Let’s go back in time a little and talk about the 2020 AAA disaster.
The year 2020 ended with one of the worst game launches in the history of worst game launches. Yes, we’re talking about Cyberpunk 2077. The making of the game itself was troubled, and the shaky launch was just the aftermath of it.
With multiple delays, the super ambitious Cyberpunk 2077 finally rolled out in December 2020, and disaster struck. The game was broken and simply unplayable on PS4 and Xbox One. It was so glitched that it had to be pulled off the shelves. Even today, the game feels like an early access version of itself.
Comparatively, 2021 had quite impressive AAA games lined up. 2021 was quite a rollercoaster ride with its ups and downs (mostly downs due to you-know-what). On a slightly brighter side, this year saw some of the biggest games being unveiled.
However, not ALL of them had a smooth launch. You’d think these devs need to learn something from CD Projekt Red. But nope, they decided to put out half-hearted, half-done projects anyway. Here are some top games that had a massive budget, too much hype, and delivered disappointment.
Super-Buggy AAA Games Launched in 2021
Battlefield fans had high hopes for Battlefield 2042. Everyone believed that 2x the players will be 2x the fun. Loyal Battlefield fans stuck around for the exclusive multiplayer only to be disappointed. The grinding music score and shipping containers strewn awkwardly on the map were the least of the concerns.
Battlefield 2042 has got everything wrong. The game was super-buggy and players could fly right through the buildings. The register time lagged so much that you missed shots. Dying players simply wouldn’t respawn, so you’d be stuck staring at your dying avatar for the rest of the match.
Considering that Battlefield games are always shaky at the start, BF 2042 might get better after a few patches. Nonetheless, the game topped Steam’s most negatively-reviewed list and a lot of players demanded a refund.
With Sonic Boom in the hindsight, people believed that Sega will bounce back with Balan Wonderworld. In 2020, the devs gave the world a glimpse of the game and it received a positive reaction. But the scene changed quickly after the game launched. Even the promising theme, lively animation, and aesthetic approach couldn’t save the game.
The main problem with Balan Wonderworld is that it’s way too basic. The characters are too stiff; the NPCs dance too much with repetitive moves, and the music is too loud. This all defies the ‘musical theatre’ theme the game was aiming for.
But perhaps, the most obnoxious thing about Balan Wonderworld is the controls. Press any button on your Xbox controller and it does the same thing. So basically, with a tap, the character will jump and use its ability. As for the costumes, there are just too many costumes.
Call of Duty Vanguard
With Vanguard, the Call of Duty series once again went back to WWII (seriously, they can’t seem to get enough of it). But the game has its problems. We’ll leave historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies out of this as that’s an argument for another day.
The overpowered shotguns and tiny Das Haus were most discussed on Reddit. These shotguns turned Das Haus into a madhouse for DAYS before they were nerfed in a patch. Players would get killed with a single shot by enemies. The attack dogs killing players with a bite is also very questionable. Vanguard also suffered from terrible spawns. Players often spawned right in front of their enemies.
Interestingly, some fans argue that Vanguard had the smoothest launch in the Call of Duty launch history. All in all, Vanguard did a fair job (definitely better than some other AAA releases).
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition
One fine day, Rockstar Games suddenly announced a remastered edition of GTA classics. This trilogy was supposed to be a remastered version of the classic GTA games. However, the definitive edition was bugged to a point where fans questioned – was this remaster necessary?
Instead of a modernized and enhanced version of the game, players received a version that would take them 20 years into the past. It’s so so bugged that your in-game avatar will extend an arm and won’t put it down. The bodies dangle mid-air, bridges vanish, the cars start spinning randomly, your HP will reduce while you drive, Tommy pixelates as he runs, your car would randomly bust into flames, and it’s a long list…
If we start talking about graphics and characters, we’d be here for 3 days. The characters look funny and hand-drawn by a kid. The rain just looks bizarre and comes down in needles. On top of it, the game keeps crashing.
To fix all the bugs and their reputation, Rockstar Games has been putting out patch after patch. The corp has also promised the customers a full refund.
Forza Horizon 5
To be completely honest, Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best games released in 2021. But it sure has its own issues. The biggest mood killer is the multiplayer mode where it takes forever to assemble your friends.
Imagine, you and your buddies are just trying to have a good time. But you just can’t find them! You spot them on the map, you head over to the spot, and you just cannot see your convoy. Sometimes, your buddy’s car vanishes randomly. Meanwhile, in the free play, you see random players on the streets but you cannot spot your friends.
Other than the multiplayer issue, the AI seems to be rubberbanding on you. The cut scenes are unnecessary and annoying. And finally, who wants to pay 2 million credits for a house that just enables you to speed travel?
On the other hand, Halo Infinite had a smooth release, and it was well-received by players and critics alike. Halo Infinite’s release was delayed by a year. But the devs preferred to deliver a finished product rather than hastily rolling out a half-baked good.