Games

7 Games That the Critics Were Wrong About

What are the most overlooked games of the generation?

The eight-generation of consoles and games is coming to a twilight era with the introduction of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. But before we make the shift over to the new systems, let’s take a look back at some of the generation’s best games which are shamefully overlooked due to mainstream critics’ less-than-accurate reviews, which detered many gamers from enjoying these brilliant releases.

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Available on: PS4

The Killzone series gets shamefully overlooked when the topic of best FPS franchises comes up. After a successful entry on PS2, and two great follow-ups on PS3, and with Shadow Fall, the franchise jumps 20 years after the events of Killzone 3, where the Helghast and Vektans (mortal enemies) are living an uneasy alliance on the same planet. The game features great weapons, intelligent AI, and some impressive gadgets and scenarios to experience, not to mention it’s outrageously pretty to look at.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Most gamers will roll their eyes at Assassin’s Creed: Unity, but the truth is that most never played it, and those who did, know how good it actually is. Sadly, people were put off by an infamous (and admittedly hilarious) glitch that was shared online like wildfire, but barely anyone (if not only one person at a gaming publication) actually saw this glitch. The reality is that AC: Unity is an incredibly solid game, with slick, quick combat, a great central character, and the most glorious, densly-packed recreation of mid-Revolution Paris you’ll find anywhere. Unity also features some of the most interesting alternate reality/time-jumping scenarios too, like having to climb the Statue of Liberty before it’s delivered to the US, or scaling the Eiffel Tower during Nazi-occupation. While the more recent Assassin’s Creed games have learned heavily into the RPG mechanics, they’ve lost a little bit of the classic story-driven AC magic and tricky assassination missions, which Unity has spades of.

Mafia 3

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

How Mafia 3 is so underappreciated is beyond us. Built by the impressive studio Hangar 13, Mafia 3 is a fresh look take on the mobster world. Featuring a revenge-packed story following Vietnam War vet Lincoln Clay, Mafia 3 is full of twists, turns, incredible voice-acting and motion capture, and has the gameplay to back it all up. The game looks and feels incredible, with weighty vehicles and punchy weapons, making gunfights and melee attacks brutal and impactful, while the game expands into very interesting territory in its latter stages to connect up with the overarching Mafia universe. It’s a fantastic entry that deserves to be played by any open-world action fan.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

The best of the Call of Duty franchise debate usually comes to which game had the best multiplayer, but in terms of campaign quality, Infinite Warfare is right up there with Black Ops. The game’s multiplayer didn’t catch on, so people sat back and waited for the next entry in the game, but what they missed out on is a captivating and harrowing single-player experience. Set in the distant future where humanity has branched off into two factions, the campaign is full of big set-pieces, spectacular destruction, and unique combat scenarios (like a zero-gravity fight in space), all while still retaining a human story about sacrifice. The acting is spectacular and the shooting is sublime. If you enjoy the bombastic nature of CoD campaigns, this one is a must-play.

Days Gone

Available on: PS4

In a market filled with zombie games, Days Gone had a lot of pressure to differentiate itself. Thankfully, it borrowed from the best out there while also carving out its own identity, to produce a game well-worth your time and money, telling an interesting story of post-apocalyptic survival with some interesting mechanics and survival elements to keep you on your toes. A handful of reviewers have been somewhat harsh on the game, criticising certain shortcomings – but these aren’t nearly enough deterrents to keep you from enjoying what is otherwise a fantastic title in the genre

Watch Dogs

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

If ever there was a true victim of expectation, it’s the original Watch Dogs. After a breathtaking reveal at E3 2012, the retail version of Ubisoft’s hack-’em-up saw a notable visual downgrade which immediately turned away gamers. While the graphics weren’t as crisp as initially showcased, the game itself was as ambitious and action-packed as promised. The tech-infused Chicago mixed with the slick third-person combat and fluid movements made Watch Dogs somewhat of a modern day Assassin’s Creed spin-off. Tonally, the game’s story does jump around all over the place, but what is there is an incredibly enjoyable third-person action game that got lost in all the pre-release noise.

The Evil Within 2

Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

The Evil within 2

One of the most overlooked horror sequels this generation, The Evil Within 2 is a follow-up that expands on the somewhat linear, survival-horror formula by throwing players into bigger environments and in front of trickier enemies, while refining the stiff controls from the first game. The story is a bit all over the place (as is with most of Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s games), but it does manage to come together when things start wrapping up. For fans of Resident Evil 4Dead Space or The Last of Us, this is a great addition to your nightmare fuel.

Will you be picking up any of the games? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Loveblanket

    October 22, 2020 at 17:29

    I agree with each and every one of these except Watch Dogs. As a game, it’s fine and has some good ideas, as a Chicagoan it’s a total failure as a representation of Chicago. It basically gets part of the river area right and the rest is a mess. As a narrative it’s hot garbage. We’re supposed to fell for Aiden’s one loss while he kills hundreds or even thousands of innocents? It makes no sense. I also could not agree more about Mafia 3. It’s miles better than the first two and the only open world crime game I liked more was GTA 4 and that was only because of the characters, not the gameplay. There’s only one solid reason it was so disliked and I think it’s obvious that it’s the main character. An African American lead is something that a large number of young white male gamer’s sadly can’t handle even in 2020.

    • Jeremy Proome

      October 22, 2020 at 19:17

      Thanks for the comment @Loveblanket. Must be INCREDIBLY interesting to be a Chicago resident and play Watch Dogs. Can only obviously look at it from an outsider’s view, but super interesting to hear that it drops the ball on capturing the cityscape.

      Absolutely loved Mafia 3, I think the weight (like the actualy weight of gameplay, shooting etc), story, visuals, and pacing was amazing. I’ll respectfully pushback on your comment on Lincoln though (to offer a different perspective) – I really don’t think his race was a concern for anyone to be honest – I never saw that sentiment anywhere. I THINK the problem was old-school Mafia fans wanting another Italian/American type mob story, and were just not serviced in that regard.

      I don’t think race is much of an issue in gaming – look at GTA V (Franklin), San Andreas (CJ), etc. I really don’t think the general gaming populus is concerned about race of the protagonist, man, but I hear your opinion. Let’s hope Mafia 3 gets some more love though!

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