GameFront 2010: Most Underhyped Games of the Year

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Posted on December 29, 2010, Phil Hornshaw GameFront 2010: Most Underhyped Games of the Year

There was a lot of noise in video games this year in terms of big releases: we got a new Splinter Cell, a new Halo, a new Call of Duty, a new Dead Rising, a new Force Unleashed, and plenty of more big-name titles like Red Dead Redemption that have dominated the discussion.

But all that yammering about monster sequels that have adjusted minor gameplay elements also routinely covers up smaller, more innovative releases — and a lot of them slip under the radar. Luckily, the GameFront staff got together to do a little recon and find some the titles that we loved, but didn’t receive a lot of attention.

Phil Owen’s Picks

Metro 2033

This game was treated by the media the way most Russian game are: Nobody was really talking about it. That’s unfortunate, because while it may handle a little clunkily, it delivered a pretty unique gameplay experience despite looking like just another post-apocolyptic shooter. 4A Games deserves to be recognized for this spectacular title.


Vanquish is probably to best shooter to ever come out of Japan, and yet the only 2010 Platinum Games title anybody wanted to talk about was the truly awful Bayonetta. Vanquish is an extremely Japanese game that is also fun to play, which is a very rare combination these days. The crickets generally liked it, too, which makes it feel pretty strange that it was mostly ignored this year.

Phil Hornshaw’s Picks

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

I’m not much of a Tomb Raider fan (or an Angelina Jolie fan), but Guardian of Light, which was first available this summer as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network title, was a spectacular game that got only marginal attention. We’ve seen titles like Limbo receive out of control hype, so it wasn’t the fact that Guardian of Light was a small-scale title — I think it was more that the game is a little weird and out of the ordinary. It’s not a Lara Croft game so much as a great top-down co-op experience, and once you sign on with a friend, you’ll have a hard time finding a better two-player experience. And Square Enix developed a great port of the entire game to the iPhone and iPad, as well.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

If you haven’t seen director Edgar Wright’s movie adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, go directly to your Netflix account (or better yet, your Best Buy) and grab it. If you haven’t tried the downloadable XBLA or PSN beat-em-up and you had any kind of 16-bit childhood, get thee to your console and download this one. It’s a hard side-scroller you can get into with four friends, and is basically a love-letter to the kinds of games we used to race home from school to play back in the early 1990s.

Shawn Sines’ Pick

Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy

I’m not sure how much damage I’ll take from my friends and peers for suggesting this but I think 2010 delivered a few really good but under-hyped titles. One of the least talked about add on titles this year, but one that delivered hours and hours of good content and needed optimization was Sins of the Solar Empire: Diplomacy. Diplomacy was needed to fix some game bugs, but the additional diplomatic options ( as you’d expect in a game called Diplomacy) really spiced up the RTS gameplay and made a non-war solution finally very viable as an end goal and style of play.

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