Hopping onto the hype-train can be a very dangerous and sketchy ride in the gaming world. The element of overpromising and underdelivering is a very real threat for gamers, but there are some releases that blew away expectations, even when the hype-train was a full-steam ahead.
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect was a massive jump forward for the action-RPG genre, so when it was revealed that Mass Effect was to be a trilogy, there was a pretty-high bar set for the sequel. Of course, Bioware managed to exceed every expectation for Mass Effect 2, delivering not only one of the finest third-person sci-fi shooters on the market, but a landmark genre milestone for the medium of gaming overall. The game fulfilled its promise of scale, graphics and storytelling and still stands as the pinnacle of the series.
Batman: Arkham City
Following the surprise success of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, there was a buzz of excitement just thinking about the possibility of a open-world sequel. As a result, Arkham City released to some high hopes but the game managed to grapple-hook itself above even the highest of expectations. An immersive Gotham city, great boss battles, gorgeous visuals, and a refined combat system that has changed essentially changed the face of beat-’em-up games, Arkham City was a triumph that proved the Asylum was only the beginning.
Grand Theft Auto V
There’s probably been no other game that has generated hype like Grand Theft Auto V did. Even before its initial announcement, gamers were speculating and rumour-mongering about how immense the scale of the game would be. Even though the predictions were wild, they nowhere close to how big the game actually was. Rockstar finally had the technology in their hands to deliver the ultimate GTA experience, featuring a beautiful, fully-functional world and multi-layered world that still stands a technical mystery to this day. The fact that the story, writing, action and gameplay was tight made it that much better too.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
To say the expectations of Metal Gear Solid 2 were high is an understatement. The first Metal Gear Solid on Playstation was groundbreaking in every way possible, so gamers were anticipating something pretty special from Kojima and co. back in 2001, especially given the fact that it would release on Sony’s spiffy new Playstation 2. Improved stealth mechanics, great action, innovative gameplay ideas, and graphics that were arguably the most realistic of the time made Metal Gear Solid 2 worthy of its praise and popularity.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls games will always generate a buzz within the gaming community (they’re not some of the highest-rates games in history for nothing), but the excitement surrounding Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was unparalleled for the franchise. Bethesda then delivered Skyrim on a silver platter and showed that they had listened to the fans and improved on what needed to be tweaked from previous games. The expected vast open-world, intriguing quests and great RPG elements were all there, but the game managed to deliver even more magic with the graphics, combat and brilliant side-quests that were as enjoyable as the main ones. This gave fans 100+ hours of game time that hasn’t gone stale almost 4 years on.