The Best Games of 2017: Day 3

Posted in Kulturecade by - December 28, 2017
The Best Games of 2017: Day 3

In the blink of an eye, 2017 has come and gone. It was a stellar year for gaming, filled with exciting announcements and great new games. Unfortunately, I did not have time to play them all. But here are some of my favorite games I did play this year.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein 2 is almost everything I could have hoped for from a sequel to one of my favorite games of all time. The tough-as-nails action has been given some appreciated tweaks, the portrayal of a Nazi-controlled America is both horrifying and riveting, and most of the likable cast from the first game returns, with a few new additions. B.J. Blazkowicz remains a revelation among contemporary first-person shooter protagonists; instead of a young, gung-ho patriot, B.J. is instead a man who has been physically and spiritually broken, and the game is as much about shooting Nazis as it is about B.J. grappling with his own mortality and the insidious nature of white supremacist ideology. Tons of fun and shockingly relevant, Wolfenstein 2 stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries.

For Honor

For Honor is not without its problems: a miserly currency system that encourages microtransactions and a nonsensical story campaign hold it back from excellence. That being said, this game gave me a multiplayer experience unlike any other, with a melee combat system that has more nuance than some fighting games. For Honor is a unique experience that will surely inspire imitators in the years to come, and anybody looking for a fresh take on competitive multiplayer would do well to give it a shot. Also, come on, seeing Vikings, Knights, and Samurai duke it out in massive battles is just plain cool.

Fortnite: Battle Royale

You might have played that other battle royale game that made waves this year, but as someone who spends more time on a PS4 than a PC, I got my one-versus-all kicks from Fortnite: Battle Royale. A free-to-play offshoot of Fortnite, this multiplayer mode takes the basic battle royale concept, executes on it well, and also adds resource gathering and construction into the mix. Want to get to a better vantage point? Build a series of ramps. Taking fire with minimal cover? Build some yourself. Is it the end of a match and you have plenty of resources? Build a fortress to hole up in. Fortnite: Battle Royale is a fun twist on the battle royale formula, and as previously mentioned, it’s completely free, making it one of this year’s most welcome surprises.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn’t do much to shake up the Uncharted formula, outside of one very open-ended level that makes the case for an open world Uncharted game. The most impressive thing it does is prove that there’s room for more Uncharted games even without traditional series lead Nathan Drake. New protagonists Chloe Frazier and Nadine Ross have a likable chemistry, and the game feels a bit less scripted than the typical Uncharted experience, to boot. It’s not a radical reinvention of the franchise, but it’s fresh enough to prove that there’s some life left in all the shooting and climbing. Although developer Naughty Dog has said that this is the last Uncharted game, it seems possible that we might see more of Chloe and Nadine in the future; since an Uncharted movie is in the works, it would seem rather odd to pump the brakes on the series now.

Tokyo Xanadu eX+

This last one’s a bit of a cheat, because Tokyo Xanadu was originally released for the PSVita in 2015. Tokyo Xanadu eX+ is the remastered version, which was released in early December for PS4 and PC. Anyway, I had to include this one because it takes some of the best elements of other RPGs and meshes them in a satisfying way. It borrows from the structure and some of the character beats found in the acclaimed Persona series, which I could never really get into because of the turn-based combat, and adds in action-oriented combat reminiscent of Final Fantasy XV, which I never got into because I wasn’t interested in the story. In short, it takes disparate elements from games that aren’t my cup of tea and somehow creates a fun and engaging RPG for people who might not even like RPGs, such as myself.

That’s it for my favorite games of 2017. As I said before, there’s plenty of great stuff I didn’t get around to playing this year (I’m looking at you, Nier: Automata), so here’s hoping there’s enough time between 2018 releases to catch up on my backlog. On a personal note, this article concludes my first year writing for Kultureshocked.com. I just want to take a moment to say thanks to my wonderful coworkers, and to you, our amazing readers. I’ll see you all in 2018!

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