What are your surprise games of 2018?

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
30,256
7,687
136
What games did you play this year that were unexpectedly good?

Hob - brilliant art direction, beautifully animated, and clever "level" design. More of an adventure game with combat elements than vice versa.

Furi - a series of boss fights, furi has great visual style and an excellent soundtrack. The fights have traditional elements like attack patterns that change with boss hp and also include game mechanics like bullet hell.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
216
106
Nice idea for an end of year thread. Over-sequelled AAA franchises have been dead to me for a few years now, but assuming you mean released this year, my picks are:-

- FAR LONE Sails. It's short and linear but rated "Very/Overwhelmingly Positive" for a reason - it's not afraid to try something new in a sea of mediocrity. It's basically a horizontal platformer that lets the landscape tell the story (like Limbo / Inside), but you have to drive & manage a huge homemade vehicle through various puzzles in a hazardous post-apocalyptic world.

- QUBE2. As other reviews stated it simply "scratched my lack of Portal 3 itch". Not massively spectacular but certainly one of the better Portal clones.

- Unavowed. Not so much "surprised" but I do love Wadjet Eye Games "new old school" style point & click adventures. Definitely one Indie dev I love to support.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Elex. It's not perfect, the combat is horrid for most of the game, but man it kept my interest into the end. I think I did almost every side quest I could do. The world was beautiful, the lore was pretty deep, your actions mattered (somewhat). I guess you could call it a poor mans Skyrim/Mass Effect.

I also played Unavowed and really liked it...although I thought the ending(s) could have been better.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,151
134
106
My 'discovery' recently:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/893680/Project_Warlock/

I just literally learned about it by chance, didn't know it existed nor have I ever seen any ads for it anywhere. A pure, out-of-the-blue masterpiece. If you love old-school (mostly 1990s) FPS games in the veins of Duke Nukem 3D, DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D and Blood; then Project Warlock is for you. You shouldn't even "think" about getting it. Just get it. Period.
 
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local

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2011
1,845
495
136
Tales of Berseria, got it in one of the Humble monthlies and really like it. Feels like an old school JRPG with modern controls.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Tales of Berseria, got it in one of the Humble monthlies and really like it. Feels like an old school JRPG with modern controls.
Yea, it's a very very good game if you like JRPG's. The best I've played in many many years.

You might also check out the Trails of Cold Steel games. Very deep and story rich.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
The Bard's Tale IV - now, I kickstarted it so I mostly knew what I was getting. But I was interested in that game for the exploration, puzzle, and story aspects. What was unexpected was how much fun I'm having with the combat. It's turn-based, with numerous attacks, spells, defenses, buffs, etc. at your command. But you have a limited number of opportunity points (and spell points) so strategy is key. It's not very forgiving...one mistake can have big consequences. But I've become hooked on it. It really draws you in and makes you think. But it's not overly complicated.

The game, overall, is great. It's release was a disaster: horribly broken. But they've released 3 patches and 2 hotfixes since September and addressed quit a bit (while also adding in some fan-requested features/content). It could still use a bit of polish in places, but it's definitely worth playing in its current state.
 
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Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
3,333
393
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Elex. It's not perfect, the combat is horrid for most of the game, but man it kept my interest into the end. I think I did almost every side quest I could do. The world was beautiful, the lore was pretty deep, your actions mattered (somewhat). I guess you could call it a poor mans Skyrim/Mass Effect.

I also played Unavowed and really liked it...although I thought the ending(s) could have been better.
Glad you liked Elex. I really want to replay it and join the Clerics instead of the Outlaws since the crafting system and explosive shotgun shells were extremely subpar, but it was still really fun. I just don't think I could stand dragging my feet through the beginning again though.

As for the game, I finally bit the bullet and bought Divinity Original Sin 2 and have been hooked just as I was with the first game.

Another one that's still in early access (though the full release is in a few months) is They Are Billions. RTS/survival game that's anything but easy. I said I'd try it out and then wait for the full release since they are giving us more maps and a full campaign but after a few hours, I couldn't stop.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Glad you liked Elex. I really want to replay it and join the Clerics instead of the Outlaws since the crafting system and explosive shotgun shells were extremely subpar, but it was still really fun. I just don't think I could stand dragging my feet through the beginning again though.
I played 60-70 hours not in a faction, with the intent on bringing them all together. I was rather disappointed when I got stuck - googled, and discovered you could not do that. I chose Clerics when I finally did just out of necessity. I never did use any of their tech or abilities other than the ones you find laying around and don't need to be part of them to get. This was because I was already powerful enough. To me this was the biggest plot hole in the game as you didn't need a faction to win, but you were forced to pick one which made little difference on the outcome of the game. Still, for me to finish a somewhat open world game is an accomplishment on it's own. I don't tend to do that.
 
