Games I Started/Finished - 2017

Is it 2017 already? Jesus. Here's a list of what I've played this year.

List items

  • A cool, inventive game with a hook that's compelling enough to carry the whole experience.

    4/5

  • [Knife of Dunwall DLC]

    Still fun, although does show the jump that the sequel made.

    4/5

  • [Switch]

    This game is very good, but I wouldn't put it alongside the absolute all time greats. There are just too many flaws. Two of the biggest are the lack of story and the pretty forgettable side missions.

    4/5

  • [PS4]

    I don't usually play RPG games but I took a punt on this one and ended up loving it. It has a neat story, fun RPG mechanics that are reasonably friendly to new players, an incredible soundtrack and sensational art direction.

    More importantly, it shows that Japanese developers can still create unique and memorable games not necessarily conforming to Western styles or standards that don't feel totally antiquated.

    If there was one major criticism, I did feel some of the palaces did drag on a bit and I ended up running straight past enemies when I got bored.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    I only tried the free Steam weekend for a few hours. I guess I'm not made out for MMORPGs because I wasn't a fan.

  • [PC]

    I toyed around with this briefly when it first came out on iOS and had a look on the PC version. I'll give them credit for expanding the game a fair bit, and it makes for a decent F2P mobile experience that doesn't work quite as well on PC.

  • [Switch]

    For those without the Wii U version (like me), this represents a great value package. The core game is the best in the series and it helps that Mario Kart is one of the best types of games to show off the benefits of the Switch's hybrid design. Also, the graphics look absolutely fantastic, especially in portable mode - the Switch is undoubtedly an amazing handheld experience.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    4 hours or so in (reached the Arboretum) and I'm enjoying it. This is a game where the intriguing plot and excellent environmental design carries the experience through some weak technical graphics and fairly standard shooting. Personally I love a good atmospheric shooter even if it's not the most fun to play (the Bioshock argument) so I'm digging it.

    [Update]

    Finished it. It's a pretty good game but is perhaps not as memorable as similar narrative-focused shooters and the story ultimately ends in a pretty disappointing fashion. It's still worth playing if you enjoy this sort of game but there's a lot of room to improve.

    3/5

  • Tense, atmospheric and ultimately very impressive X-COM style game. The randomly generated content is ultimately the expected trade-off between variety and a less compelling story, but I think the game is fine for it.

    3/5

  • What a fantastic game. H:ZD's interesting and engaging lead character, surprisingly intriguing story, beautiful visuals and fun gameplay really meshes together so effectively. I can't wait to see more of this IP.

    On a personal level, I think this aligns better to my tastes for an open-world game than Zelda.

    5/5

  • [Free copy]

    Clunky, but fun when everything comes together. AI is beyond help.

    3/5

  • [Free trial of Origin Access]

    A pretty neat game this. It looks very good and has a satisfying big-budget feel in its presentation, and the gameplay is generally strong to match with a good variety of modes, maps and character classes.

    4/5

  • [Free trial of Origin Access]

    It's OK. I never liked the original game despite appreciating the effort of a major developer breaking away from what was at the time a glut of cookie-cutter FPS and action games. The attempt at broadening out the environment is conceptually a good idea but when the story is so dull and the combat so totally disengaging there's only so much excitement to be had before the thrill of free-running wears off.

    3/5

  • [Free trial of Origin Access]

    Dull, which is not what I should be writing about a Need for Speed game. Being forced to be always online even in SP is a completely ludicrous requirement.

    2/5

  • [Free trial of Origin Access]

    Even with the patches, my first impression was that this was a clunky game. In many ways the result of a protracted and troubled development period rears its ugly head, but there's also some decent ideas and content hidden here. Overall though, compared to the ridiculously high standards of the series it's a big disappointment.

    3/5 (for the first few hours)

  • A lot of fun, if a little limited and simplistic in some areas.

    4/5

  • 3 well-made, faithful remasters. Shame they aren't 60FPS but in every other respect they are really well done. I still enjoy the Crash games to this day and I do wish new games like this were released.

    4/5

  • Clunky in places, as Early Access would suggest. But damn if this isn't a really great game with a really cool concept fantastically executed. I thought after watching GB and other team streams that solo would not be as fun, but to my surprise solo mode is every bit as tense and enjoyable.

    (2018 update)

    The game has further improved a great deal with a new map (and a third in beta), major performance upgrades, vaulting and other quality of life improvements. Maybe the rise of Fortnite forced their hand, but they're doing a pretty great job with this one.

    5/5

  • A toy more than a game, but it's fun to play around in.

  • A really well-designed, interesting and challenging puzzle game. A few slightly unfair puzzles don't take the shine off the game.

    4/5

  • Fun little 2D SWAT tactical game with a smart pause/resume mechanic.

    4/5

  • It's a racing sim. I can't see myself getting into yet another racing sim, but the free content I experienced looked and felt pretty good.

  • An alarmingly addictive game where you can either save or kill patients in a similar way to games like Disease Inc. It's not the deepest experience but I had a fun few hours with it.

    4/5

  • [Switch]

    I'm not the biggest Sonic fan partially because the only system of theirs I owned contemporarily was the battery-destroying Game Gear. I did own Sonic on that system but don't remember it well.

    That said, Sonic Mania is pretty damn fun and is a perfect fit with the Switch's hybrid design. Also, the music rocks!

    4/5

  • [PC]

    A solid upgrade on last year's strong game. Classic content is welcomed and the expansions made to career mode definitely make it even more engaging.

