Games that were publicised in a certain way and then turned out to be a different experience

Nov 29, 2017
533
Ispagnia
#1
(Finally, 2 months and now I can finally post)

I'm talking about games that (for example) were sold like "The best FPS in years" but then turned out to be more like an adventure game with puzzles with sporadical shooting segments, or even promotions that sold a game factor like: X character or using X bombastic scenes in the trailers but ended up having that character only show up at the last moment and the bombastic scenes were only part of the GRAND FINALE after 50 hours of gameplay.

The first games that popped in my head with situations like these were these 2 titles:

Metal Gear Solid 2:

Almost everyone knows how infamous the publicity stunt for this game ended up being. Selling Solid Snake as the protagonist only to shove Raiden as the final protagonist, an anti-Snake of sorts, so uncool at the beginning of the game, subverting expectations.

In no trailer and/nor promotional piece of advertisement there was a single hint of Raiden's existence.

Here you have Super Bunny Hop's video about the subject, a great analytical piece for MGS 2:
SPOILERS AHEAD:

Killer 7:



The Grasshopper Manufacturer game directed by Suda 51 was also one of these. The campaigns for this game were CRAZY! action scenes, guns, 3rd person control, nice art style, first person shooting camera, explosions, characters becoming blood. ACTION ACTION ACTION!

It is true there were some other trailers detailing the more avant-garde artsy side of the gameplay and visuals, but there was not much publicity on the unique and characteristic controls and mechanics this game offered, and where the trailers showed us a game full of action, guns and craziness, we ended up having this survival horror-esque shooter that plays more like a On-rails Resident Evil than a Metal Gear Solid 2 like the trailers made it seem. Everyone thought it was going to be like a 3rd person shooter because every other game with guns in the 2000's was like that, and the INFLUENCE MGS 2 had in those years, releasing 4 years prior, made this game seem kinda like a step in that gameplay direction due to camera angles and mechanics.

Here's a trailer from way back when for you to see what I'm talking about:


Those are the only 2 instances where I could think of this specific scenario. If anyone has more knowledge about games in situations like these, please share them, I think it would make a nice discussion piece for the forum.

Thanks and have a Nice day!

Submitted by the thread:
Borderlands
Borderlands 1, just look at some early video, it's almost not even the same game!
VIDEO

Spec Ops: The Line
My contribution is Spec Ops: The Line, which lived and died by its advertisement of generic bro pro-US war mumbo jumbo in a desert country. It looked too generic, actually. It was one of the deepest, most intriguing and most shocking stories in gaming history imho, and the shock value worked so well exactly because people didn't expect such a deep storyline. You thought it was a Call Of Duty + Gears Of War affair, just shoot shit in the "buttfuck desert" (sic), but it's probably one of the best anti-war games I can think of.
VIDEO

Dead Island
Dead Island's first trailer made it seem like you were playing a dramatic zombie character survival story and instead WHO DO YOU VOODOO, BITCH.
VIDEO

BRUTAL LEGEND
Brutal legend!
Yes, demo and game billed it as a heavy metal themed Action game similar to god of war.
What we got was 1 level that is an action game and the rest is essentially a console RTS. Not a bad game, but it wasn’t what I payed my money for.
VIDEO

NIieR: Automata
Actually, NieR: Automata comes to mind.
The way the whole game was promoted. People who played NieR/Drakengard knew what they were getting into, but for first-time players of a Yoko Taro game, this was probably a game they didn't expect to turn out the way it did.
 
Last edited:

Luchashaq

Banned
Member
Nov 4, 2017
4,329
#2
Destiny. Was promoted as having huge worlds to explore and interesting stuff to do in said worlds.

In reality it was at best a half assed half of a game witg boring lifeless worlds with nothing to do besides the loot cave.
 
Oct 25, 2017
340
Indonesia
#4
Question to OP: This doesn't include overpromised-underdelivered title like No Man's Sky right?

As for me

Doki Doki Literature Club comes to mind. On surface it is an unasumming romance VN, but it's actually anything but that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,659
#5
That Jack black game comes to mind.
Brutal legend!

