12 Days of Christmas: Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot…

“…so choose your G-O-T-Y…!”

We’re back with our 12 Days of Christmas Collaboration, hosted by Kim over at Later Levels!

On the eleventh day of Christmas Collab, Kim asked of me: 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?

list

Well, this is sort of awkward. Let me list the games I’ve played in 2017 (some not for the first time):

So… obviously it’s a tie between Mass Effect 2 and Metal Gear Solid 2……

Okay, okay… since that’s probably not what you guys actually wanted to hear, let’s talk about some of the more recent games that I played this year.

I think Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice would absolutely take the top spot, with RiME as a very close second. Both handle very tough subject matter, each in their own ways. RiME gently guides the player through beautiful – and sometimes beautifully tragic – worlds, letting the narrative unfold slowly and subtly until the final emotional punch at the end.

RiME_20171004062904

On the other hand, Hellblade brings the blurred line between objective and subjective reality to the front of our collective consciousness, creating a world that seems fantastical and unrealistic to us – in an almost “uncanny valley” way – but is the actual reality that the main character lives in.

The reason that Hellblade slightly edges out RiME for the top spot is because, while I was crying by the time RiME ended, by the time the credits rolled for Hellblade, I was emotionally exhausted and staring at the screen thinking “wow…” over and over again. Where I wanted to protect the boy from RiME like a distant deity rooting for a beloved creation, I felt like I had walked each step with Senua during her long, trying journey both through the landscape and through her own haunted mind.

And the Winners Are…

My personal Game of the Year would be Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

senua

Second place goes to RiME.

RiME_20170923014845

Honorable mention would go to Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect™: Andromeda_20170528233336

Yes, I’m serious. While I’ll be the first to defend the story, and I quite enjoyed myself after I cut through the open-world bloat, there were a lot of industry standards that this game represents, and perforce shook up when it didn’t do well. Day one DLC, broken multiplayer, the above-mentioned open-world bloat, and a sloppy disregard for the players on the part of EA all resulted in a spectacular backlash.

While I don’t think EA and BioWare received the message they probably should have, I think that a game that creates a stir because of its poor development process is worth mentioning as an important game for the industry. This, I believe, set the stage for the amount of anger that resulted from the microtransactions in games like Assassin’s Creed: OriginsBattlefront II, and  Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Yes, it’s been a long time coming, but I do think that the immense disappointment that Andromeda started the year with definitely had a catalyst effect.

catalyst_normal_boxshot
Get it? It’s a Mass Effect pun.

So, honorable mention, yes.

Anyway, back to games that didn’t upset people, there were so many games that came out this year that I didn’t play, like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, and literally every single game that requires a Nintendo Switch (good heavens, did I play any video games this year??). It’s thus really hard to say for certain what the best game of 2017 was. But, of the titles that I played that aren’t a few years old, Hellblade and RiME take the top spots.

Now for Something Completely Different

I also want to give a special shout-out to anyone who noticed I’ve been quoting holiday songs for the titles of these past 12 posts. How many did you recognize?

What about you? What is your Game of the Year for 2017? Was it released this year, or is it an oldie but a goodie? Let me know in the comments!

And a great, huge THANK YOU to Kim from Later Levels for organizing this entire event and coming up with such fantastic questions for our 12 days of holiday posts!! Be sure to show her some love if you haven’t already!

Has a song in her heart and a controller in her hand,
~ Athena

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13 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas: Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot…

  1. It would be perfectly understandable if you wanted to name MGS2 or ME2 as your GotY. Both are great choices, albeit, older. 🙂

    I have Hellblade on my PS4. It’s one of the game’s I regret not getting to before the end of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year! 🙂

    I cannot say I played a lot of games this year, but finally getting around to starting Pillars of the Earth and playing the first Mass Effect is good enough for me. And I get now why they got the praise of so many people.

    Maybe my goal this year will be to play as many games as I add to my to-play list (a girl can dream!).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, well, I have you to thank in part. While I am a bit of a science fiction nut and I love the way Bioware do games (stating the obvious here!), I kept putting the game off until I read some of your Mass Effect articles. So, thank you.😊 It really is a game worth playing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm … GotY is sheets a tough one for me as I don’t play many new games. In fact, if we go down that route, we’re let with Freddy’s Pizza Simulator, Resident Evil 7, Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania and Super Lucky’s Tale of the to of my head. I enjoyed all of the above. Based on sheer time spent enjoying, Forces would take it, despite being the quickest to complete. In older games … I had a blast finally finishing Lightning Returns.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for joining in Athena, it was lovely to have you with us! 2018 is definitely going to be the year when I finally get around to playing both Hellblade and RiME. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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