Doom 2016 was a hair's breadth from being my 2016 GOTY (And if it had been current Overwatch that came out then it would have been). Doom Eternal has a lot more systems added to the game that should make it more fun to play. However it doesn't turn out that way. The levels feel overly long and the enemies are frustrating at times to deal with. The game is still very fun to play through, but I lost steam around the halfway mark with it.
Spelunky 1 is in my top 20, if not top 10 games of all time. I was so excited for this game. It was the game that I waited with baited breath for and counted down the days in a dark, dreary year for it. After 70 hours of play time, I can unfortunately say that I was very underwhelmed by it. There is something about the game that just did not grab me. There are a nice variety of enemies now, and they are fun to fight. However there are far too many of them. The game just overwhelms you with them, taking 2 points of damage in the first 4 levels is pretty much a death sentence. Also the good items seem much rarer now. In those 70 hours I feel like I've had a jump pack about a dozen times total. I've done my best to avoid spoilers and have found some cool things by myself that have helped keep me going, but It's not been enough. The game is brutally hard without those much needed items later on in the game, with enemies being able to kill you in one hit and traps being harder to spot (the bear traps in the jungle level can fuck allllllllllll the way off). I feel like there's more stuff on every screen, and it's not to the game's benefit. There aren't area's you can just take your time and get a breather from. It breaks my heart to say, but I don't know if I'll finish it.
Ghost of Tsushima
A game that I feel I would have enjoyed a lot more 5 years ago. It has enjoyable combat, and a nice distinction between Stealth and Combat. However the open world feels too large and with little to do in it. The characters are enjoyable from what I played of it, but I wish it grabbed me more.
Resident Evil 3
One of my favourite PlayStation games finally gets a remake. Perhaps the shine wasn't as bright because of the Resident Evil Two remake last year. Maybe having to cut levels hurt it. I can say that having played the original last year, the clock tower is not that long of a level. Around 2-30 minutes if you know what you're doing. However there is no denying that it was an iconic scene in the original and it's absence is felt in this game. However the biggest problem is that Mr. X felt like a better Nemesis stand in than the actual Nemesis. Whereas Mr. X felt oppressive and had you hiding from him, Nemesis just felt like a boss in scripted environments, where it was obvious if you were to fight him, or run.
That's pretty much the take away from this. Even after the technical issues are sorted and it runs better, the thing I will take away from this is that feeling that it should be more. I mean, there is no cyberspace, in a cyberpunk game. Shadowrun had it. Cyberpunk should have it god damn it. The story is actually interesting. However the smoke & mirrors are very visible in this and it takes away from the overall package. It's still an enjoyable title and may one day be a great game with the dlc & fixes. However right now, it's not there.
Fall guys: Ultimate Knockout
In a stroke of genius, the developers of Fall guys let their game come to PS+ for free the moment it was up for sale. In a time when people needed a distraction more than ever, they got it in a quirk, fun battle royale style game that never felt frustrating to lose. The game has become a phenomenon and for good reason. It's simple gameplay is fun to play and there is always a nice rush as you qualify round after round, waiting to succeed and get to the last round. Then the build of tension as you try desperately to win a crown. A truly inspired game influenced by TV shows such a It's a knockout and Takeshi's Castle. I had a lot of fun playing this and eventually got it on PC as well as PlayStation because I was having so much fun with it
I'm generally not a fan of survival games, or builder games. However something about Factorio's design always intrigued me. When I saw it was finally out I picked it up. I was so glad I did. This is truly a clever game that slowly ramps up the complexity for the player and has them thinking about the intricacies' of logistics and going from a micro to macro. It borrows from things like Minecraft and RTS games to create an addictive builder game where you feel like there's always One more thing to do. One more Line to construct. One more building to build. One more Wall to reinforce. One more nest to clear out. One more rocket to escape on.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
This game had a lot of baggage attached to it for me. The remake of my favourite game of all time was always going to have a hard time living up to the hype. Not to mention it was only going to cover the first 5-6 hours of the original in this game, What were they planning to do that would stretch this out and make it worth their asking price? In the end, they told a more in-depth story of the characters we know and love from the original game. We get to spend more time with the other Avalanche members, grow attached to them, despite knowing what is coming. I don't want to spoil things for the game but the game made me care about characters that were barely in the original game. It also did something very bold that I can't go into in this, let me just say that the game's title is more a statement than people realize. I don't know where they will take it from here, and perhaps I will look back and dislike what has been changed and what hasn't. At this moment though, I can't wait for the next game. I'm so ready for shit to go down.
Supergiant have always felt like a company that was on the edge of greatness, but something was always missing. I was not sold on Bastion originally but eventually came around to it after a while and ended up really enjoying it. Their other games have not grabbed me and I wondered if they'd ever make a game that broke through that. Hades is that game. It takes the Rogue-lite premise and turns it up a notch. It takes what games like Dead Cells & Rogue Legacy did and have consistent progression also tied to story progression. Dying in this game might be frustrating, but not only are you rewarded by being able to upgrade Zagreus, you're able to piece together a little bit more of the story. You're able to talk to the vast cast of wonderful characters that make up the house of Hades. Zagreus originally comes off as rather brash, arrogant and generally unlikeable given how he talks to his father, but once you start interacting with the other characters you see he's actually a very polite, caring individual. It's only his father that has his ire, and given he's the god of death and this is based on a Greek myth, you know he probably deserves it. The cast of characters in this game are stronger than in most Triple A titles, Achilles acting as more of a father to Zag than his birth one does, Nyx being supportive of him and helping him to escape in the first place. I could go on about the other characters and their stories (that continue on long after you've had credits roll for the game) but just know that each one of them is unique and worth exploring. The game is packed with value and I've not even touched upon the gameplay, which is some of the sharpest, most crisp action I've experienced in a long time. By the end of my time with the game I was decimating enemies and regularly going through the first act without taking damage.
A truly deep, story rich action game that has set a bar for every game that comes afterwards. For these reasons and more, Hades takes my personal Game of the Year.
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