Amazing Video Games That Surpassed All The Expectations
how about we take stock of those legendary games that absolutely met or surpassed all expectations?
It’s pretty crazy to think that even after the original Portal revolutionised the approach to designing 3D environmental puzzles, to this day it’s the sequel people point to that newcomers should check out. Back at launch though, woah baby.
From the opening few moments where you’re greeted with the hilariously endearing vocal tones of one Stephen Merchant, to the sensation of exploring a full story set within the walls of Aperture Science’s labs, Portal 2 hit the ground positively sprinting, and hasn’t let up a day since. Of course that’s mostly down to Half-Life 3 being nowhere to be seen and the original Portal being a fancy tech demo, but warping yourself through all manner of portals in every direction imaginable never felt so good – something Valve’s impeccable script tied together perfectly across the board
Mass Effect 2
We all thought it couldn’t be done, but Bioware managed to exceed every expectation for Mass Effect 2, delivering not only one of the finest third-person sci-fi shooters on the market, but a landmark genre milestone for the medium of gaming overall. Starting you off with one of the best narrative setups in history (Commander Shepard gets killed, then reanimated back into being, throwing all your previous alliances into disarray), it allowed them to essentially let you revisit the galaxy’s various hierarchies all over again.
Graphics across the board were something else, player agency in terms of conversation options and character-speccing was on another level than anything we’d seen, and all-round the main story was perfectly paced to last close to 60+ hours without ever letting up for a moment. Even now, despite all the hoo-ha around Mass Effect 3 (a wound that may heal if we’d all stop tonguing it)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
There are some things games can just do better than film, and putting you slap-bang in the middle of any number of explosive set-pieces as the camera keeps up with everything is just one of them. Unluckily for Naughty Dog, the original Uncharted didn’t take off as they’d first hoped (fans and critics thought it was a strange deviation going from an over-animated orange bandicoot to a pair of platforming heroes… to a dude in jeans), yet they knew if they could present it right, Nathan Drake could become legend.
Then there was that E3 demo with the collapsing building, and the moment where Nate emerges at the last second ,unscathed, mentioning “Man… we were almost in that!” The whole world laughed, and the series’ popularity went through the roof. Gaming had its very own Indiana Jones, and when it came time to see what genius scriptwriters Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley could bring to the table at retail, it surpassed even those lofty expectations through a mix of unforgettable set-pieces and more contextual, perfectly-timed dialogue.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher games are one hell of a unique case. They’re titles initially born from the minds of two game designers, who after purchasing the rights to their favourite book series from the author himself, went on to put together a team of 15 people to birth the first iteration.
From then it blossomed to around 100 for the second game, and nearer double that for the third – but all along the way the entire project has been fuelled by a desire to make the best fans-come-first RPG experience possible. With Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED finally more than proved that. Despite the second game’s variety of hub worlds you could explore, it’s this newest (and final) instalment that fleshed everything out into a true open-world game, giving you a humungous world that’s reportedly 20% bigger than the mighty Skyrim. Main character Geralt is as wry and dutiful as ever, and the world he inhabits continues to be one of the most fleshed out and well-constructed in the entire history of gaming. We always knew it would take something special for a new game to sit up there with the likes of Skyrim, Ocarina of Time or Final Fantasy VII, but from top to bottom (and despite the occasional graphical hitch), Witcher is exactly that.