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Letters from the Front

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2017 has been a complete shitshow for a number of reasons like MTX and Lootboxes being implemented everywhere but there’s no denying that 2017 was pretty incredible for games. There were tons of big releases and two brand new consoles: A brand new Nintendo console and a mid gen refresh for the Xbox, an Early Access game destroy records and the internet, and a great number of titles from smaller developers that continue to provide good experiences that cannot be found in Triple A games.

We’re nothing but regular human beings so of course, I missed out on some amazing games due to time and of course not having the right console but I’ve played a large chunk of 2017’s big releases.

This is the top 9 Favorite Games of 2017 list. This year was extraordinary for games so comprising this list was kind of hard. Let’s delve right into it!

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#9: The Evil Within 2

When The Evil Within released back in 2014, it wasn’t the thing I was expecting to be good and I was right. The Evil Within failed to attract me because it wasn’t fun to play, the horror was the type of horror that I wasn’t very familiar with and the game just didn’t resonate with me.

When The Evil Within 2 was announced at E3 2016, I was pleasantly surprised that it took a different approach instead of going the same approach as the original. When October rolled around and I got to play the full game, I was surprised. The game took on a more Western approach with a mixture of Western and Eastern horror and was a little bit more action-oriented.

When I completed the game, I was shocked on how good The Evil Within 2 was and I wanted to see more of the world that The Evil Within inhabits. The combat, the crafting, and the story was excellent despite it being literally about two tales and the tone is constantly shifting with the constant pace and the characters not being that great but it left me wanting more. Good job, Tango Gameworks.

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#8: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor is a surprising  game despite the obvious microtranscations but it’s a surprising. Shadow of Mordor tears down what made the original so compelling but also builds it up like a traditional sequel would do.

Shadow of Mordor is a compelling game, it’s bigger and it’s bolder than the original with the Nemesis system being redefined and the combat system being reworked but mainly being the same system. I’m not sure what it was but I stopped playing the game shortly after my First Impressions went up because maybe it was open world, at this point I’m just sick and tired of open world games. My excitement to explore the gameworld was often met with the Nemesis System being in front of my face and the tedious character movement of climbing up towers and buildings.

I took a good break from the game until the Holidays passed and that’s when the game sank it’s hooks into me for the long journey and soon enough, I completed the game. I thought that there were better games out there but it was still pretty compelling, my review should be up soon.

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#7: Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7’s transition to the first person view kind of surprised me but also it didn’t surprise me, the first person view in Horror games was made popular by Outlast, Amnesia, Slender, Hideo Kojima’s and Guillermo Del Toro’s cancelled Silent Hills game, P.T in 2014. It didn’t surprise that someone would attempt to do what they did and that came in the form of Resident Evil.

Resident Evil 7 had more in common with the original set of games than the recent titles, Resident Evil 7 takes you to a large plantation home set in the Bayou of Louisiana, so far from civilization. Inside the mansion there are safe rooms, complete with storage boxes, and tape recorders that save the game which frankly is an idea from Alien Isolation, and specific monster locations that reminds me of the original PS1 classic.

Although, Resident Evil 7 isn’t a masterpiece in horror and doesn’t topple the horror classic that is Outlast II. The game takes a bit of weird turn in the last act which it becomes more of a shooter and despite the shift Resident Evil 7 is one of my favorites of last year. Make sure to check out my review tomorrow.

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#6: Prey

The dark narrative, the atmospheric world and exploration, the combat, and the sci-fi environments delivered an incredible game, one that I regret not beating right away back in the summer.

This game really hearkened me back to the original BioShock, to that in point in time where I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first saw the words on the screen “1960. The Mid-Atlantic.” , this game really brought back to that particular game. Everywhere I went, I had flashbacks to BioShock and games like Dead Space.

Be sure to take a look at my review coming soon if you’re interested, or give the demo a try. I solely hope that Arkane Studios make a sequel to this fine game.

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#5: Cuphead

While there were plenty of really good indie titles like Tacoma and Perception, Cuphead exceeded those and dominated the conversation when it launched in early fall, and it has become an instant classic.

