I think 2017 is going to be a memorable year for many people but for all the wrong reasons , maybe just me. Videogames wise I feel that developers and publishers have been trying to give me more reasons to not want to play anymore. However , I did not stop this year so let me tell you about it.
Lords of the fallen (PC version)
When it comes to dark souls-like games nothing can top the original for many people and I can’t say something like LOTF would change their minds. I do however feel it is nice to have an easier alternative to dark souls , in terms of the game telling you what is actually going on and what you need to do. There were still sections that were rather ambiguous but all in all you should be able to beat this in less than half the time taken to beat dark souls. The one area in which LOTF exceeds dark souls is graphics , everything else feels generic but gets the job done.
Opinion: You can’t please everyone.
Watch dogs 2 (PS4 version)
I would say the right way to do a sequel is to keep the good and improve on the bad , in some cases developers decide to go in a new direction. Watch dogs 2 is one of those cases since the game is alot more stealth focused this time around and tends to nudge you towards non-lethal options. While the game does allow you to use firearms , I just felt as if the developers wanted to discourage it. There also seems to be a more light hearted tone this time around with a more colorful cast of characters. While I did not like the tonal or gameplay changes , I did appreciate the improved stealth mechanics and varied open world side activities. Despite being a very enjoyable experience I still just wanted more of what the first game did but improved.
Opinion: They don’t let you be a sociopath this time.
Resident evil 7 (PC version)
The demo for RE7 left me worried that the game was going to shift away from combat and focus more on unseen horror , I am happy to say that is not the case. I was not bothered by the change in perspective because it is not the first time that has happened in this franchise. As a pre-order bonus I got to play the game immediately on madhouse difficulty , this really emphasized limited saves and inventory/resource management. I would say the game has lost a certain charm since it was written by an american writer this time , rather than some crazy japanese plot which seems even more ridiculous when translated to english. All in all I’d say this is one of the year’s best , bonus points for “ Not a hero” DLC which is short but good.
Opinion: The horror equivalent of a COD campaign but lengthier.
I don’t really consider this to be a 2017 game since it was actually released in 2015 but what can you do? I think this was made for people who did not get into the series yet. I have completed yakuza 1-5 so for me this is just a means of witnessing Kazuma’s early days. Another draw to this is that you get to properly play as Goro Majima who in my view has the more interesting side of the plot. The fighting styles mechanic is alright but 80s Kamarucho just feels like a reskin and not really fresh. To me this is more of the same with the key difference being increased challenge.
Opinion: Why did you have to reuse the same boss five times?
Tom Clancy’s ghost recon: Future soldier (PC version)
I really hated this game in 2012 , more so because of the shoddy PC port. It is more enjoyable for me now since it runs much better on my newer machine and the graphics seem to hold up. The campaign was really made for coop since stealthing , marking enemies and engaging are all more enjoyable that way if you ask me. The PVP multiplayer just feels awful on PC since every match really felt one sided with one team often being spawn trapped.
The is a cheap alternative if you feel that this year’s wildlands is overwhelming or stretched thin , be advised that the game has a separate friends list from Uplay and that may cause issues for coop playthroughs. Special thanks to videogrames for the top notch clip.
Opinion: Always look on both sides of the road when quietly following a warlord.
Turok 1 (Remastered)
I didn’t know about Turok until the 2008 reboot was released , I really wish that Propaganda games made a sequel to that rather than the Tron game. Anyways, the N64 Turok is considered to be a good game by many from the looks of it but I never liked the fog that was used to cover up the draw distance. This remaster does away with the fog , updates the visuals and has 360 controller support. Despite the updates I don’t think this game will be everyone’s cup of tea , but might have something to offer if you are in the mood for some retro FPS platforming action.
Opinion: Switch to keyboard / mouse for last platforming section with lava , the joypad will not allow you to build up the momentum for the jumps. You can thank me later.
Nioh (PS4 Version)
Team ninja decided to contribute to the souls genre and the results are alright , I honestly would have been okay with ninja gaiden 4. Nioh falls in between ninja gaiden and dark souls , you get tough enemies and dangerous environments but you can fight back much faster than any of the actual souls games. Before this was released team ninja said they were going for the maso-core crowd , I don’t think that is entirely true on the first playthrough atleast because the game gives you a good idea of where to go. Also, if you level up omayo magic(really do that) boss fights become much easier. I did not play the content that was released after the main game but I think the main game alone is fine overall.
Opinion: Eye patch ghost cat is the likely the best videogame character of 2017.
