Don’t you just love the feeling of having your expectations blown out of the water? When you experience something that completely blindsides you, and surprises you with how enjoyable it is? It makes something that’s just “good” feel so much better, and that essentially increases the entertainment value of the product. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor surprised me with how fun it was, and I know I wasn’t the only one – this game was certainly what I’d call a “sleeper hit”.
I’m a big fan of “metroidvania” style games, even though I’m often overly critical of titles that fall under that label: either I compare them against one of the greatest games of all time, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, or their hands-on gameplay experience just doesn’t feel enjoyable to me. Once in a great while, however, I come across a game that not only does a decent job in nailing the design in a way that encourages backtracking and exploration, but also feels fun to play. This post is about a game that stands out in that exact sense.