13 Biggest WTF Video Game Moments Since 2010 –
The mood swings of a teen in the midst of their hormone-fuelled rebellion years are nothing compared to the unbeatable highs and lows of our dearest gaming industry.
In a perfect world, only the former would exist, with developers and publishers alike endlessly attempting to one-up each other in a winner-takes-all contest for the public’s attention. After all, nothing lingers in the mind like a mesmerising reveal trailer or the surprise announcement of a remake to end all remakes, but those rare occurrences sadly aren’t the only trigger for a simple, three-word ‘What the f*ck!?’ response.
We have to take the good with the bad, then, but does there really have to be so muchof it?
From publishers seemingly content with squeezing every last penny possible from their customers’ wallets to nonsensical endings and broken products, not in any other decade thus far have we ever been so generously inundated with completely illogical or absurd gaming moments.
The emotional rollercoaster begins now…
13. Star Wars Battlefront Takes All Your Money
Most forms of worthwhile entertainment require you drop a reasonable amount of cash at the door as an entry fee, but Star Wars Battlefront took more than a few liberties in attempting to milk the Star Wars name for all it’s worth.
It’d be willfully ignorant of me to ignore the questionable business strategies of other publishers (here’s one shining example), but Star Wars Battlefront certainly takes the cake. This is, after all, a shooter that for all intents and purposes, never felt like a finished product even from day dot.
From the total absence of any single-player campaign to a painful lack of variety, EA and DICE settled on doing the bare minimum to justify Battlefront’s price tag, content to sell a bolt-on Season Pass for almost the same price as the game itself.
Not the best way to win consumers over to your side, is it, EA?
The stigma generated from that still lingers around Battlefront like a bad smell, but it at least looks as if those wrongs will be righted with Battlefront II. Confirmation of a single-player component is already a massive step forward.
12. BioShock Infinite Gets Dumbed Down
From work in progress to the finished product: all artistic creations, whether they be film, literature, video games or otherwise, all go through so many drafts, edits and builds over the course of creation that it’s inevitable something will be lost in translation from beginning to end.
BioShock Infinite’s final form, though, felt damn near like a different beast entirely to what Irrational Games had shown of the cloud-scraping city Columbia and its crazed inhabitants prior to launch day.
Remember how the strain of having Elizabeth open tears was supposed to weave in with an interesting risk vs. reward mechanic? Scrapped. How about the tears themselves, of which there were supposed to be a whole host of different permutations and varying outcomes? Scrapped, in favor of the same cut-and-paste options in each combat scenario ad nauseam.
Those are the two most notable absentees, to be sure, but you’d be surprised by just how much of Infinite was left on the cutting room floor.
11. P.T. Makes Gaming Truly Terrifying Again
Not until that fateful August day back in 2014 when P.T. spontaneously arrived on PlayStation 4 did I come to the – not quite profound, but interesting, nonetheless – realization that I had, up until this point, never found a video game scary in my life, at least not to the extent in which P.T. managed (and still does).
Sure, Outlast, Amnesia and the classic Resident Evils all have their moments, but this? The anxiety crept in immediately, doing all it could to make me relinquish the controller and walk (read: run) far, far away, never to return and make a sheepish peek aroundthat narrow corner for the umpteenth time.
In hindsight, I only wish I’d recorded my facial reactions to P.T.’s more gruesome moments if only to see it crumpled in fear and muttering expletives in tandem with the shrieking, bloody fetus I’d just found living in a bathroom sink.
It’s good to be scared once in a while, though, which is why it still pains me to this day that we’ll never see P.T.’s limitless potential realized as a full-fledged game. Thanks for that, Konami.
10. Destiny’s Incomprehensible Story
Destiny’s story isn’t good. It’s passable, sure, but not in this world or the next does it even come close to meeting the level of quality you’d expect for a game that reportedly guzzled up $500 million of Activision’s cash to make it out the door.
It all started so well, too. You, a long-dead Guardian resurrected by the Peter, er, Nolan North-voiced Ghost companion are put to work on helping humanity claw back its world from The Darkness and its worshippers one firefight at a time. Along the way, you meet interesting characters, new foes and learn more and more about Earth’s enigmatic protector – The Traveler. Then it all fell apart.