Nier: Automata (PC version)
This title was praised throughout the year and will likely make it onto some folks best of the year lists , in this case I don’t agree with critics or the player base. I feel the marketing for nier: automata was misleading in that I figured this game would just be a hack and slash spin off. The game is an open world RPG but it all feels shallow to me since you’re either fetch questing or killing X amount of something. What really ruins it for me is how the game is needlessly split up with “endings”that could easily just be cutscenes between chapters , when the game gives you chapter select you will notice that the levels after the endings are just later chapters and not new ones. Another thing that does not make any sense to me is the manual save system combined with a souls-style system in which you can lose upgrade plug in chips if you die. It just feels needlessly complicated and for some the PC version crashing means that they were unable to get past the first section of the game. I would not say that I absolutely hate nier: automata but I don’t agree with its praise , I do like the OST and the boss fights though.
Opinion: An astonishing display in the marketing power of up skirting.
Homefront: The revolution (PC version)
This one made it to the worst of 2016 for some people which is bullshit if you ask me. Homefront: the revolution just needed more time for patches and what you’re left with is an impressive open world game that does a great job showcasing urban decay. I like the hit and run combat , 3 in 1 guns and the stealthy but not stealthy yellow zones. I don’t think it was a good idea to sell the prologue and epilogue as dlc and while the free coop maps are appreciated it probably would’ve been better to stick with PVP multiplayer. I don’t know if we are gonna see more homefront but I hope that Dambuster studios can get to make more games.
Opinion: The current US political climate is like free advertising for this game.
Dishonored 2 (PS4 version)
Dishonored 1 was an alright game but rather over hyped by critics which made it hard to impress some people(myself included) , I went into part 2 with adjusted expectations and I think it is alright. It feels like 1 but with worse optimization due to them using id tech 5 for some reason. The best addition would be the frontal non-lethal takedowns , this had me luring enemies to places just so I could jump on them and knock them out.
Opinion: Atleast try the demo.
Sniper: Ghost warrior 3 (PC version)
If you have been following this series you can see the build up to part 3 , they have finally made the game that people expected the first one to be. The story is predictable or cliche but the game gives you a good amount of tactical freedom along with a varied arsenal of weapons and 3 different open maps with points of interest. It is too bad that it lacks the technical polish to make it all click. Whether or not you will enjoy this really depends on the level of quality you expect from FPS games. The game usually comes along with the season pass which includes 2 multiplayer maps but the multiplayer has not been added to the game yet.
Opinion: If you did not like the first two , you probably won’t like this one.
Prey (2017 - PC version)
While I do like this game , I would have liked it alot more if not for 2 things. First , that they chose to call it prey which is really pointless seeing as it does not have anything to do with the 2006 original. The second thing would be the ending of the game which just ruins a very enjoyable story. It really frustrating that somebody made those decisions because they drag down a rather enjoyable gaming experience , thanks to the open level design and challenging gameplay. Just go into this expecting a system shock 2 clone with some shitty writing and you should be fine. I’m totally down for the original prey 2 if they could still release it.
Opinion: When the asians are too good at math.
Dead effect ( PC version)
This should be the example to follow when porting a game from smartphones to pc. Microtransactions have been removed and you can purchase weapons or gear with cash earned in-game , visuals have been upgraded along with the graphical options being expanded and the enemy count has been increased. There’s not much else to be impressed about , you shoot different types of zombies until you get to the end of a level , then repeat. This is a good place to go if you couldn’t get enough doom 3.
Opinion: You will learn to fear the grenade throwing zombies.
The surge (PC version)
Deck 13’s second go at a souls-clone and the first sci-fi themed souls game that I know of. If lords of the fallen was criticised for not being like dark souls enough , the surge will probably be criticised for being too much like dark souls. The story this time around is more ambiguous and requires you to gather clues as to what actually went down , enemies seem more vicious and the game’s camera really hates you. I love the idea of exos and making gear out of specific parts of defeated enemies. What I don’t like is the artificial challenge that comes from the game packing too many enemies into tight spaces , also in the 30 something hours I spent the game I could not figure out how the block worked and I just resorted to dodging.
Opinion: Maybe not Deck 13’s magnum opus but their getting there.
This was a missed opportunity to expand on the concept of the first crackdown. What you get is a reskin of the city from the first game , alot more explosions , zombies and PVP. I did not get the chance to try the PVP since every time I checked it nobody was online , everything else is functional but just low effort. The main reason I played through this was because I thought crackdown 3 would be out in 2017 , I would say the best part of crackdown 2 is the later agent upgrades since those seem to be proper game changers.
Opinion: They didn’t care so neither will I.
The developers of this game are called creoteam , I misread that as croteam and bought the game on the spot. I really regretted it because I just did not enjoy my time with this , they throw packs of the same goons at you so much and the checkpoints are awful. I would say the best thing about collapse is the motion capture work , everything else just feels janky. I wouldn’t recommend it but if you still wanna play this mess , get it on sale.
Opinion: Russian seal of quality.
