Now that the year is almost over and most of this year's games have been released, i thought i would bring up the topic of what games suprised you this year. Games that you thought that would suck or be generic? but weren't. The Walking Dead series is probably the obvious choice. For me personally it would have to be Binary Domain and The Darkness 2, i was suprised that both these games weren't gears of war clones, they both had their own induvidual character and remain memorable.
Far Cry 3 actually being good kinda surprised me. As a hater of FC2 (I know I'm in the minority), it seems that the changes to 3 are smart. I haven't actually played the game, but it seems like they fixed all the problems I had with 2.
Sleeping Dogs probably takes the cake for most of us, too. I'm sure very few people thought that game would be worth anything at all with its very chaotic development and change of developer. I think a lot of the praise for that game actually comes from people's surprise of its fairly high quality (not that I'm saying it's a poor game).
- Katawa Shoujo: Had heard of it a long while back and the only notable thing about it, for me, was that it originated from 4Chan. Other than that, it seemed like standard adult visual novel, harem crap that I'm not into at all. Was not expecting to actually give it a chance for no reason and subsequently get so emotionally invested in it.
- The Darkness II: Never played The Darkness and the only thing I knew about it was that you could watch a whole movie inside the game, or something. Got The Darkness II and, aside from a blackout corrupting my save as I was just about to reach the ending, it was a great experience. Love the concept of having an entity attach itself to a host like that while being able to control it, and all of the psychological elements were interesting as well.
- PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale: I'm surprised how much I ended up disliking this game.
Basically every game I played. Spec Ops delivered on the story, Binary Domain was a way better game than I ever would've imagined and Asura's Wrath was just fucking amazing and didn't expect my jaw to drop multiple times while playing it. Great year for underdogs and surprises for me, wasn't expecting it at all.
For me it was Hitman: Absolution but in a rather negative way. After seeing all the gameplay videos I was so completely sold on it. Even despite the somewhat lukewarm feedback after the game released I still believed that people just like to whine a lot these days. Sadly the game, while not terrible, definitely took a few wrong turns down the road of development and instead of a great modern day Hitman game we got a weird re-imagening of sorts that isn't bad on it's own but does not hold the weight when scrutinized against it's predecessors.
Sleeping Dogs easily. not only is it good, but its one of my favorite games of the year. Spec Ops too, and ZombiU.
Funky Barn to a lesser extent, in the sense that usually I would assume it was just shovelware shit (might still be for some) and i ended up playing it for 5-6 hours straight and quite enjoying it
Oh and on a negative note, the game which stars the gentleman on my avatar (I need to change that really) surprised me by not being as good as the first game :(
Little Inferno - nobody knew what the game actually was, even now few people do. Bought it on a whim and it absolutely blew me away. It baffles me that they haven't put this out on tablets yet. I played it on Wii U almost exclusively on the GamePad - didn't even turn the TV on. The game is perfect to just have it sit there while you do something else while you can also just as well totally zone in on it and forget the world outside the fireplace (pretty meta).
Sleeping Dogs was probably the biggest and best surprise for me. I thought the True Crime games were trash and I was totally fine when the new one got scrapped. For it to come back to life and become the excellent Sleeping Dogs is astounding.
The worst surprise this year was Hitman: Absolution. Maybe this isn't fair to say because I haven't even played it but every video I've seen and every comment I've read sounds like the opposite of everything I wanted from that game. Maybe I'll actually play it next year and find out I like it but it doesn't change that me not buying it day one is a huge surprise.
Another big surprise is Far Cry 3. I loved Far Cry 2 and knew I'd love Far Cry 3 but I'm still surprised at how much I like it, how focused it is, and how much everyone else seems to like it too.
Sleeping Dogs is a big one, for sure. That game wasn't even on my radar until maybe two weeks before its release. Openworld crime and kung fu go way better together than I could possibly imagine.
Oh, and Hotline Miami. I had seen a video or two from it prior to release, but I wasn't expecting the game to be so involving.
I don't know what i expected from Botanicula, but that surprisingly ended up being one of the most fantastic experiences of my year. Binary Domain and Sleeping Dogs were definitely better than i anticipated. Also surprised by how much I liked Diablo 3 as I didn't really get into the Diablo 1/2 hype back in the day.
I'm surprised by how disappointed I was in Assassin's Creed 3, Darksiders 2 and FFXIII-2, as I loved the predecessors to all these games. (not including AC Revelations, but the promise of how fresh AC3 was built my excitement up for that franchise.)
Probably XCOM. Largely because almost right up to its release, I thought it was that generic looking FPS they showed off a few years ago.
Dear Esther was a surprisingly emotional experience and Sleeping Dogs pretty much came out of no where (or at least wasn't really taken seriously for a long time).
Spec Ops: Not the most fun in the gameplay department, but the game has some serious chops as far as the story is concerned.
WWE 13: first wrestling game I've enjoyed since the N64. collusion!
Don't Starve: it's still in beta I guess, but there's a lot of stuff about this game that has me hooked so far.
XCom Enemy Unknown somehow managing to meet my lofty and unrealistic expectations (as a huge fan of the original with firmly fitted, rose-colored, childhood-nostalgia goggles) and keeping much of the feel of the original while streamlining play (not having to buy and track weapon magazines individually for your entire platoon of commandos, for example).
Mark of the Ninja. Haven't finished it yet but really enjoying its style and how fun the gameplay is.
Endless Space. Bought it on impulse and I love how accessible but also rewarding it is and Im not a huge 4X fan.
XCOM. I dont really enjoy strategy games at all but I could not stop playing it.
I had high hopes for Dishonored and while I dont think its a bad game it just doesnt hold my attention
For me, similar to quite a few of you, Far Cry 3 and Hitman Absolution were surprises for absolutely opposite reasons. Based on what I was seeing of FC3 before release I thought it'd be junk but it has been loads of fun, whereas based on the China Town level previews for Hitman I was sure it would be exactly what I wanted and it turned out to be a fraction of the game Blood Money was.