Seemingly plot-integral characters would up and vanish, additional sub-plots would write themselves into the story at a moment’s notice and the galaxy-spanning threat of the Darkness itself seemed to be one that everyone but you, dazed and confused by this point, had all but forgotten about.
Let’s try to keep a little more focus for Destiny 2, eh, Bungie?
9. Death Stranding’s Bonkers Reveal Trailer
Digital recreations of a naked Norman Reedus, ooze-covered babies and swathes of dead sea life, all seemingly connected under an indecipherable heading that asks more questions than it answers. Yep, sounds like Kojima, alright.
Almost a year has passed since the Metal Gear creator strided on stage at E3 to gleefully scramble our brains with Death Stranding’s debut trailer, with additional details released since only serving to hasten its audience’s transition from dumbfoundedness to total catatonia. Hell, even Mads Mikkelsen, who was confirmed last year to be bolstering Death Stranding’s all-star cast, had no idea what the game was all about when Kojima explained it to him, so what hope do we, as mere onlookers, have?
If we’re lucky, answers will be provided at this year’s E3, but let’s just hope that in doing so, the intriguing nature of Death Stranding isn’t diminished as a result.
8. Resident Evil 7 Gives Chris Redfield A Face Transplant
Let’s face it, Chris Redfield didn’t even look human in Resident Evil 5. In fact, if he’d poured a tin of green paint over himself, there’s every chance he’d have been mistaken for another, more incredible, hulk of muscle than the highly-trained cop he is in reality. Mastery over the art of boulder punching is already on his resume, after all.
Capcom was wise to take Chris off the steroids for his guest appearance at the tail end of Resident Evil 7, then, but would it have been so bad to at least carry over some sort of identifier to make it clear this wasn’t some kind of doppelganger?
Given the way in which the scene is framed – Chris slowly lifts off his helmet in an act of revelation – Capcom clearly intended for the reveal to carry weight with long-time fans, but only after the fact, when the credits rolled, did it hit home who was staring back at us.
7. Mass Effect 3’s Ending Pisses Everyone Off
Don’t worry, BioWare, despite the unenviable backlash you’ve had to endure from Andromeda’s troubled launch, not even its putty-faced NPCs and wonky animations can incite the same level of rage that Mass Effect 3’s ending managed.
As is the universal truth of trilogies, the third and final one is inevitably always the worst, and there’s a very simple reason why. Expectation. Unlike its successor, the middle child doesn’t need to wrap up any loose ends or make any grand, definitive statement – it keeps on upping the ante and adding to the mystery, all the while knowing that it doesn’t need to worry about providing the answers, those are a problem for an unfortunate sequel.
Mass Effect 3, with its hundreds, if not thousands, of unique outcomes and eventualities due to open-ended player choice, never had a hope in hell of accounting for all of it by journey’s end, but it didn’t even try.
BioWare took the easy way out. Three static choices. One good, one bad, the other neutral, all presented in a painfully generic and bland package. Boring. INDOCTRINATION THEORY THO.
6. Marston Bites The Bullet At The End Of Red Dead Redemption
We all love a good tale about the lovable rogue that wants to reform, righting past wrongs on the path to salvation. John Marston has all of those qualities and then some, Rockstar’s pitch perfect development of the character across Red Dead’s running time resulting in a fictional character that players cared deeply about.
Victimized by modernization and the expanding power of central government, Marston is coerced by cronies of the former to wipe out his lawless former gang, all for the promise of being left alone by the world and its men in suits so he can be reunited with his estranged family to live out a quieter, simpler life.
Marston’s wish is eventually granted – god knows, he deserves it – but it’s painfully short-lived. I suppose I should have seen it coming, Rockstar would never gift its players a happy ending without a catch, but that doesn’t make the bitter pill that is his death any easier to swallow.
5. Batman: Arkham Knight Launches As A Broken Mess (On PC)
There are two possible explanations for how Batman: Arkham Knight made it to PC in its original, laughably broken state. Either Warnor Bros. and Rocksteady outsourced its quality control phase to the nearest zoo, or it simply skipped the optimization period entirely and hoped people just wouldn’t notice how catastrophically awful it was.
