2017 has been a pretty decent year for game releases despite a few controversies. We’ve had PUBG leave early access on Steam and enter the Xbox Preview Program, we’ve had a great Assassin’s Creed game and Nintendo have been on top form too. Sony have also released a host of quality titles plus we can’t ignore and Microsoft’s stunning new piece of hardware that’s beautifully engineered. This is all about the games though so with that said let’s get on with the business.
My GOTY for 2017 was quite a tough choice between three games that I love to play. Super Mario Odyssey is a gem of a game with its varied and stunning game levels which made the series feel fresh and new whilst tugging on your heart strings by throwing in some 8-bit elements. It’s one of my all time favourite games and a masterpiece. Ultimately though there were two other titles that really stood out for me.
Horizon Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild both had me totally engrossed. Horizon Zero Dawn was stunning to look at. The game world felt authentic and just had breathtaking views wherever you looked. The developers managed to make an open world adventure game feel fresh in every sense. I found myself taking so many screen shots too with the handy in-game camera mode. The gameplay was fun and challenging too and rarely seemed to feel too repetitive.
Aloy was a likable character who’s story had me hooked from the start. Every thing about the game was stunning and it showed off the chequerboarding technique perfectly. You’d really never know it wasn’t native 4k unless you knew what to look for. I found the game one hell of a challenge but never did it stop being fun.
Any other year this would have been a definite Game of the Year but it coincided with the release of the Nintendo Switch and the superb Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which made the decision very, very hard.
BotW grabbed me from the second I started playing and just refused to let go. I found myself playing it on my lunch break, on the train, at home and anywhere I could get some time. The art style was beautiful and the game world’s rammed full of content. Everywhere you looked there was something to do and/or discover. The combat might not have been the most in depth but it was deep enough to be fun and certain enemies proved to be extremely tough to beat. The music and sound added to the immersion and the fact that I was playing it on a new console that far exceeded any of my expectations made the experience of playing BotW something I’ll remember for a long time. The puzzles were fun and often a challenge and there were so many memorable moments.
It’s been such a long time since a game has engrossed me like BotW has and I can’t wait to see what Nintendo brings out in the coming years as a result. 2017 should be remembered as Nintendo’s year. They have taken a different path to their competitors and silenced a lot of their critics. BotW is the ultimate system selling game and I think the success of the Switch owes a lot to that single game.
I’ll be honest, I’ve rewritten this a few times with both games having a turn at being the winner but ultimately I feel that one game just felt that little more polished and had a couple less issues that irked me. So without further ado here’s my pick…
Game of the Year – Horizon Zero Dawn
Special mention: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild