I know what I want from games. More to the point, I know what I don’t want from games, However, I am a firm believer in giving all forms of visual entertainment a chance to surprise me, and unsurprisingly, several of them have. I thought I’d compile a list of the five gaming experiences that were most memorable for me, which even the densest human being can find below.

5) Mortal Kombat X (2015)

I played the Dragonball Z Budokai and Tenkaichi fighting games to death on PS2, and as I do like a good gory game I decided to pick this up in a sale. I blitzed through the tutorials, feeling like I was gradually picking up the controls and button combos, and strolled right into the main story mode ready to slice some heads off. Oh what a time I had. Even on the easiest setting every opponent obliterated me with minimal effort. Nothing I did (Including the most frantic button bashing you’ve ever seen) worked and I was having a thoroughly shit time.

What absolutely broke me however, was the condescending prompt to skip the fights if I wanted and carry on with the story. Losing my temper, as I often do with games, I immediately uninstalled the game and traded it in the next day as its smug presence on my game shelf was filling me with rage.

I haven’t touched fighting games since, and doubt I will again for a while.

4) Destiny (2014)

I had a reasonably better time with this title, and sank around 20 hours into it. My main mistake at first was trying to play it as a single player game, and then getting frustrated for the absolute grind-fest this made the experience. Of course, it is still grind-tastic when you play with other people who I eventually conceded and went along with.

This led to some of my better experiences with the game, and I loved the Moon and Venus maps, but as soon as the Cabal started rocking up with their shields I could take no more. After an hour or so of encounters with them I traded in my Engrams (Getting shite all in return) and deleted Destiny from my PS4 hard drive. I don’t look back at my hours with the game and resent my time spent, but even Destiny 2 being a free PS Plus game couldn’t compel me to give it a shot.

3) Driver: San Francisco (2011)

I owe my giving this game a chance to Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame. I’ve been watching Zero Punctuation for years and know that whenever he praises a game, you pay attention. Finding it at a fairly low price I picked it up with the intention of playing it for a little bit and then maybe dipping in and out, figuring the vehicle hopping gimmick might wear thin on me quickly.

It didn’t.

From the first moments in San Francisco, with the ability to abandon a vehicle the moment I grew sick of it and immediately acquire a new one, the level of fun I had was incredibly high. I played the game all the way through to story end, and while the last couple of missions were quite frustrating and fiddly, the stakes were high enough that I knew I had to beat it. Sure enough, after the credits had rolled and a little more free-roaming ramping my Audi R8 off the common transporter trucks, I had nothing more to get from the game. One of the most pleasantly surprising game experiences I’ve had, Yahtzee’s praise was well placed and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of their interest in cars or driving games.

2) Aaero (2017)

One of the only times I’ve been enticed into a game by the screenshots on the Playstation Store alone. I’d played a rhythm game before and completely hated it (Thumper, mainly because I was so bad at even the first couple levels and couldn’t get passed them) so wasn’t expecting to get anywhere with this, but wanted to give those glorious visuals a chance. I’d only heard of one song from its soundtrack (Bass Cannon (REEEEEEE)) but always being open to new music I wasn’t perturbed by that.

I played through Aaero so many times! I love almost everything about it, the snagging point being those bastard ships with their infuriating shields in the later levels. The three boss fights are incredible to play, one of which sits in my top boss fights of all time, but that’s a story for another article.

Aaero isn’t getting out of here without a recommendation from me, and if you struggle to get to grips with it early on like I did, the developers have kindly provided an invincibility mode so you can play through the entire game to get the hang of it before diving in to attempt to rank on the leader boards.

1) Dishonored (2012)

No I won’t stop riding Dishonored’s nuts. This game (and franchise) is phenomenal, and that’s coming from someone who is monumentally shit at stealth in games. The very fact that stealth is a key part of the game’s mechanics that you can totally ignore if you wish will always make this experience shine in my opinion. The powers and weapons are incredible to use and graphically every frame of Dunwall looks stunning, as if playing a particularly violent painting.

This is another example of a game I only picked up because Yahtzee didn’t slate it in its episode of Zero Punctuation. Coupled with the fact that it was very cheap by the time I got to it, I disliked it intensely at first as I tried to play stealthy, before changing tactic and playing as violently as possible. It turns out I excelled at it in this aspect, and before long I was charging head first into every fight aided by my summoned swarms of rats and as many windblasts I could cover with my stockpiled Piero’s Spiritual Remedy.

There is something for almost everyone in Dishonored, and you’re in for a real treat if you haven’t played it before and decide to pick it up. It has been re-released for Playstation 4 and Xbox One since it’s original release so you’ve no excuse to pass on it.

There you have it, five games I made myself come out my comfort zone to play. As a long-standing gamer I think it’s incredibly important to dabble in genres you may not usually play, as there are some real gems out there just waiting to be discovered. If you liked this article then why not follow Respawning and I on Twitter @RespawningUK and @MaliceVER respectively.

You can also find me on Youtube, Void Euphoric Records, and if you could drop a subscribe on my channel that’d be just swell. Thanks for reading, you beautiful specimen.

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