As much as I’d love for the former to be true, I can only lean towards the latter, which only begs the question of how in the seven hells could all the parties involved have thought this was an acceptable standard for a game to ship in?
Despite what internet chatter from clueless forum goers would have you believe, optimizing video games for PC isn’t an easy or simple task. Even so, that doesn’t excuse the garbled mess of code that passed for Arkham Knight on launch day. A lot of pain would have been avoided if Warner Bros. had done the right thing and delayed its PC debut rather than – knowingly or not – push it out prematurely.
4. Microsoft Scraps Scalebound
Really, was this honestly the best course of action?
If it wasn’t for the promise of Project Scorpio later this year, Microsoft would truly be in hot water right now. Xbox One isn’t exactly swimming in first-party exclusives right now, so killing off one of its most interesting up and comers has got to be a decision in the running for Dumbest Business Decision of the Year.
No definitive explanation has (or probably ever will be) been given for Scalebound’s cancelation. Microsoft’s obviously not willing to risk making more people hate it for scrapping the project and Platinum is likely bound by its previous contract not to say a word on the matter.
But that’s largely irrelevant. Scalebound’s development may not have been chugging along as fast as it should have been, but it looked great. Platinum’s excellent reputation for hack and slash action, combined with intriguing RPG and companion mechanics looked, quite frankly, awesome.
This easily ranks up there with the canned Star Wars 1313 as a massive missed opportunity.
3. Square Enix Actually Announces A Final Fantasy VII Remake
Having spent nearly two decades trying to placate Final Fantasy VII’s gigantic fan base with sequels, remasters and spin-offs – anything but a remake, essentially – Square Enix finally bowed to the pressure in 2015 and gave the world what it oh so desperately wanted.
Cloud, Sephiroth, Aerith and the rest of the gang will all return to Midgar at some point in the – hopefully, near – future, its existence essentially being a license for Square to print money, but I’ll eat my treasured copy of the original if it manages to replicate even a portion of the original’s success.
Forget smoking, war or unsupervised trips through the African savanna, nostalgia can be far more detrimental to one’s health than any of those, especially when it has had twenty years to take root in your mind like a thought-altering parasite.
Until the time comes where the internet indulges in endless comparisons and debates over which one is the superior version, we can all at least agree that the below was one of 2015’s hottest talking points. Watch, re-watch and then watch it again.
2. The Curious Case Of Konami Vs. Kojima
Nobody but Kojima and Konami itself knows exactly what events transpired behind closed doors preceding the former’s split from the latter, but if there’s one thing we do know, it’s that Konami won’t be winning any ‘Employer of the Year’ awards for the foreseeable future.
In the run up to Metal Gear Solid V’s launch, strange occurrences which, individually, could be written off as accidental gaffes or oversights, increased in frequency at an alarming rate and to the point that observers started to suspect that something more malicious was afoot.
Konami removing all references to Kojima Productions from The Phantom Pain’s box art and promotional material was, by most accounts, the final clue that completed the puzzle, as reports detailing the apparently strained partnership started flooding in.
Kojima eventually left his employer behind for new adventures, but that didn’t do much to quiet the PR nightmare that had subsequently surrounded Konami. If you’re aspiring to get into the games industry, it’s probably best to steer clear of this particular company.
1. Pokemon GO Conquers The World
How old were you in the late nineties and early noughties?
If the answer is in the region of 10-13, then you’ll understand exactly why Pokemon Go’s launch enjoyed the burst in popularity that it did. Simply put, Niantic’s mobile money making machine is the reincarnation of a craze from yesteryear, the only difference between then and now being the method of delivery.
Pokemon’s generation-spanning appeal is the reason why, at the height of summer 2016, witnessing groups of grown adults searching parks and art galleries for digital creatures was a sight you wouldn’t blink twice at. For us, it was like flicking a switch that had been in the off setting for a long time; whereas before we dealt in stacks of flimsy trading cards, this time it was all done through a touchscreen.
That’s right, kids, you may think we’re the weirdos now, but give it another twenty years. Who knows, by then we could have twenty and thirtysomethings running around trying to catch real Pokemon by chucking balls in their faces. You just never know with this crazy world.