Cuphead is a brutally difficult game from Studio MDHR and where you have to fight bosses and take their souls. Cuphead isn’t just remembered for it’s boss fights, but also it’s hand-drawn graphics which were inspired by the cartoons from the mid 20th century. In the game, you play as Cuphead and Mugman, on a quest to save their souls from the Devil.

Cuphead is a stellar game and I finally finished it, stay tuned for my review.

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#4: PUBG

It would be a complete lie to say that the impact PUBG has had on the multiplayer landscape in 2017 and as we progress further into 2018 isn’t minimal, given it’s insane rise from obscurity to the top spot on Steam and on Xbox, only second to Call of Duty in a short amount of time we’re going to see other games copy it as the year progresses. PUBG is a landmark game.

PUBG popularized the concept of Battle Royale multiplayer, where solo players and small squads fight to the death in a massive free-for-all. You parachute into a large open map and must gather supplies like armor, weapons, and gear before you have to make your way to the circle. The play area decreases in size, eventually overwhelming the map when the last player dies.

No game this year has made more an impact on the multiplayer landscape in 2017 than PUBG has. It has become one of my favorite experiences in 2017.

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#3: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

I’ve been a huge fan of Tom Clancy games going all the way back to the legendary Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield when it launched in 2003. I’ve been a fan of Ghost Recon since Jungle Storm released the following year, Jungle Storm was an amazing game for me and I just fell in love with the brand.

It’s hard to believe that I first played a Ghost Recon game in 2004, and it’s shocking that the last Ghost Recon title five years ago, ever since then the Ghost Recon brand laid dormant until now. With Wildlands, Ghost Recon is back better than before. One thing I really liked about the game is how the open world is incredibly detailed, it translates the beauty of Bolivia into a videogame format. The open world is artistically detailed even when played in 4K resolution.

I’ve always believed that Ghost Recon is better when it’s grounded and set in the present day than in the far future that games like GRAW, GRAW 2, and Future Soldier were set in and Wildlands may not be the perfect Ghost Recon but it fills the mindset that I always had when it came to Ghost Recon. Stay tuned for my review.

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#2: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Assassin’s Creed: Origins breathes new life into the old, tired franchise that has been beaten to death since Assassin’s Creed II. This usually happens when you want to release a game every single year, like for example Madden or Call of Duty. I was never a big fan of the series, until now with this entry into the franchise. Ubisoft two years to perfect Origins, and it paid off in huge ways.

Origins doesn’t just breathes new life into the franchise but also breathes new life into the mechanics of the game; a much needed improvement in the combat area as well as the movement system which retains some of the older controls. Although, I’m not a big fan of the combat which I find to be kinda sluggish but I can tell that Ubisoft improved the combat. The combat and arguably the game itself falls in the action RPG genre. Bayek collects things, crafts new stuff which I also find to be quite a bore, you can allocate new points into skill trees, complete numerous sidequests, and also Bayek is one of the best assassin’s that the franchise has ever produced outside of Evie and Jacob.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is one of the best games I’ve played this year and on top of that one of the most beautiful games ever especially in 4K. Good on you, Ubisoft.

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#1: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

There’s nothing really left to say about Wolfenstein II, I’ve been talking about this game since October and since I beat it. It’s maybe the best single-player game I’ve played this year and it’s an experience unlike any other.

Under Bethesda and Machine Games, the rebooted franchise is set in an alternate reality where Nazi Germany win the Second World War and conquers the world, and they plunge the world into a dystopia run by the Nazi regime. The New Colossus ups the ante and builds upon the ideas set forth by it’s predecessor, The New Order, but this time around it surpasses it’s predecessor in terms of complexity, depth, and the unapologetic, unwavering deception of Nazi Germany.

Wolfenstein II takes place in an occupied America, BJ and his friends fight for survival as the Nazis begin to tighten it’s grip and catch up to BJ for what he did at the end of the last game. He must enlist the aid of other resistance groups scattered around America and bring the fight to the Nazis, in a story that is amazing and frankly has one of the best villains in recent gaming history.

This game was the only title besides Assassin’s Creed that had stuck with me this whole year, it is a remarkable feat of a game. One that comes only once under a blue moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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