To many, 2013 has been one of gaming’s banner years. Filled with a handful of instant classics, critics and the general public alike have had plenty to love over the past few months. For as many great games that have come out this year, there have also been a few titles that have come out that are borderline weird. From absurd narratives, to surrealist landscapes, 2013 has more than a few games that require a proper mindset to really delve into. The four games listed below might not be for everyone, but those who enjoy stepping outside of their comfort zone will surely find enjoyable, unforgettable, and downright strange titles.
4) Saint’s Row IV (PC/PS3/Xbox 360/OSX):
The Saint’s Row franchise has never been a series that is rooted in reality. Standing on the goofier side of the open-world crime sandbox genre, each Saint’s Row entry ups the ante of absurdism. Saint’s Row IV manages to make its predecessors look tame from the game’s very outset. As the leader of the Saints crime syndicate, your created character goes from gangster-turned-businessman to the leader of the free world in a matter of minutes – capped off with a decision between curing cancer or ending world hunger. If you think this is crazy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Shortly after the Presidential acceptance, you character and the rest of the Saint’s Row crew are faced with their toughest challenge yet in the form of an alien invasion. Tackling the aliens in classic Saint’s Row style isn’t enough for this game, instead players are given a bevy of superpowers, and left to their devices. The juxtaposition of Saint’s Row‘s signature off-color humor, aliens, super powers, and more genre-spoofs than you can shake a stick at make for a gloriously strange gaming experience. For a series that started out as a demented Grand Theft Auto clone, seeing the bizarre route that the Third Street Saints have taken is one of gaming’s most interesting transformations.
3) Zeno Clash II (PC/PS3/Xbox 360):
Zeno Clash II was created by the Chilean Developers ACE Team, but feels more like a playable version of Eastern European surrealist art. Filled with reality-defying landscapes and grotesque beings, Zeno Class II is a visual punch-fest that isn’t afraid to be different. Story-wise, Zeno Clash II is just as strange as the game is graphically. Picking up right after the first Zeno Clash entry, II continues the tale of Ghat (who is the son of a kidnapping bird named Father-Mother, mind you) as he attempts to punch his way towards a world free of corruption and chaos.
Those who want to punch strange surrealist monsters across varied landscapes unlike anything else in the video game world will find Zeno Clash II as the be-all-end-all video game experience. The general public, might not feel the same way, but that’s okay, different stokes for different folks.
2) Killer Is Dead (PS3/Xbox 360):
The freshest entry from the twisted mind of Suda 51, Killer is Dead has already made headlines in the Western World for it’s mind-melting story and, shall we say unscrupulous side missions. Both a visual and mental trip, Killer Is Dead is a gaming experience that is virtually impossible to describe properly. With a narrative that has cyborgs and people living on the dark side of the moon, transforming implants, and larger than life boss battles, Killer Is Dead is not for the faint of heart. From the second the game starts, it is abundantly clear that Killer Is Dead wants to be different – and being different is something that it does well. Much like Suda 51’s other games, Killer Is Dead makes no concessions when it comes to catering to the masses. The game is unforgiving, offbeat and downright bizarre – just what the doctor ordered during these often-repetitive gaming world.
1) Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (PC/PS3/Xbox 360):
Oh, Deadly Premonition, how I adore thee. Labeling Deadly Premoniton, the Twin Peaks of the video game doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what to expect from a playthrough of gaming strangest son. Part horror, part shooter, and part slice of life sim, Deadly Premonition has been criticized as being a game that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Looking past the genre-bending hodgepodge, however, allows gamers to see the true gem that lies beneath the choppy framerate and dated visuals.
Deadly Premonition is brilliantly written. Those who can’t get past the campy vibe that the game is dependent upon may never be able to understand this, but the town of Greenvale is filled with interesting and strange happenings that are pitch-perfect when held up next to Deadly Premonition. A strange narrative involving Special Agent Francis ‘York’ Morgan as he attempts to solve a rash of brutal killings starts out strangely – with a monologue involving the latent homosexual themes of Tom and Jerry – but that is just the tip of the iceberg. As the game continues, few things are as they seem and absolutely nothing is within the realm of normalcy.
It’s hard to describe a game as unique as Deadly Premonition, but suffice to say that the journey to Greenvale is an absolute trip. At times funny, at times horrifying, and completely absurd throughout, Deadly Premoniton: The Director’s Cut is hands down the strangest video game of the year.[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!” [ratings]