Underdog Games of 2010

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With every turn of the New Year, gamers go into the event knowingly excited for big named titles that companies have promised them. Last year we saw it with Killzone 2, inFamous, Uncharted 2 and Forza 3. The idea and promise of these highly anticipated releases are what drive the industry and what drive the sales of consoles on an overall basis; however, what about the little guy?

We’ve all met them. That game we poured $60 into on a whim only to find out that it’s probably one of the best experiences we’ve had in a long time. Last year saw many underdog titles that very few of us expected to be high caliber games that blew us away. For example, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Borderlands being as great as they were caught the majority of us off guard. The year before, Valkyria Chronicles’ release may have introduced RPG fans to one of the best roleplaying experiences of this generation, if not ever.

Now, we look ahead to 2010. We know that God of War III is coming. We see that Heavy Rain is just around the corner and we know that Halo Reach is going to be on a lot of gamer’s Christmas lists. However, like in years past, there are going to be a handful of games released that nobody sees coming. We’ve decided to list out a few titles that we think are going to deliver where quite a few doubters expect them to fail.

We’ve included that list below.

#8: Brink

Developed by Splash Damage.

Published by Bethesda Softworks.

Check out our Screenshots here.

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Brink was unveiled late last year by G4TV and displayed the game’s Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain (S.M.A.R.T.) system and combat. One of the biggest obstacles facing Brink as a shooter is its decision to release in Fall of 2010. As many of you know, another high profile title that is expected to blow most away not only in the visual department, but in the gameplay department as well is scheduled to release roughly around the same time. It’s developed by Bungie and is known and Halo Reach.

Releasing alongside or near the retail appearance of a Halo title will undoubtedly push the anticipation for a game like this to the backburner. Normally, an underdog title such as Brink could stand a chance if it were offering something that Halo wasn’t in terms of genre and gameplay, but with both games being shooters (albeit different perspectives), gamers will more than likely turn to the product and brand they know rather than the up and comer.

The only chance Brink has of succeeding against such a high profile release is perhaps the pull that its 8-player online co-op mode has to offer. Only time will tell though, but we suggest keeping a close eye on this one as it may end up surprising you and be worthy of your Holiday cash regardless of the other guy.

#7: Two Worlds II

Developed by Reality Pump.

Published by TopWare Interactive.

One of the hardest things to do in the gaming industry is to follow up a terrible initial release with a sequel that delivers. That is the biggest hurdle facing the release of Reality Pump’s upcoming title, Two Worlds II. I’m sure I’m not alone in suggesting that the original Two Worlds was a decently anticipating roleplaying game that was expected to rival Elder Scrolls IV, but fell so short of its deliverance that even Charles Barkley felt bad calling it “terrble.”

However, much like Guerilla Games with Killzone 2, Reality Pump has the opportunity to erase that disappointing initial release with a sequel that could make an imprint in this generation of consoles. While not much is known yet about Two Worlds II, we do know that the engine it is being developed on is not the exact same as the original and that hopefully it is going to be a bit more technically impressive than the first.

Readers Comments (14)

  1. TheRighteousFascist January 9, 2010 @ 13:48

    Two Worlds II? I have a feeling that this game will be as bad as the first.

  2. im actually excited for 3d dot hero and brink they seem like pretty original titles, and because brink is multi plat im pretty sure it’ll sell well on the ps3. Hopefully because an 8 man co-op sounds nice.

  3. TehFlyingDutchman January 9, 2010 @ 14:46

    can’t wait for Brink

  4. Good list. I’m really looking forward to Split/Second, Brink and 3D Dot Game Heroes. The rest I’ll probably rent or something.

  5. im actually really excitedfor 3D dot game heroes

  6. I’m excited for a lot of those games, Brink in particular. We’ll be having a chat with someone working on the game on the PS Chat Podcast a little later in the year…

  7. Darkvoid looks good. I haven’t played the demo yet. I’m interested in Just Cause 2 even though I never played the first one.

  8. Good list. I think Brink might be the biggest underdog

  9. TheRighteousFascist January 10, 2010 @ 22:56

    Blur . . . an original IP done by Activision?

    Boy, I can’t wait for Blur 5, 6, and Van Halen.

  10. For whom was Batman: Arkham Asylum an “underdog”, Dark Void is Capcom’s lead horse for this year so that’s not really a sleeper…Here on PSU people are looking forward to 3D Dot Game Heroes just as much as Mod Nation Racers and Singularity was featured by Game Informer last year (so I guess it could be considered sleeper status given the timeline)

  11. @MrMustBNice

    Who expected a superhero game to be Game of they Year caliber like Batman: Arkham Asylum was? I’m pretty sure nobody did. How many superhero games before it were even respectable? None? Arkham Asylum redefined the entire superhero genre in the industry, IMO.

    You don’t think Lost Planet 2 is the lead horse for Capcom this year? You’re crazy if you think their lead horse is an unproven IP that hasn’t even hit retail shelves yet. Lost Planet is the marquee title in Capcom’s lineup next to Monster Hunter for the Wii 😉

  12. @The Dean

    True that Batman Arkham Asylum raised the bar to then unimaginable heights, but after playing the campaign demo, I knew it was an absolute hit.

    By “Lead Horse” I didn’t mean it as in saying that Dark Void is Capcom’s headliner for this year, just the first and only one out of the gate for a few months. So, they are able to focus their promotion on that single game. In recollection though, despite it’s promotion status, it’s not getting featured by too many outlets. I guess, it is an underdog then.

  13. I’m really anticipating 3D Dot Game Heroes.
    Too bad that game doesn’t come out Until May.

  14. i am think that Blur will beat split/second

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