FFD: What games were a pleasant surprise?

1 min read
170

SUPPLIES!

While everyone seems to be hung up on games like Titanfall, Watch Dogs and Destiny being disappointments – lets turn it around and look at the flipside. Games that ended up being rather pleasant surprises.

One more recent game that instantly comes to mind is Driver: San Francisco. I have little interest in games about cars, I hated the last batch of Driver games and the story seemed to be a tad on the ridiculous side. A guy who’s in a coma and can jump around in to other people’s bodies? What sort of Quantum Leap hokum is this? And yet, it was a rather bloody enjoyable game – one of the last generation’s most underappreciated gems.

Another game that ended up being quite a pleasant surprise for me was Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. at the time I bought it at a little retail PC games shop, I knew nothing about it. I had actually gone out that day to find somebody who was selling Half-Life 2, and I really wanted to get a look at Valve’s new Source engine. They had no stock – but did have VTM: Bloodlines in, and I bought it on a whim purely to gander at Source.

I ended up losing my life to that game for ages, and it still stands as one of my favourite RPG experiences ever. I ended up forgetting about Half-Life 2 and only played it months later.

Tell us: What games have you picked up with little to no pre-loaded information, and ended up loving?

Last Updated: September 19, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Jac7

    Thinking waaaaayyyy back, Parasite Eve 2. It blew my fragile little mind. Resident Evil 4 had that same impact. I had no idea they had made such a profound change to what I’d come to love about the series, nor did I know I would come to love those changes so much. I killed the PS2 replaying that game.

    • TGS Babay (Umar)

      It was that shower scene that blew your mind…wasn’t it 😉

      • Jac7

        Of course! Some of the best pg13 nudity I’d ever had the pleasure of viewing 😉

        • TGS Babay (Umar)

          HAHAHA I won’t lie, that scene is still pretty good. Square had really great FMV’s … Parasite Eve 2 was one of my fav survival horror games…

        • OVGrounded new game+++

          She was shit hot.

    • OVGrounded new game+++

      I also noticed that the scream of that women from the camper van is the same scream that SONY used in the Spiderman movie when the green goblin fakes it in the burning building. Same sound stock library.

      That scream in Parasite Eve embedded itself into my brain. Resident Evil is dead to me now that The Last of Us kicked my all time favourite RE4 under the rug.

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        Well the Wilhelm scream is a timeless classic!

        • OVGrounded new game+++

          I didnt know it was a thing.

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            Google Wilhelm scream

          • OVGrounded new game+++

            shit, learn something new everyday.

      • Jac7

        That scream haunted me for a little while. And yes, The Last of Us turned out to be more than I had expected. It’s currently at #1 for me. There was one specific part where I snuck around, picking off guys one by one. I had the surround sound on full blast, but things were ridiculously quiet. I took out everyone but the one guy who was waiting outside of the building. So I took out my rifle, took aim and pulled the trigger. I’m still cleaning the walls. It sounded like someone literally fired a bfg inside my living room. Everything in that game is fantastic.

        • OVGrounded new game+++

          I cant get enough of the Coal mine scene with David on Grounded mode.

          TOP TIP save that 1 molotov cocktail for the bloater… if you can make it that far 🙂

    • OVGrounded new game+++

      This scream

    • OVGrounded new game+++

      Then this scream

      • Jac7

        Personal favourite scream

        • JJ the Reus

          This one…just bad quality video

          • OVGrounded new game+++

            lol

  • TGS Babay (Umar)

    Thats very hard in this day and age to not know much about any game really. But there were a few games really.
    Vagrant Story,Galerians,Covert Ops Nuclear Dawn,Extermination stands out in my mind. Vagrant Story just blew me away…dat story…and the characters. Dear Lord

    • Skoobaz

      Vagrant Story FTW!

      • TGS Babay (Umar)

        haha your avatar 🙂

        • Skoobaz

          Dat game always stuck with me. Don’t have the PS2 anymore but I run the disc through PSX2 emulation on the desktop once in a while. It’s still just awesome! I’m secretly hoping for a remake!

  • L337J1MB0B

    Knack comes to mind.. expected very little but I had a lot of fun playing that game.

  • Hammersteyn

    Planetside 2, I had no idea what it was about except that it was an online shooter. Playing the game for the first time and seeing the scale of the map left me in awe.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Agreed!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    FTL

    • JJ the Reus

      Yess

    • ToshZA

      What JJ said.

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Thomas Was Alone

  • Hammersteyn

    Another one was God of War on PS1. I didn’t have internet at the time and I just rented random games that had decent box art.