Lost planet 2 (PC version)
I was rather disappointed with this when I played on PS3 since I just wanted more of the first game but they decided to make monster hunter with guns. Once you get past the change in direction you will find a decent coop shooter here and the graphics have aged quite well. Still hard to recommend since the game has one of the worst checkpoint systems ever , the PC version uses games for windows live meaning that finding players is not easy and unlocking new gear in the game is done throw a slot machine ( years before loot boxes were a thing).
Opinion: A coop experience for true masochists.
I expected some cheaply made third person shooter which was just an excuse to show off the busty and curvy robot lady. This is an actually great game with well designed levels that demand caution , complex puzzles , challenging combat , strict resource management and a subtle plot. I highly recommend haydee , if you don’t like the main character’s design you can actually replace the skin via steam workshop but you may not like what you see there.
Opinion: You gotta be slick if you wanna handle the thicc.
Furi (PC version)
A nice combination of boss rush , bullet hell ,some light hack & slash and interesting story telling. This is really for those who appreciate the rush that comes from challenging reaction-heavy gameplay , also something that is made with unity that doesn’t suck.
Opinion: Do you like anime?
Layers of fear (PC version)
This is a 2 hour long horror-themed walking sim , what unsettled me the most is the twisting architecture of the house in which the game takes place. While I think this is well made I can’t really say I was on the edge of my seat.
Opinion: The scariest thing about this is how stable it is for a unity game.
Shadow ops: Red mercury (PC version)
Before call of duty: modern warfare showed up people played stuff like shadow ups to scratch that military shooter itch. You go round the world shooting terrorists while uncovering a conspiracy , not exactly original but the combat encourages you to use alot of cover which gives the game a sort've tactical feel.
Opinion: Decent pro-war gameplay.
Every now and then a developer decides they want to make a more classic style fps game , wrack feels alot closer to quake in that it encourages skilled movement through the levels. The kill chain system really helps to keep the momentum of the game and it is complimented by a good OST. The boss fights really could have used some polish for balancing.
Opinion: Check steam discussions to figure out how to beat the last guy.
Lawbreakers (PC version)
I think more people were interested in talking about why the game flopped rather than actually playing it , I can’t be too harsh on lawbreakers because I received the game for free from the developers. I really like the idea that each character can move differently through the maps and I enjoy most of the modes with the exception of turf war (fuck that). The gameplay seems to hold the whole thing together but I don’t think some people will be able to look past some rather unappealing art style/ design choices. The main concern here is that lawbreakers requires more than 40 GB of space and offers less content than other hero shooters that take up less HD space. I don’t know what Boss key are going to do next ,I would suggest they move on to a new project as soon as they can and learn from all that happened with lawbreakers. Should you decide to try out lawbreakers maybe double check that there are still people playing it.
Opinion: The one law they couldn’t break was murphy’s law.
Mafia 3 (PC version)
While some were hyped for mafia 3 , I was skeptical because mafia 2 dissapointed me thus I took a wait and see approach. Mafia 3 is certainly a good looking game with well delivered voice acting and some enjoyable gameplay. After playing a bunch I wondered how was it that nobody in quality assurance , programming or whatever found any issue with the game having you do the rackets 18 times. What usually happens is that you talk to someone who informs you about someone you need to kill , you goto a location and kill everyone or cause some trouble. Once you done enough killing/trouble causing you go back to the person you spoke to , you will then be informed that you’ve drawn out who you need to kill. You will then drive back to a previously visited location to kill that person. Imagine being forced to do that 18 damn times in an open world game with no fast travel. It is frustrating that such a detailed open world goes to waste because of tedious repetition. I did like the ending I got but it came after alot of driving , I hope you enjoy listening to paint it black by the rolling stones.
Opinion: One hell of a black power fantasy.
I am guessing that many would recommend this to you if you mention you’re going to buy a PS4. If you have finished dark souls you will find more of the same here like dangerous environments , malicious enemies and every npc speaking in oddly translated English. While you do have access to firearms , they are really just used to add another layer to melee combat so don’t expect to blast your way through the game. If you want more dark souls but with a different aesthetic bloodborne is more than worth it.
Opinion: Dapper souls.
Get even (PC version)
I really don’t want to give much away here , to put it simple this is a walking sim where you get to shoot people in sections. The shooting is poorly implemented and its more about the story , the whole thing is a good audio-visual experience. I don’t really recommend walking sims but get even stands out so I’d say it’s atleast worth one playthrough.
Opinion: A very british game.
The evil within 2 (PS4 version)
Likely my second pick for game of the year and an example of how to properly do a sequel. The story is more focused on Sebastian this time , stealth has been enhanced and the game is made up of small hub areas to explore and gather gear. I just enjoyed playing this and explored because I wanted to rather than the game forcing me to , a good place to go for some refined survival horror.
Opinion: Videogame child custody battles really suck.