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OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,603
24
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LIMBO - It's been out for years, and I've owned it for years, but I finally got around to playing it. I loved it. Was truly unique from any other game experience I've personally had. I found the puzzles quite challenging and imaginative.

Hollow Knight - Not so much a surprise, really, but I liked it way more than I thought I would. Got totally hooked and it was all I wanted to play until I finished it (which was the only disappointment, that I was done, at least for now).
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
30,277
11,469
136
My 'discovery' recently:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/893680/Project_Warlock/

I just literally learned about it by chance, didn't know it existed nor have I ever seen any ads for it anywhere. A pure, out-of-the-blue masterpiece. If you love old-school (mostly 1990s) FPS games in the veins of Duke Nukem 3D, DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D and Blood; then Project Warlock is for you. You shouldn't even "think" about getting it. Just get it. Period.
Have you checked out Dusk?
 
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DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
12,913
1,745
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Some mobile game called Day R.

Not much in the world of eSports; got QC for free but im not playing it.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
3,333
393
126
I have all the SS games on Steam but I haven't played a single one yet. Hell, I didn't even finish Doom 2016 and I love Doom. I think Doom got old when some of the extra mission objectives would become unobtainable if you didn't read them thoroughly before doing anything on the level (like the overpower kills one that only gives you enough overpower boosts to get the amount of kills needed). I think if they didn't include the additional objectives, I would have had a blast just running through the game.
 

ArenCordial

Senior member
Sep 18, 2012
214
15
81
Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

I'm a huge RPG fan and there has been a plethora of games that have tried to capture the old Infinity Engine game's magic and some guys I never heard of before in Russia actually managed to do it. Seriously this game easily tops Pillars 1, 2, Tides of Numeria, etc, games from much more established studios. Yes the game launched buggy but its in much better shape now and they are still pushing out patches to help clear up remaining issues. It captures the old feel with a more modern ruleset and is probably the best DnDish game since BG2. Its absolutely huge, does choice and consequence much better than the old IE games (in fact better than the vast majority of modern RPGs as well). There's a ton of characters you can build and experiment with and overall its a great adventure. This is something I think is going to be destined to become a cult classic. I put down Red Dead Redemption 2 to play this game because RDR2 didn't manage to capture my attention like this has. PC GOTY for me through and through.
 
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Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
30,277
11,469
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I have all the SS games on Steam but I haven't played a single one yet. Hell, I didn't even finish Doom 2016 and I love Doom. I think Doom got old when some of the extra mission objectives would become unobtainable if you didn't read them thoroughly before doing anything on the level (like the overpower kills one that only gives you enough overpower boosts to get the amount of kills needed). I think if they didn't include the additional objectives, I would have had a blast just running through the game.
I am currently playing through Doom 2016. Only 2 Rune trials didn't get completed. I have upgraded all the weapons and maxed out all but 2 weapons. Those challenges can be hard. I am on the last level.

Serious Sam 1st and 2nd encounters are epic games. The HD versions are even more cool looking. Serious Sam 2 was just odd. It's fun but rather cartoonish. Serious Sam 3 was a great game. I am hopeful for a new Serious Sam game.
 

Fire&Blood

Platinum Member
Jan 13, 2009
2,331
16
81
If you liked Limbo, give Inside a shot.

My surprise game of 2018 is Hunt: Showdown. I cannot touch another fps since I started playing. I was in closed alpha for a major upcoming AAA title yet hunt drew me away some of the very limited alpha duration.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
30,277
11,469
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I am currently playing through Doom 2016. Only 2 Rune trials didn't get completed. I have upgraded all the weapons and maxed out all but 2 weapons. Those challenges can be hard. I am on the last level.

Serious Sam 1st and 2nd encounters are epic games. The HD versions are even more cool looking. Serious Sam 2 was just odd. It's fun but rather cartoonish. Serious Sam 3 was a great game. I am hopeful for a new Serious Sam game.
I see Serious Sam 4: Planet Bad Ass is coming out next year. :)

I watched the trailer and pre-alpha game play and I am stoked for this game.
 

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