Thoughts: 2017 – A year in gaming.

Calling 2017 a legendary year for gaming is an understatement! There were so many good games that it was overwhelming to pick which experience was the most memorable. Some of them resonated with me more than others.

1 – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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Since it’s announcement back in August 2014, I have followed Hellblade’s development and progress very closely. The whole concept of AAA Indie game intrigued me, and watching the developers being very transparent in the dev diaries was both inspiring and exciting. I wanted this game to succeed, and when it finally dropped, I spent an entire day doing nothing but experiencing this masterpiece, finishing it in one sitting. It’s one of those game that gave me an experience I’ll remember forever. I still can’t stop thinking about it, and probably won’t for quite some time. The way it tackles it’s subject is something that I’ve never seen in any form of art. It’s something crafted with extreme care and attention to detail. Hellblade isn’t just one of my favorite experiences of 2017, but probably one of my favorite experiences of all time.

2 – Nier Automata

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I’m gonna be completely honest, I never thought a sequel to the original Nier would ever be made. I loved the original one immensely, and it was really disappointing when the game wasn’t received well commercially and critically, it was unique and had it’s own narrative identity. When Automata was announced, I was ecstatic and surprised. Yoko Taro and Platinum Games? Let’s gooo! The game had a superb narrative and storyline, combined with a simple but very fluid and fun combat system. It’s got all the Yoko Taro elements that you’d expect, and of course the amazing soundtracks by Keiichi Okabe. As a fan of the series, Nier Automata gave me everything I wanted.

3 – Resident Evil 7

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“Resident Evil’s never going back to survival horror” is something I heard a lot after RE6 was released. When Capcom announced RE7, I was a bit skeptical, especially since the game was in First Person. I thought it was going to be more like the current horror games where you mostly have to run and collect clues to finish it instead of being able to defend yourself, fight back, explore areas and solve puzzles. Guess what? Resident Evil 7 is the Resident Eviliest game since Code Veronica. It goes back to that nostalgic feeling of the original Resident Evil, giving you all the proper elements of a survival horror game, while giving it a modern touch to maintain it’s relevance. It’s the perfect balance and a spectacular direction for the series.

4 – Nioh

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Nioh’s combat and difficulty were quite addicting. Playing through the Alpha for the first time hit all the right spots, it felt like it was something I was missing in games and I really wanted to play. Also, the way the game constantly changed based on feedback the devs got from the Alpha and Beta made the final product superb. It’s something all devs should take note of to deliver a balanced game. The gap left by Onimusha was filled with Nioh, it’s setting and portrayal of the Sengoku Jidai is well executed, and left me wanting more.

5 – Yakuza 0

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Never played a Yakuza game, wasn’t interested at all and Yakuza 0 wasn’t even on my radar. One day I found someone who wanted to sell his copy for a very cheap price. I bought the game, I played it, and now I just want Yakuza to continue forever! This is such a hidden gem, a game with so much to offer yet never losing focus on it’s strong plot and characters. The amount of emotions and intense scenarios the game puts you in is amazing, yet it never feels too serious, it balances that with superb comedy and quirky moments. I want more stories from Kiryu and Majima, and I’m so excited to go through the entire series now, starting with Kiwami.

Honorable Mentions:

1 – The Evil Within 2

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2 – Wolfenstein 2

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3 – Assassin’s Creed Origins

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4 – Cuphead

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5 – Tekken 7

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