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Discussion in 'Video Game Reviews & Discussions' started by yourbeliefs, Dec 15, 2009.
2017 has come to an end, and here's my GOTY awards for 2017!
I've been holding off on my list to try to cram a few more games in but I guess it's time to finalize it. Like yourbeliefs you won't see any Nintendo games on my list because I don't own a Switch yet but I expect that to change sometime over the next few months.I'll start with a few honorable mentions and then get into my top 5.
Cuphead This game has an amazing, hand drawn art style that is nothing like any other game I have ever seen. The music and crackling audio is great too. This is a 1930s cartoon come to life.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds This is a Battle Royale style multiplayer game where 100 players parachute onto an island and the last one standing wins. This game has produced the most tense moments I have ever experienced while playing video games. Every time I get into the top 10 I can actually feel my heart rate increase. It doesn't always work out that way though. I spend far too many matches looting for 20 minutes and then getting sniped by someone I didn't even see before I have even fired a single shot in the game.
Dead Cells This is a great rogue-like game that is going to steal tons of hours from me the same way Binding of Isaac did. I just haven't played enough of it yet to put it on my top 5 list.
Now I will get into the actual list....
#5 - Injustice 2 I am not a fan of fighting games. Most of them have terrible story modes and I'm not the kind of person who is going to spend time in a training mode to learn all the combos required to compete with other players. So why is Injustice 2 the game I played more than any other title on my Xbox One this year? Because the Injustice games get fighting game story modes right. It has high production values and it doesn't hurt that it takes place in the DC universe. The matchmaking is good enough that even someone who is as bad at fighting games as I am can compete online. I might even be picking up some skill along the way.
#4 - Destiny 2 This game is a weird one for me. I played about 170 hours of Destiny 1 over 6 months and I was very excited for the launch of Destiny 2. They made drastic improvements to the campaign and quality of life over what was available in the first game. I played probably 5 nights a week with my cousin and his friend for the fist 6 weeks after launch. Then I completely dropped off and haven't had any urge to go back at all since.
How did a game that made so many improvements on the original lose me after 6 weeks when the first game held my attention for 6 months? They made the best gear in the game so much easier to get that I had two completely maxed out two characters in those 6 weeks while I was never all the way maxed out in the first game. They made Destiny 2 more user friendly but in the process they took away the loot grind that kept people coming back for months and months. When I was playing Destiny 2 I liked it much more than any of the time I spent with Destiny 1. That is why it earned a spot on my list even if it didn't hold my attention as long as the first game.
#3 - Wolfenstein II This game had one of my favorite stories of the year. There were several moments that I was genuinely surprised by what I was seeing. They pull off a mix of gruesome, sad moments and hilarious, insane moments so much better than I could have possibly expected. They also have some of the best voice acting in any game this year. It's definitely too hard on the default difficulty but I had a lot of fun tearing through Nazis after I turned it down to easy.
#2 - Horizon: Zero Dawn Since I first started playing this game back in February I thought it would probably be a lock for my game of the year. It looks absolutely amazing in 4K HDR from a PS4 Pro. It is a technical masterpiece and probably the most polished game I played this year. The open world is great, the characters are great, the story is great, the robot designs are great, and so is the combat. If you own a PS4 you owe it to yourself to play this game. I don't have anything negative to say about it and I'm excited to finally play the DLC after I wrap up a couple games I'm playing right now.
#1 - Nier: Automata This isn't nearly as polished as Horizon. Parts of the open world look bad, the map is terrible, at times I felt like the second playthrough was dragging because so much of it was the same as the first playthrough, one specific part of the game feels frustrating and unfair, and it is my favorite game of the year. I've never played anything else quite like Nier: Automata.
There are 26 endings in the game, one for every letter of the alphabet. Most of them are joke endings, or one off situations that happen when you do specific things during other playthroughs but A-E are continuations of the story that happen as you keep playing. I liked what I was seeing in playthrough A. I was still on board in playthough B but it started to drag during the midpoint because it was the same story I had already seen from another character's perspective. Once I saw some new things that were happening towards the end of B I started to see what the game was really going for and once I started playthrough C Nier had it's hooks in me completely. I still have more endings to play but I have seen enough to know it's my favorite game of the year.