    4/5

  • I never played enough of the first game, but when this went on a free trial I had to jump in. It's ultimately a refreshed and more advanced version of the original, but changes like the procedurally generated maps, the new scanning system, exfils on demand and concealment not only make sense but greatly enhance the game.

    Also, I think having XCOM as a resistance force when confronted with a massive alien invasion makes a lot more narrative sense. I always thought in the first game that council members withdrawing support for the only thing that could save Earth was really odd.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    More high-quality content from one of the best games of last year. I enjoyed the new levels and the remix of the Royal Conservatory, the story didn't frighten out of making decisions with serious, series-changing consequences (even if it did have a fair few plot peculiarities) and the core Dishonored 2 gameplay is as good as ever.

    It's a shame the base game's technical issues took the gloss off what was one of the finest games in the genre. For the record, I found performance in this expansion to be a lot smoother.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    It's a fun hack 'n' slash that is ultimately too monotonous to really challenge the finest in the genre. The game is best played in bursts and doesn't have enough quantity nor quality to recommend at full price. That said, it's decent entertainment when on sale or if it ever joins Xbox Game Pass.

    That said, it would be remiss to point out the good things the game does. The graphics are fantastic and the game does a neat job at remaining both technically and artistically impressive, with nicely thought out set pieces contrasting the bright, sunny Rome with the dark, barbaric Britannia. And the story is genuinely interesting enough to the point that it carries the repetitive gameplay far father than it should.

    3/5

  • [Battle Royale][PC]

    A pretty enjoyable mode that benefits from the more polished base Fortnite experience, and has enough changes in style and substance from PUBG to feel like a decent alternative rather than a tame knockoff.

  • I tried, but I didn't find this game interesting or enjoyable at all.

  • [PC free weekend]

    I enjoyed the 90 minutes or so with this game, even though that's far too little for an actual evaluation. I'm not a fan of twitch shooters in general and some of the class-specific information could be presented more clearly.

    Unfortunately, I don't think the game ever did enough to differentiate itself from others in the genre and with the small player base that's unlikely to change.

  • [PC]

    First PES I've owned since 2008 (eurgh), although I've played a few of the interim ones. I've always found PES to be a step behind FIFA ever since FIFA 10, and didn't like the direction they went in the PS3/360 era. But PES 18 is really fun. The presentation is still lacking even if license stuff is easily fixed for PC and PS4 users, with low-grade visual graphics and dreadful commentary, and the Master League is still somewhat spartan compared to FIFA's equivalents. But boy is the game fun to play!

    I can't see PES ever drawing close to FIFA in sales as it did in its prime (2003-06 era) because of the drug that is FUT, but the competition is certainly welcome.

    4/5

  • [PC]

    In hindsight, I feel like the Tomb Raider reboot perhaps did not capture the essence of previous entries as well as it could. This sequel on the other hand does a much better job at mixing the action with actual tomb raiding, and is all the better for it.

    4/5

  • A charming, breezy golf/RPG hybrid that I've found rather addicting. Great for playing with the TV in the background!

    It's got flaws, with some bugs and some obtuse objectives (e.g. spending an hour "finding" a digging tool that I already had but never equipped), and some of the jokes really fall flat. But for the price, it's well worth it.

    4/5

  • [PC]

    It's nice to see Cuphead's gameplay living up to the standards set by the visuals. The bosses were challenging but in exactly the right kind of way.

    And boy, that style. The visuals are sumptuous and the soundtrack is just as good.

    5/5

  • [Switch]

    Sorry, but I just can't get into this game. I appreciate how nicely it's done, but it's not for me.

  • It's more FIFA. Mostly the same as 17. You know the drill. I wish I could garner the excitement to write something of use, but I can't.

    4/5

  • [PC]

    It's a bigger, bolder game in all of the expected ways. It retains the same feel of Stick of Truth but improves on that game's weakest element, the battles. The overly-simplistic Stick of Truth system felt like a bit of a chore towards the end, but TFBW offers a much deeper, more customisable and ultimately more compelling system.

    That said, the plot is weaker this time around, and I feel that that plus the fact that a bit of the novelty has worn off ultimately makes this a less compelling if technically better game.

    As with the first game, this will play better to existing fans of the show.

    3/5

  • To be clear: this is not Gran Turismo 7. It's a spin-off based around more competitive online racing. If that is not your thing and you want a more traditional GT-style experience, buy Forza 7.

    For what it is, it's pretty good. The game looks nice, the driving model is still the right blend of sophistication and enjoyability and the online stuff is mostly well done and delivers on the goal of a better online experience. Also, the motion control steering is actually really good and is a decent option if you lack a PS4 compatible wheel.

    That said, the requirement to be online to save is ludicrous.

    4/5

  • Phenomenal.

    5/5

  • [PS4]

    A terrific entry in the series. I've enjoyed Unity and Syndicate more than most people, but Origins represents a step up in ambition that mostly pays off. I did find some of the side-quests a bit of a chore at times but all in all I liked the 35 hours I spent with this.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    Wolfy 2 has a great visual style and bombastic yet enjoyable plot, but the core action is too repetitive and forgettable to completely make up for that.

    3/5

  • I'm overwhelmed!

  • Overall a neat strategy game and a good expansion over the Gettysburg campaign. That said, I'd have liked to see a more dynamic campaign that took more of your actions into account.

    4/5

  • Time to move on from FSX I guess. This is pretty similar but looks nicer, runs better and flies better manually too.