I am a man who enjoys looking at life through the lens of positivity. But sometimes, even I see things that can be worrisome when it comes to my favorite past-time. Whether it is multiple delays, radio silence from the developers or too many E3 appearances, some signs are not promising for AAA Games. Now to be clear, I am not advocating and hoping that these games will be bad, more so I feel as though there have been some red flags in their development. These are the three games that I hope do not disappoint but have signs that they could.
Delays in gaming are usually a good thing. They allow extra time for developers to get things right and polished for when a game hits the masses. But when people almost need two hands to count how many times a game has been delayed, that could start to cause problems. There is a lot to be exited for when it comes to “The Division.” Tom Clancy games usually have solid stories behind them and fun gameplay to match and “The Division” looks to continue on that course. That being said, there have been multiple red flags throughout its development. Whether it was a situation of announcing the project too soon or not fully knowing what the game actually was, “The Division” seemed to continuously be delayed. My money’s on the later because the uncertainty came out in the marketing and messaging of the game. IS it an MMO? Are players always fighting other humans? Where do the NPC’s come in? Will there be cut scenes or any type of story other than what’s in the game world? It didn’t help that Ubisoft and its multiple studios would always seem to go radio silent just as people were coming up with more and more questions. Luckily though, March is the set date for one of Ubisoft’s big titles and fans are starting to get more and more information as they get closer to launch. Let’s just all hope that they have the servers up and running when “The Division” finally drops.
The Last Guardian
By now everyone in the video game industry knows about the life, death and the eventual resurrection of “The Last Guardian.” And while the game coming back is a triumph for fans and Team Ico, players are not out of the woods quite yet with this long-gestating title. When it was finally reshown again at E3 2015, visually, the game was not all that striking. While Trico (the creature) still appeared to be detailed and interesting, it became immediately clear that this was a game that has been in development for a very long time. While not a deal breaker, games that have taken that long to develop can often feel dated in comparison to AAA Titles on a two-three year development cycle. I am looking directly at you Duke Nukem. On the bright side, the members of Team Ico have shown time and time again that they are capable of delivering a very touching and engaging companion story and hopefully “The Last Guardian” will be no different when it finally hits store shelves.
No Man’s Sky
“No Man’s Sky” is arguably one of 2016’s most anticipated games and with that title comes a mountain of expectation. Developers claims of a massive open universe in which players can discover new planets and creatures that others will never experience is an enticing proposition. Unfortunately in life though, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When hearing these claims, I tend to think back to “Spore” or “MAG” and how they just couldn’t deliver on its huge, game-changing promises. While the possibilities of the procedurally generated universe is exciting, the question becomes will there be enough new creatures and planets to keep the game feeling fresh and keep players coming back. Also, the other main worry with a game like this is its dependence on its online servers. Games such as “Battlefield 4” or “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” have shown that when a game launches and players cannot connect to servers on day one, it will ostracize fans and make them not want to come back. This is a situation that Sony and Hello Games must avoid, especially because they do not have the luxury of brand recognition with this game because it is a new IP. Just look at “Driveclub.” There is a lot riding on this one, so it’s good Hello Games is taking their time with the game. Here is hoping that all these worries will go by the wayside when “No Man’s Sky” drops this summer.
While there is reason to worry, these developers are professionals and are well aware of the public’s criticisms and worries. But let’s look at the bright side. If all of these games end up coming through on their lofty promises, 2016 could end up being another banner year for the industry we love so much.