Yes, demo and game billed it as a heavy metal themed Action game similar to god of war.

What we got was 1 level that is an action game and the rest is essentially a console RTS. Not a bad game, but it wasn’t what I payed my money for.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,524
#7
When I played Breath of the Wild, I didn't know most of the main characters' stories would be told in flashbacks.
 
Nov 6, 2017
332
#8
Halo 5 - the entire plot of the game was built up to be much more than it was. I still liked the campaign for the gameplay but the storytelling was below par.
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,256
#10
Destiny. Was promoted as having huge worlds to explore and interesting stuff to do in said worlds.

In reality it was at best a half assed half of a game witg boring lifeless worlds with nothing to do besides the loot cave.
Spot on.
Was thoroughly suprised how small the game was in pure scale. How little it felt like any kind of "galaxy exploration" or even planet exploration or even "bigger than a normal FPS game level exploration".
It's just Halo levels but with weird non linear paths and boring fetchy quests.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,851
Netherlands
#11
When I played Breath of the Wild, I didn't know most of the main characters' stories would be told in flashbacks.
Agreed the launch trailer made it seem like Zelda would travel with Link or something + a promise of a more expansive story.

Shame it did not turn out like that, still loved the game tho but yeah story was a disappointment imo.
 
OP
OP
Guipradi
Nov 29, 2017
533
Ispagnia
#14
Question to OP: This doesn't include overpromised-underdelivered title like No Man's Sky right?

As for me

Doki Doki Literature Club comes to mind. On surface it is an unasumming romance VN, but it's actually anything but that.
I think it's good to mention games and promotions that over-promise, I'd prefer the ones that subvert the expectations of their promotions, sincerely; but over promised products are a good talking point, so go ahead
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,986
#20
Dead Island's first trailer made it seem like you were playing a dramatic zombie character survival story and instead WHO DO YOU VOODOO, BITCH
 
OP
OP
Guipradi
Nov 29, 2017
533
Ispagnia
#21
Dead Island's first trailer made it seem like you were playing a dramatic zombie character survival story and instead WHO DO YOU VOODOO, BITCH
That trailer was one of the most watched things in youtube at that time. It made everyone buy the game. powerful trailer, it was only an exposition of context for the story, though. Dissapointment.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,458
#23
Halo 5 - the entire plot of the game was built up to be much more than it was. I still liked the campaign for the gameplay but the storytelling was below par.
It isn't even the scale per se - a lot of games promise to be the next big thing and then they're pretty meh. The entire Halo 5 advertisement campaign revolved around the theme of duality, hunting down the Chief and so on. The campaign barely had anything resembling that. I think it's a good campaign, but it's totally different from what they advertised, that's for sure.

My contribution is Spec Ops: The Line, which lived and died by its advertisement of generic bro pro-US war mumbo jumbo in a desert country. It looked too generic, actually. It was one of the deepest, most intriguing and most shocking stories in gaming history imho, and the shock value worked so well exactly because people didn't expect such a deep storyline. You thought it was a Call Of Duty + Gears Of War affair, just shoot shit in the "buttfuck desert" (sic), but it's probably one of the best anti-war games I can think of.
 
Oct 28, 2017
587
#25
Wolfenstein The New Order had multiple advertisements playing up the game as some sort of wacky action comedy while the actual game's tone was extremely subdued and got downright depressing and downbeat at the end, even more so if you take your time and read the in-game lore.
Its DLC, The Old Blood, was the same to a lesser degree.
 
Oct 28, 2017
309
#27
Totally Brutal Legend. I mean, I wasn't that much disappointed because the world was awesome, the characters great and the story not bad. But damn the stage battles were a pain in the ass, all I wanted was melt faces with solos and let zeppelins crash on demons, not flying around managing resources.
 
Oct 25, 2017
822
#28
Final Fantasy XV.

Why promise all of this narrative about Noctis growing up in the trailers if you're not going to deliver on that or, well, any real story early on?
 

