Life finds a way to surprise you sometimes. Whether it’s a long out-of-touch friend sending you a gift for your birthday, meeting the love of your life at a random bus stop or finding out a game called 50 Cent Blood in The Sand based on the rapper who sang “In The Club” was actually good. You just can’t tell what life has around the corner but oftentimes it turns out to be pleasantly surprising.
Here are 5 Games that should have been terrible but were surprising really good:
Warning: Spoilers are the surprises you DON’T want. There are some below.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
First off, to answer your questions: Yes, this is a videogame about rapper/singer 50 Cent from G-Unit; Yes, Seriously; and Yes, he has a special bullet time ability named Gangsta Fire.
With that out of the way, what you should know about Swordfish Studios’ 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is that its a surprisingly decent game. Make no mistake, the plot is rubbish: While on tour in the Middle East, a group of terrorists steal Fitty’s jewel encrusted skull so he and his select compatriots from G-unit shoot up half the town to get it. However, everything around the narrative is pretty serviceable, the shooting is pretty fun and the dressing around everything else in the gameplay sports that blunt, but stylish G-Unit flair.
In addition to the aforementioned Gangsta Fire mechanic which slows fools down so you can shoot them, there are also a number of mechanics that keep the action feeling fresh. There’s a dynamic objective system that throws challenges at you on the fly when you’re in combat. There’s also a Taunt Mechanic that allows 50 Cent to trash talk suckas while he pops them. There’s also a few QTE melee combat sequences thrown in there for good measure. OH! and yeah, you unlock 50 Cent Tracks for completing missions for you to listen to while you pop caps upside terrorist’s ass.
Blood on the Sand? More like: Diamond in the Rough.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
We’ve written about X-Men Origins Wolverine previously but it still boggles the mind how a game based on the movie that gave us Baraka-pool is not only good but one of the superhero games to date. And yet it is. It had epic set pieces; vicious and satisfyingly violent action; interesting mechanics that cleverly translate Wolverine’s Healing, Enhanced Senses and Adamantium Claws into videogame form; and it actually told a decent enough story through awesome looking cutscenes and levels even better than how the movie it was based on did.
To this day, the Raven Software’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine stands out as a great action game in its own right and it defied all the odds to do it. We just wish we could put every other licensed game through this particular Weapon X procedure. The world would be so much better for it.
Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
All you really need to know about Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden is that it’s good and it’s freaking nuts. The game is a turn based RPG that takes place in the far flung future where Charles Barkley has performed the all-mighty Chaos Dunk, decimating a significant chunk of the population. As a consequence for his actions all forms of basketball has been outlawed and the players hunted down and killed.
If that sentence doesn’t get you to try it out then know that its absolutely free!
Spec Ops: The Line
At first glance, Yager Development’s third person military shooter Spec Ops: The Line looks like the blandest, most stereotypical bro shooter you can imagine. Add to that the fact that the game came out in 2012, in the literal golden age of military shooters, and you can easily see why so many people wrote it off as just another clone.
However, if you did play the game, you’ll find out that it is less about shooting people and killing stuff but about what happens to the people that do that. Yes, Spec Ops: The Line an exploration of the PTSD and the madness and the hell that every soldier goes through.
Players take control of Captain Martin Walker, in command of a three-person squad sent to Dubai for a reconnaissance mission. Their objective, to find out more of a rogue Army Colonel named John Konrad. Along the way, what starts off as a routine mission (and bog standard gameplay) quickly devolves into something much, much more sinister. Walker adapts consistently shadier and more vicious tactics to get the advantage over Konrad’s forces, even using the illegal White Phosphorous substance on them at one point. The further Walker goes down the rabbit hole, the darker it gets until at the very end of the tunnel he finds out the true nature of Konrad and what really happened in Dubai.
Spec Ops: The Line gets this spot solely because it had the gall to pose these questions at the existing trend at the time where the patriotism and the war effort was at an all-time high. We also love the sheer commitment of the game to stay under the radar, naming itself something as generic Spec Ops: The Line and its hero as bland as Martin Walker. It takes typical expectations and typical genre conventions and brilliantly drops them on their head all to the shock and awe of its intended audience.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Its levelling system was also pretty unique as your character’s skills aren’t bound to the class you’ve chosen as is common in other similar games. In Amalur, its quite the opposite: you pick which skills you want to have from the expansive skill tree when you level up and judging from what you’ve selected, the game will suggest Job Classes appropriately on the fly and give you bonuses to that playstyle. Do you prefer using magic and dealing damage from afar? You can grab Mage class which give you bonus spells and magic damage. Do you prefer using your sword and get up close and personal? You can shift to the sturdy Warrior class at any time. Did you find out that prefer a bit of both? That can be arranged, grab that Battlemage Class and gain the ability to drain mana with your melee attacks to power your spells.
Did we miss any of your favorite hidden gems? Let us know in the comments below or on the GG Network Facebook Page!
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