The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
There were many hits of the last nine years, (wow, hard to think the generation began in 2005, huh?) such as Assassin's Creed II, Halo 3, Uncharted, and Call of Duty 4. Some less well known games like Mirror's Edge also garnered a cult following. Others... Well, let's just say they didn't live up to the hype. But, what about the games that had low expectations that turned out to be great? Why don't they get recognition? Well, I'm going to list my favorites of the generation, and maybe I can get someone to play these, and say "Hey, this is awesome!" Note that, while some of these are pretty well known to us, not many people bought the game, as evident by the lack of online players or support the game got post-launch. Also, this is my list, so no "Y no (insert game here that's probably GTA or The Last of Us because they obviously didn't read the title) on dis list?" Also, some of these games may be really popular, but I just hadn't given the game a chance until recently. Anyway, here goes.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
To say that this game is awesome is an understatement. It's one of the few games that didn't use swearing or violence as a means to convey a "mature" story, and had an fun stealth system. Jensen may be a quiet character, but he was fun to play through and choose his dialogue (a la Mass Effect). The illusion of an open world also made me want to explore an find the secrets, especially since they were generally more rewarding than concept art or cheats. Also, did I mention grabbing guys by punching through solid concrete walls is every bit as satisfying as it sounds?
While I technically played this on a "next gen" system, it's available on PS3 and Xbox 360 as well, so it counts. While most might see an ad for the game while surfing the XBL Marketplace or PSN and brush it off as "another side scroller", I'll tell you that generic this game is not. Spelunky thrusts you into a randomly-generated set of caves, in which you have to navigate through snakes, bats, dart traps, and Indiana Jones-esque boulders. All the while trying to stay alive and collect as much treasure as possible. The brutal difficulty made the game a nightmare on later levels, but it's fun co-op and addicting treasure hunting made this game as endlessly repayable as the caves themselves seemingly are.
When this game originally released, I honestly didn't know what I was getting into. I kind of just thought "Hey, it's more Halo, why not?" and bought the game. And to this day it's my favorite strategy game. Now, I have really played any other real-time strategy games since, but I still don't see how it could be more fluid than this. Building bases and commanding units is easy and doesn't really require a lot of investment to enjoy. It's certainly not a game I can pick up and play for five minutes, but it's better at accessibility than games like XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Also, Scarabs are overpowered. Use them.
I played this only last year, and since games like Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 (foreshadowing ftw) released in the same year, it was a bit hard to get past the dated looks of Fallout 3. I had a pretty rough start with the game, (mainly due to my copy being broken) but once I got in I couldn't stop. Roaming around finding new items was really fun, and it's still really demanding for being a six year old game. (Seriously, my Xbox Slim sounds like a car engine when it's playing the game) It's also comprised of many great voice actors, so the story was interesting and fun to listen to. Three dog ftw.
At first I didn't pay this game much attention to the game, but since I liked Crysis 2 (however linear and convoluted it may be), and liked the beta for 3, I decided to get it. Sadly, Hunter mode (and the rest of the multiplayer) is pretty much dead. But that's not reason I like it so much. You see, in the original Crysis, Crytek gave players a real sense of an open world. Sure, certain areas were sectioned off by cutscenes or loading screens, but because of how open it felt otherwise, it was an acceptable trade off. Crysis 2 ditched that entirely for a more linear, enclosed environment. Crysis 3 is the perfect balance between the two. I kept the same setting as Crysis 2 (post-pandemic New York) but threw in massive open areas to plan out attacks. The biggest addition to the game was the Predator Bow, which was incredibly fun to use. Pinning guards to walls as to distract a heavy soldier, then kick a dumpster onto his head from two stories is incredibly satisfying. And while you are grossly outnumbered, the game makes it feel "realistic" to a degree. Realistic as in, you aren't a regular GI who an absorb bullets and wipe out a battalion of soldiers, but rather you have tech that gives you an advantage. The Cell soldiers win in numbers, but you win with the nano suit and careful planning.
Well, that's my list. What are your favorite surprise games? Do you have any? Or are you a casual that only plays Madden and CoD, in which case, you shouldn't be reading this, as you've probably never heard of these games before. Haha, just kidding. Or am I...?