ITS THAT TIME AGAIN!
Another year rolls around and in-between wondering how the fuck we're still alive your boys at Awkward Machine have slapped together a list of games that you've probably already played, but they think deserves mention again. Things were a little easier this year, there was a lot less noise, less crap drumming for our attention, it also helped that the real gems of 2017 shone particularly bright with more than a few instant classics being released. Anyway, lets quit waffling and get on with the show!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
Not exactly a shocker we know, but there's no denying that the Switch's big launch title is a charming little devil. The classic Zelda formula had always been 'semi' open world but BotW went the whole hog, and then some.
Breath Of The Wild was a bold move for Nintendo, it took the tried and true formula and turned it on its head by integrating many popular genres of today to create a Zelda game that stands as not only one of the best Zelda games ever made, but as an one of the best games in it's own right.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
It's not like RE7 came out of nowhere, only moments after the demise of Silent Hills Capcom's PR machine was in full swing showing off their new baby to fill the hungry void for survival-horror fans. To put it simply RE7 is fantastic, it took the most beloved elements from the dying series and boiled them down to their simplest parts.
The locational shift to Louisiana did wonders too, every part of the game just clicked leaving us bewildered as to how a publisher like Capcom developed the damn thing! RE7 rocked our socks off and had the potential to go down as the best in the series if it weren't for the lack of difficulty and the last chapter falling back into the series' old habits.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare (Torn Banner Studios)
It's always a shame when this happens. Mirage: Arcane Warfare was meant to be the triumphant followup to Torn Banner's brutal deathsim Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. But things didn't turn out that way, the interest was just never there, what followed a middling launch was an agonizing decay of sales and active users. Torn Banner tried everything they could to bump up the numbers, but free weekends, bot support, and just plain giving it away didn't do a damn thing.
Hopefully this hasn't put too much of a dent in Torn Banner's stride, after all Chivalry is still doing gangbusters and has a great community behind it.
The Indie Darling
Outlast 2 (Red Barrels)
Developers Red Barrels have taken much of what made their original game a riveting spook-fest and pushed it deeper down the rabbit hole in Outlast 2. Sure, it may not have been perfect, but smoother gameplay, a fresh setting and some unforgettable scenes make Outlast 2 worthy of praise.
Outlast 2 didnt mix up the formula too much, but this was more a case of 'not messing with a good thing'. The game stands as a refinement of the origonal formula and proof that the little guys can always swing well above their weight.
Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
Yep its Cuphead, surprised? Me neither, this game can fuck right off!
(we still love you)
Mass Effect: Andromeda (BioWare)
Ok just the fact that we needed an award called the "Most Autistic" is a fucking problem, never mind the game that won the damn thing! Now before you go giving us shit remember that ME:A won the Golden Joystick award for "Most Anticipated" game, think about that for a second... At least we have the audacity give awards to games after they've been released. So what can we say about ME:A that hasn't been said already? The game had shit writing, loads of bugs and characters that moved like they were shat out of Gepetto's workshop!
Regardless of all the damage control Bioware shovelled out after release fixing most of the animations and tightening up some other loose screws it still goes to show that ME:A was a mess and the series deserved better.
And after all the dust settled, it's clear this was the game that 'killed' the franchise and ongoing proof that gamers never fucking learn.
Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games)
Horizon Zero Dawn was a gamble for Guerrilla Games who had previously only made PlayStation exclusive heavy weight Killzone. Would this new IP work out?
How would it be received?
Their gamble paid off. Everything from the character development, the story to jaw dropping visuals of the huge open world. The combat was a bit limited but hunting (or being hunted) the multitude of mechanical monsters required a different tactics to overcome.
Personal Picks (GOTY):
John: PREY (2017)
Adam: Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition
Nick: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Jake: Divinity: Original Sin 2
That about wraps things up for us this year, we've got allot to look forwards to next year both in gaming and other projects. We'd like to congratulate you all for surviving another orbit and thank you so much for sticking with us in the milder calmer hangover year of 2017.
So from all of us at Awkward Machine,
Have a merry Christmas, a happy new year, and try not to be a cunt.