Now when I say not so obvious titles I mean these games aren’t talked about as much in every other similar article or video in existence. Plus, some of them include games that are very much not underrated to pad out their lists. However, everyone is different and shares contrasting opinions so some of these might be cliché to some and eye-opening to others. That’s just how the human race goes ya know? There’s at least one I’ll mention I know plenty of people know about though.
So you’re asking yourself what I, the great and stupendous author, consider underrated? Nothing too special here I admit. Either a game that didn’t sell well, get as good of review scores as they should have, weren’t talked about in the gaming sphere for long, hated on by the PlayStation community, or just generally got buried and never heard from by anyone. Naturally, this will be an opinionated list and won’t factually and logically consider EVERY “underrated” PS4 game in existence. So with that said let’s go into some games you goddamn gamers didn’t give the light of day!
If I had to guess why this baby didn’t get enough attention, I would have to say it’s because it didn’t have Slenderman in its title. Blue Isle Studios rocketed to popularity for a brief time after Slender: The Arrival; their “remake” of The Eight Pages. So when their next title Valley was announced with high-flying sights and super fast movement thanks to a L.E.A.F. suit, some probably buried their heads because it wasn’t what they were expecting. The game currently sits at a 72 on Metacritic (and you can go ahead and bite my head off in the comments for utilizing Metacritic as a way to determine a game’s worth or what scores constitute a good or great game) and it should be so much higher.
Valley was a strange one when I first hopped into it. No doubt. But when I got a handle on the controls and the mysterious, abandoned, nature filled world, I was in heaven. No, not just because I could swing through tall trees with beautiful sunlight peeking through my falling with style. That L.E.A.F. suit was expertly designed in its gameplay implementation and made exploring derelict factories a creepy but well handled affair. You were never sure what was quite going on, but you felt powerful enough to continue with little hesitation. Sure the “combat” could have been better I will concede. It’s just that everything else Valley does more than made up for the shortcoming. If you love a truly mysterious setting and having borderline super powers, please pick up or download Valley.
Ninja Pizza Girl
I’ll be blunt and up front about this one. Even I would have overlooked this gem had I not received a review copy of it for the glorious Pure PlayStation overlords. It’s a weirdly named title alone, but with a social message about bullying to boot? Surely it will be like some of those cringy, educational games we as kids use to play? Not even in the slightest I assure you. The game’s future, neo-dystopian, setting where a local pizza business can only deliver their food through parkour means over skyscrapers schtick was so wonderful and heartwarming. It also didn’t hurt Disparity Games who made a gameplay experience that spliced Mirror’s Edge and Sonic together.
Everything handled amazingly in Ninja Pizza Girl, minus some minor technical problems, and it was chock full of extra goodies. You could play the title in first person mode like those weird Mario videos you see, collectibles to attain, speedruns to achieve, and different outfits to unlock. This unassuming game with an actual, well-meaning message packed hours of content I didn’t expect and the only reason I didn’t get all the trophies was due to a small glitch that was later fixed. I may still get made fun of for how much I praised Ninja Pizza Girl, but I stand by it wholeheartedly. This experience was something else.
The most recently released title on our list and one that actually scored well outside of Pure PlayStation too. Even if it is sitting at a 76 on Metacritic. The problem here was the MOBA inspired, arcade racer didn’t sell well. To the point where the Codemasters studio that developed it suffered massive layoffs. Whenever people lose their jobs, especially in the gaming industry, it’s always a sad and unfortunate affair. It hurt even more knowing that these people released one of the best arcade racers I had enjoyed since Split/Second on the PS3.
Onrush at its core was an arcade racer in case you couldn’t tell by the two others times I’ve mentioned it. It was fast paced, brutal, fun, and full of ingenuity. The whole concept of being in front of the pack not necessarily being a good thing and the incredibly original game modes should have made this title an instant hit. Then on top of this amazing originality, place special abilities tailored to each car. This truly created a wonderful experience that I don’t see being replicated anytime soon. Did I mention the soundtrack is killer too? Anyone know where to download that exclusive Qemists song, Crevasse, that was made for the game? I would love to download it now pleeeeeease.
Fated: The Silent Oath
A much underappreciated PlayStation VR game. Even more so than the other one on this list. Depending on where you look people enjoyed Fated: The Silent Oath anywhere between the 6 and 8 range. I assure you it’s much closer to that meaningless 8 and maybe a bit more. What’s worse is Frima Studio has all but said the episodic series won’t see an episode two. So everyone who has played this rather impressive PSVR title has to live with that heartbreaking ending.
Fated takes place in the Norse age with all the vikings and lore to boot. A father is miraculously brought back to live after a bloody battle thanks to an emissary from the gods. The catch though, besides everyone in your clan flabbergasted you’re alive, is these gods have a hidden purpose for you and they take away your ability to speak. Don’t worry there’s no need of kissing princes here. But when their land and wellbeing is threatened, this Viking clan has no choice but to venture out to safety and it leads to some actual adrenaline pumping moments. Even some set pieces that would make Naughty Dog proud. Sure it takes about a half an hour for the experience to pick up, but with some impressive visuals and downright intrigue this should be something any virtual reality gamer plays through.
