As more and more video games get released unfinished or unplayable we look at five of the biggest video game fails in history.
When you buy a new game, you expect it to work properly. Much less, you expect the game that you’ve just shelled out on to work as it was advertised.
Yet despite these humble wishes, more and more games are being released only to disappoint those who play them. Everything from a lack of quality assurance (QA) testing, the new generation of consoles and a developer’s unwillingness to fix problems could be to be blame, but one thing is for certain and that’s that broken games are unacceptable.
So, to point light (or simply just to point out) the broken games of recent times, we’ve put together this list. Have a look at the games that gave us the biggest headache and add some of your own in the comments!
1. Assassin’s Creed Unity
Released just a few weeks ago, Assassin’s Creed Unity was initially touted as the great big leap forward in the Assassin’s Creed series ever. There have been over a dozen entries in the franchise now and so new, more fluid free-running, the addition of a new co-op mode and the grand, picturesque setting of Paris during the revolution all hoped to soothe series stagnation.
Unfortunately, what we got on release day was a sorry state of code. Developer and publisher Ubisoft billed the game as 30 frames per second at 1080p HD but many reports suggested that the game dipped below 10 FPS, making Unity look absolutely awful. Other graphical issues included character faces suddenly going missing while at some points NPCs would just show up in the middle of a cutscene and start heckling the protagonist. There were also server connections that even prevented players from accessing loot chests.
Thankfully, Ubisoft has already released several patches (some problems are still being reported though) and are offering free DLC and games to apologise. As the biggest franchise they own you can’t help thinking that this never should have happened, though.
Another casualty of the new generation of consoles was Driveclub. Released back in October, the PS4 exclusive racer wanted us to ‘team up and throw down’, working with other players to be the best and beat other teams for fame and glory. The game seemed promising too and after several delays (it was set to be a PS4 launch title before being pushed back to early 2014 and then again to October 7th) many were excited for it.
That excitement soon dissipated however, as a slew of connection issues prevented the game from working as advertised. Players were forced into long multiplayer queues to solve the problem and give developer Evolution Studios a chance to fix the servers, they even opted for a one in/one out system where you couldn’t join multiplayer until someone else had left it. In addition, these server problems have also led the PlayStation Plus version of Driveclub to be delayed which is a shame as the free PS+ version (which was set to offer a slimmed down version of the game) had proved to be a huge draw to the service, the game and the PS4 console itself.
As it stands, ‘most’ of these problems have been fixed. There’s still no word on the PS+ Driveclub release date though.
3. Battlefield 4
Speaking of on-going problems – EA and DICE’s first person shooter Battlefield 4 is a prime example. Considered to be the only worthy competitor to last year’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, plenty were looking forward to the massive multiplayer battles. Sure Battlefield 3’s single player mode was rubbish and we weren’t expecting much from BF4’s offline campaign either but that could all be forgiven if the online side of Battlefield 4 was fantastic.
Sadly, it wasn’t. Rather, from launch people had their gameplay battered by netcode issues (problems with the network’s back-end, essentially), glitches and game-breaking bugs. Some of these include the ‘death shield’ bug which meant that corpses could block explosive damage, along with serious rubber banding which was lag that sent you all across the map (like a rubber band) after you’d moved around a bit.
Battlefield 4 is still facing bugs like these too. A year on from launch they are less prevalent but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious cracks to be smoothed over. It’s also no wonder then, that EA shareholders have taken the publisher to court over ‘misleading’ statements about the game’s quality.
4. Diablo 3
Also suffering from server issues was Diablo 3. One of the most highly anticipated games in recent history, the RPG suffered under the weight of all that popularity.
When the game launched in May, 2012 thousands of players hopped online hoping to take one of Diablo 3’s classes for a spin, but they were stopped in their tracks and greeted by the (now infamous) Error 37. What Error 37 meant is that the game’s servers were overwhelmed and couldn’t take anyone else online. Many players were left unable to play for several days, the problems were that bad.
Eventually they were resolved though as developer Blizzard set up a queuing system that eased the strain on their servers. There have also been few reports of big issues since (not even with the release of the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls expansion pack earlier this year) so things seem to be going well.
In SimCity, the idea is that rather than micromanaging your Sims and tailoring their lives the way you do in ‘The Sims’, here you can just build and control the world around them. One of the biggest draws is that you can demolish a city with natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods but here, the only disaster was the game’s launch.
Most of the problems pertained to the online requirement. That’s right, you could only play SimCity when you were connected to EA’s servers and there was no offline mode whatsoever. While this was straight up unseal for a mostly single player game (you can trade with your neighbours but most of the fun is by your lonesome) it was made all the more frustrating when EA’s servers couldn’t cope. You couldn’t connect to the servers and an offline mode didn’t exist and so for several days no one could play SimCity at all.
It took two weeks and several disabled features for the game to run smoothly server-wise; but SimCity still had a bunch of other features that didn’t work either. These included a massive AI problem where although Sims in SimCity were meant to be individual and even have their own homes, they were actually driving to the nearest home available instead. On top of that, Sims were meant to drive on empty roads but instead they were just taking the shortest path to their destination, leading to congestion and traffic jams in your city.
These problems do all seem to be fixed now though and after a year on sale, EA did finally release an offline mode for the game. Took them long enough.
Can you think of a broken game? Let us know in the comments!
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