Games that got substantially better after launch, talk some about those you experienced.

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by FAST6191, Feb 25, 2018.



    Scene. Earlier this week.
    Slightly delayed "Monster Energy Supercross" for the PS4 review coming along, final images to grab.
    "update 1.04 downloading"
    Oh well
    *checks changelog of fixes and changes*
    *looks at list of often considerable gripes noted with game in the notebook*
    They match.
    What was set to be a fairly positive review (if you like racing motocross then you were in for a treat to begin with) now has the potential to be more than that still.
    Time to replay some sections then.

    For many years with non PC games being on a Read Only medium and the devices being without networks or other means to issue updates then the game at launch was the game for all time, give or take the efforts of ROM hackers, the rarely seen ambitious localisation team and the occasional remake/remaster. Even on the PC most updates were limited to big crashes and typos.

    Long have I wanted to see what would happen if games adopted the "rolling release" model a lot of open source software uses. That has not happened outside of a few mobile phone games (Angry Birds being a nice case study), and of course the few standalone open source games that exist.
    Instead we have got some similar effects by way of general updates, "early access", some aspects of crowdfunding and in some cases the likes of game of the year editions.

    At the same time I was blissfully unaware of Battlefield 4's launch issues and only came to the game not the longest before Battlefield 1 released. I wander in and find a very solid game as these things go, even more so when all the DLC went free. At the same time I did play some Battlefield 1 and found myself drawn back to 4 as it felt like a better game.
    I saw Ubisoft's The Division at launch and joined the crowd in dismissing it. I then saw it being replayed a few months back and while it was still short of E3 promises* the resulting game was surprisingly playable.
    I hear also that No Man's Sky, something of a poster child for over ambitious and overhyped games, eventually ended up rather better than the state it launched in.

    *I don't like being misled by such things but I am generally happy enough to play/review the thing in front of me.

    More recently we have seen games variously ruined by paid progression mechanics and lootboxes, when the latter was subsequently "fixed" for a few titles it became apparent it was anything but. Might then there be some hope for some of said games to eventually end up good?

    If I review games to help people find things to play then I have to consider these sorts of radical changes. While I would certainly like games to come out fully formed, and will certainly note launch shortcomings, if the game gets fixed like that then it would be complaining about things that are not there for most of the would be players.

    If you are reading this then you find yourself reading another GBAtemp's series on game mechanics, concepts within games and similar such things. In previous editions we discussed cancelled games and shuttered devs, and story canon in games.
    Discussion (38 replies)
  1. mightymuffy

    mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

    Nov 6, 2002
    United Kingdom
    Wigan, land of the Pies
    Good topic, even better read! ;) ...In fact a bit too good a read, as there's nothing really to add, short of naming and shaming a few games... Rolling out unfinished after unfinished is kind of a two-edged sword: I like the fact we're getting games (probably) earlier as a result, and the ease that game breaking bugs can now be dealt with, but if the game is SO unfinished, as was the case with Battlefield 4 which I grabbed at launch, and it was that bad it put me off the series for life..

    But yeah, my additions:
    Obviously Bethesda stuff! Fallout 3, 4 and The Elder Scrolls (I originally typed 'Edler Scrolls' and almost left it, fittingly, like that! :lol: ) - surely a months extra playtesting of these would work wonders?!
    Burnout Paradise - Wow the amount of stuff that wasn't originally in this game at launch..
    Breath of the Wild - Even Nintendo are at it these days..
  2. blackwrensniper

    blackwrensniper Member

    Nov 24, 2017
    United States
    Terraria is the big one for me. Got it right after The Hallow was added which was a big content update and it doesn't come close to the stuff they have added/are still adding to the game. Quite possibly one of the greatest games of all time now, can't wait to see where else it goes. Beyond that pretty much every Souls game, each patch adds just a little more polish and the dlc tests you.

    Another game that continues to impress is Wayward. Very frequent updates, always working to reach their vision... it's impressive how much the devs care. Gotta finish off with Subnautica, my god that game has been an experience to watch change.
    Seriel likes this.
  3. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

    Nov 27, 2013
    OVERWATCH! EVEN 2 years after launch devs still keep improve/balance their heroes and they also constantly produce/create new contents to support this game, guys it's so hard to find a company nowdays that keep alive its game like their own children.

