With the disastrous launches of Cyberpunk 2077 and XIII Remake still being fresh in our minds, we have some real trust issues when it comes to upcoming projects. Far too many games this generation have made it to the finish line in a subpar state, so we're of course going to pay close attention once the red flags start to emerge. Looking ahead to 2021, we've noted down various thoughts about some games that leave us a little on edge.
Some games on the list have given us actual credible intel, that suggests that not everything is groovy behind the scenes. Not so with Experiment 101 that has mostly kept to themselves as the months have gone by, only giving us a few glimpses at BioMutant for over a year.
So why is it even on the list? Well, mostly because of the timing of its release. You see, BioMutant was actually meant to be released before the arrival of the new-gen consoles. The lack of dedicated versions or even an acknowledgement of their superior firepower is sound proof thereof. The game was aimed at PC, PS4 and Xbox One at the time, but regardless of the platform strategy the silence turned to noise over the course of this long dry spell.
By now, one simply has to wonder what essentially happened to the game. Sure, the studio could be taking their time, but lack of marketing and lack of general responsiveness has generally made audiences across the globe look to other RPG fixes for 2021.
The latest interview with Klemens Kreuzer was just the nail in the coffin, first confirming the game will launch this fiscal year, which ends in April, before issuing a follow-up statement confirming it's actually next fiscal year, once more throwing the game into limbo.
Dying Light 2:
Of all the games on this list, Techland's Dying Light 2 is probably the one where it's mostly the noise surrounding the development team that has contributed most to its listing. Recently, Techland veteran through 22 years, Pawel Selinger, left the team, creating a dispute as to how influential his role on the team even was. But this is just the latest.
Chris Avellon left the team last summer after some serious sexual harassment allegations made against him, and even this came after several reports of describing the situation surrounding the development as "a total mess".
This comes after a delay, controversial statements from various staff members, and an obvious falsehood, since Techland claimed during Summer 2020 that the game was entering the "final stage of development". To this day, we've seen one 26 minute gameplay chunk, which was the E3 2019 demo - and the chunk itself is from August 2019.
We've been promised updates "soon", but who knows.
Dead Island 2
We could probably write a book on its development woes at this point, but publisher Deep Silver has confirmed as late as last December that Dead Island 2 is still coming. We caught our first glimpse of the zombie slaying sequel back at E3 2014, but since then the game has changed hands with three different developers and nothing further of note has been announced. The project has now seemingly been in development for over seven years at this point, which hilariously (or perhaps tragically) is almost as long as Cyberpunk 2077.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Things have gone awfully quiet for Beyond Good & Evil 2, and the recent departure of series creator Michel Ancel hasn't exactly been a promising sign for the project. The Rayman creator announced on his Instagram last September that he would be departing from Ubisoft and this caused many fans to speculate about the future of the project.
The game turned heads at E3 2017 with its CGI reveal trailer, which saw a gun slinging monkey grace the spotlight, but following this no release window has ever been announced. This silence has certainly felt uncomfortable especially considering that many other games have been revealed and released within that very same time span.
Following Ancel's departure, however, Ubisoft announced that the project is in "good hands" and that we should be seeing some kind of a reveal in 2021. Perhaps we're overthinking this one, but something does feel a little unsettling about its prolonged silence.
Where to start with this one. Remember back in July 2020 when 343 Industries revealed the first look at Halo Infinite gameplay, and we all saw Craig the Brute for the first time. Well that only marked the beginning of what has been a tornado of developmental chaos that has thrown a lead director out of 343's windows.
Since that forsaken day when the flagship launch Xbox Series title was shown off on an 'old build' and looked to be a disappointing graphical mess, fans of Halo across the globe have been left wondering what they'll be in store for when this project finally lands, which is now looking to be Fall 2021 - nearly a year after it was expected to be delivered.
As the days have rolled on, this title has seen many changes to the members on its developmental team, to the point that it's impossible to keep track, and to cap that off, for a short while it was looking like the old-gen version coming to Xbox One might've been scrapped entirely. We have seen some interesting looking screenshots recently, so not all hope is lost, but it's hard to stay positive when looking at the trail of disaster Halo Infinite is leaving behind.
Compared to some of the horror stories we've covered over the course of this article, Outriders seems like an imposter. But, considering this game has been shown off in pretty much every conceivable way, yet it has still been delayed by a couple of months, you have to ask the question, what's wrong?
Perhaps we're all just a little on-edge following the havoc left in Cyberpunk 2077's wake, but it's not like People Can Fly are known for their ambitious AAA projects like CD Projekt Red is. So, when we hear that a game that we've personally previewed twice and seen hours and hours of footage of isn't ready despite being only a few weeks from its launch date - we get a little nervous.
Granted, Outriders has only been pushed by a few months, but that's how it all starts. Before we know it, this game that is marketed as a complete experience upon purchase is missing vital content and needs an extra six months, then three more months, before hitting a turbulent launch. Maybe we just need some counselling to work out these Cyberpunk issues, or maybe there's something there.
We're not saying that any of these games should be avoided. It's just worth being a little cautious when looking at some of these highly anticipated titles, as we really don't want to be unprepared for another messy experience as was the case with Cyberpunk 2077.
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