There is always a huge amount of credit thrown about in the world of gaming, however, sometimes, the attention gets focused too much on the truly spectacular, massive budget titles, that many amazing games just seem to pass everybody by. So today, I’m going to bring you a list of ‘hidden gems’ from 2011, in an attempt to bring some of those titles into the limelight, like they deserve. Try not to pay too much attention to ranking, just take note that all these games are awesome. Also, if there are any games you feel are worthy to be on this list, please comment and tell me below, after all, there are probably games that I have missed out on too.
10. Shadows of the damned
Made by the twisted mind behind the likes of No More Heroes and Killer 7, Shadows of the damned follows suit in the twisted, hellish craziness department, with a crude humour to match. With your girlfriend being taken hostage by a demon, it’s your job to jump straight into hell after her and shoot everything that gets in your way with your boner (…the name of your gun). Whilst technically not the best game ever, it will certainly leave an impression on you, and if you have an ounce of insanity in you, you’ll not want to miss out on this…experience.
9. Might and Magic: Clash of heroes
With this game already featuring on my top 10 GOTY list, you guys should probably have already guessed this is a great game. With a wonderful presentation, a lengthy campaign, great multiplayer, and a simple, yet beautifully realised puzzle battle mechanic, this game should be on everybody’s list of games to get, might and magic may be an old franchise, but this release showed the world it still has what it takes to stay more than relevant, let’s just hope it isn’t the last we see of it.
8. Dark Souls
Well, with a tag line of ‘prepare to die’ it doesn’t take a genius to realise this game is going to be a tough nut to crack. Whilst not always difficult for the right reasons (the game basically throws you in at the deep end, and leaves you there to figure things out yourself) it is fair to say that death will most certainly be on the cards. Luckily a brilliant mechanic in the game helps make up for it. When playing on the game online, you will encounter the souls of other players from where they have died, leaving you tips on what the next area may involve, or the weakness of a specific enemy etc. it’s a small but game changing idea, and I for one love it.
7. Rayman origins
Whilst many ‘gamers’ passed on this game due to its childish (albeit amazing) appearance, it’s easy to say that they are missing out on some good old fashion, beautifully tweaked Rayman platforming. Throw some 4 player co-op a la Super Mario Bros. Wii, and some really challenging levels later on in the game, and Rayman Origins is a glorious return to form for our favourite free-floating hero, and for many, the best in the series so far.
6. Magic: the Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
Although the card game this game is based on is anything but new, this game brings us a great way to discover and play it through. Don’t get put off if you’ve never played the card game before, as I hadn’t either. However, it is simple enough to learn, and difficult enough to master that it will leave everybody happy, newcomers and veterans alike. With several modes to play, from a campaign to unlock new decks and cards, to an extremely difficult archenemy mode, which pits you and two mates (or AI) against one super powerful enemy, this game certainly has enough to keep you going, and trust me, you’ll want to.
5. LA Noire
Ever want to be a 1950’s cop in L.A. solving murder cases and more? Yeah, me neither really, that is until I saw footage of LA Noire, from then, it became a dream of mine. A dream that was beautifully realised by this great game by Rockstar. Giving us a look at what life is like on the other side, this game is a huge departure from GTA, however the quality is certainly still there. Letting us examine crime scenes, compete in car chases and even interrogate suspects (the facial scan technology they used means unparalleled facial animation, and some of the best acting in a game, ever). Despite whether you want to be an oldy-worldy cop or not, you should give this game a chance to interrogate the socks off you.
After ‘the calamity’ leaves the world in pieces, it is up to you to put the bastion back together, and make the best of a bad situation. An isometric dungeon crawler with a twist or two, this game will leave you wanting a narrator of your own (he narrates over the whole game, and it’s dynamic, to match whatever you are doing the in the game). The fluid combat and great weapons are more than enough to motivate you through bringing an entire world back from the brink of death. Not to mention all the little extra bits you’ll come across. This fantastic looking game will leave you begging for more, now let’s just hope we get it.
With epic games offering the Gears 3 beta codes along with a pre-order of this game, it’s fair to say that many people who bought this game, never truly wanted to play it. However more fool them, as secretly, we all should have been buying this game, even if it denied us access to the beta. With the game giving us almost limitless ways to kill anybody stupid enough to get in the way, and the skillshot system rewarding us for finding them all, Bulletstorm is an almost limitless cycle of killing, and buying new death machines, leaving us more than happy gamers in the process.
2. LittleBigPlanet 2
Just missing out on the number 1 spot is the sequel to MediaMolecule’s fabulous imagination implementor, LittleBigPlanet. Number 2 simply gives us much much more, and lets us do what we want with it. Giving us new items, like the grapple hook, new genres of gaming to design, and even the option to make our very own cut scenes, no game has ever been so close letting us make our very own games, however we want to make them. Boasting an impossibly big combination of possibilities, no game has ever relied so much on us gamers. The bet pays off big time, with the community on this game flourishing, and more and more levels to play being added every day, you don’t even need to be a genius level designer in the making to appreciate this game, you can simply abuse the efforts of others and play their wonderous levels. With all this and the ability to play almost all of it with 3 other friends, you certainly wont be running out of things to do on LittleBigPlanet 2 anytime in the near future.
Simply put, this 2D lovechild of Zelda and Minecraft has captivated me, and many other gamers who have played it. With an ever-growing amount of enemies, bosses, weapons, armour and everything else in between, Terraria has a little bit for everyone. You can just build a massive fortress for you and the NPC’s to live in whilst the zombies and demon eyes haunt your nights forever, or you can build a little hut for a base, and go wild with exploration, all the way to the depths of hell, where you will more than likely be killed by the demons or the lava. This game has so much to discover that you will more than likely never find it all, and if you ever plan on it, be prepared to lose entire weekends spelunking caverns with your friends. So put on your rocket boots and equip your demon bows, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.