It goes without saying that we want every game we play to be good, but that obviously has never been and will never be the case. And though often the disappointing nature of certain releases can take us by surprise, other times, you can smell that disappointment from a mile away. Either because of shaky development cycles or poor pre-launch gameplay showings or any number of other factors, some games end up making people more than a little skeptical. 2023 has plenty of games lined up that are looking excellent, but at the same time, it has also has a few of those that have sparked that skepticism in a lot of people. Though we’d obviously like to be proven wrong on every single count, here, we’re going to take a look at five games set to release this year that, based on the things we know about them so far, are looking like they’re going to disappoint plenty of people.
SKULL AND BONES
This one almost feels like the most obvious pick for a list such as this one. When Ubisoft first unveiled Skull and Bones way back in 2017, it generated quite a bit of buzz. It also helped a great deal, in fact, that Skull and Bones looked quite promising when it was first shown off.
Things haven’t gone so well since then, which is putting it mildly. Time and time and time again, Skull and Bones has been delayed and its development has been rebooted. A number of reports have shed light on its tumultuous development cycle and the many behind-the-scenes issues its development team has had to contend with. And now that it’s finally looking like it could release sometime in the relatively near future, what Ubisoft is showing off the game is doing nothing to convince us that it’ll be able to turn things around.
Whether you’re looking at its multiplayer offerings or its general structure, at its almost complete lack of on-foot gameplay or Ubisoft’s own poor track record in recent years, there’s plenty about Skull and Bones that sets off alarm bells.
Capcom has been on a hot streak for a number of years running now, having released multiple major games that have proven to be massively successful on both critical and commercial fronts- and yet, in spite of that, we just can’t find it in us to be confident about Exoprimal or excited about what it’s offering. Yes, there’s obviously a lot of people who’ve been hoping for quite some time that Capcom will make a dinosaur game- but we wanted a Dino Crisis revival, not a co-op shooter.
It doesn’t help that Exoprimal hasn’t looked all that exciting in any of its showings either, which it has had quite a few of until now. Taking on massive hordes of dinosaurs is, of course, an intriguing concept on paper, but Exoprimal doesn’t seem to be doing enough with that premise. And its multiplayer-centric nature probably isn’t going to help it either- even if Capcom can give it the kind of post-launch support that recent Monster Hunter games have enjoyed, it doesn’t look like there’s enough to Exoprimal’s core gameplay loop to keep people engaged enough that they want to keep coming back.
Given the roll that Capcom has been on since Resident Evil 7 kickstarted the company’s resurgence in 2017, we can’t say there’s absolutely no scenario where Exoprimal won’t be good- but even if it is, it’s probably not going to be anywhere near as successful as other recent Capcom releases have been.
SUICIDE SQUAD: KILL THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
You wouldn’t expect to see a game made by Rocksteady to feature in a list such as this one- hell, until not that long ago, we wouldn’t have expected to include it. But Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is surely looking like one of the shakiest big releases of 2023 right now. Yes, it has the pedigree of Rocksteady attached to it, and yes, it’s going to be a major AAA game based on a massive media property- but almost everything about the actual game itself looks concerning.
For starters, there’s the plain and simple fact that Suicide Squad is a co-op focused game. Yes, you can play it solo, but a game that is focused on co-op is designed around co-op, which means a lot of what you associate Rocksteady’s games with might not be as prevalent here. And though being a co-op focused game doesn’t necessarily have to be to its detriment, its live service framework is almost definitely going to be. A recent Suicide Squad report offered a glimpse of the game’s menu, and it was brimming with the sort of tired, mechanical tropes that so we see in so many games these days- battle passes, cosmetics, loot, currencies, and more.
From Marvel’s Avengers to Gotham Knights, we’ve had some pretty prominent examples in recent years of superhero games that have made the same mistakes, so Suicide Squad seemingly following in those same footsteps doesn’t fill us with confidence. The fact that we’ve seen next to no gameplay footage (at the time of writing this feature) doesn’t help matters either.
FRONT MISSION 2 REMAKE
You’d be forgiven for not remembering that Front Mission 1st Remake released just a handful of months back. There was next to no marketing or hype preceding its release, no conversation surrounding its launch, and it feels like no one has mentioned it since then either. And there was a reason for that- even though Forever Entertainment’s remake did make plenty of upgrades in the audio-visual department, much of the core experience was left intact. And this is not the sort of game where you don’t need to make improvements to the core experience.
If Forever Entertainment has taken a similar approach to remaking Front Mission 2 – and so far, it definitely seems like it has – then there’s no reason to believe it isn’t going to be as underwhelming and forgettable as its predecessor was. Yes, there will be plenty of series fans who’ll gladly dive into its offerings, but it seems unlikely that the general consensus about the game will be any kinder than it was for Front Mission 1st Remake.
THE DAY BEFORE
We started this feature with an obvious pick in Skull and Bones, so it makes sense to end it with another one in The Day Before. When it was first unveiled a couple of years ago, The Day Before turned a lot of heads- visually, of course, it looked absolutely stunning, while its promise of an open world survival MMO that combines The Division with The Last of Us also sounded like a mouthwatering prospect. Even back then though, there were plenty of people who were skeptical about the game- and as time passes, that group is growing larger and larger.
The Day Before’s developer has only ever had a shoddy track record even with games of much smaller scope, which in itself makes one question how the studio has suddenly made the jump to this massive project. There’s also plenty of skepticism about how much of what is being promised with The Day Before is actually going to be in the game, which hasn’t been helped by how underwhelming (to say the least) its recent showings have been.
Add to that shady development practices, a number of delays, poor communication from the developers, and a bevy of other factors, and what you get is a game that people are confident is either going to be disappointing, or simply not ever release at all.
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