10 Brilliant Video Games That Surprised Everyone - Commenter Edition

Another round of unexpected digital pleasures - this time chosen by you.

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By now, we're all depressingly familiar with the hype that publishers have managed to build for video games that subsequently fail to deliver.

We've known for a long time never to trust titles that are marketed on pre-rendered cinematics alone, and more recently have learned not to even trust gameplay trailers showcased at events such as E3.

Heavily scripted "gameplay" sequences for games such as Assassin's Creed: Unity and Rainbow Six: Siege have taught us that Ubisoft and plenty of other companies are not above outright lying about the content of their future titles, and what we're eventually sold can just be embarrassing.

However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, a game comes along to very little fanfare or amongst intense skepticism and... well, it's good. Really good, in fact.

Sometimes a developer has had a bad run of titles, or a dramatic shift from established formulas has made a fanbase worry about an upcoming sequel, but those designers programmers and testers manage to pull it out the bag and deliver a hit that gives us further hope for the industry.

We've already gushed about several of these titles in the past, and were greeted with a whole host of others from commenters - all great suggestions that deserve some acknowledgement!

10. Alien: Isolation

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Alien: Isolation was met with a mixture of caution and dread from the get-go for one very depressing reason - Aliens: Colonial Marines. As that game's disastrous development cycle and release is now more well documented than the Second World War, it'll suffice to say that it was truly, madly, garment-rendingly awful in every respect, especially considering the hype that had built around it over several years.

Isolation developers Creative Assembly, however, were unperturbed by the worry that was beginning to set in. While Colonial Marines took after James Cameron's 1986 action sequel, Isolation was based firmly on Ridley Scott's original (and far superior) horror classic. Their vision was delivered impeccably. The Sevastopol space station captured that same spirit of grimy, 1970s sci-fi - all clunky machinery and CRT monitors - and the horror aspect was front and centre.

Alien: Isolation is terrifying. An excruciatingly tense, unforgiving struggle between woman and beast, the single Alien that remorselessly stalks Amanda Ripley through Sevastopol is unmatched in its hostility, waiting for that one wrong move that will surely mean instant death. Compared to Colonial Marines' hordes of dopey Xenomorph cannon fodder, this monster - and indeed the entire game - was structural perfection.


Neo-noir enjoyer, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.