It’s the final day of the Creative Christmas collaboration, where a group of bloggers have joined forces over the past two weeks to tackle 12 video-game-related questions based around a loose festive storyline. After yesterday’s answer about our gaming resolutions for 2018, the last challenge is:
You wake up the following morning, hungover but happy – you have an entire day of gaming ahead of you. You start thinking back over the video games you played during 2017; what was your game of the year?
The ‘game of the year’ question is one I always struggle with. There are so many great titles which offer unique experiences and that makes it hard to pick a single entry out of those I’ve played; and with adult responsibilities often getting in the way of gaming, I tend not to play new games immediately upon release.
This post therefore won’t be about an individual title or even ones which were released during 2017. But here are five games which stood out for me for various reasons over the past 12 months and are well worth a play.
Most touching: The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian was criticised for its poor controls and camera angles, and I agree: it was extremely annoying when you needed Trico’s help to reach a ledge and all he wanted to do was clean his feathers. But at the same time, it created one of the most believable bonds between a human and animal within a video game. The relationship between the creature and boy strengthens over the course of the title and is a lesson in trust.
Most addictive: The Elder Scrolls Online
I decided to pick this one up on a whim after not touching it since 2015 and I’m addicted all over again. TESO contains so much lore and the books scattered around the environment create a world which feels living, with its own history and colour; and when you’re tired of venturing into dungeons and slaying the monsters within, you can head in any direction and just run. You never know what you’re going to find.
Most unique: Stories Untold
Advertised as ‘four stories, one nightmare’, this experimental title manages to create something new and unique. It cleverly combines text-adventures, point-and-clicks and psychological horrors into a rather remarkable experience which is likely to stay with me for some time to come. If you’re a fan of series such as The Twilight Zone and Stranger Things, of 80s nostalgia and retro games, or text adventures in general, you need to play it.
Most reflective: Undertale
I was very late to the party: Undertale was released in September 2015 yet I only ended up playing in at the end of 2017, and I’m so glad I finally did. The retro graphics hide an innovative title which on one hand is hilarious and on the other is incredibly heartfelt. It contains numerous moments which cause the player to reflect on their choices and their own nature in a subtle way – something rare in video games and all the more sincere for it.
Most stylish: Horizon Zero Dawn
Aloy became one of my favourite protagonists this year. I should hate her for that makeup-that-looks-like-no-makeup thing she has going on and her ability to come out of any scenario with an immaculate appearance. But I just can’t; her attitude and independence make her one of the most likeable characters. I’m looking forward to picking up The Frozen Wilds DLC in the near future and spending even more time in photo mode.
🎁 Thero159 from A Reluctant Hero
👪 Joey from AlunaRL
🎅 Athena from AmbiGaming
🦌 Morgan from Fistful of Glitter
🎄 Luna from GamersUnitedGG Blog
👗 Log 1932
🤞 NekoJonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog
🎉 Dan and Jon from nowisgames.com
🎁 Chris from OverThinker Y
👪 Austin from Reaper Interactive
🎅 Retro Redress
🎄 The Gaming Diaries
🦃 Kevin from The Mental Attic
👗 The Shameful Narcissist Speaks
This post sees the end of the Creative Christmas collaboration – who knows, maybe it will be back again in December! A huge thank you to the amazing bloggers who joined in and to the awesome readers to read our answers to the questions. May 2018 be good to you all.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.