On the eve of the biggest gaming day of the year, Cyberpunk 2077 launch day, it’s got us thinking about how hype and anticipation plays into gaming, and entertainment as a whole. Whether that’s the tiniest pre-teaser trailer giving crumbs of info about the latest superhero film or the return of a bunch of aging rock legends for one last killer album, building up hype for a launch – and how well it executes on its promise – can be critical to success, or failure.
In gaming, sometimes games are in development hell for years before coming out, while others drop out of the blue and are a pleasant surprise. Enter Cyberpunk’s rocky road to release. Besides numerous delays, the game has seen various publicity snafus since it was first teased back at E3 2013, and yet it is, by far, still the most hyped game of the year.
We’ve picked on a trio of releases which had us swept up in the euphoria, and how it ultimately turned out.
Modern Warfare 2 even had a snow level, it was that good.
Sam | Gears of War 2
These days I’m not often one to get swept up in launch hype, and tend to maintain a pretty even keel in general. The impending launch of Cyberpunk 2077 makes me feel absolutely nothing, for example. Back in the day, however, just a screenshot in a magazine was enough for me to lose sleep!
As a youngster the annual WWE games were always a personal highlight. At the launch of the Xbox 360, I fawned over screenshots from Oblivion, Saint’s Row and Dead Rising for what must’ve been months. Though those are good examples, the collective excitement that me and my friends shared for Gears of War 2 makes it stand out more.
Before the original Modern Warfare stole us away, me and my school pals would spend most evenings playing Gears of War. For hours at a time we owned objectives in Annex mode and spilled gallons of blood, usually on Gridlock (my favourite multiplayer map).
I always preferred Gears to Call of Duty - and to a lesser extent Halo 3, our other game of choice - so I was especially excited to rejoin Marcus and his band of burly bros. The sequel also introduced the cooperative Horde mode, which as a concept is played out now, but at the time was revolutionary.
Gears of War 2 also featured a new-look Gridlock (sans all the blood spilled by Sam and co).
James | Mass Effect 3
No game sucked me into its story more than Mass Effect 2. While the first game established a world and a franchise, I wasn’t on Xbox until the second game came around to pull me into its against-all-odds suicide mission.
By the time the sequel came around, I’d never been more invested in an RPG franchise, I’d never been behind characters as strongly and I lapped up every morsel of pre-release information about the game.
Then, there was a demo. What was that about?! Multiplayer, in context, had its place in Mass Effect 3, but the demo didn’t showcase that especially well. Nonetheless, I was still excited, and proudly took a picture of the title screen before finally jumping in.
The experience of the game gave me everything I was hoping for, despite some (understandably) raised eyebrows from the community at the ending, and the legacy of the series is strong enough to warrant an upcoming re-release with the remastered ‘Legendary’ edition next year. Will it be enough to tempt me back? A good question, for another time.
Which game had you boarding the hype train? Let us know below.