    Last edited by leon315, Feb 25, 2018
    jRRRRRRRRRRR and BlackWizzard17 like this.
  4. epickid37

    epickid37 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    Jan 4, 2017
    United States
    mushroom kingdom
    *asks me to name games that got better after launch

    *Proceeds to list all the games I can think of that got better after launch
  5. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

    Feb 13, 2015
    None that I know of, unless you count the "expansion pack" that is Animal Crossing New Leaf 2.x (which happens to have ADDED mistranslations, especially in the new missions-for-tickets system). I also think it was moral compensation for the magically disappeared Animal Crossing U...
  6. Treeko

    Treeko GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 29, 2012
    Rainbow six siege takes the cake for me, the game had a lousy launch and mediocre reviews, made one of the best comebacks ever, its only getting better and better with each update.
  7. B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N

    B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N I'm better than you I think

    Jun 7, 2016
    I heard from a friend that No Man's Sky is actually pretty decent these days, with most of the bugs fixed and issues regarding the empty worlds being taken care of. I haven't played the game at all, so I can't really give my own opinion on this, however.

    In addition, my friend also noted how No Man's Sky, despite all the various improvements, additions, and fixes that were made to the game, is still considered a laughing stock by the general gaming public, making the game a bit of a cautionary tale regarding strong launches. Gaming consoles can have relatively weak launches, yet are able to recover and become strong platforms (the 3DS is generally considered to be an example of this), yet games themselves are less fortunate, as people are more than willing to move on to the next big game without even thinking to look back.
    eriol33 likes this.
  8. eriol33

    eriol33 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 2, 2014
    I have been following news about no man's sky lately and I am actually still quite curious. has anyone on this board played this? I have never played it before .
  9. FateForWindows

    FateForWindows GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Feb 8, 2017
    United States
    No Man's Sky for sure. It's been getting a lot of amazing updates lately and I'd consider it to be a good game. They've even added things that people had expected the game to have but never ended up having in the first place.
    LiveLatios and eriol33 like this.
  10. smileyhead

    smileyhead So long, and thanks for all the fish

    Aug 31, 2015
    There was an Animal Crossing game in development for the Wii U? :blink:
    (Well, apart from Amiibo Festival...)
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I do sometimes pause for a moment when making threads like this as I have before run into the "asked and answered" issue.

    Anyway it was less name some and more "talk about" -- lists are easy which is why there are a billion websites using it as a format. In the case of Battlefield 4 I knew it was a thing, another in the long line of modern feel shooting games (this following similar trends for futuristic and world war 2) and promptly went back to ignoring it. It was a £10 on PSN affair that my brother got for his PS4 as a gift one day (him and his friends were seeking some multiplayer action) that saw me play it later on.
    If you were there for the updates as they happened then your experience might be somewhat different to mine.

    Similarly I once saw

    Were I designing a game that would mean a lot to me, from the perspective of my head when playing games it means nothing (and also a reason I have serious misgivings with that guy's approach to the world). Similarly I much prefer hardcore mode on the PS4 in European servers, a small enough "community" that something like what is described for some of them should happen but does not.

    I don't know if I would go there for the 3ds.

    Anyway I don't know if No Man's Sky is the best example of this. Small indy game dev attempts overly ambitious project and gets massive cash injection later in the day, said injection however effectively forcing a release date. Many called the resulting effects at the time. Going further we need look no further for overly ambitious stuff than those pretenders to World of Warcraft's throne.
    A bit less considered is stuff like when smaller devs make games to go up against Call of Duty and Battlefield at their own game -- for all the ways they might "ruin" that year's offering their collective stationary cupboards probably have a higher budget than some of those that thought to go up against them.

