Top 5 Underrated Video Games
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 13:09
Over the last 20 years, video games have largely integrated themselves into our culture. I would like to think our generation really became the first group to be raised with them. Some people love them, some hate them and most of us would fall somewhere in between. I myself do enjoy a good game for filling the void between sleep, eat, work and school. This week I will be giving my opinion as to the top five most underrated games. So without further ado, here are my top five selections.
5. Heavy Rain
At number 5 I have “Heavy Rain.” It was released back in 2010 for the PlayStation 3. I felt it had a fantastic story line and probably would have done better had it been a movie rather than a game. The story revolves around a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. The player has control of multiple characters throughout the story, which was an aspect I really appreciated. The selection of dialogue options could drastically change the direction of conversations forcing players to think before speaking. The downfall, I feel, was how the game was operated. Controls consisted of timed button responses rather than actually fighting or free moving mechanics. For instance, one of the characters gets in a fight and the player must press buttons at the right time to dodge and fight rather than for example “X” is kick and “Square” is punch. However despite that, the story was brilliant and suspenseful. It makes a great late-night cinematic experience.
4. Mirror’s Edge
I remember downloading the demo for “Mirror’s Edge” back in 2008 and was so excited to buy the game after I beat the demo a half a dozen times. “Mirror’s Edge” is a first-person free-running/parkour adventure game. It takes place in a dystopian future where all news is controlled and censored by the government. The player takes the role of Faith, a “runner,” who delivers the truth about what is really happening. This game was beautifully designed as the player runs across buildings high over the city and through train tunnels avoiding or fighting guards. The fluidity of movement while being in first person made it truly a unique experience. The only issue was it dissuaded people of the not-so-great combat system and the game’s repetition. It did get a little redundant at times but all in all I thought it was an artistic wonder coupled with a good story.
3. Freedom Fighters
The third spot on my list goes to “Freedom Fighters.” I had this game on my Nintendo GameCube and it saw a lot of playing time. The game was released back in 2003 and had quite decent graphics for its time. “Freedom Fighters,” is a third-person shooter that puts you in a world where Russia has invaded the United States and declared a New Soviet Union. The player has to assemble teams of resistance fighters to complete missions and take back New York. It was a very fun game to play as each mission required different tactics and people you needed in your group to complete it. Unfortunately the game was not overly long and right as you start diving deep into the story the game is over—not saying that the ride wasn’t great—I just would have liked it to continue. The main character Chris Stone evolves from an average Joe to the leader of New York’s resistance. It had a great story, pretty solid mechanics and combat. But best of all, it was the first time where I got to toss a Molotov cocktail!
2. Fallout: New Vegas
Ain’t that a kick in the head; “Fallout: New Vegas” sits at number two on my list. I feel “Fallout: New Vegas” was both justly but also unjustly panned. First off, it followed up “Fallout 3” which was a fantastic game and that is not an easy thing to do. It did have a tendency to freeze up and the graphics fell short of its predecessor. Despite that I think the pros outweigh the cons and I shall now make my case. The story was pretty solid. You are in the shoes of a courier who was shot and robbed of the package you were delivering. Seems simple at first, but the package you were holding is far more important than originally thought. On top of that you get tossed into the middle of a war between the New California Republic—which holds on to old world values of democracy and freedom—and Caesar’s Legion—an army of marauders and slavers who take what they want, when they want. The “Karma” system, in which your actions have consequences, was improved significantly. Its included “reputation” allowed you to be liked by one town, but hated by a different one. The companions that could follow you had great backstories that required you to get to know them. The story continues to build nicely and it was overall a great play. I really liked it also because it was a game you could replay and do things differently
1. Dragon’s Dogma
At number one is “Dragon’s Dogma.” This game came out in 2011 and was largely overshadowed by the release of “Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” I liked this game a lot because it played a lot like “Skyrim” and the combat was similar to the “Dragon Age” series. It has a very open world and was enjoyable to explore. The story was pretty simple—a dragon takes your heart, it does not kill you though. You become the “Arisen” and are destined to kill the dragon; if you fail the dragon will conquer the world. It has a mythological simplicity to it which I like. Combat was very creative and unique at first, as the more you fought a specific enemy you would learn its weakness. For example, after fighting many goblins you would discover they are scared of fire, or that cutting the tail off of a creature makes it weak. However, it did get a bit repetitive. You are given help by a group called “Pawns.” They are like humans but do not have a will of their own. They will follow you to the death. What made this a great system was at the beginning of the game the player designs their own pawn to stay with them throughout the game. If a friend played the game you could “borrow” their pawn and you would both benefit. The down side to pawns was that they would not shut up! They talked all the time and though the dialogue was vast there is only so long you can go without hearing the same phrase over and over again. The crafting system was very large and I think it overwhelmed a majority of people. All in all, “Dragon’s Dogma” is a solid game that I really enjoyed fighting through, and the DLC “Dark Arisen” is exceptional.
I recommend all these games as a back-up play when you are in between games or waiting for a new title. If you have any comments or suggestions for any “top five” lists you’d like to see you can tweet at me: @Werness42 #TopFive
Caleb is a sophomore majoring in English.