    • TGS Babay (Umar)

      Speaking of box art, Soul Reaver had that effect on me! It had this cool 3d cover art. Rented it for the weekend and fuck, what a game. Couldn’t believe what I was playing

    • CAE9872

      Not to be picky but GOW debuted on PS2. And what – were you living in a box because that game was everywhere when it came out. Not that boxes aren’t great places to be…just you know…

      • Hammersteyn

        Right you are PS2, my memory isn’t what it’s supposed to be. Like I said, no internet.

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY back in the day, KotOR 1.

    Was my FIRST RPG and I suddenly realised WHAT I’M MISSING OUT ON!!!!!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Mark of the Ninja, VERY pleasantly surprised

    • TGS Babay (Umar)

      Agree, though I was following that game for a while though, still didn’t expect it to be that good

  • Rags

    I never intentionally buy something I expect to be mediocre. So I am never surprised only disappointed. Back in the days of Demos a few games surprised me, but these days I am only disappointed with some of my purchases.

    • L337J1MB0B

      Not trying to start a PC vs Consoles debate here, but this is exactly what I love about consoles. I can buy anything that catches me eye without any significant risk, because if it sucks I can instantly sell the thing and recover most of the costs.

      • Rags

        Yep it sucks. And it really is a good thing about consoles, the 2nd hand market.
        That said I was surprised with Sims3 in the humble bundle and one or two steam special games you buy to demo basically and just grows your library without ever going back to playing them.
        Wish there was a legal way to avoid disappointment and find pleasant surprises. 😉

    • JJ the Reus

      Humble Bundles mean I end up with games I know nothing about that came along with games I wanted. Some have really surprised me.

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        Agreed

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        That’s how I ended up with Trine, Blades of Time & Binary Domain. Game bundles.

        • JJ the Reus

          How I got Binary Domain too. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed BD, but that view didn’t work for me. Everything else was great.

      • Rags

        Yeah, true. I never even bother installing most of that stuff. Cause I feel like I’ve played enough platformers in the 80’s. 😛

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Sanctum, strangely enjoyable!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    The Walking Dead

    • Sgt. M

      I’m watching the series now after many years of anime. It’s quite good. Is the game really a pleasant surprise?

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Reus, also pleasant surprise!

    • ToshZA

      Agreed. It looked a bit interesting, but then such a simple concept evolved into what is quite the complex and time sucking game.

    • JJ the Reus

      Love iiiit

    • HouwGobz

      Oh god the hours I put in to this to get all the achievements. And yet I still want to play it.

  • OVGrounded new game+++

    REMEMBER ME

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Who?

      • OVGrounded new game+++

        ME

        • TGS Babay (Umar)

          ME?

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            HAI!

        • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

          YOU?

          • OVGrounded new game+++

            WHO? WHO?

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            HOW NOW BROWN COW?

          • What are you, a fucking owl?

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            HOO HOO

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Hey OVG – how do you like playing online on a PC? 😀 (refresh for image)

      • OVGrounded new game+++

        LOL I always thought my DNA needed stabilizing.

        • It has your eyes…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Insane?

      • NEW LEVEL OF CREEPY!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Ding level up! For my new perk I choose restraining order time period reduction.

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            COOLDOWN!

    • Milesh Bhana

      agreed, don’t know why it wasn’t well received. Memory remixing was fun and i enjoyed the platforming, combat and story.

  • Hammersteyn

    Oh and Red Alert, granted I saw my friend play it first and it was my introduction to the C&C series. He just phoned my one day all excited and had me sat down to watch the intro. Also what was pretty cool is that the game came on two discs. You could “lend” one to a friend so that you could Lan against each other.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Red Alert FTW!!! And oh yeah that LAN!!!! Oh the memories!!!

      C&C Generals was also damn fine!

      • Skoobaz

        C&C Generals. I still play that. Awesome.

    • Loved Red Alert, it’s what set me up for Generals!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    As I’m spamming this thread, I realise how many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised with games!

    WHAT A GLORIOUS HOBBY/LIFESTYLE!!!!

  • JJ the Reus

    Monaco. Fun little game that.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Still need to get into that

  • CAE9872

    First SSX on PS2

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      LOL misread as sex on PS2…thought “dayum dude”

      • CAE9872

        LOL

      • JJ the Reus

        He wouldn’t be wrong, it is a pleasant surprise.

    • Norm

      SSX Tricky was good too!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Hotline Miami….disturbingly surprised

    • JJ the Reus

      I cannot wait for the PayDay 2-Hotline Maimi DLC

    • Skyblue

      I could not put that game down until I finished it. Loved the action.

  • CAE9872

    Gran Turismo on PS1 only because it was just unbelievable to have all that stuffed onto a disc without it falling over.

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Red Faction 1 and Red Faction Armageddon.

