My Favourite Games of 2017: Day Two

It’s that time again. When we as a collective come together to write, read and argue about our favourite games of the year. Not wanting to break from tradition, I proudly present to you, my favourite games of 2017.

Now instead of boring you with a traditional list, I thought I’d ‘spice’ it up a little by writing a post about each game. Don’t worry, this won’t take long. I’m a busy man and let’s be honest, you guys have read enough about PUBG and why Hellblade is amaze-balls on this blog already.

What Remains of Edith Finch

PC/PS4/XBOX One – Giant Sparrow

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Rare are the games that can elicit an emotional response from me. Rarer still are the games that manage to pull two or three different ones out of me at any one given time. What Remains of Edith Finch is one of those games.

Finch is ultimately about loss, grief and moving on. It manages to tell it’s emotionally charged story with just the lightest flicker of comedy. A flicker that takes what should be a dark and gloomy tale of one families tragic past, and turns it into an emotional and yet, incredibly uplifting tale about what comes next.

it’s a relatively short game, but one that knows exactly what it wants to say and gets out before it overstays its welcome. I was never bored with it. Where Gone Home relied on the illusion of horror to propel you through its story, Finch ditches that for good old fashion story telling. Where Firewatch slowly builds to a crescendo of fire and tension, Finch remains focused on telling you the story of its characters, their lives and ultimately, their deaths.

What Remains of Edith Finch is, to be entirely reductive, a walking-simulator. But you know what? It’s the best walking-simulator I’ve ever played, and I hope we see an awful lot more games that handle their subject matter and their narrative like this in the future.

There’s always going to be a small but incredibly vocal audience who’ll avoid this type of game, but don’t let them dissuade you. What Remains of Edith Finch is without a doubt one of the better games to release in 2017 and you absolutely should experience it.

 

 

 

 

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The VGA’s

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m short on time. However, I do have enough of it spare right now to sit down and take a moment to talk about The Video Game awards that took place on Thursday.

As with any award show, it was chock full of badly scripted interviews, the odd awkward moment and um…lots of advertising. That being said though, I think the core concept of the VGA’s is one we can get behind: that those making the games we love be celebrated for their successes.

There’s a longer article in my head about the various ways in which the VGA’s could be improved, but as I’m a little pressed for time I’ll just stick to a few winners that I was invested in.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Winner: Games for Impact / Best Audio Design / Best Performance for Melina Juergens

Hellblade is a truly interesting game. In an industry that’s dominated by franchises and reboots, it’s rare to see a game of Hellblade’s quality come along and say something; anything even.

With its interesting, unique and ultimately challenging look at mental illness, it truly deserves to walk away with the award in Games for Impact. It doesn’t land all of its punches, but it does things in a mainstream game that you rarely see, and that deserves to be rewarded.

The same goes for its audio work. Now, I’m no audio designer, but Hellblade wouldn’t be the game it is; the game that took home the impact award without its incredible audio design. Play this game with headphones and allow yourself to become one with its lead character. I promise you.

Speaking of that lead character. Melina Juergens nailed it. From moment one you feel her anguish, her suffering. With every facial expression, every frightened look, and every hushed scream, she stitched the final, perhaps most important part of Hellblade’s delicate tapestry together.

Hellblade is an amazing game. And as you can no doubt tell, I’m really pleased it finally got its due.

What Remains of Edith Finch – Winner: Best Narrative

Ideally, Edith Finch would have walked away with a few more awards, but it’s a testament to just how an incredible year we’re having that it only took home Best Narrative.

I don’t really have much to say on this one, just that it’s probably going to end up as one of my favourite games of the year. Based entirely on its incredibly heartfelt narrative.

Much like Hellblade, Edith Finch tackles some incredibly difficult moments. Unlike Hellblade however, Finch chooses to handle the subject matter with a lighthearted, almost humorous bent. That’s not to say it’s not incredibly touching or even emotionally devastating though, because believe me, bring the tissues.

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds – Winner: Best Multiplayer

What more can I possibly say about Battlegrounds that hasn’t already been said by myself, or someone else on the internet already? 2017’s most talked about multiplayer is a lot of things. It’s buggy, it’s full of cheats and it runs like shit. And yet, with all of those problems, it’s one of the most incredibly enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

 

 

My Month in Games: July 2017

My Month in Games is exactly what you think it is. A monthly look back at the games I’ve played that month and what I think of them. 


Splatoon 2 – Switch

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I wasn’t sure Splatoon would be for me. I didn’t play the first one, and the recent splatfest left me a little cold. However I did pick it up and I’m glad I did. You see Splatoon 2 isn’t the deepest online shooter out there. It’s not the prettiest and it doesn’t have the largest player base. However it might be the most fun.

In the 10 hours I’ve spent with it I can safely say that Splatoon 2 is the most accessable online FPS I’ve ever played. And whilst some could see that accessability as a flaw, I think it’s a welcome break from the norm.

Nintendo has got a winner in this franchise. It’s funny, original and really fun to play. And it’s another Switch game that I’d recommend anyone try.

Until Dawn – PS4

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With the arrival of Until Dawn on PS+ last month, it seemed only right to play it through for a second time, this time with my fiancée making all the decisions. And despite a few early niggles, we had a great time trying to save these dumb-ass kids from death.

There are a few issues, namely that at certain times it feels like characters die without really having much of a chance, but all in all this is one of my favourite PS4 games. And I can’t wait to see what Supermassive does next.

GoNNER – Switch

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I’ve written about GoNNER before. It’s a hyper-difficult Switch game that takes no prisoners. It’s tough. And normally that wouldn’t be my cup of tea.

However GoNNER isn’t interested in you spending hours upon hours playing it. It wants you to play for a few minutes, and I put it down again. And the Switch is perfectly positioned to be the place for this sort of ‘one run and done’ type game.

GoNNER is a beautiful, it’s hard as nails and it will leave you tense and stressed out. If that sounds like your kinda thing, what are you waiting for?

Old Man’s Journey – PC

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If GoNNER is tense and stressful, Old Man’s Journey is the antithesis of that. Calm, quiet and thoughtful. You play as an old man who’s, you guessed it…on a journey.

The game is all about it’s visual and audio stylings. It looks fantastic and sounds even better. And whilst I didn’t love the sometimes finnicky puzzle aspects, I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent with the game.

The games final shots are both emotional and beautiful. And even though my fience ruined it for me, I would still recommend you fight through the already mentioned puzzle system to get to that.

What Remains of Edith Finch – PC

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Finally we’ve got what may be my favourite game of the month. What Remains of Edith Finch is another of those ‘Walking Simulators’ that we love to deride. Unlike Firewatch, Ethan Carter or Gone Home however, the game doesn’t rely on cheap tricks to make it’s tale interesting.

Instead, Finch starts as it means to go on. This is a game about loss. It finds unique, interesting and even humorous ways to deliver that message, but it never deviates from it. Touching, heartfelt and incredibly impactful; Edith Finch is one of my favourite games of the year so far.


And there we have it. My month in games. What have you been playing this month? Drop us a line in the comments.