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Video Games That Launched Unplayable But Were Eventually Pleasant Surprises

Updated October 19, 2020 13k views12 items

Long gone are the days when developers released finished games that were perfect straight out of the box. The internet and high speed broadband has allowed designers to push out updates and patches for games at any time following their release. This has led to a plenty of times video games have been fixed post launch.

While a classic game may not always hold up now, it at least would've been functional upon its release. But modern technology allows creators to fix their games after an initial huge flop and continue to improve on their initial design. Changes can range from small bug fixes in weekly patches all the way to huge expansions that alter the way a game is played. Fortnite, The Elder Scrolls Online, and many other titles weren't the best when they first launched, but have since become critical and financial successes.

  • Photo: Rocksteady Studios

    The third installment in the critically successful BatmanArkham series was eagerly anticipated. While Batman: Arkham Knight had a trouble-free launch on consoles in 2015, the PC port was plagued with a wide array of technical problems. Beyond frame rate problems and constant crashing, many players were unable to actually install the game. The issues were so bad that Warner Bros. offered full refunds to everyone who had purchased the game.

    Although it was never fully fixed, many of the technical glitches were solved and the PC port is now playable.

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  • Photo: Activision

    After leaving Microsoft and the Halo franchise, Bungie’s next project was highly anticipated and was expected to be a big hit. Unfortunately, 2014's Destiny didn’t deliver and was largely considered to be a massive disappointment. With a poor story lacking depth, a confusing leveling system, and a need to endlessly grind for loot, Destiny was not the game many expected.

    Bungie did listen to fans, however, and the next year they released The Taken King. This DLC expansion vastly changed the game; it included an updated leveling system that got rid of the puzzling light system and a loot system. Most importantly, the developer added extra story content, which allowed players to delve more into the in-game universe.

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  • Photo: Ubisoft

    The Assassin’s Creed franchise has come under a lot of criticism in recent years for its repetitive gameplay and settings. So, when the series was set to move to revolutionary France, it was met with great excitement and enthusiasm.

    Unfortunately, the game debuted in 2014 with a whole host of technical and performance issues. The game ran poorly on every platform, textures did not load properly, and it was full of gameplay-breaking glitches. In the months after its launch, Ubisoft released a series of patches to fix the problems, and players were able to experience a rather enjoyable entry in the franchise.

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  • 'Halo: The Master Chief Collection' Faced Server Issues

    Photo: Microsoft

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched to a lot of fanfare in 2014. It brought the original four titles from the series to the Xbox One for the first time, with noticeable graphic and audio improvement to help take advantage of the better hardware available. It also marked the return of online multiplayer for both Halo: CE and Halo 2.

    Online play was near impossible, however. The matchmaking system was broken; players were forced to wait over 20 minutes to get into a game if the servers did not disconnect them. A series of updates over the next few years made small fixes and slowly allowed users to get into online matches. While work is ongoing, The Master Chief Collection is at least playable now.

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