    WE DO NOOOOOOOTTTTTTT SPEAK OF RED FACTION 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Frontline Tactics…..the game just got me (still does)

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I love VTM Bloodlines so much – favourite RPG of all time.

    Alpha Protocol – I didn’t expect much after the way it was slagged off everywhere but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Trine – what a great indie side-scroller.
    Blades of Time & Binary Domain – fun action games that I knew nothing about before playing

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Agreed, VTM Bloodlines was damn epic!

    • JJ the Reus

      It’s weird, I still liked the first Vampire more. I must be the only person in the whole world who thinks so. I have Alpha Protocol on backlog, been meaning to try it out.
      Didn’t like Binary Domain though. Liked how the bots exploded, but the view made me nauseated.

      • You;re weird. WEIRD. I didn’t like the first one all that much. Bloodlines was megamazing.

        • JJ the Reus

          I had to upgrade my pc way back when just to be able to play the first Vampire game. Needed a whopping 64meg RAM. So I think it holds special value to me. Plus I had some special edition or something with a whole bunch of booklets on the lore and everything.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Don’t make excuses for your weirdness, weirdo :/

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        The first Vampire was an average game, but it had a great story – that’s the only reason I kept on playing it.

  • Eric

    Advent Rising. Always

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Sacred

    • WarframedSquirrel

      Awesome game, still haven’t finished it XD

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        You should!

        • WarframedSquirrel

          Yeah I guess so, but so much else to play!!

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            Aye, I know the feeling dude

    • Rags

      You are too easily surprised it seems 😀

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        It was good for me at that time. Hence the surprise!

    • JJ the Reus

      Sacred 2 was terrible. Worst voice acting ever.

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        How was the combat?

        • JJ the Reus

          It was difficult for me to look past the voice acting to keep me playing for long enough. But it was very similar to the first.

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            First was solid, I liked it, plus the LOOOOT

          • ToshZA

            First was better than the second in every way. First was buggy as hell, but I cared enough to finish the game and explore the world. The second wasn’t great for me, I was expecting more.

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            The second is sitting unplayed in my backlog

          • ToshZA

            Yeah, sadly I lost my disks for the first game, so I bought and played the 2nd hoping for a similar experience. Sad face ensued.

          • Viking Of Science

            It was Buggy, I remember before I got the expansion, there was a quest I couldn’t finish (getting water from an oasis) I didn’t have Internet at the time, so getting a patch wasn’t an option… but man… Great Diablo clone.

          • ToshZA

            Haha I remember that quest. It was with the horse, if I’m not mistaken. I managed to do it I think. Damn that game was huge though.

  • CAE9872

    Recently and this is odd I know – Pure Pool on PS4. Great little game that.

  • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

    Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

  • Bobby Lobby

    Do you think if I purchased Wasteland 2 of steam today that it would be a pleasant suprise?

    • JJ the Reus

      I so badly want that.

    • I am interested; writer on that actually one of the people behind Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines from Troika games. 😛

  • TGS Babay (Umar)

    And yes…..Negativity sucks

  • JJ the Reus

    I’m actually playing SpaceBase right now. For the price well worth it, but sadly, not pleasantly surprised.

  • Dutch Matrix

    Mass Effect 1. I will with no amount of shame declare that I got that game only for the possibility of lesbian sex with a blue alien.
    But then an awesome game happened to me. So much so that I will declare the Mass Effect series as the best damn thing to have happened to video games ever!

  • JJ the Reus

    The first Deus Ex. Didn’t expect much. Mind was blown. Still the best DX

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      LOOOOVED the first DX. BUT, HR was my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, the love I have for DX1 is immense!

      • JJ the Reus

        HR felt a bit too typical to its time for me. The first DX was ground breaking. But HR was great. The boss fights just ruined the game for me since I stealthed all the way through.

        • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

          Yeah, the boss fights were a bit of a let-down. But I really enjoyed the game nonetheless. The ending was also meh-ish. But I related to the character more

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Apparently the director’s cut fixes up the boss fights, but I’m not interested in paying for them to fix the problems they created.

          • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

            I got the DirCut thanks to JJ, still need to check that out!

    • Hammersteyn

      Yes!

  • Brutal Legend was totally underplayed and is one of the most fun games out there. If you haven’t played it, sort that out, NOW!

    • JJ the Reus

      Loved that game

      • It was so damn awesome! Brilliant soundtrack, and Ozzy!

        • JJ the Reus

          Agreed.Can’t go wrong with metal.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Except in your paint.

          • JJ the Reus

            LOL

          • Norm

            Or in your cars oil.

    • Viking Of Science

      To be fair Rince, have any of Schafer’s games ever been bad?

