The PlayStation 4 collects some of the most critically acclaimed and all-time consumer games: Uncharted 4, Persona 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are just a few examples of these great successes. But the trajectory of the console of Sony also knew its dose of failures, as they are the case of exclusive The Order: 1886, or of the accidental launch of Driveclub. The very God of War, chosen as the Game of the Year in 2018, met its share of controversy, especially with the most dedicated fans of the series. Recall below some of the most controversial PS4 games.
The Order: 1886
Revealed as one of PlayStation 4’s exclusive releases, The Order was surrounded by expectations due to super realistic graphics and the promise of a third-person shooter set in a steampunk rereading of Victorian England.
While it did not frustrate those expectations, the game ultimately disappointed the players by a predictable, linear gameplay mode, which also featured “quick time events” sessions, which made portions of The Order playable in great cutscenes.
Other critics have focused on the story too short – it’s possible to end everything in just over five hours – and even the developers’ decision to produce the game in a 21:9 aspect. In the vision of Ready at Dawn, responsible for the game, this decision gives the game a footprint closer to the cinema.
Metal Gear Survive
First Metal Gear developed after the departure of Hideo Kojima from Konami, Survive was received with almost universal ill will. The Metal Gear series is known for the stealthy action games and the creativity of Hideo Kojima, which at the service of Konami has dedicated much of its career in the development of the games of the series. In the face of all this history, and the process of removal of Konoj Kojima, it was natural that the fans received evil and with distrust any new Metal Gear without the participation of Hideo Kojima.
But Metal Gear Survive has made things even more difficult because it not only represents a break from Kojima’s work but also goes far beyond the mechanics of action and stealth that mark the main games in the series. Survive is an action and shooting game in which players need to survive hordes and hordes of zombies.
One of the most anticipated games at the launch of the PS4, Ubisoft’s open world had dawned with tremendous success because of a trailer shown at E3 2012: graphics that looked perfect and full of impossible effects on PS3 set the tone for a game that would have all to be a big hit when it hit the consumer in May 2014.
But the goodwill of the community and expectations were soon to go down when the game released had very little to do with the trailers: the graphics of Watch Dogs suffered a perceptible downgrade compared to what had been shown at E3.
Another exclusive release, Driveclub had the premise of giving PS4 gamers an arcade alternative to Gran Turismo, more or less in the lines of what the Forza Horizon series offers to Xbox gamers. Driveclub was also loaded with expectations because of the social aspect of the game, which encouraged the formation of clubs and an atmosphere of competition among real players.
However, the release suffered several delays and was catastrophic because of a number of connectivity problems in the launch window, which effectively made the online appearance of the game unfeasible. Other problems were related to the artificial intelligence of offline modes.
Eventually, the problems were healed from a series of updates, but among the casualties is Evolution Studios: Sony decided to close the doors of the developer responsible for the game.
The Last Guardian
Unlike many games on this list, The Last Guardian is not surrounded by controversy due to gameplay, dubious quality or launch problems. It is a controversial game mainly on account of the long period of development: announced still in 2007, the title that would be a PS3 exclusive only appeared in 2016.
In addition, the departure of The Last Guardian, creative mind behind the successes of Team ICO, creator of The Last Guardian still in 2011 imposed a series of doubts as to how much the game released respects the original vision of the designer. The long developmental period eventually left some marks on the final product: what would be revolutionary in 2007 seemed only good in 2016.
God of War
Chosen as Game of the Year in 2018, God of War passes far from the failure and controversy surrounding blasted launches from the list. However, the game had a controversial pre-launch phase because of the various changes that the 2018 title presents in front of the other games in the series, which featured Greek mythology and were released for PS2, PSP and PS3.
Long-time fans of the games were surprised by the change of tone, the creation of a more humanized Kratos by virtue of paternity, and the change of air itself: the gods of Olympus left the scene and entered the deities of the Nordic culture.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
The sequence of Star Wars Battlefront had everything to please: unlike the first game, the sequel would come with a traditional singleplayer campaign, all with the promise that the Star Wars universe would have the same quality treatment of the franchise’s first game relaunched by EA in 2014.
But Battlefront 2 got into a long polemic over microtransactions. In its original state, the game was deeply geared toward getting players to spend real money to unlock items and coveted characters from the film series. The criticism was so harsh that EA was forced to review the whole policy and several countries began discussing the possibility of regulating the use of so-called loot-boxes in video games.
Project financed via Kickstarter, Agony promised to tell the journey of a soul tormented by the depths of hell. The game would have a more mature footprint and would have images of violence and sex.
Although to some extent these elements are part of the final version of the game, many of the players who helped finance the project complained that the content was softened so that the game could receive more user-friendly indicative seals. Other critics have also identified a number of gameplay problems, poor quality graphics, and low quality acting cast in the dialogues.