Wolfenstien 2: The new colossus (PS4 version)
Going into wolfenstien 2 I just expected more of what the new order did but this time on id tech 6. While the gameplay is the same in that you shoot nazis , there have been changes in pace and tone that I’m not so sure will work for everyone. Tone wise there seem to be these attempts at humor that really don’t fit in with the seriousness of the plot. As for the pace , commanders are used alot more for stealth sections this time and spawn in endless waves of goons if they notice you. Stealth sections seem to pop up just as you’re getting into some good action and seem to drag on. I left confused by character dialogue that really encourages you to murder nazis because when have you ever needed somebody to constantly remind you to kill nazis in video games. Despite these changes I would still say that you should play wolfenstien 2 and I do want more wolfenstien from machine games but perhaps with more subtle writing next time.
Opinion: Just imagine the pianist being made into a shooter but with John Cena instead of Adrian Brody.
Ruiner (PC version)
A stylish cyber punk top down shooter with an interesting character upgrade system where you can reassign points whenever you want. Enemies throw alot at you here and thus you will be dashing all over the screen , this works well thanks to tight controls. This is an alright game but detailed levels go to waste because the whole thing is extremely linear and you are lead by the nose through the whole thing.
Opinion: More people are going to remember the OST instead of the gameplay.
Some games try to have some message and others don’t even try , redeemer is all about being a big dumb action game. With it being the second top down UE4 game I played right after ruiner , I feel it made better use of it levels. The give you a useful combat system where you can punch , kick , grapple , block and parry. Your assortment of fight moves ,some ranged weapons and environmental all come in handy for wiping out a whole lot of nasty looking goons. My main issue with redeemer is that the difficulty kept changing to normal after I chose hardcore , aside from that some minor crashing.
Opinion: Everyone’s favorite murderous grandpa.
Raiders of the broken planet (PC version) - (Alien myths - Wardog fury)
This just might be one of the most original games of the year , ROTBP is an episodic asymmetrical co-op action adventure game. In other words 4 players take on missions and an additional player can be present to work with enemies to fight against the 4 players. Some addictive gameplay , a strong art style , a smooth running game engine and a decent soundtrack go to waste thanks to one of the worst player progression systems I have ever seen. This is a paid game that has a grind that is worse than some F2P games I have played , there is no base reward for completing missions and rewards have to be chosen/split among the 4 players. Also you have the chance of walking away from 20-40 minutes worth of gameplay with nothing to show for it.
New characters can be unlocked to switch up the gameplay , that is sabotaged by horrible pricing that either has you playing hundreds of hours to just unlock one character or paying a ridiculous price with real money. The game has been split into 4 campaigns with 2 being released so far , it does not make sense to me that each campaign is supposed to be its own thing but then they still seemingly end on cliffhangers. An invitation system was implemented that allows people who own the campaigns to invite people who don’t. Upon completing missions players and the people they invited both gain an additional reward , I feel currently it is better to just try to experience the game for free because you actually gain more in game rewards that way.I suggest waiting until the next 2 campaigns have been released ,hopefully a more reasonably priced bundle of the game is released that just unlocks all content. The current “ultimate” bundle will give you some character skins and the 4 campaigns but that means you will still have to grind hundreds of hours for the rest of the stuff. I really like raiders of the broken planet and I am looking forward to the next 2 campaigns , I’m just not sure the developers can/want fix the game’s issues fast enough.
Opinion: Whoever is making the bad decisions behind this game is probably the person who put stealth sections into Castlevania: lords of shadow 2.
Max payne 3 (PC version)
This is a last minute addition , I had beaten max payne 3 in 2012(on ps3) which was just 1 year before I started with “most of the stuff..”. The game easily holds up thanks to the higher graphical settings on pc , great gun-play showcasing gameplay and a top notch soundtrack. I went back to the game for the multiplayer on PC , this did not go as I expected because there are players but their all in one playlist which has some limited map rotation. Additionally the multiplayer is really spoiled by some unbalanced weapons and horrible spawn points. I ended up walking away happy since the campaign was just so much fun to replay but you really notice the barrage of cutscenes the second time you play it. Stay away from the DLC on PC , there is a chance it may not work for you and even if it does nobody seems to be playing it.
Opinion: Max on fire.
So I’m wrappin this up a day late , 2017 was certainly a strange year for gaming since developers / publishers have decided to sabotage their own games. You may think I mean loot boxes but I’m actually talking about them expecting you to pour insane amounts of time into multiplayer (and singleplayer in some cases) leveling. Hopefully developers/publishers will remember that games are about having fun and shouldn't feel like a job. 2017 was not all bad since some games still got some great post launch support (R6 siege and free season pass for doom 2016) , also a rather eye opening amount of games just given away for free on PC. I don’t know what to expect in 2018 for video games,I’d rather figure out what I’m going to do with myself. Whatever goes down I hope it goes well for you all and as usual thanks for your time.