Lappe

Banned
Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,651
#29
I fucking loved the Brutal Legend thing. Or I loved the fact, that they kept it under wraps for so long. More developers should do this, I like the minimal marketing of The new God Of War game also. Keep it under wraps!

Destiny has to be the most disappointing thing ever. It was painted as some grand space adventure RPG, and the concept art was out of this world. What did we get? A corridor shooter with abilities, wooooo-peeeee.
 
Oct 26, 2017
465
Germany
#30
Actually, NieR: Automata comes to mind.
The way the whole game was promoted. People who played NieR/Drakengard knew what they were getting into, but for first-time players of a Yoko Taro game, this was probably a game they didn't expect to turn out the way it did.

Also, HUGE route C and ahead spoiler:
We were made to think that 2B was the game's protagonist, when, in reality, she's dead for half the game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
10,188
#31
Brutal legend!

Yes, demo and game billed it as a heavy metal themed Action game similar to god of war.

What we got was 1 level that is an action game and the rest is essentially a console RTS. Not a bad game, but it wasn’t what I payed my money for.
Literally what I came to post. I actually bought it long after release because I read about it being an RTS instead of what I had always assumed it was.

The biggest disappointment is that the game is so short and by the time everything has really opened up mechanically it's over, like it was all just a high-quality tutorial for the multiplayer, which was DOA.

Pretty good game, I might replay it...

If you had no idea what Final Fantasy was you were probably really confused by the commercials for Final Fantasy VII. I was 12 when it came out and I had never played any kind of RPG before and FFVII was a gateway drug into an anime nightmare, but I had originally been sold on the commercials which were all CGI. I had no idea what I was actually getting into.

I'll go ahead and say Bioshock Infinite, too. Promised a lot of innovation and instead was a thoroughly mediocre game that actually stripped out some of the great stuff about the first two games. We all knew they'd had to cut a lot out towards the end of development but I don't think any of us expected it to have been so thoroughly devoid of meaningful mechanics and interesting level design.

NiNoKuni promised a Studio Ghibli-quality game and only delivered on visuals, forgetting to make fun gameplay or an interesting story. It's such a surface-level take on Ghibli characters, sensibilities and stories that it's kind of embarassing.
OMG It's true. I think no one would have bought it, the art style and the humor was the main selling factor. This looks like a fusion between COD, Mad Max and battle Star Galactica
I remember the big changes when they happened but I don't remember ever seeing this. Wow, what an awful trailer.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
97
#32
Speaking of Halo, let's not forget the Halo 2 campaign was advertised as a desperate fight for Earth against the Covenant, and in the game there were just 2 levels on Earth. And it wasn't even a proper invasion.

Seems to be recurring in the series. It was pretty nice, though, that the flood was never mentioned before the launch of Halo: CE, IIRC. More games should reserve some surprises like that.
 
OP
OP
Guipradi
Nov 29, 2017
533
Ispagnia
#33
I'll go ahead and say Bioshock Infinite, too. Promised a lot of innovation and instead was a thoroughly mediocre game that actually stripped out some of the great stuff about the first two games. We all knew they'd had to cut a lot out towards the end of development but I don't think any of us expected it to have been so thoroughly devoid of meaningful mechanics and interesting level design.
Yeah, this, I was sold on this, but then I played it at a friend's house and damn. None of the things from the first trailer were there.
 
OP
OP
Guipradi
Nov 29, 2017
533
Ispagnia
#39

Advertised as being a return to the days of Quake and TFC.

Doesn't actually bear any resemblance to Quake or TFC.
This one's interesting. But I think the video wanted to portray the inspiration from those games to overwatch, not necessarily that they were taking all out movement and design filosophies to their game. ASsyou heard, the research process went into playiing COD and TF2 mainly
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,201
#40
Totally Brutal Legend. I mean, I wasn't that much disappointed because the world was awesome, the characters great and the story not bad. But damn the stage battles were a pain in the ass, all I wanted was melt faces with solos and let zeppelins crash on demons, not flying around managing resources.
So much criticism about this when it's not even 50% of the gameplay.