    That is not really what I wanted to say there though. Consoles can do the turnaround thing for obvious reasons, might we then be entering a time when the software can as well? An aspect I had not considered as part of this might also be would the rise of downloading games (then not having to keep stock on shelves wherever games are sold) and devs maybe moving away from the "the first month is the only month" model many had used prior to then have impacted this?
  12. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker News Police

    Sep 19, 2009
    SAO: HR on PS Vita. It was a slide show fest at launch. Playable after a few updates.
  13. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    Hard to say. Nowadays I hardly ever buy stuff at release date anymore. I've got a backlog to maintain, and by the time I get a game it has already lowered in price and at the very least has some bugs fixed. But here are a few I recall:

    -UT3: like its predecessors, quite some extra maps were released. Unfortunately, UT3 had a HORRIBLE user interface at the start. And while you wouldn't think that matters much for an FPS, it just illustrates how horrible it was. Still...the "black edition" made it better, but I had moved on to other games by that time.

    -UT2004: strictly speaking, this was an update to UT2003, but though it contained all its maps, it more than doubled them. But this game in itself got quite some officially made map packs with some gems among them. Onslaught was its main casual part of the game, and it got 3 new vehicles that blended really well with the other maps. It also brought in some quality maps among all other gametypes as well. Finally, there were some needed tweaks to onslaught vehicles (though the manta was still overpowered after that).

    ...and a few I want to add under the "maybe/probably" category:

    -starcraft 2: wings of liberty. I'm not sure if I'm illegible to mention this, as it wasn't unbalanced or broken to me. I mean...I was a casual protoss player. But for the first months, zerg was seriously underpowered compared to the other races. I watched a lot of online videos at that time, and it really stood out that there were hardly any matches with zerg. As blizzard was blizzard, they slowly but steadily upgraded, fixed, patched and so on for literally YEARS (I still get patches for legacy of the void). But I'm not professional enough to really notice a difference in whatever it is they're doing.

    -anno 2070: again...I can't really say, as I bought this years after release date. The steam reviews REALLY piss on this game for using uplay (which is ironic, as steam itself is also an extra layer on top of games). I can't but assume that uplay got introduced somewhere during its life cycle and horribly messed up player interactions. In any case, I had no problems playing this game, so it must've gotten fixed in the end. Of course, whether the inclusion was for good or for worse compared to the release state, I cannot say.

    -no man's sky: it's been mentioned a couple times (like in the OP itself), so I can't just repeat it: that has gotten quite some extra free bonus content over time. There are quite some youtube vids out showcasing the improvements (and they're substantial). Still haven't played the game itself, though.

    EDIT: I knew I forgot an important one: Duke nukem 3D. It originally had 3 episodes, but they later added a fourth one...and not that long ago also a fifth one, though I'm not sure if that's still free of charge to original owners. :P
    Last edited by Taleweaver, Feb 25, 2018
  14. Silverthorn

    Silverthorn Spiky!

    Mar 27, 2012
    My usual go-to example for games that had terrible launch but got better is Batman: Arkham Knight.
    The PC release was so bad both bug and performance wise they pulled it from Steam.
    It's been back for awhile and is a pretty good game (some Batmobile annoyances aside), but I'm not sure the game will ever get rid of that initial stigma.
  15. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

    Feb 13, 2015
    Yep, it was shown at, iirc, E3 2013
  16. RedoLane

    RedoLane GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 16, 2016
    Enter the Gungeon.
    I mean, it was pretty good at launch, but after tons of updates, the arsenal became MASSIVE, there's more stuff to find, and replay value is more worth it.
    I'm not sure if Dodge Roll are planning to release more updates, but everything they released for it until now never disappointed me.
    It's been out since April 2016 and I still play the heck out of it!
  17. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose The Fallen Angel

    Aug 19, 2015
    United Kingdom
    The best example of this for me would be Final Fantasy 14 the game was so bad that they scrapped it after a year or so and made a totally new game that turned out to be pretty damb awesome.
  18. Lukerz

    Lukerz Sloth. That's it.

    Apr 24, 2017
    United States
    I would say ARMS pops out for me. It was realised under splatoon 2's shadow but has grown into my favorite switch game. Heck, right now the ARMS top 8 is going on at Winter Brawl.
  19. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

    GBAtemp Patron
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    Jul 23, 2012
    United States
    Octo Canyon
    Doom for Switch is much better now than at launch. Audio glitches we're fixed, many laggy choke points we're fixed, and motion aiming is an amazing addition.