Horizon Zero Dawn was touted as the PS4s next big exclusive. I had it as my most anticipated game of the year. The descriptors sound like a perfect storm: open world, post apocalypse, robots. I’ve spent the better part of the last three weeks playing Guerilla Games’s latest release and all the hype is deserved. Horizon Zero Dawn is the best game I’ve played in a long time and easily my current game of the year.
I’ve always had an interest in Greek mythology, but I’ve recently taken more and more to Norse mythology. Strong, preferably bearded vikings determined to win glory in battle just draw me in, especially compared to knights and samurai. Jotun, a game about battling Norse gods, released a while ago but fell off my radar. A tweet about the developer’s next game, Sundered, reminded me to go back and play Jotun. If you enjoy hand-drawn games or fantastic boss battles, you should follow suit. Better late than never!
Remember when you were a kid and would argue over who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman or cowboys and ninjas? Ubisoft’s latest game asks you a similar question: knights, vikings, or samurai? For Honor was on my most anticipated list for 2017 and after almost 20 hours of play, the hype was real. It’s a simple to learn, hard to master fighting game with some downright brutal combat.
Tactical RPGs are my jam. There’s just something about playing chess with swords, fireballs, and monsters that really clicks for me. One of the better recent spins on the genre is The Banner Saga. If you want a more established franchise, look no further than Fire Emblem. I’ve only played a few entries in the series, namely the two excellent Game Boy Advance titles and Awakening on 3DS, but the grand stories and permadeath are always intriguing. Fire Emblem Heroes, a mobile title released a few weeks ago, does away with a few series staples and has an endgame problem, but it’s still a fun game well worth the $0 price of admission.
The Resident Evil series is one of the biggest names in gaming going all the way back to the original PS1 title in 1996. I’ll never forget playing the GameCube remake of that game and seeing a crimson head run towards me in a hallway mirror. Resident Evil 4 is one of my all time favorite games, but 5 and 6 focused too much on action instead of the horror that defined the series. After watching a friend play the demo for Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, I was ready to give the series another shot.
Many people are asking if Resident Evil 7 brings the series back to its roots. I can definitively say that it does and I have the increased blood pressure to prove it.
Shovel Knight is one of the best, if not the best, retro games made in the 21st century. Developer Yacht Club Games really hit the nail on the head with the original game in all aspects: pixelated graphics, chiptune soundtrack, humor, difficult platforming, etc. Shovel Knight has it all.
It also has the fantastic Plague of Shadows expansion which is free to owners of the original game. Truth be told, I forgot about this expansion until I heard about the second one, Specter of Torment, slated for spring 2017. It’s a good thing I was paying attention because Plague of Shadows is an absolute joy.