I am someone who probably favors story and characters over game play. This is why Nier and Wolfenstien are so high on my list even though I can see why other people might not like them. (It's also why the Mass Effect Trilogy is my favorite video game experience of all time.) Nier tells a unique sci-fi story in a way I have never experienced in another game. The gameplay in Nier is not bad but it's nothing special either.There are enough amazing moments and big payoffs to make me want to keep coming back and see everything there is to see. I won't bother with the endings after E but I do plan to 100% everything up to that point.
I can't make a blanket statement like "everyone who owns a PS4 should play Nier." I think the time commitment it takes to see the multiple endings is a big ask and it's not going to be for everyone. I think anyone who can make it to the first hour or two of ending C will probably be hooked but I can see why many people would give up long before they reach that point.
Also the first hour of the actual game. The fact that the beginning of the game throws so much crap at you and doesn't let you save as you go, thus forcing you to take it from the top was quite a turn off for me, but so far I'm glad I kept going.
Luckily I made it through that part on my first try so I didn't have that experience. To be fair I played the demo before release and it was this exact same part of the game up through the first boss fight. I think I probably died during the demo but I already had a feel for how the game worked before it officially came out because of it.
Here are my Dubious Awards, AKA Worst of 2017
I'm 60+ hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition (30 hours of which were played in 2017), so as the game I spent the most time playing in 2017 (and worth mentioning), I will add my very belated GOTY award to the 130 it received three years ago. lol It is quite spectacular. I can't imagine a world this massive and with this much detail and content has been created before or since. At one point, I was walking past a burned-out house that wasn't even part of a sidequest, and Cole goes into "psychic reading" of what had happened to the people there. Touches like that are really amazing. Some of the regions are like a complete game in itself in terms of the amount of content. The entire world of DA2 could fit into the Hinterlands.
Honorable mention goes to the other three-year-old game I completed this year, Life Is Strange.
And I'll move Horizon Zero Dawn up my list of games to play if I can still hold a controller after I finish DA:I and all its DLC.
Dragon Age Inquisition was a great game. Looking back at my 2014 list, it definitely would have won if had gotten more time in with the game before I put my list together. I even mentioned in the first sentence of that list that I thought this was the case.
I put part of your post in bold to point out another game that I think does what you are describing even better. The Witcher 3 is the most detailed open world with the best world building I have ever seen in any game. It doesn't feel like anything is there just to fill out space. I love DA:I but I think The Witcher 3 and its DLC take what you are describing to another level. It probably has the best sidequests of any open world game I have ever played too.
Since you like what DA:I has done this much I highly recommend picking up The Witcher 3: Complete Edition next time it goes on sale for $20 (seems to happen pretty often). The game is massive and I've heard of people putting 70+ hours into the Blood and Wine expansion alone. The difficulty can also be simplified if the default combat is too much for your hands too.
Thanks for the heads-up about Witcher 3. I'll definitely keep my eye out for a good sale. I figured as I was writing that post above there was probably some game that would be comprable. I've heard good things about Witcher 3, but not having played the previous ones I didn't look at it too closely.
I wouldn’t even bother trying to play the first two games. The first one is only on PC and it has lots of issues with modern hardware. While the story was good even back then, the combat was terrible. I had two crashes and lost about 4 hours of progress total and decided to just look up a synopsis of the first two games before starting the third one. Also, I’m pretty sure Witcher 2 is PC and 360 only and I think I remember that you only have Sony systems.
I usually have a very hard time jumping into a series without playing what came before (this is why I’ve never played a metal gear game), but The Witcher is one of the rare exceptions where I think it makes sense to skip the 200+ hours of prerequisites and jump straight into Witcher 3.
That's good to know. I've seen good deals on the Witcher PC games over the past few years, only to remind myself I don't even play the handful of PC games I already have, preferring my PS4/PS3 setup or even mobile games on tablet. And it's not like the save files would carry over anyway if I did play the previous games on another system first.