon fire. If you’re not burned out on zombie games, this will surely be worth a look.
Why it might disappoint: Call them whatever you want, but zombies are incredibly played out by now. Sure, flooding the screen with them is a new idea in video game form, but running from hordes doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. We’ll see how it plays when it launches, but for now I’m skeptical.
3. Paper Mario: Color Splash
Nintendo plans to bring color and charm to Wii U with an all new installment of Paper Mario that focuses on (you guessed it) splashing colors. As always, the gameplay mixes 2D and 3D elements, with paper cut-out characters going on epic adventures. All the color is being drained from the world in this installment, so it’s up to Mario and company to use something called a paint hammer to bring it back.
Why it might disappoint: There have been one or two good Paper Mario games, but as often as not they’re mediocre or, in the case of Sticker Star, just plain boring. Color Splash has a lot riding on it, seeing as it’s the second-to-last game Nintendo is making for Wii U (Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the last). I hope it’s a home run, but I’m not banking on it.
4. Final Fantasy XV
If it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for this game to come out, you’re right. It was first announced in 2006 under the title Final Fantasy XIII Versus. It’s undergone tons of changes since then, to the point where it hardly even looks like the Final Fantasy games we know and love. Whether the changes will work or not remains to be seen, but it’s hard to find another game launching in 2016 with more hype.
Why it might disappoint: Any game that takes a decade to make has presented the developers with many, many problems along the way. Now that it’s almost here, we’ll find out if the developers have actually overcome those problems, or if Square Enix got tired of hemorrhaging money and forced the team to ship the game.
Cuphead hardly looks like a video game at all. Done in the striking art style of 1930s cartoons, the game puts you in the shoes of the title character, who has made a deal with the devil and has to repay his debt.
Gameplay-wise, you run around and fire off projectiles to defeat enemies. The bosses are huge, with widely varying move sets and abilities. If it’s as enjoyable to play as it is to look at, Cuphead could please fans of action platformers.
Why it might disappoint: This game has looked like it was finished for years now, but it just never seems to come out. It was originally pitched as a game filled with nothing but boss battles, but it’s since been retooled to include standard Mega Man-like levels. The problem is, as gorgeous as those graphics are, the gameplay looks fairly uninspired.
Developed by Platinum Games, the makers of such excellent action games as Bayonetta 2 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Scalebound looks like a fantasy game of epic proportions. You play as an adventurer who travels to a distant world full of enormous monsters. Luckily for you, you soon befriend a dragon who helps you take on these vicious beasts.
Why it might disappoint: Platinum Games has had a decidedly mixed output of late. Sure, Bayonetta 2 was a winner, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and Star Fox Zero were major duds. Scalebound looks pretty good in trailers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much.