    • Skoobaz

      Totally agree

    • Mossel

      Loved the soundtrack and game, but hated the RTS part of it, so annoying.

  • JJ the Reus

    Final Fantasy XII
    Trolololo!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    The story of Spec Ops The Line was a pleasant unpleasant surprise. I didn’t expect it to be that good.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Agree 100%

    • Agreed. I loved that game, really didn’t think I would…

      • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

        Aye, I totally overlooked the average gameplay, that is how good the story was!

    • Hammersteyn

      Aye

    • Skyblue

      Just those bloody controls. I did enjoy the game though, very cool narrative.

  • Her Highness the Hipster

    Mark of the Ninja, Nier and Thomas was Alone.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      MotN and TWA!

  • Joe Black

    Its still in beta, but there’s a sandbox game by the name of “Planet Explorers” which looked ok when I bought it early access and when I started playing it I thought it was rubbish. But boy was I wrong… The solo adventure is not even complete, but it is one of the most deeply gratifying titles I have played in a long time. I mean you can -design- and build your own helicopters or other flying machines.

    It is a real game.

    • JJ the Reus

      I have that on my wishlist. Looking great.

      • Joe Black

        Wait for the official release. Although I finished the first part of the story-line I have decided to wait myself no matter how much I want to continue.

        It will be grand.

  • Attera Eternus

    Everyone hated Syndicate.. I loved it. Even if you are purist and think it didn’t follow the originals, it was still damn fun to play…I mean, you make people kill themselves with a chip in your brain… C’mon! That being said, the GFX were pretty, the story was good. Pick up a copy if you haven’t. *waits for the hate*

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Syndicate was not bad, I agree. I DEVOURED Syndicate Wars in my youth, so was expecting a bit more though :/

  • I really loved Command and Conquer Generals, didn’t think I would.

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      That game helped me a lot when I was stuck at a project site with only 3 daily checks on systems and a LOT of free time

      • JJ the Reus

        Sounds like a tough life. 😉

        • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

          Had to be onsite at 07h00, middle of JHB, which means I had to leave home at 05h00.

          At least I was paid for breakfast and lunch and KMs and as I type this I realise how much travel claims I had back then!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Warhammer 40K Space Marine was also far better than I expected. When I finished it I was really sad there wouldn’t be the planned sequels.

    • JJ the Reus

      Agreed. 43 hours that I spent on that game.
      And Dawn of War 2. Spent way too much time on that one also.

    • Viking Of Science

      OH Hell yeah… I devoured that game.

  • fred

    Dark Souls , had to play Demons Souls afterwards.

  • ToshZA

    Terraria was one of the biggest surprises for me. I scoffed at anything sanbox related, because they have a tendancy to get boring and dull after an hour or so of game time. Well, 200 hours in, with plans for what I want to build and create on new worlds, I can honestly say it surprised the shit out of me.

  • Viking Of Science

    Freaking Path Of Exile.
    The story:
    So I went over to a friends house, we were planning to play Borderlands (1) and he was like, let’s check out this beta I downloaded for a bit before we get stuck in. we load it up, start playing… before we knew it, it was 3 AM, and we had ploughed halfway into the second act.

    dat Skill tree….

  • Jaded_Reprobate

    Dune was 1 of my fav’s… spent so many hours on that game i remember being reminded to eat from time to time…

    now i’m not sure if this is an under appreciated game or not, all i do know is that it is not often i see or hear people mention it

    • Admiral Chief o’ thar 7 Seas

      Single….clicking….every….unit

    • Hondsepop

      Yip. Harvested many spices in my day.

  • Hondsepop

    Sins of a Solar Empire

  • BradeLunner

    Arcanum; Of Steam works and Magic obscura

  • Milesh Bhana

    Vanquish for me. Never heard of it and a friend lent it to me and said I had to check it out. Jap-take on Gears of War, loads of fun and definitely one of those underrated gems out there.

  • Milesh Bhana

    also, loads of nice surprises in the indie pile from PSN+. So far the biggest one was Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark. Awesome puzzle platformer. I’m a little miffed that the sequel is Wii-U exclusive. Hopefully it’s timed exclusive.

    Stick it to the Man was also a really pleasant surprise.

  • Mossel

    I always miss these FFD’s. My pleasant surprise was The Cave. It had very bad reviews and yet for me it was awesome! Loved that game.

  • Wraith

    Stalker. Gotta love that atmosphere.

  • caponeil

    Specs OP:The line was a great surprise amid some real horrid “spunkgargleweewee”

  • MakeItLegal

    Sleeping Dogs , just so much fun 🙂

Check Also

FFD: Was 2016 a great year in gaming?

2016 is almost over, so time to decide - was it an awesome year for gaming, or mostly a di…