Oh, season’s greetings to gamers! These lists will be everywhere, so we’ve done something a bit different. We’re choosing one game each that stood out to us in some degree. Not necessarily the “omg-best-game-ever-made-GOTY”, but a game that really impacted us this year in such a way that we feel you have to at least try it. It may be a AAA game, it may be an indie title. Either way, you totally need to check out these games.
Jordan McIntyre hopped on the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds train:
“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (AKA PUBG – “Pub-gee”), while imitative, has this compelling “pioneer” feel to it. What is it!? It’s like the Tesla Electric Car of battle royale games – it’s been tried and done first, but PlayerUnknown (Tesla) got it right first. You know something is good when something like the Call of Duty franchise follows your suit. With the latest patch hitting the test-servers, the games intuitive and free-roam adventure play-style gets some new polishing. A significant elation among a lot of players is that we get an added control to movement efficiency. The ability to do a (fairly) quick climb over or on top of objects. You can full on take a quick exit or entrance through a window if you like now, adding new strategies to flanking maneuverability.
This seemingly insignificant addition and many others that have impact on the games addictive nature are all showcased in a new, vastly explorable map of the desert biome variety called Miramar. All things considered, the new map is almost like a different game type on its own. Ultimately, it plays faster and has more high level loot concentrated into what are now “mint” places to start-off in the game.
I give this grade because (while addictive) the game is just barely tolerable in its current state. It’s headed in the right direction though; in every sense of the phrase. Advanced controls to use for combat realism like ARMA III mixed with the simplicity of Call of Duty; all in an open-world survival setting. Depending on your own personal values with gaming, it is still worth the price you pay now as opposed to a more completed game that could potentially (who are we kidding?) be more expensive in the future.”
Damian G was blown away by Horizon: Zero Dawn:
“Horizon: Zero Dawn is excellent with intense combat at its core that keeps players on their toes, even on their backs in later encounters. This is a well-rounded experience with over 60 hours of game play because of solid mechanics that change up your tactics, creating unique water cooler moments for each player. Fighting robotic animals and having to constantly change up your tactics. While, world exploration and crafting combine to create many sleepless nights.
Aloy’s journey and her world left me eager to know where the sequel will go and better yet, how it will top this fantastic game.”
Tyler Aubie donned A Hat in Time:
“Honestly, I will hand awards out to any game, even if it’s the simplest of titles, if it sought out to do one thing and execute it well. AHIT, while charming, cartoony and unassuming, succeeds in nailing the 3D platformer mechanics, puzzles and charm of the classic 90’s Rare games. There have been attempts over the last 20 years to capture this essence, but AHIT just nails it to the wall (gently), pins it down (charmingly) and makes it cry out in agony (laughing) that it is the best 3D platformer ever. AHIT had one goal, to recreate the feeling of those super fun platforming puzzlers. If you enjoy cute games, puzzles games or platforming games, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice if you don’t try this one out.”
Johnny Perkins fell for Minecraft Realms:
“While Minecraft has been around for around six years and was slowly adapted for the different consoles, it was never cross-platform playable. Until now. Minecraft realms introduces the ability to share worlds across and device that has Minecraft. This gives the opportunity to play with everyone in new multiplayer games. The games are all fairly similar. You enter a lobby where you can interact with other players and from there you can choose you game. They are similar to The Hunger Games and are usually about being the last man standing. This new update is the perfect mixture of fun and competition. If you felt that Minecraft was growing stale, this is definitely the update it needed to add a little something extra into the game. The only flaws are the servers, getting in and staying in takes some time, hopefully they will fix this bug soon. Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars.”
Quinzel Lee embarked on Super Mario Odyssey:
“Super Mario Odyssey has got to be one of the best games of 2017. To me, it actually made the Switch a pretty worthy purchase. While I am always a little hesitant of consoles as soon as they first come out, I was quite impressed with it once SMO was in my hands. It’s also a good game to introduce to your friends who say “Oh, I’m not really into gaming.” Seriously, a couple of rounds of tossing around Cappy like a Frisbee and you’re hooked! I’d say the standout character has got to be Cappy. Who ever thought I would enjoy a hat with eyeballs so freaking much! So for 2017. hands down, gamers and non gamers were united over this entertaining and nostalgic game. Oh and did you know there was a cereal that was SMO themed? And you could use the box as an amiibo?? Yes, you win in my eyes, Mario! Shout out to my homeboy Cappy”
Honorable mentions include:
Prey, the phenomenal love letter to System Shock and its ilk;
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for pulling off AAA quality from an indie studio;
Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild for, to this day, finding ways to change up the Zelda formula and still be successful;
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for showing that simply changing a camera perspective can bring horror games back into the spotlight.
Did you play anything that grabbed you this year? Something we missed? Perhaps a game that is so amazing that it’s an outrage it’s not on all the GOTY lists? Let us know in the comments below!