Hi! You probably just read a message telling you to not preorder games. The following is an incomplete list of games that were terrible on release, and many who preordered them regretted it. You might have been one of them. Thanks to patch culture, some of these might be OK now, but that is not to be counted on, because you already gave the man your money, so why should he care? To him, you're just another sale in the quarter. So in the interest of learning from the past, let me remind you in chronological order:
This game had repetitive enemies, repetitive combat, bad controls, and bad camera angles. It was based off Norse mythology, but Silicon Knights took out the good parts. It was supposed to be the first part of a trilogy, but Silicon Knights decided to sue Epic Megagames instead, because they thought that Unreal Engine 3 was a piece of crap. Silicon Knights went out of business after losing and being counter-sued, so any inkling of a bear uprising were put to rest.
Duke Nukem Forever
After releasing from development hell, Duke Nukem Forever was a hodge podge of odd levels pulled from the intervening generations. Many references and jokes fell flat. On top of that, it ran poorly. Granted, I know someone who was satisfied with their purchase, but the intervening years didn't add up to a quality game.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
If Duke Nukem was bad, Gearbox came back for more. Because about everything in this was bad, it's difficult to pick a place to begin. Not only were graphics, models, lighting, textures, and animations not great, pre-release trailers had with better graphics. The AI was completely broken, and was greatly improved by fixing a typo in a configuration file. There was a lawsuit alleging that Gearbox moved some development resources (and money!) to Borderlands 2, plus another one that accused Gearbox and Sega of false advertisement.
This is what happens when SimCity gets the Electronic Arts treatment. When initially released, no one could play it because it required an always online connection, and the servers could not handle the load of release day. In exchange for the inconvenience, EA offered refunds or one of a few previous titles in exchange. For those who stuck it though, the maximum space for a single city was pretty paltry. There were also pathfinding bugs, in that residents would always choose the shortest path to move around, not the least congested. Due to the always online requirement, it was intrinsically multiplayer. Since most everyone is a dick and likes to destroy cities rather than build them, tons of non-functional cities were abandoned. After saying that offline mode was impossible, it was patched in about a year later.
Assassin's Creed Unity
Up until this point, Assassin's Creed had been a yearly franchise, but reality caught up here. Unity was marred by a myriad of technical problems, as illustrated by the following nightmare fuel. Those problems were probably fixed, but I haven't heard for sure.
The Order: 1886
How would you like to be a werewolf hunter in Victorian London? Sounds cool, and this game was quite pretty. Unfortunately, this game was very short and had weak gameplay. From the reviews and comments I've gathered, it could sarcastically be described as a playable movie.
Batman: Arkham Knight
On any console platform, Batman: Arkham Knight was a good game. On PC, it was an utter mess of technical problems. On high end systems, the game would randomly stutter into slideshows, or appear to completely pause for garbage collection. The day after release, Steam suspended sales and started refunding people. Physical versions were recalled soon after. Steam would not sell it again for 4 months, but despite several patches, some technical issues remained.
No Man's Sky
The same hype train that brought The Order brought No Man's Sky along for the ride. It seemed that the whole video game industry was talking about No Man's Sky. Hello Games was a small time indie game studio that started promising the worlds to everyone. Sean Murray, the head of the studio, kept making promises about this game when promoting it. He kept talking about the gameplay, multiplayer features, and the combination of worlds in No Man's Sky. What got released was much less than expectations. Some people wanted refunds and got them, but most didn't. After 2 years of patches, the game finally looks like the one that was hyped.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
After saving the galaxy, where else can you go? Another galaxy, of course! (What a convenient way to reset everything.) When this game was shown, there was a part of me that wanted to be excited, but in the end, I just couldn't do it. The game released with a lot of weird animation bugs (and other glitches). The faces in the game were almost doll-like, in the creepy, bad way. The plot and gameplay didn't live up to the other games in the series. The poor reception caused the series to be put on hold, and any planned DLC to be scrapped.
Star Wars Battlefront II
When I reviewed Star Wars Battlefront II, this was the game I was alluding to in the first paragraph. Unlike almost every other entry in this list, Star Wars Battlefront II didn't have many technical difficulties. What it did have were microtransactions and loot boxes. Granted, Star Wars Battlefront II didn't invent them, but this was the biggest full price blockbuster game to prominently feature and push them. This game was built around them, as without them, it would take 40 hours of grinding to earn a character, giving players a sense of pride and accomplishment. The system was overhauled in the beta leading up to launch, but it still wasn't quite to fans' liking. It was so bad that it affected EA's stock market valuation, as many other EA games have similar microtransaction mechanics. It caused government inquiries and interventions.
Have you ever wanted to play with your friends in the wasteland? Try Borderlands! Oh, you wanted Fallout? Are you sure you want Bethesda to do that? Well, they made it anyway. While Bethesda did a good job of incorporating elements of West Virginia, they incorporated the elements of their busted code, too. Even without the bugs, it was just as boring and monotonous as Fallout 4, maybe even more so. Aside from players, there's only robots in the game, which aren't much fun for quests. Actual story is in text and audio logs, which isn't ideal in an MMO with voice chat. I didn't buy it, but I couldn't help notice the mess. I found it hilarious that most of the criticism of Fallout 76 applied to 4, and the best part was the robot NPCs. Instead of wondering if any given NPC in Fallout 4 was really a robot, Bethesda decided to just replace them all with actual robots in 76! Oh, and if you shelled out the money for the collector's edition with the canvas bag, you had to wait.
As of posting this (July 2019), Cyberpunk 2077 started preordering about 2 weeks ago. Although I'm confident that CD Projekt Red will release a
stunning breathtaking game, I will not be preordering. After eagerly reading several reviews, I look forward to entering my credit card info into GOG on April 16th, 2020.
Did I forget anything? Need to grind your gears? Let me know, and I might add them to the list.