Game of the Year List Draft
This is a "ramble" blog post, it's sort of like a public journal with less structured and more experimental (read: bad) writing. Don't take it too seriously.
- Supernatural (Oculus Quest 2)
- Fantastic dance + boxing workouts in VR delivered straight to my headset daily with amazing music and movement. Having one of the many fantastic trainers encouraging you during your workout seems cheesy but it actually helps keep me motivated to keep working out. The game is tricking me into thinking that there’s someone out there, other than myself, who’s invested in my personal wellbeing. It works.
- GarticPhone (PC)
- You and your friends write sentences. Then everyone gets a sentence written by someone else and has to draw whatever that sentence is describing. Then everyone gets a drawing and has to write a sentence that describes the drawing they’re given. This continues until everyone has participated in each album of sentences/drawings. Finally, everyone looks at each of the albums together and then you’ll all laugh harder then you’ve ever laughed in your entire lives.
- Hunt Showdown (PC)
- The gift that keeps on giving. Described like a drug by many, it contains more Skinner boxes than I’ve ever seen in a video game. I tell myself that I keep coming back for the deep, strategic action gameplay but maybe, me and everyone I play with are incredibly addicted to the rewards, or lack there of, we receive whenever we press a button.
- Disco Elysium (PC)
- I tried playing Disco Elysium sometime last year but dropped it. This year they’ve added a ton of voice acting to the game, which seems great so far, so I’ve recently tried getting back into it. I’ve barely played 2h of the game and I can already tell that I’m going to be falling deeply in love with it. The way the narrative is told and how you interact with it is amazing and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
- DUSK (PC)
- Dusk feels like a gateway drug into the world of boomer shooters. The vibes and gameplay might have worked especially well on me because I have a lot of nostalgia for playing Doom when I was a kid but I think that many parts of the game would stand out even for people without nostalgia for the genre.
- It is a “video game ass video game”. You run and jump around environments shooting “demons” (?), finding secret ammo caches along the way so you can keep firing your favorite weapons.
- Taken at face value, maybe that doesn’t sound very interesting? But the core gameplay loop really does feel great.
- What adds to it and makes the whole experience worthwhile is the level design that takes you on a journey through a wide variety of environments filled with enemies. These levels force you to use all the tools at your disposal to survive. They are functionally and visually different from one another and that serves to keep you moving forward through the game and keeps things interesting.
- Guilty Gear Strive (PC)
- A dayum good fighting game, and the only one I’ve gotten “seriously” into in my entire life. I’ve stopped playing it now because I am frustrated with how brittle their online code is (actually playing the game against other players feels great but getting there is a challenge and takes way more time than it needs to) and how little they seemed to have done to try and improve the situation in the months since the game came out.
- Hitman 2 (PC)
- This year I created and played Custom Contracts Hitman 2 with some friends. What are Custom Contracts? You’re able to jump into any level, kill any targets you choose on the map and then upload that mission for other players to play. Share your level with a few friends and soon enough you’ll be spending more time than you expect playing each other’s levels, trying to beat each other’s times and having a blast doing it.
- Resident Evil Village (Xbox Series X)
- This wasn’t my favorite Resident Evil (I’m not sure which Resident Evil game would take that title: Resident Evil 2 Remake? Original Resident Evil Remake? Resident Evil 7?) but it’s not bad. Resident Evil Village is a sequel to Resident Evil 7 with a lot of Resident Evil 4’s combat-heavy action spliced into it. It works. The Eastern European setting with castles, vampires, werewolves, sexy witches and more is fun to play around in and can be quite spooky at times.
- Slipways (PC)
- Slipways is a puzzle strategy (more puzzle than strategy) game where you are placed in a randomly generated sector of the galaxy and are tasked with creating colonies and connecting them through their imports and exports. It sounds easy but it’s not. Each kind of planetary body has a few different options available to you, each of which requires and exports a different set of products. If you’re into other logistics-heavy games like Factorio or shapez.io, then you might be into the logistics-focused puzzle experience offered by Slipways.
EDIT 2021-12-20: I forgot to add It Takes Two to this list.
I got into Siralim Ultimate pretty hard, it’s pretty cool and should probably make the list.
Resident Evil 4 VR and Psychonauts 2 might make the cut if I finish them on time.
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