Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Video games exceeding expectations
GameCentral readers discuss the games that turned out even better than expected, from Uncharted 2 to God Of War.
The question for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Comp, who asks what highly anticipated game has come closest to meeting or exceeding your expectations?
Hype can easily get out of control nowadays, but many were still able to be pleasantly surprised, even when they’ve read reviews or watched footage beforehand.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is probably mine, for the simple reason that it was a licensed game and they’re almost always bad. I’m also not a big fan of Ratchet & Clank or anything else that Insomniac have done before. But when I got the game it blew me away with the graphics, the authenticity to the comics (while still offering its own take), and the gameplay.
I was convinced the web-slinging was going to be dumbed down from the previous ones but this was probably the best since Spider-Man 2 and never got old the whole game. The combat did a bit, admittedly, as it was a bit too similar to Batman: Arkham but it was still fun and there was some good boss battles.
The sequel is now one of my most anticipated games for the next gen and I cannot wait to see what it looks like, which is not what I would’ve expected to be saying before the first one came out.
Good and different
I would assume the most popular answer for this will be Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. I know certainly from my point of view I expected it to be good but not that good. I went from thinking it would be just a cheeky Wii U port to seeing it getting some of the best review scores in history.
At that point I knew it would be good but I still didn’t realise how different it was to the normal Zeldas. I actually get a bit frustrated with people who want it to be the same as what they’re used to but I love how different it felt while still having lots of familiar elements and, of course, that amazing sense of size and freedom.
To be honest, it’s the best reboot of anything, game or otherwise I’ve ever played and has been responsible for some of my best gaming memories of recent years. Not only do I not expect to play a game that good in a hurry but I don’t expect to be as surprised either.
Good question and I came up with an answer pretty quickly: Resident Evil 2. Resident Evil 7 was a return to form but otherwise Capcom has been very hit and miss for years now and I wasn’t necessarily expecting much from the remake, especially as I assume the new camera view and everything would turn it into an action game. How wrong I was.
There’s so much love poured into that game I think I was playing the whole thing with just a massive grin on myself (even during the scary bits). The graphics were fantastic, the mix of new and old gameplay was just right, it was actually frightening, and there was just enough cheese left for the old Resi flair to come through.
You can imagine I was expecting the best for Resident Evil 3 but it’s fascinating how much that fell flat, getting everything wrong that the last game got right. It was a different team and you could tell. Just goes to show the real art is in designing the game and putting it together, not just the technology.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
Real world setting
Red Dead Redemption 2 was probably the last game where I felt this. You expect good work from Rockstar but this really was amazing. The graphics and the level of realism was just off the charts and I don’t expect to see anything as good until basically GTA 6.
The story and the characters and the whole world just make you feel you’re in the Old West, for better and worst, and I love the commitment to the period detail. For an open world game you want a sense of location and reality and Red Dead Redemption 2 had that in spades.
I know it was huge anyway but I’d love to have DLC for it, but we’ve got Red Dead Online as well and that’s essentially for free. Nobody does value for money like Rockstar.
I am a big fan of the Uncharted series and for me Uncharted 4 lived up to expectations for me and maybe surpassed it. As I mentioned in the Hot Topic last weekend, it was weird going from what you thought were realistic-ish graphics on the PlayStation 3 but now look cartoony compared to realistic graphics on the PlayStation 4. I enjoyed the set pieces and the gameplay and the characters, and the story was so well written you just can’t believe I have come from Dizzy and Monty Mole (can’t on Amstrad CPC 464 with green monitor to Uncharted 4!).
I did avoid a lot of information about the game before I played it, as I have done with Naughty Dog’s incoming next release, which did help. I watched the first full trailer for both and then didn’t bother with any other trailers or information to avoid spoilers.
Uncharted 2 on the PlayStation 3 was another game that lived up to expectations for me. I bought a PlayStation 3 to play it after the great reviews, the great trailer that I still watch to this day on YouTube and the TV advert.
I never played a game where I enjoyed the gameplay and the cut scenes were so good, and character rapport was so good too. I am sure there are other games that have been good too but those two are the ones I remember the most.
Zero to hero
Given it’s in the news at the moment I’ll say The Witcher 3. I’d never heard of the series before but when I saw the early screenshots and videos it seemed to good to be true, like you’d only see that level of graphics on PC. But no, the PlayStation 4 version was amazing and is my favourite game of the generation.
It’s the way you can talk to people that’s the most impressive part, it all feels so real and natural. Yes, the combat isn’t great but the feeling of being in the world is better than anything.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
A fair release
I remember a Scottish video game show on BBC2 a while back called VideoGaiden, talking about the word ‘hype’ and exploring what this means in a satirical but also a very true explanation of the term. The funny thing about this was that it had the original Assassin’s Creed gameplay footage playing in the background.
This is what hype can do to a game and can potentially damage a game’s reputation even if it didn’t deserve it as much as what it eventually got. The problem is that games like the original Assassin’s Creed and No Man’s Sky had a product which appeared to break new ground in either concept or a graphical/gameplay style, which was the equivalent of a runaway train in excitement and the huge thrills of possibilities.
The games were OK and playable but no more than that. No classics in the making and no boundary-breaking experiences that would change the world in any big way. Hype just killed them, and if there was no or less hype, these games would have been perceived much differently and accepted more.
Ironically, the above games made up for it with continuous updates, new content and fixing gameplay issues, etc. which has made No Man’s Sky a much, much better game than was originally released. Assassin’s Creed 2 also turned out to be a far better game than the original, and also one of my most memorable games ever played and experienced.
Super Mario 64 in my opinion and The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time for the N64 are definitions of games hyped up and then were probably even better than most gamers could have possibly dreamed.
One of many beginnings and causes for the hype train, is development taking forever to finish. Having an endless amount of time waiting for the game with no release date is a dangerous game to play, and I would rather keep major information about it quiet, until it’s definitely on the way to being released soon.
If the marketing or promotional/advertising teams are more careful with the release of information, so as not to over promise or over exaggerate the game in a false way, then that would be one way to make sure the intended game has a fair release.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Source: Read Full Article