There is a lot of pressure behind new video game releases. Years of blood sweat and tears go into each title with employees in a lot of places living at their desk, away from their families, just to meet deadlines. There's a lot riding on it going well and if it doesn't that kind of problem can close studios and end in mass lay offs, It's the job of the marketing department to ensure this doesn't happen, but that sometimes means that the truth can be a murky concept as they try to ensure as many consumers buy the game as possible. Here are four times I've felt lied to by developers in order for them to get their hands on my hard earned moolah.
Metal Gear Solid 2's Protagonist
From the opening prologue mission of the game to the promotional material, Kojima Productions pulled the biggest misdirection of my gaming history when it came to this title. You play most of Metal Gear Solid 2 as Raiden, a new recruit who really should be eating more for his meals. Kojima not only focused on the Snake Tanker mission section in trailers, they actually replaced Raiden with Solid Snake in sneak peek scenes before the games release, leading to outrage that I still feel to this day. Snake features throughout as Raiden's Mr Miyagi, but under the alias Snake Plissken, a nod to the Kurt Russell character in Escape from New York and a reference that went over my once twelve year old head. Sure, with his golden locks and his skeletal figure Raiden had his endearing moments, but he's no David Hayter.
Killzone 2 's 'In-Engine' E3 Trailer
A whole host of developers are responsible for this crime but the one I remember most prominently was the 2005 E3 'In-Engine' trailer for Killzone 2. I liked the video that much I downloaded it from GameTrailers.com and kept it on my computer, watching it from time to time. I just couldn't believe a video game could look that good. Even though the game wouldn't come out for several more years I saved up my pennies for its launch. What I didn't realise at the time was the claim that this trailer was not representative of a working In-Game engine and was instead a CGI render that might as well have been Final Fantasy Advent Children, rather than an interactive video game. Sony flat out refuted that claim but eventually the truth will out and they had to eat humble pie. Fortunately the game eventually released four years later in 2009 and the progress of technology ensured that it did actually have a close resemblance to the trailer originally shown. You're still not off the hook Guerrilla Games, and let this be a lesson to the industry at large. If you haven't got anything to show, don't! We'll always find out!
Peter Molyneux's Mouth
There's getting over excited and enthusiastic about a project your working on and then there's hyping something that blatantly isn't true. Peter Molyneux's mouth has got him in trouble on more than one occasion and he's got a reputation for over promising and under delivering. The steward of one of my favourite franchises, Fable, I was too young to be swept up by his silver tongue but I'd been misinformed by other people that had believed the fake game mechanics he was peddling. In his own words he has said 'I've slightly over-promised on things on occasion. I could name at least 10 features in games that I've made up to stop journalists going to sleep and I really apologise to the team for that.' Just in Fable he promised an engine that would allow battle damage to turn into scars, a system where you could poison town water supplies and persistent world manipulation, all cheques Lionhead couldn't cash. It's a shame truly great games were put up on a pedastal to fail, just because he couldn't help himself.
Everything About No Mans Sky
This one is a very recent scar we can all relate to. No Mans Sky was the first game in years I pre-ordered and the hype train had me hooked. I LOVE space and an almost infinite playground where I can live out an explorer's fantasy or become a space pirate were literally all the buzz words I needed. It's a shame hardly anything promised on the build up to the game actually panned out. From the non-existent multiplayer to the missing intergalactic economy management and large scale space conflict against join-able factions, No Mans Sky was a big empty sandbox with very few toys in it. Sure the game has since had a large amount of updates to help rectify the backlash complaints but it came too little too late for most of the community and it's unlikely they'll ever be able to convince Playstation to sign an exclusive marketing deal with them again. It's a real shame, Hello Games made a pretty good start but they were a small studio and tried to pass off a B grade game as a AAA title.
What are some of your most memorable gaming headaches when it comes to believing developers, only to get burned at a later date? Comment below or tweet us @ghoulishent.
Founder and Writer