The Order 1886
Yes, yes I know this one probably has been on underappreciated listicles before, but I did warn you there may be one on this article and you decided to keep reading anyway. Everyone and their PlayStation mother should know the half-baked controversy to Ready at Dawn’s ambitious title. (Remember opinionated piece!) A victorian London setting with criminals and werewolves all overlooked by a special council with its own taskforce. Not to mention the futuristic weaponry. Unfortunately, The Order 1886 only lasted about three to five hours depending on which playthrough you were on and this angered the people who, ten years ago, were praising games of this length.
What others who believed this game was horrible missed out on was a solid, third-person shooter with some of the best and interesting gameplay this side of the PS4’s release. All brought to life by astounding graphics and, as some videos will show, genitals. This doesn’t mean the title was perfect though. The slight over reliance on quick-time events, especially for its ending, and the ball busting cliffhanger ending were rightfully criticized. Again though, some faults do not ruin an incredible adventure overall.
Costume Quest 2
Double Fine has a history of making feel-good, (sometimes) coming of age tales and Costume Quest 2 is no exception. I’m aware it is a sequel to another video game (which was also underappreciated in my opinion), but not enough people talk about this series or how it sits at a 74 on Metacritic. I don’t know how anything can be rated that low compared to how entertaining it makes being an elementary schooler. Not only that but a grade schooler who wants to find candy while battling an evil dentist and his fantasy minions. Then you have to take in account the amazing takes on pop culture staples in turn-based gameplay, genuine humor, and a warm your soul feeling between our heroes.
I’m confident Costume Quest 2 will become a cult-classic in the future and wasn’t as prosperous as it should have been due to saturation. The gaming industry is plentiful nowadays and anyone can create their own games courtesy of the likes of Steam. Here’s hoping that another sequel will make an appearance because the second entry was just successful enough like the first. I mean there’s a sarcastic candy corn costume for cryin’ out loud that literally does nothing in battle!
Shadow Warrior (2013)
When I first watched the trailer for Shadow Warrior, it had a bonafide ninja doing his best Duke Nukem impression while cutting up Asian mythology creatures. There were dick jokes, puns, and incredibly dry humor. I immediately cast it aside as a low brow action adventure game and ignored it for a few years. That is until it become super cheap just before its sequel was announced. I had nothing to play and said what the heck. The addictive combat and level design kept me hooked until the story proved it wasn’t immature at all. In fact, it told an emotional story that defied my expectations of a short, simple premised, mindess adventure. I don’t think I ever had a don’t judge a book by its cover moment quite like this.
For those who just want straight, hardcore action do not worry. I will not judge you or disappoint you. If mowing down enemies in visceral bloodshed is what you crave than Shadow Warrior delivers. Kind of in the same way Serious Sam, DOOM, and the old Duke Nukem games did. You will feel like a badass, guaranteed. At least until the ending leaves you shocked and an utter emotional mess.
I know it’s a crime that all these games are underappreciated, but believe me when I say RIGS being underrated is a serious crime. This PSVR launch title, that had players duking it out with many pilotable machines in an arena, had no right to be as great as it was. It brought a surprisingly deep shooter experience and even tighter controls. The fantastic job done by the now defunct Guerrilla Cambridge should have catapulted this title into the stratosphere of competitive organizations. The different mechs and abilities to wield were mightily impressive and the strategic yet fast paced combat would please any gamer who adores shooters.
There’s no justice for how RIGS: Mechanized Combat League won’t get the competitive spotlight it deserves. Especially being a launch title which is a window that’s prone to mistakes and growing pains. To this date I still haven’t had a fulfilling, competitive virtual reality title like it. Not even Firewall Zero Hour which is a great game in its own right. I hope someday someone will be able to make this type of game again and be much more successful doing so. Doesn’t matter how old I am, I will be there in the digital world.
Capping of this list with another recent title and another game that should have been a competitive juggernaut. Yes, I know Cliff Bleszinksi isn’t exactly the most likable gaming personality, but Boss Key Productions deserved better than this. I also know that it was another MOBA-esque title in a saturated market and was probably doomed for failure since it was hardly advertised to the general public. But believe me when I say the competition this game brought back to me was like that of childhood on the recess playground. Mostly because you could borderline fly which added a whole new depth to the genre which even Overwatch rarely matches.
I could go on and on about what made Lawbreakers amazing, but if you want that read feel free to click here. You’re probably tired of my pompousness anyway right? Well if that is true at least we can commiserate together that Chris Harding dislikes Horizon Zero Dawn. I still don’t know what’s wrong with him and his complaints about it are towards RPGs as a whole. Horizon 10 out of 10. Anyway here’s to the future and the inevitability of other amazing games that will release in the future, but fall short of what they’re worth.
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