With Starfield suffering its latest, seemingly inevitable delay, and other releases expected this year already on their second or third release date, we thought it was high time we shouted about a few games where the delay was a good thing.
No matter how right Shigeru Miyamoto's famous quote about a broken game being bad forever is, that wait of even a few months can feel excruciating if it's the thing you're most looking forward to that year.
It's not all bad news though, often a game will be delayed and end up meeting or even surpassing expectations, so we've come up with a few examples. Let us know yours in the Discord.
BioShock Infinite | James Parry
While it would have been tempting, and very timely, to pick Resident Evil 4 for this question, since it reportedly was in development hell and had numerous delays before finally making it to the GameCube in 2005, my experience with the title was the Wii release, so it would have felt a little cheeky.
One delay I do recall though was BioShock Infinite, a title I vowed to push through and finish after having such a hard time sticking to it with the original.
While the delay was only a few months, from October 2012 to March 2013, that shift put the game in a less crowded part of the year, and meant my summer that year was dominated by tearing holes in reality.
The world of Columbia was stunning, and showed a mastery of that sense of uncomfortable-ness you find at the beginning when forced to decide whether to join in with the town's cruelty and throw a baseball at someone.
The anticipation of that moment, as it's well telegraphed by a growing sense that something isn't right, is the definition of a moment worth waiting for – and you can bet its impact would be lessened without those few crucial months of polish.
And can we just remember how strong the ending was? If you know, you know.
High on Life | Chris Brand
High on Life's release was postponed, not to give it a little bit of polish (which is usually the case), but to avoid having to share the limelight with other, more established, titles. Even though it's the lesser-preferred reason for a delay, it worked out well for me, as it missed our cut-off point for Game of the Year 2022, so I can comfortably choose it this year, if every other game gets pushed back until 2024.
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect going in, aside from the trademark humour, but I'm happy with what we got. If I had expectations, High on Life would've met them. It's a solid first-person shooter that's long enough to feel complete without ever becoming a slog.
The graphics are a visual treat and space is suitably "alien" looking, in a similar way to The Outer Worlds. Levels are fairly linear, with some kind of out-of-the-way places to find hidden loot, but, as beautiful as this all is, exploration isn't as much of a focus, as the real discoveries are to be found in hub areas when you're surrounded by a cast of weird and... weird folks. Most of the amusing dialogue could have been skipped, if I'd pushed on with whichever mission I was undertaking, but it seemed like everyone had something to say that was worth hearing.
It's well-paced over the course of the story, with a steady stream of new abilities and weapons/friends, though my first playthrough was extended significantly by trying to see and do as much as possible. Unlike a Fallout or Elder Scrolls game, there isn't a lot to soak in when it comes to lore and history, just little jokes, small self-contained stories and the occasional helpful tip on how to defeat high-ranking cartel bosses.
As much as I hate waiting, not picking a fight with a bigger dog was probably the right choice in the long run. I need everyone to play it and demand a sequel, it's the only way I'm getting answers to my questions.
With Tarnished across the world giddy at the prospect of more adventures in Elden Ring’s Lands Between in Shadow of the Erdtree, we’ve been thinking about other games where a story DLC expansion is overdue, or would just be too much fun to pass up.
Perhaps it was a missed opportunity, where the ideas were there but the game didn’t sell well enough, or just something which deserves a new lease of life – let us know what you’d choose in the Discord.
Halo Infinite | Liam Andrews
I thoroughly enjoyed Halo Infinite’s campaign. Zipping around the gorgeous landscape with Chief’s new grapple hook was immensely fun, so much so that I was more than happy to go chasing down optional pickups and side missions scattered across the rocky landscape.
And I’d happily do even more! 343 and Microsoft’s attention might have firmly shifted to Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer (which is also rather good) but I’d like to see another slice of the campaign bolted on to the shattered remains of Zeta Halo.
As much as I enjoyed fighting the Banished’s army of minions – spoiler alert - I would like to see an old foe return in the form of the Flood. Their addition could have made a very good campaign into a great one. The Flood offer something completely different to the standard ranged gameplay, literally flooding the player with waves of horrifying enemies and forcing them into panicked close quarter action.
I can’t remember whether the Flood are still active in the Halo universe, but it seems a shame to let such an iconic enemy faction lay dormant for so long. Being able to take them on in a modern game with Chief’s new abilities – particularly the grapple – is something I’d love to see happen.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy | James Parry
The main game of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy was not only a flarking good time, but one of the best examples of linear singleplayer storytelling we’ve seen in ages. Even though it was released back in 2021, with a new film waiting in the wings, admittedly with different interpretations of the characters, it would be great to jump back onto the Milano and reunite the team.
As one of the handful of games I saw through to the bitter end last year, I am already invested in these characters. Even if it was just a bit of messing around on Knowhere, like Mass Effect 3’s Citadel DLC, then that would be enough for me, but I suspect there are more fun stories to explore without leaping into something that would better suit a sequel.
Gamora’s story has always been tragic, and despite being the “Deadliest woman in the galaxy” has a lot of layers to peel back. One element which isn’t touched on in the game is her adopted sister Nebula, and the complexities of their relationship, only being mentioned off-screen.
Perhaps a rescue mission or an assassination-turned-rescue might be a fun little adventure to bring her into the fold – even into the team – and give us another go-round with these characters, endless banter and all.
The possibilities really are endless however, with a whole universe out there to explore, so who wouldn’t welcome another opportunity to try “a fun, exciting space adventure from start to finish.”